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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need serious help. I bought a used Lemond Tourmalet with Shimano RSX components. Needless to say, the RSX STI shifters are dead. I don't want to get screwed again by getting used shifters off of ebay but I dont' have much money to play with (stupid college...). From what I have read on RBR, I will need to replace my cassette (its a 7 speed ?!) and at least my right side STI shifter. I'm thinking of just buying the set of the shifters because I think the left STI is just about gone too. Do I have to replace my rear derailleur if I get an 8 speed cassette? How do I know if my frame supports an 8 speed cassette? Is my 7 speed cassette compatible with an 8 or 9 speed shifter (just to remember not to go to that 8th or 9th gear..)? If I get an 8 speed cassette, how do I know it will fit on my bike hub? Sorry for all of the questions and thanks for any help anyone can provide.
 

· Larry Lackapants
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Get 8 speed STI

jrb985 said:
I need serious help. I bought a used Lemond Tourmalet with Shimano RSX components. Needless to say, the RSX STI shifters are dead. I don't want to get screwed again by getting used shifters off of ebay but I dont' have much money to play with (stupid college...). From what I have read on RBR, I will need to replace my cassette (its a 7 speed ?!) and at least my right side STI shifter. I'm thinking of just buying the set of the shifters because I think the left STI is just about gone too. Do I have to replace my rear derailleur if I get an 8 speed cassette?
An 8 spd cassette require an 8 spd hub. however you can go for 9 spd. the first 8 cogs of the 9 spd cassette will fit perfectly on the 7 spd hub. (you'll have to get a 9 spd chain and STI also)

jrb985 said:
How do I know if my frame supports an 8 speed cassette? Is my 7 speed cassette compatible with an 8 or 9 speed shifter (just to remember not to go to that 8th or 9th gear..)?
If you don't want to change your drivetrain, you can get 8 spd STIs. they will work about fine with your 7 spd cassette. the spacing of 7 spd and 8 spd cassettes is almost the same, but the 8 spd cassette is wider since it bears one more cog.With 8 spd STI you can keep derailler, chain and cassette .


jrb985 said:
If I get an 8 speed cassette, how do I know it will fit on my bike hub? Sorry for all of the questions and thanks for any help anyone can provide.
It won't. 8 spd cassettes are wider than the space on your freehub body. But your hub will allow the first 8 cogs of a 9 spd cassette to slide in. (the 9 spd cassette is the same width as the 8 spd. )

here are better descriptions of all this
http://sheldonbrown.com/k7.html

good luck,
br
 

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If you can find them cheap, a set of downtube shifters could get you rolling until you buy the STI stuff. As far as I can remember, they should go right onto the bosses now holding your STI cable stops, but check to make sure.
 

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A lot of time you can rescue STI shifters by blasting them out with a solvent of some sort. WD-40 or Wrench Force's Metal Prep work really well at cleaning the gunk out of those things. Pull the brake lever to the bar and blast the area around the cable end and above and below the shifter mechanism. I've been able to revive loads of shifters that were otherwise DOA by doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the advice to everyone.... I did try spraying them with wd40 but the LBS guy (granted he was trying to sell me a new component group) said it is a waste of perfectly good wd40. I am a little lost when it comes to STI shifters; is it just a gear meshing issue? A plastic component is worn after abuse? And in response to brblue, if I get a 9 speed cassette for use on the 7 speed hub and take off one or two gears, will the lock ring still fit on the gears that are left? Thanks, again thanks for all the help.
 

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Buying used STI shifter on ebay is bad. I bought a Dura Ace 9 set for $152 from a mechanic who said they worked fine and they were terrible. They went inoperable in 200 miles. Then I bought a second Dura Ace 9 with a Flightdeck harness and computer only because they had a 30 day return policy. The shifters were fine but when I finally set it up the Flightdeck was giving half speed reading (maybe I have to reprogram it). Anyway the 2nd set was a good deal for $162 since the shifters had 630 miles on them and were crisp and new like.
 

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+1 on the WD-40. I would definintely try this before buying new STIs. I had a set of 105 shifters that I thought were gone. I didn't think WD-40 was going to do anything major, but it made a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yesterday I cleaned the shifters and drenched them in WD-40 but they still seem to work intermittently (assuming it is abnormal to move the inner lever through its full range of motion without shifting into a gear **note: I have not been on many rides on this bike yet**). Is it possible to rebuild this shifter set? If so which parts would be worn? It seems if I replace the STI shifters with other used shifters, I might be stuck in the same situation...?
 

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jrb985 said:
And in response to brblue, if I get a 9 speed cassette for use on the 7 speed hub and take off one or two gears, will the lock ring still fit on the gears that are left? Thanks, again thanks for all the help.
You have to remove the biggest cog because the small ones are position specific. You also have to get a 105 or lower cassette because Ultegra's have a carrier that complicates removing the largest cog.
 

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Refund?

I agree, I think you got screwed. Can you go back to the seller for a refund or adjustment to account for the worn out shifters?

FWIW, a friend of mine with 7-speed RSX encountered the same shifting problems that you are having. After two mechanics tried to fix the shifters I volunteered to upgrade the drivetrain to 9-speed. I replaced the shifters with 105 9-speed and rebuilt the rear wheel with a 105 9-speed hub. I replaced the chain with 9-speed Ultegra and threw in an extra Ultegra 9 cassette. Including new bar tape the parts came to $300. New shift cables and housings came included with the shifters. The shifting was perfect using the RSX crankset and derailleurs.
A 6-pack of beer covered the labor.

Al
 

· Say "nuke-u-lar"
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I'm with cmg; did you go thru the cable/housings to make sure they're not the problem? If they're not the problem, then I'd try cleaning out the shifters before doing any upgrading. Then I'd think about upgrading, but just going to down tube shifters sounds like a good idea for a cheap reliable fix. You didn't get screwed except by expecting a lot from a used bike without knowing more about it....BTW, how much did you pay for this bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Again, thanks to everyone for their advice on this issue... after I calmed down from the initial shock of possibly purchasing a p.o.s. I think I have come to my senses. I finally got good weather and got the bike on the road. There are some problems with shifting but it only seems to occur while shifting to a "higher" (read harder) gear ratio. Is that normal for a detent to only wear out to cause shifting in one direction harder than another?

In reply to gmcastil, one LBS gave me that option of a quick shot with the WD-40 but at the same time was showing me the newest 10 speed component set... I decided to go to another bike shop to get their opinion and I was surprised.
First, they told me never EVER spray WD-40 into any STI style shifter because of its caustic nature on the plastic components. This came to a surprise to me. Secondly, it appears that very few people actually know how an STI lever works. I cannot find a shimano schematic anywhere. A quick trip to the library or book store will show that bike repair manuals recommend completely replacing STI shifters before attempting to repair them?! As an engineering student, this presents a problem; on one hand I really really want to take it apart to see how the thing works, but on the other, I don't want to pay to replace it since I am a poor student... meh. So the consensus is to not buy STI shifters off of eBay even to have as backups??

In response to cmg and bikinfoolferlife, I have cleaned the cables and housings as well as I can and there is good tension between the messed up shifter and the rear derailleur. The rear derailleur is a little dirty and will be fully cleaned the next chance I get. As for the cost of the bike... $250 with a car rack included. I didn't think it was that bad of a deal considering the bike was literally sitting in a garage (spelling) for the last couple of years. The frame is immaculate and there is only one chip in the paint thus far. Before I bought the bike the original owner confessed to not understanding the controls of the bike which may have led to their abuse, but again since this bike will be mainly used as a commuter and for weekend trips, it will suffice. Even with its current "problems" it beats my 50 lbs of old school roadmaster touring bike with balloon tires, more rust than paint, down tube shifters and more squeaks and rattles than a sane person can stand. Again, thanks for all of the feedback.
 

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New bike shop

jrb985 said:
one LBS gave me that option of a quick shot with the WD-40 but at the same time was showing me the newest 10 speed component set... I decided to go to another bike shop to get their opinion and I was surprised. First, they told me never EVER spray WD-40 into any STI style shifter because of its caustic nature on the plastic components. This came to a surprise to me.
As indeed it should, because it is absolutely crap advice. WD-40 is just aerosol lightweight oil. Your shifters are full of grease, which can be thought of as heavy oil. By what miracle of chemistry does your assymptotically ignorant bike shop conclude that oil will harm the plastic and that grease does not. They are completely wrong. Go to a different shop - the WD-40 fix is widely known and practiced.


jrb985 said:
Secondly, it appears that very few people actually know how an STI lever works. I cannot find a shimano schematic anywhere. A quick trip to the library or book store will show that bike repair manuals recommend completely replacing STI shifters before attempting to repair them?! As an engineering student, this presents a problem; on one hand I really really want to take it apart to see how the thing works, but on the other, I don't want to pay to replace it since I am a poor student... meh. So the consensus is to not buy STI shifters off of eBay even to have as backups??
Shimano STI levers are essentially not rebuildable, and the story is that when you take one apart, things tend to fly in different directions. There are a few rare individuals who claim to have repaired them, but this may be just braggadocio. At any rate, there's no such thing as "spare parts" for STI levers, so you'd have to buy another set of levers to get parts, even if you could successfully do it. Once you have determined that these levers are shot and have bought another set to replace them, then feel free to take the junk ones apart and report back on your experience :)
 
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