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I have a Shimano bar-end shifter where the fixed part is stuck in the handlebar. How can I get this part out in a way that I can reuse it in new handlebars?

Note: I know that I have to loosen the internal M6 Allen screw in the "wrong" direction, i.e. I have to turn it clockwise to loosen it). That's what I have done - but the part doesn't want to come out.

Here a picture (which admittedly doesn't tell much more):

Stuck bar-end shifter

  • Did you install them? Did you use any sort of grease or assembly compound? Could be like a seatpost that has corroded itself in the tube. Did the other side come off okay ? Nice bent BTW. – Criggie May 5 at 9:16
  • @Criggie I think I installed them, but that is approx. 6 or 10 years ago. Not sure about the grease; probably no grease. :-( The other side came off as you'd expect. The recumbent is a Flux from Germany. :-) – halloleo May 5 at 11:16
  • Another possibility is if there's been a crash or impact that has distorted the bars. The reflection on the right-hand side of the bar in the photo is in two pieces, though that may just be sticky pog from bartape/grips. – Criggie May 5 at 11:55
  • I'm facing exactly the same problem. They are held the same way as an old-style stem where the bolt pulls a diagonal nut. – Carel May 5 at 12:06
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    @Criggie Yes the handle bars had numerous impacts when the bike fell over. This might contribute to the problem. – halloleo May 7 at 10:10
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I suspect vice grips or plumbers pliers/sliding lockjaw pliers will do the required.

Since the fitment is not turning in place, there's a good chance that the shifter is stuck to the inside of the bars by corrosion, either rust or aluminium oxide. I note the upright nature of these bars may encourage salty sweat to enter and weep down into the bars.

This appears to be the left shifter, for the front chainring, so is likely to be used less and have more opportunity to settle. More-frequent adjustment of the rear/right shifter could have helped keep it loose.

Suggested method of attack:

  1. Start by blasting the seam with a penetrating oil. Anything that can wick its way in will help.
  2. Then try to spin the fitting in the bar - you might need leverage from a stout screwdriver through the mounting hole, or the big pliers around the face. Use masking tape or a thick old rag to minimise damage. Also be mindful of damaging the part you want to reuse.
  3. if you can get the handlebar restrained, try feeding a light rope or wire through that hole and have an assistant put steady pressure on the end (ie, in line with the tube). Use your pliers to wiggle the fitting back and forth.

A last resort could be to apply a hot hairdryer exhaust to the outside of the bars - in theory the aluminium will heat up faster and expand a bit. The risks are to anything that is not metal - rubbers really don't like heat, and its also possible to set those oils earlier smoking. Plus a hot metal handlebar is a burn risk. Don't use flame - that's too aggressive.

Take your time on this - there's no hurry. It could be that a bit of patience will work best.

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    Also, since you got the other side off, you can apply penetrating oil from the open end and move the bar so that it drips to the end that's stuck. This is obviously a lot easier if you remove the handlebar from the bike. – Andrew May 5 at 12:07
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    Will try the oil method: Could WD-40 do the trick? – halloleo May 7 at 10:11
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    If you were to cut the end of the bar off at the bend, then you could clamp that part in a vise and use a long punch through to the back of the shifter to gently tap the body out. Or you could use a dremel-like rotary tool to cut through the bars over the shifter, and as it thins the aluminium will weaken loosening its grip, If the shifter body has a recess on the inside then that would be the ideal place to cut. – Criggie May 7 at 11:22
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    @Criggie Or use one of these metal cutter. Or else carefully file a flat on the tube of the bar until nearly through and 'peel' it away. Thought of some possibilities there. There are certainly more. – Carel May 7 at 19:15
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    Good idea, @Criggie, to push the shifter out. Hopefully I get to it on the weekend. – halloleo May 7 at 23:55

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