My wife's bicycle has Shimano Revoshift shifters, and while the right (rear) one works fine, the left (front, Friction) has been problematic for a while. Originally, when we bought the bicycle, the left shifter made a clicking sound when it was turned. After a while, it stopped clicking, and since last summer, it has required tons of force to shift from the middle gear to the biggest gear.

I've tried to adjust the front derailleur (orientation, height) and the low and high limits, as well as the cable tightness, but nothing seems to remedy the force. This morning, I took the shifter apart, suspecting that something would be broken inside it, but everything seemed OK. I put it back together, but it still doesn't click and I have to use both hands to turn the lever to get it to the biggest gear.

I suspect that there's still something wrong going on in the shifter, though. If I gently pull the cable underneath the body, the shifter rotates. It shouldn't do that, should it?

The exact model is Shimano SL-RS35. Thanks for any help in advance!

  • 1
    Did you try lubricating the cable? Commented May 31, 2014 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


Some of the revoshifts are actually friction and just don't click period, while others are pseudo-friction (they click in small increments so you can trim your shifts) - I suspect you have the latter. They are also the bargain bin parts (less than 20 dollars for a set), and thus are built with low quality and things often go wrong. Pretty much all you can do is check that the cable tension is OK, the cable isn't caught on anything and the derailleur is set up properly (If the shifter is gunked up, sometimes flushing it with WD40 helps, but thats just a temporary fix).

As suggested in this question, I recommend throwing out the RevoShift shifters if they start to cause problems and then replacing them with some other cheap shifters (maybe switch the left on a cheap thumb friction shifter, or a Shimano trigger shifter with the same number of speeds, or a SRAM Attack front shifter if you want to stick with twist).

  • 2
    Dunno about RevoShift in particular, but I know that when I was rehabbing bikes for charity the twist shifters were the single component most likely to need replacement. Commented May 1, 2014 at 14:44
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    RevoShift now comes on the more expensive BSO's these days - its mostly below Tourney, though some Revoshifts are Tourney (with the ranking Tourney < Altus < Acera < Alivio < Deore < other stuff I can't afford).
    – Batman
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 15:03
  • @Batman I checked the local bicycle parts shop, and the exact same shifter is 4.95 there - it's the cheapest one they have. There's also SRAM MRX Comp shifter for 8.95, should I go with that?
    – manabreak
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 12:42
  • Of the two options, the MRX Comp 3.0 (presumably what it is) is the better option, but I'd probably shell out a bit extra and buy a Shimano Acera front trigger shifter (which will likely cost twice as much). But if you have to go gripshift, the MRX comp is probably the better choice. Also, note that how good shifting occurs is dependent on how well the cables are routed and installed to some extent.
    – Batman
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 18:17
  • @manabreak or anyone: get rid of the twist/grip shifter, use a thumb shift. Best thing I did on bike for my kid.
    – gaoithe
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 13:36

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