7 speed brake/shift levers: repair or replace?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Michael A. Donc, Mar 27, 2003.

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  1. Hello!

    My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb with 7 speed Shimano components, including cantilever brakes and
    integrated brake/shift levers. Her left shift lever is not functioning properly (it doesn't always
    shift from the middle to the outer ring), and I'd like to repair or replace the shifter for her. I
    am having very little luck in finding replacement levers at a reasonable price. I'm in a bind. The
    bike is old, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade to the more
    available 9 sp parts (if that's even possible with an Al frame). She doesn't want to get a new bike,
    as this one fits her very well and it has many, many miles left in it. For that matter, neither she
    nor I can really afford a new bike right now!

    I have several questions:

    1) Can these units be fixed? If so, where can I find instructions?

    2) If not, can the shifter pod be removed from the brake lever and replaced? Luckily, it is the left
    shifter, so I don't have to worry about changing from 7 to 9 speed. :)

    3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does anyone know of a source for relatively
    inexpensive 7 speed brifters designed for cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for
    about $20, but they're sold out.

    Thanks! Mike
     
    Tags:


  2. Patrick W.

    Patrick W. Guest

    "Michael A. Doncheski" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello!
    >
    > My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb with 7 speed Shimano components, including cantilever brakes
    > and integrated brake/shift levers. Her left shift lever is not functioning properly (it doesn't
    > always shift from the middle to the outer ring), and I'd like to repair or replace the shifter for
    > her. I am having very little luck in finding replacement levers at a reasonable price. I'm in a
    > bind. The bike is old, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade to
    > the more available 9 sp parts (if that's even possible with an Al frame). She doesn't want to get
    > a new bike, as this one fits her very well and it has many, many miles left in it. For that
    > matter, neither she nor I can really afford a new bike right now!
    >
    > I have several questions:
    >
    > 1) Can these units be fixed? If so, where can I find instructions?
    >
    > 2) If not, can the shifter pod be removed from the brake lever and replaced? Luckily, it is the
    > left shifter, so I don't have to worry about changing from 7 to 9 speed. :)
    >
    > 3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does anyone know of a source for relatively
    > inexpensive 7 speed brifters designed for cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for
    > about $20, but they're sold out.
    >
    > Thanks! Mike

    A few options: for about $100 you can get a set of brifters from Sheldon's site
    (www.harriscyclery.com). Or for less you could get a set of thumb shifters (I think he also has them
    for around $10), and a set of cheapie brake levers. You might even be able to find brifters cheaper
    as used items. Try rec.bicycles.marketplace, or a good google search.

    -Patrick
     
  3. Josh Gatts

    Josh Gatts Guest

    "Michael A. Doncheski" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > 3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does anyone know of a source for relatively
    > inexpensive 7 speed brifters designed for cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for
    > about $20, but they're sold out.
    >

    ST-EF20, left hand side only:

    http://www.big-wheel.com/v2/bwstore/product.phtml?p=5105

    both sides:

    http://www.big-wheel.com/v2/bwstore/product.phtml?p=7181

    Don't ask me why the set costs almost 4 times as much as the individual brifters! I have one of
    these on an old Diamond Back MTB. It's certainly not as nice as the Rapid-fire LX that it replaced,
    but it works fine.

    Josh
     
  4. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Michael A. Doncheski" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb with 7 speed Shimano
    components,
    > including cantilever brakes and integrated brake/shift
    levers. Her
    > left shift lever is not functioning properly (it doesn't
    always shift
    > from the middle to the outer ring), and I'd like to repair
    or replace
    > the shifter for her.

    Are you sure it's the shifter? It's pretty obvious if the detent is hosed, but if it's just
    generally cranky you ought to look at the derailer. Some Shimano front derailers are sloppy to begin
    with and wear badly. If it's one that rattles while riding, fiddle with it some more.

    Early push-push Rapidfire front shifters were pretty bad, but subsequent push-pull Rapidfire Plus
    are pretty bulletproof.

    > I am having very little luck in finding replacement levers at a reasonable price. I'm in a bind.
    The bike is
    > old, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a whole new
    bike than to
    > upgrade to the more available 9 sp parts (if that's even
    possible with
    > an Al frame). She doesn't want to get a new bike, as this
    one fits
    > her very well and it has many, many miles left in it. For
    that
    > matter, neither she nor I can really afford a new bike
    right now!

    Heck no, just get this one to work.

    > I have several questions:
    >
    > 1) Can these units be fixed? If so, where can I find
    instructions?

    No.

    > 2) If not, can the shifter pod be removed from the brake
    lever and
    > replaced? Luckily, it is the left shifter, so I don't
    have to worry
    > about changing from 7 to 9 speed. :)

    Yes, and you could use a 7 speed Gripshift, Sachs/other twist shifter, or a thumbshifter, which
    really opens up your options. I don't know how well the existing brake lever will work with
    these though.

    > 3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does
    anyone know of
    > a source for relatively inexpensive 7 speed brifters
    designed for
    > cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for about
    $20, but
    > they're sold out.

    Try Third Hand / Loose Screws. You might also try ebay.

    Matt O.
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Patrick W." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > A few options: for about $100 you can get a set of
    brifters from Sheldon's
    > site (www.harriscyclery.com). Or for less you could get a
    set of thumb
    > shifters (I think he also has them for around $10), and a
    set of cheapie
    > brake levers. You might even be able to find brifters
    cheaper as used items.
    > Try rec.bicycles.marketplace, or a good google search.

    All good ideas. You might try a WTB ad on .marketplace -- I'm sure you'll get some offers.

    Matt O.
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >I have several questions:
    >
    >1) Can these units be fixed? If so, where can I find instructions?

    Anytime a Shimano shifter is balky or does not operate properly, the first step is to flush it
    liberally with WD-40. This is especially true if the bike has been sitting for a month or more
    without being used.

    Normally this will restore it to full function.

    Since this is a MTB, normally one can disassemble the shifter unit and fool around, but normally the
    WD-40 is sufficient.

    Since it is an upshift that is not happening it is possible that the cable has stretched and just
    needs some adjustment. Lubrication of the cables would be a good idea as well.

    >2) If not, can the shifter pod be removed from the brake lever and replaced? Luckily, it is the
    > left shifter, so I don't have to worry about changing from 7 to 9 speed. :)

    Possibly but it unlikely to find a replacement. Complete assemblies are available rather
    inexpensively, since 7 speed MTB stuff is still in volume production, this should not be a big issue
    other than making sure that the brake levers are for cantilevers rather than Vbrakes.

    >3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does anyone know of a source for relatively
    > inexpensive 7 speed brifters designed for cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for
    > about $20, but they're sold out.
    >

    Your LBS or try rec.bicycles.marketplace

    jon isaacs
     
  7. mad-<< My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb with 7 speed Shimano components, << Her left shift lever
    is not functioning properly (it doesn't always shift from the middle to the outer ring), and I'd
    like to repair or replace the shifter for her.

    Replace is easy, not going to be able to fix it-may try flushing it with WD-40 but if it's
    done, replace-

    << I am having very little luck in finding replacement levers at a reasonable price.

    If a bike shop deals with Quality Bike Parts, they sell single STI levers, like Sora-or get a
    downtube shifter and use the toasted STI for a brake lever only-

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  8. << My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb

    MTB-missed that-but single left shifter pods are available for MTB as well...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  9. Richard Chan

    Richard Chan Guest

    [email protected] (Michael A. Doncheski) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello!
    >
    > My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb with 7 speed Shimano components, including cantilever brakes
    > and integrated brake/shift levers. Her left shift lever is not functioning properly (it doesn't
    > always shift from the middle to the outer ring), and I'd like to repair or replace the shifter for
    > her. I am having very little luck in finding replacement levers at a reasonable price. I'm in a
    > bind. The bike is old, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade to
    > the more available 9 sp parts (if that's even possible with an Al frame). She doesn't want to get
    > a new bike, as this one fits her very well and it has many, many miles left in it. For that
    > matter, neither she nor I can really afford a new bike right now!
    >
    > I have several questions:
    >
    > 1) Can these units be fixed? If so, where can I find instructions?
    >
    > 2) If not, can the shifter pod be removed from the brake lever and replaced? Luckily, it is the
    > left shifter, so I don't have to worry about changing from 7 to 9 speed. :)
    >
    > 3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does anyone know of a source for relatively
    > inexpensive 7 speed brifters designed for cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for
    > about $20, but they're sold out.

    Try replacing with new cables and housing (does wonders to shifting) and do a good flush job with
    WD-40 on the shifter first. A shop can do this for probably $25. Are you sure they are 7 speeds
    brifters? There is a myth going around that Shimano shifters have very short life span.
     
  10. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Michael A. Doncheski" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb with 7 speed Shimano components, including cantilever brakes
    > and integrated brake/shift levers. Her left shift lever is not functioning properly (it doesn't
    > always shift from the middle to the outer ring), and I'd like to repair or replace the shifter for
    > her. I am having very little luck in finding replacement levers at a reasonable price. I'm in a
    > bind. The bike is old, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade to
    > the more available 9 sp parts (if that's even possible with an Al frame). She doesn't want to get
    > a new bike, as this one fits her very well and it has many, many miles left in it. For that
    > matter, neither she nor I can really afford a new bike right now!
    >
    > I have several questions:
    >
    > 1) Can these units be fixed? If so, where can I find instructions?
    >
    > 2) If not, can the shifter pod be removed from the brake lever and replaced? Luckily, it is the
    > left shifter, so I don't have to worry about changing from 7 to 9 speed. :)
    >
    > 3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does anyone know of a source for relatively
    > inexpensive 7 speed brifters designed for cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for
    > about $20, but they're sold out.

    You're right there with the bike and I'm not, but are you sure the lever is the problem? You might
    just try grabbing the wire along the downtube and giving it a yank while pedalling (I meant in a
    bike stand or hanging in some manner - not while riding - although that might depend on your
    handling skills) . If the front changer shifts fine that way then you indeed have a shifter problem.

    One possible answer is to use a top shifter on the left side. They are $9.95 and, in my opinion,
    work much better (being friction) than front-click STi format shifters.

    If you prefer a new pair of integrated brake/shift levers, the affordable Shimano EZ-Fire 3x7 is
    availailable in both cantilever [ST-EF-20]and various [ST-EF-28, 33 etc] linear formats.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  11. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Mike,

    North shore cycles <www.nscycles.com> shows 7 speed brake lever/shifters for cantilever brakes for
    around $30 a pair. They also sell single units.

    Steve.

    Michael A. Doncheski wrote:
    > Hello!
    >
    > My girlfriend has a Cannondale mtb with 7 speed Shimano components, including cantilever brakes
    > and integrated brake/shift levers. Her left shift lever is not functioning properly (it doesn't
    > always shift from the middle to the outer ring), and I'd like to repair or replace the shifter for
    > her. I am having very little luck in finding replacement levers at a reasonable price. I'm in a
    > bind. The bike is old, and it would probably be cheaper to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade to
    > the more available 9 sp parts (if that's even possible with an Al frame). She doesn't want to get
    > a new bike, as this one fits her very well and it has many, many miles left in it. For that
    > matter, neither she nor I can really afford a new bike right now!
    >
    > I have several questions:
    >
    > 1) Can these units be fixed? If so, where can I find instructions?
    >
    > 2) If not, can the shifter pod be removed from the brake lever and replaced? Luckily, it is the
    > left shifter, so I don't have to worry about changing from 7 to 9 speed. :)
    >
    > 3) If the answer to both of those questions is no, does anyone know of a source for relatively
    > inexpensive 7 speed brifters designed for cantilever brakes? Nashbar has a set advertised for
    > about $20, but they're sold out.
    >
    > Thanks! Mike
     
  12. Thanks to all who posted! Before replacing the brifters, I'm going to check and clean the front
    derailleur, replace and lube the cables, and flush the shifter with WD-40. If none of those
    work, then I'll replace the brifters. Thanks to all who suggested new cables and cleaning
    derailleur; thanks also to those who suggested places to buy new brifters. I found several on
    Ebay that will work!

    Mike
     
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