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  1. #1
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    Shimano RD Problem

    I am most familiar working with Campy Ergo and the definite "clunks and clicks" that indicate cog changes, but I do have a Shimano 105 10sp equipped bicycle and shifting just seems much more finicky.

    I decided to start from scratch with the RD, release cable tension, adjust high limit screw and readjust the indexing. This was going o.k. when suddenly something went awry. Now even though I have high and low limit screws set correctly and cable properly tensioned and resecured, the following is happening.

    With the chain on the smallest cog, the first 3 strokes inbound of the shifter just "faintly" click and do nothing. Subsequent strokes begin to move the chain to larger cogs but only so far as the 8th cog, almost like the low limit screw is set there, which it isn't. Then getting back to the small cog, the clicks are very faint and some nonexistent and the chain sometimes doesn't make it all the way down.

    Just wondering if the symptoms I am mentioning ring a bell with anyone? Does this reveal a failing cable? Please don't tell me the takeup mechanism in the shifter is shot? The bicycle is only 2 years old with maybe 1000 total miles and I surely didn't expect this kind of failure. Yesterday, the RD was sluggish but going through all the cogs on my training ride.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    What makes you think you have the cable properly tensioned?
    Sounds just like a text book case of not having nearly enough tension.

  3. #3
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    Well, I have the upper jockey wheel under the small cog with no noise and the usual single turn of the adjusting barrel counterclockwise. Then I pull and resecure the cable. Not sure what more I can do.

  4. #4
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    Fwiw, the RD will travel by hand correctly to high and low gear. The cable pull is the issue. My concern is that the takeup spool or whatever is inside the shifter has failed. Maybe it is as simple as cable failure.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Well, I have the upper jockey wheel under the small cog with no noise and the usual single turn of the adjusting barrel counterclockwise. Then I pull and resecure the cable. Not sure what more I can do.
    Keep turning the barrel adjusters. start with them all the way in and cabled pulled taught with pliers.

    You might be right about the insides being toast. I've had that happen. It does sound like lack of cable tension though so I'd really crank it tighter and tighter to at least rule that out.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Fwiw, the RD will travel by hand correctly to high and low gear. The cable pull is the issue. My concern is that the takeup spool or whatever is inside the shifter has failed. Maybe it is as simple as cable failure.
    You might have more than one thing going on, but you almost certainly have a cable tensioning issue if it takes 3 shifts for the der to start moving from the smallest cog. Double check the cable is not frayed in the shifter - if you have any doubt, replace the cable. Double check the housing is fully seated starting at the shifter and working all the way to the rear der. Beyond that, you're probably best to find a youtube video that shows setting up a rear der than to attempt to re-invent wheels in words here. It doesn't matter if the video is for setting up a Campy, Shimano or Sram RD, as the process is basically the same to resolve the issue you are having.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, all. I have set many of these up. I've just never seen the shifter/cable fail this way. Started all over again and now I can only get about 4 forward clicks inward. I really hope it is just a cable and not the shifter itself as these were pretty new and as they are 5700s, not sure if I can get another. Cabling is internal so when I go down to the bottom bracket and cause a shift, putting a finger on the cable, I barely feel or see the cable move.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks, all. I have set many of these up. I've just never seen the shifter/cable fail this way. Started all over again and now I can only get about 4 forward clicks inward. I really hope it is just a cable and not the shifter itself as these were pretty new and as they are 5700s, not sure if I can get another. Cabling is internal so when I go down to the bottom bracket and cause a shift, putting a finger on the cable, I barely feel or see the cable move.
    I'd next peel back the hood and see what you see for movement, or not, at the source. Not sure about 105 but on the Ultegra and DA 10 speed I've had there's a hole where you can look to see if the wheel thing inside is moving.

  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    It's really rare for Shimano shifters to fail/brake/not work permanently. Remove the cable and check it. It really sounds like either the cable is just about to let go or you just don't have near enough tension.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks. I did peel back the hood but didn't see where I could see inside. I will try again. I am thinking of just removing the cable to see its condition or at the least I could let several feet come out at the shifter to inspect it. I'm reluctant to pull it out fully as I have internal routing and have never had to rewire one yet.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    It's really rare for Shimano shifters to fail/brake/not work permanently. Remove the cable and check it. It really sounds like either the cable is just about to let go or you just don't have near enough tension.
    Hope you're right Cx and it is just a cable fraying. I hate to think the "clicker" inside has quit.

  12. #12
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    Let's say the cable is frayed somewhere inside the lever. Should I still be able to get a few cog shifts with the cable remaining taut?

  13. #13
    Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Let's say the cable is frayed somewhere inside the lever. Should I still be able to get a few cog shifts with the cable remaining taut?
    Maybe.
    Trying to cram the rest of my life into the rest of my life!

  14. #14
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    Pull back the hood cover, shift to the smallest cog - release the cable at the rear DR from the pinch clamp - you should be able to get the housing at the headset area to open up enough that you can push the cable up toward the shifter. It should pop the end of the cable out a hole on the outboard side of the shifter where you can inspect the cable for fraying - you want to say maybe 2 inches of cable as that's the area thats prone to fraying mostly.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks. I did peel back the hood but didn't see where I could see inside. I will try again. I am thinking of just removing the cable to see its condition or at the least I could let several feet come out at the shifter to inspect it. I'm reluctant to pull it out fully as I have internal routing and have never had to rewire one yet.
    Not sure if 105 is the same but on 7900, which I just looked at to double check I'm correct, there is a rectangle hole on the inside (the left side of the right shifter) that provides a pretty clear view of the wheel thing. And of course there is the small hole where you insert the cable. That one would be a pain to look in and shift at the same time though.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Let's say the cable is frayed somewhere inside the lever. Should I still be able to get a few cog shifts with the cable remaining taut?
    If it's frayed don't even try that. While unlikely that just a few more shifts and a little playing around will be the straw that breaks the camel's back you don't want to increase the chances of a cable fragment working it's way into things.

    Speaking of that, if you do find it's frayed, look closely to see that that hasn't already happened. That's another potential cause of your problems already.

  17. #17
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    Being an internally routed cable, there are some additional possibilities. If the cable is housed in any sort of liner (typically plastic) where routed internally, you need to check the liner has not become dislodged or bunched up at one end. I have seen internal and even external cable liners behave as an effective compression spring.

    It doesn't sound like you removed the cable. If you had, another common problem with internally routed cables is if you get cables crossed internally.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    It's really rare for Shimano shifters to fail/brake/not work permanently.
    ?????
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  19. #19
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    O.K. I got to the bottom of it. Massive cable fraying right inside the shifter. I can cut the cable near the shifter and I think I can finagle all of the individual strands out, but how do I get the "cable end button" to drop out of there? Appreciate any guidance and tips on this before I begin the operation.

    One item of note is that the cable was routed to the outside port of the shifter even though the cable casing is taped inside of the bars. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    Guess the moral of the story is whenever sluggish shifting, automatically replace the cable. Course internal cable routing makes that an undesirable task. Probably had less than 1k on that cable.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Guess the moral of the story is whenever sluggish shifting, automatically replace the cable. Course internal cable routing makes that an undesirable task. Probably had less than 1k on that cable.
    Or at least peel back the hood cover and look at it. If it's frayed, you will see it here.

    Internal cable routing is a PITA, but there are special tools that make it easier:

    https://www.parktool.com/product/int...ing-kit-ir-1-2

    https://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Int.../dp/B00NQ8OXCO

    Less than 1K is unusual, but not unheard of. Late generation Shimano shifters have a reputation for chewing shift cables because the twist in the shifter is tight. I generally go through a rear shift cable every 2K miles. It all depends how much shifting you do.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  21. #21
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    So what of the manufacturer using the port for behind bars routing, then routing in front of the bars?

  22. #22
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    Got it. I was able to push the last 2 inches of cable and cable end down enough to pull all the remnants out. Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Now I have to consider why the bicycle manufacturer didn't use the cable port intended for front of bars cable routing.

  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    ?????
    Damn spellcheck.
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  24. #24
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Got it. I was able to push the last 2 inches of cable and cable end down enough to pull all the remnants out. Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Now I have to consider why the bicycle manufacturer didn't use the cable port intended for front of bars cable routing.
    One of their bike builders is an idiot.
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    and a bunch of skateboards

  25. #25
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    So, the ports are to be used as designed, inboard port for front of bar routing and outboard port for behind bar routing?

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