I found this screwdriver on a bike ride.

Fixing the bar-end shifters

The other day I mentioned that I was having trouble getting the full range of gear engagement out of my Shimano 7 speed bar-end shifters. The helpful folk on the RBW List pointed me to a fix for it, right there in the archives. I had ignored the thread way back in September, since gears aren’t my bag, right?

Since I now have two bikes with bar-end shifters, constituting 50% of my entire stable and all of my geared bikes, it behooves me to pay attention sometimes.

I found this screwdriver on a bike ride.

The basic problem is that if you take the shifter apart and fiddle with it, or buy it in separate pieces, or install it multiple times, you can end up with a shifter that doesn’t have enough “throw” to carry the rear derailleur all the way up and down the cassette. This apparently happens because the wound-up ratcheting springy magical thing inside the shifter gets unwound. To fix it, you need to wind it back up.

In an ideal world, I’d be able to buy (or make!) a special tool to wind up the slack, and reset the shifter. In practice, you can simply use the shifter pod itself to wind the shifter back up.

  • You need to slack up the cable (but not remove it, yay).
  • Remove the shifter from the pod, leaving the pod in the bar-end.
  • Line up the square “chunk” on the shifter with the matching indent of the pod, with the lever pointed straight out.
  • Ratchet the lever straight down.
  • Take the lever off the pod, line up the squares with the lever pointed straight back.
  • Ratchet the lever straight down.
  • Times 4, or until the lever no longer goes down.
  • Take the lever off the pod, and line up the squares with the lever pointed straight down.

You are now ready to rock and roll. “Rock and roll” is biketinker for “adjust the limit screws on the derailleur so you don’t shift into the spokes.”

Every time you ratchet down, you’re taking slack out of the system. Or appeasing the tiny daemons that live in there.

Here I am, practicing my new videography skillzes.

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UI/UX Designer, bike nerd, artist.

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