Stiff LH Triple STI Shifter + other problems

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Location
Over the Hill
It's a Tiagra. It's never been quite right (clunky) but it is very stiff these days (new cables/outers/all cleaned etc). Is it wise to attempt to lubricate it with something? If so what's recommended?

Also the feathering adjustment for the middle ring hasn't been good (maybe from new?). Would lubrication help?

Thirdly it always changes from Big ring to Granny ring in one step missing out the middle ring. Fine going the other way.

I've been putting up with this for a goodly few years. It's the winter bike so big ring is less important generally. Occasionally I have a grumble about it and occasionally I think I should replace it. But it sort of works so if there is a simple fix (like lubrication) I'd do that first (less landfill). Just don't want it gumming up if I use the wrong stuff.

Or should I swap it with Mrs 26's? :laugh: :whistle:;)
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
Sounds like the cable is slightly too tight and a squirt of GT85 into the shifter won't go wrong. Front shifter for a triple can be tricky to get right, but a bit of trial and error with cable tension should get you there.
 
OP
twentysix by twentyfive

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Location
Over the Hill
Well, with time on my hands I replaced the lever. Still very stiff. I also replaced the front mech as that was coming loose too often. Still stiff. But I did notice that the cable was very close to the BB shell at the plastic guide thingy. A bit more investigation revealed that the cable had "sawed" its way through about a centimetre of the guide. Rather that replace it (it would mess up the rear indexing in the process) I fitted a bit of flexible nylon pipe sourced from the innards of a ball point pen. Seems to work rather better now although I'm yet to road test it.

So who out there ever checks their under the BB cable guide thingy? In my case a casual glance wouldn't have revealed the problem.
 
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Big John

Guru
As part of the bike cleaning process I always turn my bike upside down at one point to clean the crud off the down tube and around the bottom bracket. I usually take a look at the plastic guide as part of the routine. I did have to replace one years ago and discovered there's more to that than meets the eyeball. You have to make sure if you pop rivet it the rivet inside the bottom bracket shell doesn't foul the actual BB itself. However, going back to your lever issue.....I work for a bike charity and we have an ultrasonic digital cleaner (looks like a small deep fat fryer) and as a test we threw a shifter in that wasn't working at all. It was a RH one but the principal I think is the same. When it came out of the chip fryer after 30 minutes not only did it look super clean BUT it worked perfectly. If you can find someone, like your LBS perhaps, who has one it may work a little miracle on your shifter. Once it's working then spray the innards to death with GT85, like we did.
 
OP
twentysix by twentyfive

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Location
Over the Hill
As part of the bike cleaning process
I've spotted where I'm going wrong I think. This last year or so I give it a gentle-ish blast from the power washer (avoid the bearings :okay:). Takes the worst off. But it also puts off any immediate need to do a proper job :sad:
You have to make sure if you pop rivet it......
Mine has a threaded screw. Given that it is catching the worst of the road cr&p it may be seized. Another reason for me fitting some pen innards (in the shorter term any way).

I did look through my bits and pieces and found a new cable guide. So the longer term is covered...........
 
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