Shimano STI brifter maintenance

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Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby WMC1 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:15 pm

I was wondering what type of lubrication people would use on Shimano shift/brake leavers. I have Ultegra 6700 shifters and they feel a little heavy to operate. This bike I have them installed on is used occasionally in rainy weather and I have not touched them in 16 months of use.

I have heard of people using spray lubes (not WD40) to penetrate deep inside the leaver mech’s. If so any good brands out there to recommend and would this be effective?
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by BNA » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:47 pm

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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby familyguy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:47 pm

I've read people having good results with WD40 to clean (really fill them up and let them drain), and then using a lube after the WD40 dries up. Lanox, something like that.

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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby Nobody » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:12 pm

I think the Bicycle Tutor used to recommend spray grease for shifter mechanisms, once cleaned and dry.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby WMC1 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:32 pm

Thank you all for the replies. I will grab a can of lube and see how i go. Cheers.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:52 pm

Weldtite (I think thats the right spelling), make a spray lube with teflon in it which is what I use. You don't need much in there though and don't go balistic with it as you don't want slippery levers or bars.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby sogood » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:42 pm

Have you looked at your cables? These stiffening problems are more commonly caused by aging cables than by the brifter. Take a look.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:44 pm

Your supposed to service them?... probably 100K kms on my Ultegra 9 speeds ones and they have never been touched in over 10 years, my DuraAce ones are from 2006, same story.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby biker jk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:12 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Your supposed to service them?... probably 100K kms on my Ultegra 9 speeds ones and they have never been touched in over 10 years, my DuraAce ones are from 2006, same story.


Admittedly, in the new series (5700, 6700, 7900) the shifting mechanism is exposed and hence more susceptible to dirt, etc. Still, my Ultegra 6700 shifters have done 12,000km and are running as super smooth as day one, despite not spraying them with anything.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby warthog1 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:28 pm

biker jk wrote:Admittedly, in the new series (5700, 6700, 7900) the shifting mechanism is exposed and hence more susceptible to dirt, etc. Still, my Ultegra 6700 shifters have done 12,000km and are running as super smooth as day one, despite not spraying them with anything.


One of my set of 6700 shifters has had the snot knocked out of them when I went over the bars at 50 odd kmh on a descent. Ground the suckers away a fair bit too :( . New set of rubber grips and all good :). Well still a bit scratched on the levers but they shift fine.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:40 pm

I'm with Sogood here, try the simple things first.
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby WMC1 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:19 am

Hi all, all great responses to my question. Thank you so much.

I have replaced the gear cables inners and outers with a Dura Ace set. Also cleaned and lubed the front and rear derailleurs and adjusted all the alignments and front derailleur operation. I gave the guts of shifters a squirt of spray lube and the they now feel like new.I must of had some gunk in there as what came out was not looking good. I will see how they perform over the next few days.

I agree with the comments that dirt and grime can easily get into the innards of the shifters and grit would certainly have an effect on the mech operation.

Cheers all. :D
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Re: Shimano STI brifter maintenance

Postby usernameforme » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:21 pm

Off topic, but its related to the Title... I tried to rebuild a Shimano STI, I strongly recommend against it. The internals are more complicated than a swiss watch, if you're in a good mood and you don't want to be I suggest taking apart the shimano brifters, putting all the parts into a jar, giving it a good shake and trying to re-assemble it, I guarantee a dose of frustration :twisted: .
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