No, I didn’t have a shot of tequila before I went for a ride. Everyone knows that’s for afterwards.  I’m a fanatic when it comes to shifting. I often find myself adjusting other people’s bikes, “how do you ride this thing like that?” When that lever clicks I expect a quick and clean, single gear change and it was taken away from me. I live in an area with non-stop rolling hills so running through the gears, both front and back, is an all ride affair. When you lose your momentum on a climb due to a missed shift, it really sucks. I had recently replaced the cables, and their housings, so I knew they weren’t the culprit. Based on the recommendation of my local bike shop mechanic, Kenny, I ran rubbing alcohol through my Ultegra  shifter/ brake assemblies. Holding the brake on, I flushed the assemblies out with alcohol and then immediately ran them through their paces. After allowing the alocohol to evaporate, I sprayed Triflow into the assembly to keep it lubricated. It seemed to make a difference but I wouldn’t know until it was shifting under load. I’m happy to say that the road test proved that shifting Nirvana had indeed been achieved.  Kenny did warn me, however, that it might only be a temporary fix and replacing them might be in my future. These shifters weren’t designed to be repaired and Shimano doesn’t sell the parts so replacement is likely. I think of it this way, I got a lot of miles out of them and I’d rather wear them out than not use them. This might just be the excuse I need to get a carbon bike, “honey, they just can’t be fixed, I really need to invest in a new bike. Well no, I’m not getting rid of the old one, I can turn it into a fixie and I won’t need those shifter/brake asssemblies.” Now I know I’m going to hear “if you had Campy you wouldn’t have had this problem”. I rode mountain bikes for years before adding a road bike to the mix and Shimano did well for me off road so when I had my road bike built I choose to stick with what I knew. No regrets, except for know that Campy shifters can be rebuilt.

Published by Johnny P

Johnny P has been a bicycle lover since he was a child. He's a self propelled individual with a zest for living. His mother tells a story about finding young Johnny on his tricycle on the couch ready to do his best Evil Kenivel jump. He loves to build bikes as much as ride them. He lives in Denver, CO with his wife where he operates a sales and marketing company that he founded.

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