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Ultegra brake lever dust caps revisited...(12 posts)

Ultegra brake lever dust caps revisited...DINOSAUR
Jul 15, 2001 4:32 PM
Common rattling problem with the plastic caps for the Ultegra brake levers. Mine rattled so much that the left one fractured and about half of it departed from my bike, location unknown. I ordered new ones from Shimano through my LBS. I patched up what was left of my old ones with duct tape, they still rattled like crazy. Today I removed them, which was very easy, they practically fell off with a little help from a screw driver. My right lever still rattles, it's the small lever used for upshifting the rear cog. It appears to be from wear and tear and I can't replace it as the whole lever needs to be purchased separately. I've never been a Shimano or a Campy man, but I'll never buy another Shimano equipped bike for this reason.
Sorry for the rant. Perhaps it should read "Buyer Beware".
Small PartsDCP
Jul 16, 2001 5:38 AM
Before you give up, check the tightness of the small screw which faces forward and is part of the small lever assembly. I complained to my LBS about rattling with the response that "they all do that." The rattling continued until the screw fell out. Replaced the screw and no more rattle, at least for now. Good luck.
Jul 16, 2001 7:39 AM
I noticed after I flipped off the dust cap that the little screw was loose, I tightened it. I think it was just going to be a matter of days before the whole screw fell out. Hmmmm maybe I'll try replacing the screw, I tightened it as much as possible but it still rattles.
Two Different Animals1 grzy mnky
Jul 16, 2001 11:03 AM
...but they both need to be secure. If the one under the dust cap comes loosen then the main lever could come off leaving you in a not very desirebale postion ---> no braking or shifting. If the little screw on the back side (and holding the two levers in postion relative to each other) comes loose the internal guts of the mechanism will start to shift and the eniter thing will become unfunctional. Rebuilding is a major pain and you may have to fabricate a replacement screw. Campy certainly has the edge in this area. You can buy the sub assembly or the entire lever from Shimano - small comfort.
Grz monkey please email me if that's coolLardog
Jul 16, 2001 11:28 AM
I've got some questions about this stuff. Mine rattle too and I don't want to get screwed. I know nothing about taking them apart at this time. Thanks.
The noise is gone.....DINOSAUR
Jul 16, 2001 12:07 PM
It's the little screw under the dust cap that was loose. I tightened it, but it still rattled when I bounced my front wheel off the ground in my garage. I also removed my full length Blackburn F1 frame pump and went to a mini Torelli pump, I'm just on the edge of upgrading to co2. This morning I went for a ride sans the rinkly dink Ultegra dust caps and for the first time since I owned my Klein, no noise or rattles. My only concern is if I ever take a spill and damage the exposed parts that was covered by the dust caps. My plan is, if and when, it will give me an excuse to upgrade to Campy. I think Campy has an edge on longivity in this area...
Little screw on the back side?9WorCP
Jul 16, 2001 12:59 PM
I'll look for it when I get home. Where is it exactly?
Two Different AnimalsLardog
Jul 16, 2001 1:26 PM
How do you get the dust caps off? Screwdriver? Pop 'em like a paint can?
Dust Caps - the ugly truth1 grzy mnky
Jul 16, 2001 1:45 PM
Well, I'll try to answer the mentioned issues from the three previous posts. First, the dust cap design on the original 9 speed Ultegra suck and Shimano has changed them. You do pry them off and once you break the first one you will see how to get the second one off with out breaking it, also. Cold comfort, really. Gently getting a thin blade like a knife in from the top works, but my average is abot 50% for not breaking them. I wish I could be more helpful. Replacments are something like $15 for a pair!!!

It doesn't really matter that much since the advised fix is to use a dab of silicone sealant (i.e. bathtub caulk) to put them back on. This cures the rattle and is detailed on website. Try to give them overnight to cure before riding. It is amazingly refreshing not have those stoopid things rattling at you.

As far as various bolts and bits coming loose on your levers I advise BLUE loctite since it is medium strength. Red is supposed to be permanent and you can break bolts before it will give up it's hold. Red has it's place, but not on your shifters.
ugly is right...DINOSAUR
Jul 16, 2001 4:27 PM
Mine are the first generation Ultegra sti's. I found out that actually they serve no purpose at all accept for being decorative and a dust shield. I was leary of removing them as I thought my bike would look funky as I am somewhat of an equipment freak. For me riding with no noise is well worth it.
Here is a link to show you how to stop them from rattling, however I wouldn't put much faith in it, they will still rattle.
The last straw is when I hooked up and rode with another cyclist and I had a hard time talking to him over the rattling of the stupid dust caps. Any future bikes I own will be Campy equipped. Actually now that I think about it , this is the first bike I've owned that had Shimano equipment.
no escapeDog
Jul 17, 2001 5:58 AM
Dino, sadly enough, even my new Campy Record 10 sp levers rattle a bit, especially the left lever when in the small chainring position (less tension on the cable, I suppose).

All this whiz bang technology, I think, just brings with it increased likelihood of squeeks and rattles. My 1980 Bianchi with downtube shifters (Campy) is absolutely silent even after 20 years.

More....grzy mnky
Jul 17, 2001 9:19 AM
The rattle of the dust caps is one thing and it can be silenced. the other rattle comes from the actual levers moving then banging back against the stops with road vibration. Having little or no cable tension is what causes this. Too bad the didn't add a little rubber or plastic stop into the design.