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STI cleaning questions(9 posts)

STI cleaning questionsgreyghost
Jan 16, 2004 12:25 PM
My ultegra STI units are getting pretty grimy, and in searching back on this message board I have found a cleaning method. It involves hosing down the STI with WD-40, then dousing it with Tri-Flow to lube it back up. This raises a few questions in my mind. First, is it really OK to put the WD-40 on the bike? I thought WD-40 was one of the best dirt attractors around, won't it just make the STI worse in the long run? Second, will any good synthetic lube do the job, or does Tri-Flow have some magical property that suits it to this application? Thanks for any advice.
You can push WD40 out w/ canned air...PeterRider
Jan 16, 2004 4:48 PM
... the same cans of air that are used to clean computer keyboards. You will be surprised at the amount of black stuff that comes out !

WD40 is just a solvent in this usageKerry Irons
Jan 16, 2004 9:00 PM
You're using the WD40 as a solvent to remove the gunk that has built up in the shifters. You then spray in the TriFlow or dribble in ProLink, etc. to leave some actual lube in there. Since the mechanism is largely enclosed, dirt pickup is not that big an issue.
Not again!Spoke Wrench
Jan 17, 2004 10:47 AM
The WD-40 police are going to come after me again, but I'd just give your brifters a spritz of WD-40 to loosen up the gunk, a blast of compressed air to blow it out and skip the Tri-Flow.
Often, the WD-40 sluice is enoughKerry Irons
Jan 17, 2004 8:39 PM
If you don't put so much WD-40 through the system that you blow out all the lube (which would take a LOT of WD-40!), there's still significant grease left behind. Often you don't need the lube chaser after the WD-40, but you can't go on putting more and more WD-40 through, or you will eventually flush out all the lube.
Agree with Kerry. And I have successfully renewed my STI...Fez
Jan 18, 2004 6:20 PM
My STI shifter was acting up (or not acting, depending on how you look at it).

I carefully shot a SMALL amount of WD40 inside the area where the shifter cable meets the STI body (do a search for the exact location).

The stuff ran downward and started dripping black gunk down the cable along the downtube.

It makes a mess on the floor, so do it in an appropriate location.

You don't need a lot, so start small and spray only inside the hole, not everywhere inside the STI body.

Test it out. Mine works very well now. It was the first time I did it, so I didn't need to add more lube. I just wiped everything down.
I guess you guys have done this before (sucessfully)B2
Jan 18, 2004 9:29 AM
...but I have to shake my head every time I hear Tri-Flow. I have these visions of the most gunky, gummed up mess you can possibly imagine. I guess you just flush it again when it gets all gummed up. Oh well - sounds like it works OK.

Well...Spoke Wrench
Jan 18, 2004 10:35 AM
Frankly, my experience in shops has been that lots of cyclists way overlubricate everything. Most bicycle parts (other than chains) very seldom need any lubrication. I doubt Shimano brifters need much because I've never seen one that wasn't working from lack of lubrication. I've resurrected lots of brifters by blowing out all of the collected cobwebs. I assume that WD-40 has adequate lubrication properties for the job. Other bike mechanics might have different experience.
I've done this fix many timesKerry Irons
Jan 18, 2004 7:15 PM
I have a '98 Record 9 set, and when they start to get balky, all I have to do is get some fresh oil in there. I take them apart every year and regrease, but once or twice a year they need a little more oil to keep them working well. I oil them, and they work better, simple as that.