This is my second attempt to setup a Shimano 5800 groupset from scratch. The problem on both bikes has been that downshifting worked to a point, but upshifting never works. The process isn't detailed very well in the docs, but the following is what I've done.

  • Tapped the B lever (upshift) 10+ times.
  • Thread the cable through the lever. Use the correct Shimano provided housing end with extra sheath for the cable. Close the flap. Make sure end is pulled into place for no lever side cable slack. I don't have a third hand tool so maybe my mistake is here.
  • Attach cable to rear derailleur. Again slack with no third hand tool. Tighten by compressing the derailleur and pulling the cable by hand.
  • Downshift as far as it'll go. I had planned to set the derailleur adjustment screws once I has in the largest gear.
  • Now the B lever feels like it's not engaging the cable at all. Unable to upshift at all. B lever does move freely.

I've been through this three or four times and the outcome has been the same. Any ideas what I might be missing?

2 Answers 2


I managed to fix this, but I'm not completely certain why it started working. I believe the fix was a combination of three things.

  • Repulling the cable and being firm about pulling it horizontally through the lever. I don't believe I got it deep enough into the lever before
  • putting the hood back into place for extra pressure on the cable helped it engage
  • making sure to start with a fair amount of cable tension before working the levers
  • Well done for posting an update.
    – andy256
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 6:59

I am currently setting up the 5800 groupset on my bike, and I think the issue you were encountering is the hood getting in the way of the shifting linkage while it is rolled forward.

I found the shifters were not working smoothly and wondered why myself before noticing the small connecting lever getting caught by the hood.

  • Welcome to Bicycles @funky. We recommend that new members take the tour to make best use of the site. Thanks for your answer. Typically we would say that such a post should be a comment, but in this case where the question is not really clear and does ask for suggestions, I think it's OK. As well as the tour, check out How to Answer. Cheers
    – andy256
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 0:06

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