Campag ergo levers - sticky gears

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by redjedi, 18 Jan 2010.

  1. redjedi

    redjedi Über Member

    I've been having a problem recently with the rear gears on my Veloce set-up.

    I find that occasionally the thumb lever will refuse move and change gear. To get it moving again I need to press the lever shifter a bit to un-lock it, then it will carry on be fine.

    This only ever happens after I've changed into an easier gear eg approaching lights, but not always.

    Is is me pushing the lever shifter too far, and only pushing it half way through a gear change, or is it the lever itself getting stuck.

    It's only a few months old, but it's always felt a little more "clunky" than my previous Veloce levers.

    Do they need a bit of lubrication, or could it be the cables?
  2. SimonC

    SimonC Well-Known Member

    Occassionally happens to me, using Mirage levers, but I think its because Im pressing the lever shifter sideways just a little bit when pressing the thumb shifter.

    If I move the rest of my hand away from the side of the lever opposite the thumb shifter and try again it seems fine.

    This might be complete b******s, or maybe its only noticeable as the levers get older, dont know.
  3. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    I have had similar problems in the past and presumed that the ratchet became stuck when changing to an easier gear quickly -hence the need to dab the lever in order to free it. Whether this is wear or a design problem I don't know but I now give the whole internal mech a spray of WD40 in order to lubricate the system and prevent it sticking - which seems to work ok.
  4. I have noticed that from time to time Luke. Don't change gear is my advice - but then you would expect that wouldn't you! :blush:
    I found a noticeable difference when I replaced all the cables on my blue bike a couple of summers ago. No problem with that since (only happens on the black bike now - and they are Centaur etc)
    It's probably the paint colour that is throwing things out of synch.
  5. Ian H

    Ian H Ancient randonneur

    East Devon
    I've also noticed this. It seems to be when, changing one way, the mechanism doesn't quite engage so that it needs a nudge before a change the other way is possible. It very obviously happens when I've made a lazy change.
  6. OP

    redjedi Über Member

    Too much black and white, not enough Celeste?

    I'll put celeste bar tape, hood covers and cable outers on then and see how it goes :tongue:

    Is WD40 a good thing to use in the levers? I probably should re-grease the cables as well.
  7. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    It works for me.

    I get this problem on my Campag shifters and it is always the ratchet mechanism, never the cables (possibly because I change those every year). If you ride on the hoods, grime from your gloves or hands transfers to the ratchet cog underneath the button and gradually fills up the gaps between the teeth. The first symptom is iffy changing and I find that a good squirt of WD40, with the bike left upside down for an hour or so, loosens the dirt and restores normal function.

    Eventually the iffy changing is because the cog is too worn, but that takes years. You can change the cogs yourself, but it is at least a medium-skill task and the LBS will normally pull a face and sell you new Ergos if you ask them to do it.
  8. GrahamG

    GrahamG Veteran

    This is what I thought too (I'm using Chorus levers), but will check that little ratchet thing for muck now!
  9. albal

    albal Veteran

    Have similar problem. Tried GT85. No. New cables. No. Still the paddle refuses to budge. I do stress it happened after Sundays very wet ride. Anybody?
  10. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Veloce here and I very occasionally get the same, needing a second little nudge to get it to shift. It seems to be a common theme, never bothered me mind, it' too infrequent to be bothered about.
  11. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    With similar symptons I've sent mine in to Downland Cycles for a rebuild before now. Always seems to be the most expensive part that needs replacing - but worth it too keep an otherwise unobtainable set going.
  12. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    I've had this happen on Shimano as well: suggest it's not just a Campagnolo issue. And it has happened (maybe once every 200km (on average, guessing)) irrespective of whether the cable's new. I suggest @Ian H 's analysis suggests the most likely cause: an effective but incomplete change up (RD) or to a larger chain ring (FD) means the paddle (S) or thumb lever (C) is 'blocked' in the Ergo/STI (by design) until a little pressure is applied to the main lever.
  13. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    After a few more problems from the original post I decided to take mine apart.

    Basically it depends on the type of mechanism you have. The old mechanisms were fully serviceable - but models like the Powershift were not repairable.

    Graeme_FK is the best chap to ask.
  14. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    Since you said 'paddle' I'll assume these are STIs (for ergos maybe @Graeme_FK advice). You may be able to take the STI apart (like @accountantpete did with his ergos), but you'll be one of very few who can put it (the STI) together again. There are videos available.
    If the "paddle refuses to budge" apply firm pressure on the lever - as if to shift the opposite way (even if you're in the large ring/sprocket) (as others have described/recounted above) - then I've always found the paddle will operate. Until it didn't and it was replacement time. I took the no longer effective STI apart for fun. In my ignorance I could see nothing 'wrong'.
    Regular internal squirt of GT85 into shifters is good practice, imo.
  15. albal

    albal Veteran

    The lever was purchased as a pair in October 2016. I,ve since gone back to the seller and asked for a replacement.
    Looking closely at the mechanism it seems the ratchet has failed. Incidently downland cycles would of serviced it ,but the cost was more than a new shifter.
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