On my commute yesterday, I noticed that my right shifter was no longer 'clicking' when shifting my rear derailleur up into a larger sprocket. It still shifted fine, but I noted that I should look into it this weekend. On the commute in this morning, it stopped shifting altogether.


  1. Chain/derailleur is on the smallest sprocket. It is positioned fine, no noise.
  2. When I press the brake lever inwards to shift the derailleur up, it moves a bit until I can feel the shift cable tightening ever so slightly. The shift lever stops and feels locked at that point. (It will not go through it's full sweep inwards)
  3. The thumb lever on the sora shifter feels loose and has no tension. (Normal for when it is on the smallest sprocket)
  4. If I pull on the shift cable itself (cable is routed along the top bar of the bike) the derailleur moves smoothly through the gears on the cassette.

When it first happened, I played a little bit with the cable tension, but that effectively did nothing.

This has never happened to me before, does anyone recognize these symptoms and should I attempt a repair or are the internals likely broken in the shifter?

  • "When I press the brake lever" - do you mean shifter?
    – BSO rider
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 16:26
  • 1
    When I had an STI shifter die, I could push the lever in to upshift, but it just wouldn't catch. Never had it jam. The fact it is jamming makes me wonder if you have debris in there jamming things.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 17:08
  • 2
    It's nearly impossible to repair a brifter -- the parts required will have to be sourced from another brifter since Shimano and others don't sell them individually. And assuming you have the parts from another brifter, you still have to take the brifter apart without breaking something and then putting it back together correctly again. There are a few people you can find on eBay or forums who have done it enough to be able to do this reliably, but in terms of cost, it's not worth doing below the Tiagra or 105 lines.
    – Batman
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 19:32
  • I refurbished a RSX brifter, by opening it and chipping out the hardened grease. Once relubed with lithium spray it works 99% orf the time now, rather than barely ever.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 0:14

2 Answers 2


Shimano doesn't make parts available for repairs. If you're under warranty, you could ask your LBS to have it swapped out for a new/refurb. Your LBS might also have a used or like-new in their parts bin.

Otherwise, what most people do is to step up and buy a new shifter/brifter. The prices are such that it makes sense to buy above Sora and to get a Tiagra or 105 series.

  • Don't do this.. Tiagra is 10 speed, 105 is 11 speed.. you will have poor shifting if you do that. I've done similar by accident before. Don't do it unless you upgrade the other components: chain, cassette, rear derailleur. It starts adding up..
    – John Hunt
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 12:33

I've experienced 2 problems on the Sora shifters- one condition was the cable wear caused strands of the cable to break- eventually all broken strands resulted in functional loss & cable replacement needed. When I disassembled the shifter, I found small pieces of the broken cable strands jamming the ratcheting mechanism. You may be experiencing a similar condition if the shifter cable has been previously replaced w/o a complete overhaul of the shifter. As the strands started breaking- the shift action deteriorates, and no click latching was one of the symptoms. A second problem found on another Sora shifter that had similar shift deterioration was a result of a tensioning spring used for the return action- the 90 degree bend point of the spring was broken. Without an available replacement part, I finally mechanically "unwound" 1 loop of the spring to create a new 90 degree bend for the part. It successfully has been working for several years now on that bike.

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