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Ultegra Shifter Problem(12 posts)

Ultegra Shifter ProblemIKnowYouRider
Aug 20, 2003 5:39 AM
I'm having a slight problem with my right Ultegra shifter on my 2002 Trek 2200. Occasionally when I try to down shift (shift to a larger cog) the shifter will not "catch" and just moves without pulling the cable. Is this a common problem? Is there a fix? I've searched this message board and have read that often a screw on the underside of the shifter will work itself loose but I can't seem to find anything loose on my shifters. Should I just get used to it or is this a problem for the LBS?

re: Ultegra Shifter ProblemRusty Coggs
Aug 20, 2003 7:07 AM
Should not happen if everything is working right.
re: Ultegra Shifter ProblemTarheel71
Aug 20, 2003 8:02 AM
The exact same thing happened to mine a couple of years ago. Seems to be not all that unusual, don't know how old your shifters are, but if it is still happening with current Ultegra, then Shimano needs to improve them. I tried the WD40 flush, but eventually I just gave up on mine and bought a set of Dura Ace shifters when they came on sale, no problems.
re: Ultegra Shifter ProblemChen2
Aug 20, 2003 8:59 AM
New cables and housings might cure the problem.
Common problem I thinkTWD
Aug 20, 2003 11:12 AM
I've had two sets of Ultegra shifters crap out on me in the last year and a half. The first lasted about 300 miles before it developed problems. The small lever wouldn't catch, so that I had to hold the brake lever and push the small lever in order to get into a smaller cog.

Sent it in to Shimano, and they sent me a brand new one back 2nd day air. Took less than a week. I was really suprised at how well their customer service was. I sent it in to them myself, since the supposedly reputable high end LBS that I had just bought a bike from refused to help me with the warranty. I tried another LBS and they weren't willing to help either.

Only problem was that the brand new shifter they sent didn't work either. It has the problem you describe. If I shift down into a smaller cog, the next time I try to shift back up into an easier cog, it will miss the shift. Mostly happens in the middle range of gears.

I got tired of having to take my shifters off and send them back in while I miss races, so I have just learned to cope with it. One little trick I learned is that if you put a little sideways pressure on the brake lever when you shift into a smaller cog, it wont mis-shift the next time I shift back into an easier cog. Over a few thousand miles this has become habit, and I rarely miss any shifts.

Ironically, I have 105 STI levers on my cross bike have been flawless. They have seen an ungodly amount of abuse, numerous crashes, and maybe 2000 miles worth of rainy commuting miles. Still work great.

So, either send them in yourself for warranty, or get used to missing shifts.
Aug 20, 2003 4:15 PM
Chances are that you have had some cable stretch. Also check your cables for fraying at the cable connection point or where it runs through the housings, you would be amazed at what one little strand of cable being loose can do to shifting.

You also have an adjustment for this on the down tube, at least my '99 model does. A small tab where the cable guides on the down tube are located. I would replace the rear cable with a teflon coated cable, no need to adjust the limit screws on the derailleur if they were working fine before, adjust the barrel adjuster about 4 full twists off of it's limit, set that tab on the down tube to the center position, pull the cable taunt and tighten down the fix bolt, shift to the second smallest cog and barrel adjust the noise out with the barrel adjuster. If you still have the last shift problem then try moving the adjustment tab back or forward one click and see if your problem goes away.

Also one way to figure out if your cable is too loose is to shift into the small cog and feel if the cable is a little sloppy. Think about this for a sec; Does it do it in all gears or just the #2 on the upshift? Why? Too much cable for the shifter to pull the slack up enough to reach the shift point.
Aug 20, 2003 5:37 PM
I think you've misunderstood the problem. When I move the lever to shift into a larger rear cog (lower gear) the cable is not being pulled at all. It's seems as though the ratcheting mechanism in the shifter is'nt working properly.

Nice try by wrongTWD
Aug 21, 2003 12:24 PM

But I do know how to adjust my shifters, and that is not the problem. It has nothing to do with the adjustment, cable stretch or frayed cables. They shift perfectly when they shift. When it misses, it misses completely. Try removing the cable from your shifter, then try to shift. The lever swings freely without any resistence. That is what it feels like when they miss a shift. That is the problem, which is internal to the shifter.

It came that way out of the box from Shimano. It does it in the middle 4 or 5 cogs and sometimes creeps its way into the other ones.

Good advice on adjustment otherwise. Just doesn't apply here.
My exact problem -- two sets of Ultegras crap outOldEdScott
Aug 22, 2003 6:01 AM
in a little over a year. Same issue: The ratchet in the shifter not catching and holding when shifting to certain larger cogs. Got so fed up I asked Shimano if I could just pay the difference to get a set of Dura Ace instead of yet another Ultegra. They went one better and GAVE me the Dura Ace, plus shifter and brake cables, plus some free socks.

This might be a good time to try that strategem since 10-speed DA is coming and Shimano may have vast warehouses full of 9-speed shifters they want to dump.

Regardless, I have to say my Shimano warranty experince has been terrific.
Here is the fix!!!!!!!!!!!!!!the bull
Aug 20, 2003 5:52 PM
Sorry could not resist! ;)
Lentil Soup is the answer???? Or the Iams???? nm.russw19
Aug 20, 2003 9:19 PM
Mmmm Iams. Perfect for long rides. nmMikeBiker
Aug 22, 2003 3:04 PM