6-Speed thumb shifter replacement

Boomge

New Member
Hi folks,

I'm a massive beginner, and as a beginner, I've bought a gnarly cheap bike from Argos.

Issues I'm having is that the thumb shift has disintegrated, and as I don't seem to be able to buy that particular shift from anywhere as a like for like swap out, I'm not sure what I can use as it's just a 6-speed, it's cheap and weird, does anyone have any suggestions? I'm not really sure what requirements I should be looking out for in terms of compatibility, are shifters universal?

Whilst a good suggestion might be 'buy a better bike' I'm stuck with this one for March at least, and it's still ridable, I'm stuck in 2nd for the most part of my A to B which is mostly uphill anyway, but the B to A being downhill in a low gear can be a bit tedious as I'm sure you can imagine.

Thanks for any help!
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Is it indexed, which means it has little clicks or steps for each gear?

If so, a replacement indexed shifter needs to be compatible with your rear mechanism as I think road bike and MTB/hybrid used different steps/ratios even then. They are not quite universal but there are not that many types.

If not, any "friction" shifter would work. If you get a 7 or 8 speed shifter, you might just end up with unused lever travel at the tight end, which is not awful.

Are there any part or model numbers on the lever, the rear mechanism, or the catalogue description?

Shops like SJS Cycles usually stock a good selection of replacements and they are usually good at answering pre-sales questions on their website too, if it's not already been asked.
 

T4tomo

Guru
given its 6 speed, pretty much all that cheap stuff is Shimano compatible and everything 9 speed or less shimano is all road to MTB etc compatible, its only 10 speed upwards that different pull ratios came in. I'd risk a few quid on one of these.... there cant be many 6 speed thumb shifters around in any event
worth a try

might be worth buying a new gear inner cable at same time, and a cable end crimp, only a couple of quid, as your old shifter dying may have mangled the cable. in any event its easier to thread a brand new inner cable, than the fraying end of an old one.
 
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C R

Guru
Location
Worcester
Hi folks,

I'm a massive beginner, and as a beginner, I've bought a gnarly cheap bike from Argos.

Issues I'm having is that the thumb shift has disintegrated, and as I don't seem to be able to buy that particular shift from anywhere as a like for like swap out, I'm not sure what I can use as it's just a 6-speed, it's cheap and weird, does anyone have any suggestions? I'm not really sure what requirements I should be looking out for in terms of compatibility, are shifters universal?

Whilst a good suggestion might be 'buy a better bike' I'm stuck with this one for March at least, and it's still ridable, I'm stuck in 2nd for the most part of my A to B which is mostly uphill anyway, but the B to A being downhill in a low gear can be a bit tedious as I'm sure you can imagine.

Thanks for any help!
I have a six speed indexed thumb shifter somewhere in the garage. Can you post a link to the Argos page that shows the bike? If the one I have is suitable you can have it for the cost of the postage.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Deplorable Brexiteer
Location
London
The 6-speed Sunrace thing linked to should do the job. I've made a note of it myself because I mostly run 6-speed freewheel stuff and I intend to continue to do so indefinitely.
The problem with friction shifters in this case, is that the frame tubes of the Challenge Conquer will probably be a bit too fat to be able to fit one.
I'm seeing quite a few of these £100 Argos MTB's around lately, they seem to be good sellers, and I would happily use one, but with the caveat that they are built down to a price and annoying things will break. They seem basically adequate for just knocking about on, which is all that 99% of the riders who buy these sort of bikes want them for anyway. They aren't serious MTB's and I doubt the wheels will withstand too many jumps and hard landings but for just a tame dirt and gravel woods ride or going to work or down the shops on, they are perfectly adequate no matter what all the cycle snobs will tell you.
 

Lovacott

Über Member
Issues I'm having is that the thumb shift has disintegrated...
The thing probably wasn't fitted together with any level of tension in the screws. The components have worked loose and then broken against each other. The poor buggers who work in the mass production prisons in China probably have to fit these things by hand, many thousands of times per day. They are bound to get some of them wrong.

This happened with my sons first bike (a three times ridden, 18 month old Argos hybrid). On inspection, none of the bikes fitments were fastened together with any level of tension in the screws. We took the bike back and got a replacement and a £20 voucher. Although the bike was out of warranty, I pointed out that it was a potential safety issue to send out modes of transport without first checking their roadworthiness.

As a matter of course now, I check and tighten every nut, bolt, hex, bearing and machine screw on every part of a brand new bike. I check the cable settings, brake clearances, brake efficiency and gear indexing.

The Boardman road bike I just bought as "ready to ride away" had loads of issues. Loose steering, shocking indexing, binding rear brake, misaligned front mech.

So the moral of the story is, no matter what bike you buy, check everything before you go out on your first ride. It'll be an hour well spent.
 

Lovacott

Über Member
They aren't serious MTB's and I doubt the wheels will withstand too many jumps and hard landings but for just a tame dirt and gravel woods ride or going to work or down the shops on, they are perfectly adequate no matter what all the cycle snobs will tell you.
The vast majority of bikes sold fall into the below £250 category. Bought with the intention of being used twice a year for a bike ride with the kids down the tow path. Never intended to clock up any serious mileage or do anything too arduous (like riding down an actual mountain).

But if you check the build and then maintain them properly, they can go on for a fair old while (as long as you don't try and ride down any actual mountains).

:laugh:
 

SkipdiverJohn

Deplorable Brexiteer
Location
London
Absolutely. These cheapo bikes can make a lot of sense as budget casual rides, because you aren't tying up a lot of cash, they aren't valuable enough to be attractive to steal, and if one does get nicked you haven't lost much.
The biggest cost in making most things is labour, so with cheap gear they can't afford to lavish too much love on them, either in the factory or the retail shop. You have to assume the assembly is mediocre, and double check everything yourself. Once properly sorted, even a cheapo bike can be a good reliable bike - as my ancient Appolo MTB pulled out of a skip proves. I am probably a lot more fussy about mechanical objects being well sorted, than the average minimum wage retail assistant.
 

Lovacott

Über Member
The biggest cost in making most things is labour, so with cheap gear they can't afford to lavish too much love on them, either in the factory or the retail shop.
A few years back, I spent seven months in China carrying out quality control audits on some structural steel work for an iron ore mining FTSE listed company.

The massive site I worked on could best be described as a slave labour camp. The workers were all fed and housed in complexes dotted around the site. They were paid with deductions for housing and food and also fined for lateness, poor workmanship and falling behind the pace of production.

Many would end the month with payslips showing a minus net wage. They were contractually not allowed to leave their jobs if they were in debt to their employer. Those most in debt, worked the hardest (to pay down the debt and eventually escape).

It's people like them who build most of the bikes sold in the world today.

How else could Argos manage to sell a "Challenge Conquer 26 inch Wheel Size Mens Mountain Bike" for £99.99?
 
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