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My high shifter isn't shifting in gears 1-4 (5-8 are fine). I took it to a shop and they said I need a new shifter because it's in "really bad shape". No details or anything. Does it seem like they're pulling a fast one on me?

Thanks.

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    Could also be a cable problem, which would be cheaper and easier to replace. Or it could be a derailleur problem. It might need to be adjusted or replaced. Without any more information, it's hard to tell if there's something wrong with the shifter or something else. Do you have any reason to distrust the bike shop? – Kibbee Aug 9 '16 at 16:12
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    Do you have any more information on the shifter? Or a picture you could add? Certain low end parts do wear out, i can't tell you how many low end twist shifters i have seen grenade themselves. – Nate W Aug 9 '16 at 16:32
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    They're not pulling a fast one, because replacing a shifter is something you could cheaply and easily do yourself. If they wanted to rip you off, they would say it is fixable and charge you by the hour. 8 speed shifters are a bargain. You can get the front and rear shifter with cables for some 30 bucks. E.g.: ebay.com/itm/… – Kaz Aug 9 '16 at 18:13
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    If it was an adjustment problem, the bike shop would cheerfully say so because then they could make easy money by adjusting it for you. There is no material cost, just fiddling with your bike and taking your money. It's not worth repairing cheap shifters when they break. If the shop thinks it can't be adjusted, the next recommendation is going to be replacement. – Kaz Aug 9 '16 at 18:19
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    Bike shops may favour a quick replacement part over a clean and refurbishment of the old part. Their time costs money too, and that weighs into the total – Criggie Aug 9 '16 at 20:28
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Normally, a shop will not lie on their customers, as they do want you to come back again. But if you don't know whether to trust them or not, you can try to show your bike to another shop.

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The main reason most of the times in these cases is a sluggish and stuck lip or teeth in the shifter Check this video. It should help

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What type of shifter is it? As there are several kinds (Friction, stem, twist, rapid fire...) and whether if a "Really bad shape" is the most likely cause will vary. With down tube frictions shifters for example, they need almost no maintenance (Besides tightening the screw now and then) but with twister shifters it is common for the internals to wear out and not being able to stay on place. As mentioned in another answer if you don't trust this bicycle store, take your bike to another one for a second opinion and get things clarified.

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