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Ultegra shifting question(8 posts)

Ultegra shifting questionbbollech
Nov 25, 2002 5:41 AM

I just bought my wife a new bike, and the Ultegra shifters are extremely stiff. I assume that there is a way to loosen these up, since I have tried other Ultegra shifters that are not nearly as stiff as these. The instructions that came with the bike do not have any information about this, and I couldn't find anything on Shimano's web site. Can someome please tell me if I can fix this, and how to do it?

Thank you!
re: Ultegra shifting questionChen2
Nov 25, 2002 6:44 AM
If it is a new bike it should go back to the dealer for a tune-up. Stiff or sluggish shifting is usually cable related. You could check the routing under the bottom bracket and look for kinks anywhere along the cables.
Does it shift gears?Spoke Wrench
Nov 25, 2002 9:03 AM
I agree with Chen that it is probably cable related. If it doesn't shift into all of the gears, I'd suspect the cable isn't anchored properly in the shifter. Sometimes somebody will try to install a cable when the shifter isn't in the smallest gear position. That will cause the kind of problem that you are describing.

Otherwise, I'd look for someplace where the cable has gotten jammed: kinked cable housing, squished cable housing, something like that.
There is no adjustment to the shiftersLC
Nov 25, 2002 9:07 AM
They won't really break in either. If they were older I would suggest a little lube but not for new shifters which should be freshly lubed at the factory. Like someone else said it could be the cables binding.
re: Ultegra shifting questionB2
Nov 25, 2002 9:48 AM
Maybe that little screw behind the lever has partially worked its way out and is catching on the lever?

re: Ultegra shifting questionbbollech
Nov 25, 2002 10:26 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Well, I checked the cables and they seem to be ok. It doesn't look like it is binding anywhere, and they don't look kinked. It does shift into all of the gears, it just seems to be a little stiffer than it should. My wife has small hands, and she has a difficult time shifting the front derailleur when her hands are on the hoods. It doesn't seem like it should be that difficult to shift the front derailleur. The rear derailleur works fine. I have a MTB, and I haven't used the STI road shifters in quite a while, so I don't have much experience to go off of as a baseline for how easy it should be to shift them. If the cabling is fine and there is nothing wrong with the setup, is there anything I can do to make the shifting easier? Perhaps better cables?

Thanks again,
The shifting will get easier with experience…TFerguson
Nov 25, 2002 11:14 AM
Especially critical is the right force on the crank arms. They should be spinning with a small amount of force. I am assuming that the only problem is going to a bigger ring. If she is also having problems going to a smaller ring, there is a mechanical problem that needs to be fixed.

Small hands also means less leverage and makes it harder. Shimano now makes an Ultegra level shifter/brake lever set with adjustable lever reach. If she cannot reach the brakes from the drops, these shifters or a do-it-yourself version may help a lot.

The new cables are probably fine if the problem is only when going to a larger ring.

re: Ultegra shifting questionrockbender
Nov 25, 2002 11:15 AM
Again, you should put the bike into the highest cog, and then shift to the smallest cog without spinning the wheel/crank. You will now have some slack in the cable that you can slide back and forth between each cable housing junction to see if any one spot is the source of excess friction.

If she has a reach problem with the shifters in the drops, try this: Pull the brake lever. See the gap between the top of the brake lever and the hood? You can epoxy a shim of some sort to position the lever closer to the bars. Try peel and stick felt furniture pads, pennies, dimes, washers, whatever you have available that gets the reach right.