41. How to Recondition RapidFire Plus Shifters
Shows how to troubleshoot, clean and lubricate RapidFire-style index shift levers.
In today’s tutorial, we’ll learn how to troubleshoot and repair a RapidFire Plus style index shifter. For this job you’ll need a phillips(+) screwdriver, a 4 or 5mm allen key, some light oil, spray grease, and some penetrating fluid like liquid wrench or WD-40.
Sometimes nothing happens if you try to shift up to an easier gear, or down to a harder gear. If your cables are functioning smoothly, this likely means that there is either a build up of gunk on the inside of your shifter, or that some of the internal parts are worn or broken.
If it’s just gummed up, sometimes you can get it working again by squirting some light oil inside, and then running through the gears several times to make sure the oil fully penetrates the internal parts.
If not, you’ll have to remove the outer casing and take a look inside. Keep in mind that there are many different styles of these shifters but the concept is generally the same. You don’t want to remove all of the screws on the shifter as there are many small springs and moving parts that are difficult to put back together. Try and see which screw looks like it removes only the dust cover.
With the cover removed, you should see a ratcheting mechanism that includes a gear and a spring loaded pawl. If you run through the gears while looking inside, you’ll see that every time you shift up to an easier gear the pawl pushes against the gear until it clicks it into the next position. This builds tension on the spring and pulls the cable a set amount, which moves your derailleur up one sprocket.
When you use the index lever to shift the derailleur down into a harder gear, the spring releases and causes the gear to slip back one position. This releases the cable a set amount, which pulls your derailleur down one sprocket.
If either of these functions is not happening, inspect the gears and pawls to make sure nothing is broken or looks worn. If they are, you’ll usually just have to replace the shifter. If everything looks fine but the shifter still doesn’t work, you can give it a bit of an overhaul to clean and re-lubricate the inner mechanism.
You’ll have to remove the shift cable first. It’ll usually slide out the of the shifter when it’s in the highest gear (7,8,9). Then remove the shifter body from your handlebar using the top allen bolt. Unscrew and remove the barrel adjuster and then remove any remaining screws until you can pull apart the dust covers and slide the inner mechanism out. Make sure you pay attention to how everything came apart so you can get it back together again.
Soak the unit with some penetrating fluid and then wipe it down and let it air dry. Once dry, spray some grease in between all of the moving parts and then re-assemble the shifter parts the same way they came apart. Mount it back on the handlebar and click through all of the gears so the spray grease penetrates. Then replace the shift cable and adjust your derailleur as needed.
If you’ve tried all of these steps and the shifter still doesn’t work, unfortunately it’ll likely need replacing.
I have a Trek 7000 (93/94) still with tons of original parts on her.
A few weeks ago, the rear shifter broke, not shifting to the lighter gears, but was still shifting to the heavier ones.
When I opened it, I saw that a little spring inside it was broke.
Just like the one seen here:
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Hey folks - first off for full disclosure, I recently removed the RD from the hanger to get a look at the hanger. What I'm asking now seems to have happened after re-attaching the RD.
The bike is about a month old so I'm not considering worn out parts yet.
OK so the RD (Ultegra 6800) attaches to the hanger by one bolt. The RD pivots on that bolt. When at rest I can rotate the RD clockwise quite a bit. Just a little rotation counter clockwise. If I rotate clockwise and then let it go there is obviously a spring inside that pushes the RD back to a resting position.
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Hi, basically I've got a problem with the front deraillieur rub on my Triban 3 road bike when in the smallest chainring on the rear and the largest chainring up front.
I've tried setting this up myself about 4 times using this guide
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I have cube aim pro 29 with Altus M310 FD. Recently purchased, ready to run.
Thing is I'm not satisfied how the FD is working. There is a problem
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For ex. when running in second ring upfront (where in theory there should be no rub at all in any rear shift), there is a rub depending on cable tension.
If I adjust FD in the biggest rear ring, it rubs when I shift to small ones (7,8)
and vice versa. If I adjust in smallest rear ring, it rubs when I shift to biggest (1,2,3). So basically I cannot adjust that no ... Read more >>
Today, one of my grip shifter (for the back shifting) is broken. I've only ride the bike for less than 6 months.
Unfortunately, my chain is now off the gears. So there is almost no way to get the chain back on because the shifter is not in the correct place.
Is there a quick/alternative way to adjust the shifter so I can get my chain on the gear? Thus, at least I can ride.
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Suddenly one by one both the gears have stopped "holding" in place.
The gear cable does move and so does the derailleurs.
A video I took is available here:
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I want to replace the rear derailleur on my current mountain bike, but because it is a cheap low end full suspension, it doesn't have a hanger on the frame and only takes a bolt on derailleur. Is there anyway I can adapt the frame so that it is compatible with a hanger? the derailleurs I want all require a hanger. Thank you.... Read more >>
I just got my new Saracen Urban ESC. It has 3 gears in front and 7 at the back.
Couple of issues I have noticed when changing gears. The front derailleurs works fine when changing in to a lower ring. But when i try to shift it up I have to press the shifter twice. First time does not change the gears and make a horrible metallic sound, feels as if the bike is gonna crash.
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I just bought a Mountain Bike that I suppose you would classify as a beginner one (Giant Revel 2) and it has been a great experience getting back into riding. Not too long ago I sort of crashed, what I mean by that is I hit the side of an object and ever since that point my front shifting is seeming to suffer. First problem was that shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear would not always work, it just wouldn't catch and would make a clicking noise as expected. Also shifting into third would do the same. I tried adjusting the shifting knob (the one by the actual gear change on the handlebar) and no... Read more >>
Thanks for taking the time to read my problem. I have recently bought a new bike. It is around 3 weeks old and done 112 miles on it. Recently it has started taking ages to shift up a gear on the rear cassette and occasionally it feels like it is trying to change gear on its own. The shift down is fine at the moment. In another 3 weeks the bike will have a 6 week free service. Is it worth waiting till then to let the professionals look at it or is it a quick fix I can do myself? I want to keep it in tip top condition so dont want it getting any worse or even damage it by putting mo... Read more >>
I'm trying to do some basic bike repairs, but I've stumbled upon a problem I cannot solve.
I have a Trek Lexa women's road bike (~3 years old) with Shimano derailleurs. It was in need of a tune-up as shifting between gears was not smooth and the chain was rubbing the bracket; however it was capable of shifting. I started by unhooking the shifter cable and adjusting the high and low limits of the rear derailleur. When I hooked the cable back up (tightened the rear adjustment screw, pulled on the cables, tightened the cable as much as I could while the gears we... Read more >>
I've watched hours of tutoring videos all over the internet in search for an answer. This forum is probably my last shot at it. The gears on the left (for the front derailleur) don't change the gears on my bike, because the shifter cable is out. I've been trying to reinsert my shifter cable for my FD, but only gear one and two work, and it's too stiff for the third gear. Ahhhh! Please help!!... Read more >>
Rear Derailleur shifter: Falcon Index System thumb shifter.
The high and low limits are set correctly because I can shift through all the gear with no problem. I just have to hold the shifter in place. If I let go, it will move all the way to high gear (small cog). It won't stay in anything but the highest gear by itself.... Read more >>
I recently purchased a Genesis Roadtech bike from Wal-Mart. It's a road bike but I have no idea how to use the shifters on this bike. The image is where the shifters are located.
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Thank you in advance for help advice.... Read more >>
I currently ride a Giant Revolt 2, 2014 model Cyclocross bike.
Last week during my commute to work I lost a spacer from my rear cassette so had it repaired by a local guy who is a friend of mine.
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