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Ultegra Shifters(8 posts)

Ultegra ShiftersRoad Novice
Sep 19, 2002 10:18 AM
I have a new bike with Ultegra shifters, an Ultegra triple crank, and a 105 front derailleur. The Ultegra shifters allow me to trim the front derailleur to eliminate chain rub in certain gear combinations. The trimming operation works great moving up from the smaller chain rings, but is somewhat spotty going the other direction. Sometimes when I want to trim the middle chain ring, I end up shifting to the small chain ring (because the lever has some resistance I end up inadvertantly doing two clicks). Is this normal? Does the shifter just need to be broken in? Or do I just need more practice in doing this?
re: Ultegra Shiftersgrzy
Sep 19, 2002 10:57 AM
Ah, practice Grasshopper! You will develop a light touch and learn to "tap" the lever to shift down to trim. this assumes that everything is 100% adjusted and dialed in. Since it sounds like you bike is new make sure you take advantage of the free tune-up/adjustment that most shops offer. You shifters should be working great right out of the box.
re: Ultegra ShiftersRoad Novice
Sep 19, 2002 11:03 AM
It takes more than a "tap" to move the lever. But once it moves, it is difficult for me to keep it from going all the way. I'll practice and take advantage of the LBS adjustments. Just hate asking dumb questions at the LBS.
Go ahead, ask "dumb" questions.......gogene
Sep 19, 2002 11:54 AM
....and hopefully your LBS will give you straight answers. That's how you learn. The only truly 'dumb' question is one that is unasked. You are on the steep side of a learning curve and you need the answers. If you have a good LBS that treats you well and has the patience to guide you through the 'novice' part of your bicycle ownership, a batch of homemade cookies, or a case of soda or beer may be in order. Sometimes rewards like that are very appreciated and will put you in a good light when it comes time to ask a favor.
Probably just cable stretch. Worse is cable not lubed or binds.teamsloppy
Sep 19, 2002 3:17 PM
The front derailleur could just need adjusting. The inner cable stretches requiring the inner cable slack to be taken up.

Two worse case scenarios are the inner cable needs to be lubed or the inner cable is binding because of too sharp a bend.

A symmetric behavior is a sign of a sticky cable that needs to be lubed or is bent into too sharp an angle.

You pull in one direction (I assume you have a bottom pull Front Derailleur which uses your strength to move the derailleur to the bigger chain ring). The other direction depends on the spring in the derailleur and "slack" in the cable. If the inner cable has more friction or is binding some where, it would prevent the derailleur from moving all the way to the correct position over the smaller chain ring).

Your LBS may not have lubed the inner cables enough (or at all) when assembling your new bike. The shimano instructions say to lube the cables.

Also, if the cable bends to sharply, it can cause too much friction at the bend. When new, there is a teflon lining which acts as a lubricant. But it can wear quickly if the inner cable is forced to rub against the outer cable at a sharp bend.

Unfortunately, I think it is difficult to remove an inner cable for lubing. They tend to "un-ravel" when you cut the end cap off or try to re-insert it. New inner cables come with a specially coated end to help insertion. It is better just to buy a new one than try to lube an old one. They're about 5 bucks.

Checking for a sharp bend in the cable route takes a may require removing the handlebar tape (another hassle).

I'm betting it is just cable stretch and a quick tune up of the derailleur will fix your problem.

Sounds like you should take it back to your LBS for an adjustment.
I agree about taking it back to your LBS...DINOSAUR
Sep 19, 2002 8:37 PM
I realize you don't want any downtime with your bike, perhaps call your LBS first and set up an appointment. When I got my Klein back in '99 (now my "beater bike"), the front der cable was not inserted in the cable guide on the bottom bracket. I positioned the cable through the guide and srewed up the der adjustment. I had not been around bikes for a long time so I just dragged it down to my LBS and they fixed it for me on the spot, taking about 5 minutes. Now after spending hours in my garage, getting my hands dirty and resorting to Zinn's Book of Road Bike Maintenance I can do most of the stuff myself. The only way you find out is by asking....
It's the limit screws!!cyclequip
Sep 20, 2002 1:48 AM
Strangely enough - if you set the limit screws with the proper tolerances, the trim down becomes easier to nail - tho it does require a light touch.
In this case, I think so too.Spoke Wrench
Sep 20, 2002 4:31 AM
Try sdjusting the high gear limit screw out only about 1/8 to 1/4 turn. That will take the bind out of the derailleur when it's in the big chainring and it will downshift more smoothly.