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STI Shifter ratchet problems....(14 posts)

STI Shifter ratchet problems....InTheMiddle
Feb 6, 2003 11:32 AM
I have 2 pairs of Dura Ace non flight deck shifters.... on both the rear shifter has started to flake out on me. First it was just that there was no stop when you were already on the largest cog... meaning you could just keep pushing on it and it would keep moving as if it was doing something, instead stopping like most people's probably do...

Now one of them is much worse and can sometimes be moved without shifting even when on a cog in the middle somewhere.

When that happens it feels as if the ratchet mechanism is skipping (very soft clicks)....

Has anyone ever dealt with that before ?? Are they likely dead, or perhaps just dirty inside somehow ??

On a side note, I have had 600 shifters with many more miles that work great still......

Then again I know someone with a 600 shifter that has the opposite problem as my dura ace.... it's the shifting to a smaller cog... when he pushes the lever sometimes it just never moves... (I know that could be a dirty cable... or dirty deraileur as you are relying on spring tension at that point... but those are all clean on his)..... so any thoughts on that would also be greatly appreciated...

re: STI Shifter ratchet problems....Leak
Feb 6, 2003 2:36 PM
I have a pair of 2002 Dura STI flightdeck shifters and the right one does the same thing that you're describing. In fact, I had one and thought that is was odd, so I returned it and got a replacement shifter. Turns out the replacement shifter does the same thing, so I'm just living with it.

It could be a good psychological gimmick in making yourself think that you're continually shifting up to an easier gear...or it could backfire and make you wonder why it seems to be getting harder and harder to pedal even though you're shifting up! :)
re: STI Shifter ratchet problems....InTheMiddle
Feb 6, 2003 2:53 PM
Hmm.. so that scratches the flightdeck vs. non-flightdeck theory I had in my head....

Yea.. I lived with it for a while, till it started skipping/slipping even when there ARE still gears left...

Thanks for the feedback though... makes me think that maybe it's not just from age/or dirt if it's happening on newish shifters too...
re: STI Shifter ratchet problems....atpjunkie
Feb 6, 2003 4:19 PM
most likely the return spring. This thread will launch the almighty Campy/Shimano debate. The problem being you can't "replace" the spring, you have to replace the shifter. I had Ultegras that did the same thing twice. At some point (usually in the middle of a ride) you'll be stuck in whatever gear you are in on the back cog. Sometimes you can shift up the cog but not down.
Also, sometimes (x your fingers) the little screw that holds the release lever (small lever) comes loose or falls out. You can tighten or replace cheaply (happened to me also). If it is your spring it will cost you a new set of D/A Levers 200 bucks to replace a .25 cent spring. You can also shop on ebay for a single but usually it's the left one available as you aren't the only victims.
if they are new (less than 1 year old) Shimano will warranty.
ps this shouldn't happen to their flagship shifter NMatpjunkie
Feb 6, 2003 4:25 PM
re: STI Shifter ratchet problems....InTheMiddle
Feb 7, 2003 6:45 AM
First, you are right.. it shouldn't happen to DA..

Sounds like the return spring might be the problem on my friend's Ultegra... that is sorta discouraging.. he can shift to easier cogs, but not harder...

I took the worse of the two DA levers apart last night...didn't see much except a little chip off one of the last teeth on the ratchet part... but that shouldn't affect my shifting in the middle...

Also found a loose ball bearing (not from one of the races.. they were all full) floating in there, but that was near the races, not near the ratchet I just left it out when I put it back together....

Cleaned it up... fought with it for an hour to put it back together (never did see the return spring part though.. I guess that it VERY internal) and while I haven't mounted it on a bike yet... but, just pulling on cable by hand seems to work a lot better than before....

We'll see though... I'm hopefull, but then again... it wasn't really dirty inside either...but if the little pawl wasn't sliding properly, that's all it would take.... knowing that now, and understanding how they work better... I wouldn't have taken the whole thing apart, woulda just tried to lube that pawl and spring up a little....

I think on the 600 we'll take it apart and just try to juice up the insides of that last internal part where the return spring must live... we'll see what happens... It doesn't work for crap now we can't really lose...
re: STI Shifter ratchet problems....atpjunkie
Feb 7, 2003 10:44 AM
careful w/ disassembly. the real 'internal' part you speak of is a mess. I've seen good wrenches shed tears when looking upon the seemingly infinite constructs of said section. really easy for something to get out of place or fall out. Good luck!
re: STI Shifter ratchet problems....atpjunkie
Feb 7, 2003 10:48 AM
and check that damn screw! push the levers in and you should see it. it goes through the little lever and into the big. If you don't see it, it has fallen out. has a phillips head
It's covered for three years.MR_GRUMPY
Feb 6, 2003 7:37 PM
Take it back to where go got it and have them look at it. If it's gone south, they will send it back and you will get a new one.
Ps. I've seen Campy levers crap out in the first year also. Stuff happens.
It's covered for three years.atpjunkie
Feb 6, 2003 7:43 PM
granted all levers crap out. Campy's can be fixed. Shimano's can't.
You can field dress an ergo lever if it gets mud and gunk in a cx race. with STI's yer F#@&ed and out 200 bones. I run shimano on my cx bikes and have happily gone retro with bar ends. I'm not slagging either company (I use both) just stating the facts.
Clean cables and flush shifterKerry Irons
Feb 6, 2003 7:52 PM
Before you start replacing things, make sure the cables are clean & lubed and free of kinks. Then flush out the shifter with something like WD-40 and then chase that with a thin lube like TriFlow or ProLink. If things still don't work, then, and only then, should you start thinking about replacing parts.
and check that damn screw! NM good luckatpjunkie
Feb 6, 2003 8:17 PM
Feb 7, 2003 3:48 AM
I'd go so far as to soak the shifter (w/out hood rubber) in a degreaser overnight, then soak in oil/WD40. I've used DA shifters since they 1st came out and they still shift great after lots of miles.
cable fray?DougSloan
Feb 7, 2003 7:09 AM
This is a longshot, but I thought I had a similar problem with my Campy shifters. Turns out the cable had frayed inside the shifter housing and was hanging up. Couldn't hurt to check.