Replacing a broken or damaged shifter isn't that hard. It's re-routing
the cable and adjusting the derailleur that stops most home mechanics from
tackling this job at home. Fortunately, we give you information about both of
these secondary tasks: see our section on cable
replacement and tuning the front and rear
||First, you need to get your grip out of the way. This SHOULD
take some work. (If the grip pulls off easily, it means the rubber is
deteriorating, and it's time for a new grip.)
Use a butter knife to raise up the inside edge of the grip. Pour some
water down into the grip.
Begin rotating the grip until it breaks free and slides off.
Helpful hint: If you ride a long time in the rain, you
may notice your grips become sloppy -- rotating freely around the handlebar. If
you want those grips to stay put, slide them using lacquer as your
"lube." Once they dry, they're going nowhere. (Of course, you'll have
to CUT them off if you need to take off shifters or brakes in the future.)
|If you only need to replace the rubber handgrip on a
grip-shifter, you don't need to loosen the shifter mechanism itself. Dampen the grip, then (while holding the shifting drum inside the
housing with your other hand) pull it off the rotor. Slide the new grip
on, and you're done.
||To remove the old shifter from the handlebar, find the hex
bolt that tightens the clamp.
Loosen the bolt until the shifter slides around on the handlebar. You
don't need to remove the bolt.
|Now slide the shifter off of the handlebar. There should be
enough cable to reach if you rotate your handlebar in the direction that
loosens the cable.
Either before or after you take the shifter off of the handlebar, you can
take the cable out of the shifting mechanism. How you do this depends on the
type of shifter.
||Index Shifter with access port: Some shifters
have a cable-access port. For example, this XTR shifter has a plastic plug
that lets you get at the cable end.
Unscrew the cap, and you'll see a disc that rotates to pull on the
||Shift into the smallest cog or chainring (where the cable
will be the most loose). You'll see the end of a cable-barrel rotate into
Shove back on the cable so the barrel comes out of the shifter
mechanism. Grab the barrel and pull the cable through.
||Index Shifter without access port: Click the shifter
down into the smallest cog or chainring. Unscrew the bolts on the underside of the shifter. You may need a
(In most cases, removing the bolts on the gear indicator gauge won't
expose the cable housing. But if you can't see any other way to
disassemble the shifting unit, try it.)
||Once the you're into the guts of the unit, push back gently on the cable until the barrel
comes out of the retainer. Now grab the barrel and pull the cable out.
||Grip Shifter: While pulling the shifting knob away from the body of the
shifter, rotate until you find the position where the shifting knob will
pull away from the housing.
||Push backwards on the cable to pop the barrel out of the
shifting grip. Take a long look at the path of the cable, so you can put
the new cable back on the same course.
Grab the barrel and pull the cable out of the shifter.
|Undo the cable clamp on the derailleur, so the cable slides
Using a pair of needle-nose pliers, gently squeeze the cable cap on the
sides opposite the crimp-marks. When the cable cap "rounds up"
and rotates on the cable, slide it off.
||Take the cable apart, keeping things in order. You'll need
to put each section of housing, and each housing end-cap, right back where
it was originally.
Now pull the cable out through the shifting mechanism.
Now route the cable back to the derailleur, replacing each section of housing.
Draw the cable tight and secure it by tightening the bolt on the clamp at the
derailleur. Replace the cable-cap and crimp it tight onto the cable.
|Put the cable into the new shifter. (Usually, if you're
replacing a shifter, it's best to replace the cable and cable housing with
new. See our section on new cables.)
Slide the shifter onto the handlebar and rotate it to the same position
it had previously. Tighten it down with the hex bolt.
Now you'll need to adjust the cable tightness on the derailleur. See our
section on tuning front and rear
[Fix-it Index Page]