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Shifter worries

Old 11-24-22, 03:43 PM
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frogman
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Shifter worries

So here you are 15 miles away from home, on a trail nowhere near any roadways on your gravel bike and your brifters crap out. How do you make field adjustments to lock them up to stay at least in a low gear so you can pedal back home ? That is my fear with the Shimano 10 speed
brake shifters. I had Shimano bar end shifters mounted up on the handlebar with Paul Thunbie mounts earlier and with them I could switch to friction shifting if the indexing crapped out, which was nice, but now I am spoiled with the Shimano brifters.
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Old 11-24-22, 04:07 PM
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You're overthinking this massively. Replace the cables/housing once a year like you'd change the oil in your car...it's preventative maintenance. If you're that worried about it carry a spare cable with you and maybe some needle nose pliers. If you think you can get home in one gear put the cable in the derailleur backwards so the head is in the barrel adjuster. Push the derailleur into a gear you can ride and tighten the anchor bolt.
As happens all the time this should've been posted in 'bicycle mechanics' not GD but I wouldn't have seen it as I'm still banned from that section.
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Old 11-24-22, 05:41 PM
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thanks cxwrench, the cable technique sounds good. I will check it out.
Yeah, I'm sure I'm overthinking it
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Old 11-24-22, 08:06 PM
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My bikes don`t have shifters, I ride singlespeed.
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Old 11-24-22, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
My bikes don`t have shifters, I ride singlespeed.
How is that relevant?

O​​​P: ​​cxwrench is spot-on. But if you still get stuck, just ride home or call a friend for a ride. No biggie. It is marginally easier if you ride a 2x, as you can shift the other derailleur.
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Old 11-24-22, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by frogman
So here you are 15 miles away from home, on a trail nowhere near any roadways on your gravel bike and your brifters crap out. How do you make field adjustments to lock them up to stay at least in a low gear so you can pedal back home ? That is my fear with the Shimano 10 speed
brake shifters. I had Shimano bar end shifters mounted up on the handlebar with Paul Thunbie mounts earlier and with them I could switch to friction shifting if the indexing crapped out, which was nice, but now I am spoiled with the Shimano brifters.
I have 10's of thousands of miles on 6600 brifters without issue of them crapping out. I have on bikes, when a cable broke out on the trail/road, jammed an appropriate size stick off the ground in the RD to hold it in a favorable gear. Another hack is tie off the exposed inner cable to hold it in the gear you desire.
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Old 11-24-22, 10:46 PM
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If it's a front derailleur cable there's nothing to worry about, as it'll simply drop you into the small chainring and you can ride home in a tiny gear. You'll be able to climb fine and spinning out downhill won't matter really.

If it's the rear derailleur cable, like above has said try jamming something from the roadside into the rear derailleur to "push" it into a good gear, or pull the cable tight so it "holds" in a middle gear then tie it off to the frame ir a mounting bolt or whatever is in reach of the cable. Not pretty, but it'll get you home. Worst case scenario is that you're stuck in the small front / small rear combination. You'll likely still be able to pedal yourself home.

It's not a huge concern though. Times I've had a cable snap in tens of thousands of miles: 2 (both could have been prevented with a little more maintenance)



Originally Posted by wolfchild
My bikes don`t have shifters, I ride singlespeed.
Helpful... 🙄 🙄 🙄
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Old 11-24-22, 11:51 PM
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the limit screw will get you at least one if not two gears up from the hardest.
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Old 11-25-22, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
My bikes don`t have shifters, I ride singlespeed.
Hey sorry my medal maker is closed for the holidays hope it is ok they make it next week?

I love single speeds and fixed gears, I have two of them and have plans for the third but that isn't so much relevant in this thread. We are all pretty understanding that generally yes a single speed or fixed gear is lower trouble and no shift issues however if you have a shifter probably listen to what cxwrench said it is good advice. Keep things well maintained and you are less likely to have an issue and if you get totally screwed out there just Missy Elliot it:
Put your thing down, flip it and reverse it

Also get really top quality cables and housing and that can help as well along with maintenance. If you have severe bends a more flexible set up like say Jagwire Elite Link might be helpful to provide a smoother cable transition and with the really high polished slick stainless cables it makes them glide so smooth.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
My bikes don`t have shifters, I ride singlespeed.
You just had to post something didn't you?
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Old 11-25-22, 10:32 AM
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Carry some thing that you can cut the cable with where it runs bare along the downtube. Then you can tie it off on a bottle cage or some where else convenient in the gear that you want.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Canker
the limit screw will get you at least one if not two gears up from the hardest.
That will vary depending on the exact setup, but yeah at least one. If yiu are lucky you might get three.

Then why not wedge something between the end of the limit screw and the point it hits to get a bit more if needed?

If you were that worried about it you could make a little cable end with a set screw that could be adjusted to roughly the right gear and fine tuned with the barrel adjuster. Given how unlikely you are to need it and how many other work arounds there are I wouldn't bother.
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Old 11-25-22, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Carry some thing that you can cut the cable with where it runs bare along the downtube. Then you can tie it off on a bottle cage or some where else convenient in the gear that you want.
I saw a variation on that where a rider tied a loop in the cable, and then attached the loop to a bottle cage using a tie wrap. The nice thing was he could ratchet up the tie wrap to put the derailleur in a convenient gear. Of course, you have to carry a tie wrap with you ...
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Old 11-25-22, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench
You just had to post something didn't you?
Anything to boost a post count, no matter how irrelevant or unproductive (kind of like this one )
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Old 11-25-22, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench
As happens all the time this should've been posted in 'bicycle mechanics' not GD but I wouldn't have seen it as I'm still banned from that section.
Originally Posted by cxwrench
You just had to post something didn't you?
Originally Posted by Proverbs 15 : 1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
...​​​​​​​
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Old 11-25-22, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by frogman
So here you are 15 miles away from home, on a trail nowhere near any roadways on your gravel bike and your brifters crap out. How do you make field adjustments to lock them up to stay at least in a low gear so you can pedal back home ? That is my fear with the Shimano 10 speed
brake shifters. I had Shimano bar end shifters mounted up on the handlebar with Paul Thunbie mounts earlier and with them I could switch to friction shifting if the indexing crapped out, which was nice, but now I am spoiled with the Shimano brifters.
Carry a spare thumbshifter and cable with you if you're that worried about it. Even an inexpensive friction only thumbshifter will let you get home.

Cheers
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Old 11-25-22, 11:19 PM
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Carrying a spare thumbshifter sounds like a good option Miele Man.
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Old 11-26-22, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by frogman
So here you are 15 miles away from home, on a trail nowhere near any roadways on your gravel bike and your brifters crap out. How do you make field adjustments to lock them up to stay at least in a low gear so you can pedal back home ? That is my fear with the Shimano 10 speed
brake shifters. I had Shimano bar end shifters mounted up on the handlebar with Paul Thunbie mounts earlier and with them I could switch to friction shifting if the indexing crapped out, which was nice, but now I am spoiled with the Shimano brifters.
You'd deal with it the same as if you have so many flats you run out of spare tubes and patches. And the failure of a shift lever is much, much less likely with simple attention to cables. So if you never worry about having multiple flats exceeding your ability to repair the holes, you should worry even less (less than never) about a shfiter or cable failure. But as others have said, don't ignore the cables for years on end.
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Old 11-26-22, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by frogman
Carrying a spare thumbshifter sounds like a good option Miele Man.
You're kidding, right? You're more likely to break a chain, you going to carry a spare one of those too?
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Old 11-26-22, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench
You're kidding, right? You're more likely to break a chain, you going to carry a spare one of those too?
We had a poster who devised a rig for carrying an entire spare wheel, complete with tire and cassette...So I wouldn't be surprised if some paranoid bf'er was carrying a shifter around.
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Old 11-26-22, 09:50 PM
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How often do brifters just "crap out?" Twist shifters on cheap Walmart bikes, yeah, I've seen those crap out and not keep friction or hold their position, but brifters and trigger type shifters are a different matter.
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Old 11-26-22, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Canker
the limit screw will get you at least one if not two gears up from the hardest.
That would be my remedy. If need be, one could swap in a slightly longer screw to ensure you could take the limit to the cog you want. In my case, two cogs over gets me to 16, which would be fine with me.

Otto
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Old 11-26-22, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes
How often do brifters just "crap out?" Twist shifters on cheap Walmart bikes, yeah, I've seen those crap out and not keep friction or hold their position, but brifters and trigger type shifters are a different matter.
Like almost never. Iíve got 10s of thousands of miles on these kinds of shifters as wellÖincluding thousands of miles far away from home where calling for help isnít an option. Iíve never had a shifter problem.

Gripshifters arenít all that delicate either. I see a lot of them at my local co-op. They are simple and robust. Iíve seen broken ones but thatís the result of a crash or someone trying to remove them without knowing how.
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Old 11-26-22, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes
How often do brifters just "crap out?"
99.9% of the time it's lack of maintenance (i.e., replacing cables and housing).

Carrying a thumbshifter sounds ludicrous. I'm pretty sure those cheap ones don't split so you have to unwrap the bartape, pull the 'brifter' off of the handlebar, install the thumbshifter, brifter, and re-tape that half of the bar.
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Old 11-27-22, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes
How often do brifters just "crap out?" Twist shifters on cheap Walmart bikes, yeah, I've seen those crap out and not keep friction or hold their position, but brifters and trigger type shifters are a different matter.
Fairly often with poor maintenance if you count frayed cables at the sharp bend as the cable enters the brifter on some models. But that isn't really a failed brifter i guess. It isn't that obvious if you don't know where to look. It does usually give some warning in poor shifting for a while before failure so unless you just keep ignoring it it isn't too likely to suddenly fail all at once.

I had one get bad enough to be shifting badly on tour, but not close to actually breaking. I stopped in the next town with a bike shop and bought a cable. I could imagine someone not figuring out what was going on and possibly breaking the cable. Carrying a spare cable would be the answer for that though.
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