The up-shift lever (the long one) on my gear shifter for the front derailleur got stuck and now I'm looking for a way to disassemble it.

Is there a way to do it without removing it from the handlebars?

  • Good luck with that.
    – user313
    Jun 25, 2012 at 8:53
  • Find manual for your gear shifter at techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/index.jsp Jun 25, 2012 at 11:07
  • 5
    Before you disassemble it, give it a few blasts with a spray cleaner/lube. Generally problems with brifters are due to the lube getting gummy. Jun 25, 2012 at 14:41
  • 2
    If they ever expect the public to take bicycles half way seriously such items as a grease port for the handlebar index shifters would demonstrate that the bike was made for the real world. Why would any fool design a moving part that was awkward to grease or lube?
    – user7221
    Jun 15, 2013 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


It took me 4 hours but I managed to disassemble the shifter and fix the problem. The cause was a broken spring inside the shifter. I replaced the spring, put it all back together and now its working fine.

Here's a rough description on how to disassemble the shifter:

  • Release the brake cable
  • Release the gear cable
  • Stick a 5mm allen wrench under the rubber cover on the outside of the shifter. You'll find a screw there. Unscrew it and pull the shifter back to remove it
  • Remove the brake cable pivot pin inside the shifter
  • Pulling the brake will reveal the screws inside the shifter. Unscrew them one by one
  • At this point you should be able to remove the plastic housing
  • Unscrew the big screw at the center of the shifter (it is the screw that holds the whole cog/lever system together)
  • Don't make the same mistake as me and make sure to hold the shifter together while you undo the screw, otherwise the whole thing will explode into a lot of small cogs, springs etc on your floor.

As other people here said, the hard part is putting it back together so try to do your best to memorize where each thing goes as you take them off one by one. Also try the method described by mattnz first, if it works you'll be saved a lot of hassle.

Hope this will be of some help to somebody.

  • Where did you get the spring? I am facing a similar issue... Jan 18, 2016 at 22:43
  • If I remember correctly, the spring was bent in half, so I straightened it out and put it back in. It's not perfect but it still works three years later. I'm not sure of the size, but maybe you could use one from a ballpoint pen? Jan 19, 2016 at 14:35
  • Hmm, no, I need a different spring. This is my problem. Apr 6, 2016 at 22:49

Daniel R Hicks has the right answer - I had an old bike with RX100 Brifters that stopped working. From what I know, disassembling any Brifter is best left to the experts and desperate. Although I was by far the latter, I had little choice as mine could not be pulled apart.

What I ended up doing (after trying lube) is using WD40 and then in desperation, aerosol engine degrease (one of the few times you should let either of this stuff near you bike). It took a day of soaking, with a play every now and then, to get the shifters moving. That was the easy part of the job.

After washing out with plenty of water, I had to deal to the problem that although things were moving like they should, there was no lubrication. WD40 might have worked for a day, Oil, chain lube etc a bit longer, but what is needed is grease. Fortunately there are aerosol based Grease products that have a thin carrier that are perfect for the job. I "filled" the brifter with aerosol grease and wiped off the excess. The idea too much grease is better than too little - I can clean grease out if needed, but can't put the metal back on the worn out bits.....

The end result was a usable bike at little cost. The other option- new brifters.....

In your case, i would look at this approach if you can't find a way to pull them apart (and know for certain you will get them back together.)

  • In this case it wouldn't have worked as it was a mechanical issue, but I think it's a good idea and next time I'll try soaking it before I go striping it apart. Jun 26, 2012 at 8:20

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