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Recently, one of my friction shifters (the one on the right side of the bike) has been sliding into the highest gear. I can access the lower gears if I hold it in place while biking. I'm wondering if anyone knows what I could do to fix this?

For context, my bike is a 1980s Norco Suntour.

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Friction shift levers have the ability to adjust the amount of friction available. If there is not enough friction the spring in the rear derailleur will be able to pull the cable and move into high gear.

Generally there are two types of friction adjustments:

  • a screw
  • a D-ring

These shift levers have a D ring - circled in blue. To increase friction turn the D-ring clockwise. enter image description here

These shift levers have a screw - circled in blue. To increase friction turn the screw clockwise. enter image description here

If you tighten the D-ring or screw and shifting works normally for a short time and then the adjusting mechanism gets loose again you may need to disassemble the shift lever mechanism and clean it. Look for any damaged or worn parts while cleaning and replace as needed.

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The derailleur spring is pulling on the cable. If the shifter has not enough friction, this can happen. Do you have a kind of screw to tighten the shifter ?

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