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  1. #1
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    Sram Force shifter - pawls won't engage

    I was riding my first proper cx training last night...when my right shifter stopped allowing me to send my chain in, towards a bigger cog. I can still send it out.

    It's an '09 Force right shifter.

    Seems like I'm not the only person to have an issue with these shifters:

    Technical FAQ: Broken SRAM road shifter

    I pulled the hood off and can see the issue. The pawls I think you would call them, just slip past each other, not engaging.

    1) Can anyone tell me if I can in fact buy the parts to fix this?

    2) Or, do I need to buy a new right shifter?

    3) Any other ideas? Spray some lube in there? Blow some air?

    Purchased this bike & groupset from a friend, so I can't really head to the LBS and ask about a warranty. I suppose I could call Sram customer service. Thought I'd check here and see if anyone could offer some help.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Sleep Expert
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    Try cleaning it out first. Either contact cleaner (auto parts) or WD 40. Then lube it up from there.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

  3. #3
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    Every time I've had this happen on my Rival shifters the shifter paddle was about to break off.

    SRAM shifters are supposed to be re-buildable, though I'm not sure I'd want to try. You can always send it back to SRAM to see if they can fix it for you, but chances are the shifter is toast.
    Bikes:
    • 2013 Scott Foil 40
    • 2013 Jamis Nova Race (winter training bike)
    • 2012 Argon 18 E-118


  4. #4
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    Sounds like either the pawls are worn through or the axles that hold them in place are loose.

    As suggested above, give them a thorough cleaning and flushing and check if they engage. Sometimes a few small grains of sand is all it takes to jam up the pawls and prevent them from meshing properly.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookiebiker View Post
    Every time I've had this happen on my Rival shifters the shifter paddle was about to break off.
    This.

    The internal part that the paddle is attached to also helps in keeping the ratcheting mechanism in place. Sounds like it is starting to crack. If it cracks, there will be play in the mechanism where the pawl won't engage the teeth.

    It is possible to disassemble the shifter. However, I don't think you can buy internal replacement parts.

    If you have a good relationship with an LBS, it wouldn't hurt to ask if they can help with going to SRAM for warranty replacement.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Unfortunately I did not buy these new. Got them on a used bike from a friend. He's going to check and see if he can find the receipts.

    I called Sram and the tech support guy told me to try and pull the pawls apart with something like a dentist pick, clean them well, lube them, that usually works for him. Kind of crazy to me that he's had this issue. Can they not redesign them? I have never had a shifter issue with any Shimano or Campagnolo shifters.

    Wookie, you think the paddle is about to break off? Also, you've had your paddles break off more than once? I'd switch away from Sram after that happened just once.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Wookie, you think the paddle is about to break off? Also, you've had your paddles break off more than once? I'd switch away from Sram after that happened just once.
    Yes I have...Both on Rival shifters. The first one was on a set I bought new and had a good 7000+ miles on it. It made it through a few winter rides and the following race season. I sent it in for warranty repair and they replaced the shifter.

    The second one broke a month or so ago after 4500+ miles. It made it through most of this years race season.

    Both broke in the same manner in the same place. I could tell it was going to happen because the shifting started to become sloppy...then the pawls stopped engaging. After that all it took was moving the lever a few more times and the shifter paddle came right off the shifter.

    There is a whole thread about this on the SRAM forum.

    I originally replaced the second one with a Red shifter which is a "Massive" improvement over Rival and Force...but I beat it up pretty good in a crash I had almost 4 weeks ago (my Red shifter saw a whopping week of use ).

    With the Red shifter beat up I replaced it with a Force shifter and it feels almost identical to a Rival shifter...so I'm guessing internals are basically the same for Rival and Force but a little different for Red, which would account from this not being an issue with Red shifters.

    I'd make the change...but can't afford to do so...though I do really like SRAM stuff, it's just that the lower level shifters are not great. When I get money again I'll probably replace the Force with Red shifters and keep the Force as potential back ups.
    Bikes:
    • 2013 Scott Foil 40
    • 2013 Jamis Nova Race (winter training bike)
    • 2012 Argon 18 E-118


  8. #8
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    Checked my LBS they've never really seen this issue.

    Also tried cleaning it myself, no luck.

    Also tried REI, heard their mechanics are pretty decent. Never heard of this issue.

    Not sure what I'm going to do next. My friend who passed this bike onto me is looking for his receipt. Hope he finds it.

    If not, I might switch over to Shimano 105 5700 10-speed stuff. I'd just need the shifters, RD, FD. Unless does anyone know if a Sram Red FD would work with the 105 5700 stuff?

    Never really liked Sram, might not be much more than a right Force shifter to swap over to Shimano.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Checked my LBS they've never really seen this issue.

    Also tried cleaning it myself, no luck.

    Also tried REI, heard their mechanics are pretty decent. Never heard of this issue.

    Not sure what I'm going to do next. My friend who passed this bike onto me is looking for his receipt. Hope he finds it.

    If not, I might switch over to Shimano 105 5700 10-speed stuff. I'd just need the shifters, RD, FD. Unless does anyone know if a Sram Red FD would work with the 105 5700 stuff?

    Never really liked Sram, might not be much more than a right Force shifter to swap over to Shimano.
    The SRAM FD should work fine with Shimano...the front derailleurs are kind of universal as far as how they work and what groups they work with....So you just need shifters and a rear derailleur.
    Bikes:
    • 2013 Scott Foil 40
    • 2013 Jamis Nova Race (winter training bike)
    • 2012 Argon 18 E-118


  10. #10
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    weird...i think this same problem just occurred on my red shifters. i can move the lever, and the RD can change several cogs, but it doesn't stick in position. bike worked fine last time it was ridden (may? i have several others...), and has been literally hanging ever since. 3 partial-use seasons on it, maybe 5k miles?

  11. #11
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    update:

    after reading this thread, i dove in. i removed the hood (not actually necessary, in hindsight), then the small triangular panel covering the shifter innards. the pawl that pivots on the lever body itself was nearly frozen, but there did not appear to be any mechanical failures. again, red not rival/force. perhaps those doubletap mechanisms are similar? i'm no expert.

    i doused the whole mess in homebrew chain lube (3:1::mineral spirits:75w90 gear oil)...a fantastic solvent/leave-behind light oil. a little toothbrush action anywhere there was dirt or a pivot...wow, is it filthy. more chain lube flush. poke at stuck pawl...much better! wipe out worst remaining & blast dry w/compressed air. shifting really well now. relube w/sparse finish line XC. sorry for lack of pictures.

    can't say that i'm all that impressed with red, actually. the hoods fit my hands well (though the new campys are better still), and banging down the cogs is certainly satisfying...i admit. but i find it very finicky, and this lever issue is just another example.

    everything else i own is campy, and it just goes. i have a set of 8s chorus ergos that had zero service in ~15k fair weather miles before the spring carrier finally broke, and a couple 10s bikes that have been essentially set-and-forget for thousands and thousands of miles. never should have strayed...
    Last edited by dookie; 09-12-2011 at 08:30 PM.

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