My left Shimano Ultegra Shifter is not working properly when I try to go to the big crank set.

I was wondering if i can use another Shimano left shifter, because Ultegra R8020 is so expensive.

Any other options, or can I only use the Shimano Ultegra R8020 left shifter?

  • 2
    Before you throw money and parts at the problem, are you sure its the shifter and not the derailleur or inner cable? Does your bike have exposed inner cable anywhere ?
    – Criggie
    Oct 30, 2023 at 6:18
  • 2
    Can you describe the problem and what "not working properly" means? Does the derailleur/cable move at all when you shift, is there resistance or are the shifts just bad, i.e. the chain refusing to jump on the large chainring? It might just the cable, like a frayed/stretched cable or missing tension rather than the shifter...
    – DoNuT
    Oct 30, 2023 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


The image below is from Bikeforums. Basically, Shimano shifters can fray the cables like this, because there's a really tight bend in the cable which stresses it. It's generally recommended to replace your cables regularly. A mechanic should be able to disconnect the front derailleur and pull the cable out partially to check its status. If the cable is broken entirely, that's not great, as it can be some work to fish it out.

I mention this because while we don't know exactly what's happening, this could explain failure to shift. This is why the comments are asking you for further information and to further diagnose the issue.

If it comes to that, you could use any 11s Shimano shifter, and the 105 shifters (R7020) are a bit cheaper and functionally near identical.

enter image description here

  • Good photo - it can pay to proactively change the inner cable. Curiously when it happens to me, its always the right hand/rear cable that breaks. I've never had a left hand/front cable break, but then I change many more times at the rear than the front.
    – Criggie
    Oct 31, 2023 at 0:03

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