Shifter Update

As you may recall, when I last wrote we’d finished a very nice tandem ride from the house riding our Calfee as a 10-speed after the shifter for the front derailleur suddenly stopped working.

Back at the house I was able to get everything working again after partially removing the derailleur cable and, for good measure, washed the internal parts with a little silicone spray and then blew everything out with some compressed air.

Before we headed off for a 25-mile ride from the house on Friday I decided to remove the lever and check the torque on the bolt that runs through the shifting cogs and springs inside the lever.

When I initially removed the lever and looked at the underside of the lever body I didn’t see the bolt head that I expected to be there.

The only bright bit of metal was the female bolt that mates the lever to the handlebar clamp post. However, as I looked a bit more closely at the lever body I noticed that it looked like there was a black cover or piece of black tape and son-of-a-gun, the bolt head I was looking for was hidden under that tape.


With the tape removed I inserted a 2.5mm allen head wrench in the bolt head and guess what: no torque! It wasn’t falling out of the housing, but there wasn’t any load on the bolt. I applied what seemed to be an appropriate amount of torque with the very short wrench and then checked the shifter function: it was vastly improved. Back went the tape and in about 15 minutes the lever was back in place, the bars were re-wrapped and we were ready to ride. The shifting on the ride was fully restored.



About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Technology & Equip.. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Shifter Update

  1. Kevin Vinson says:

    Mark, was the black tape placed over the bolt head at the factory or would this have been done by Calfee? Just curious!

  2. TG says:


    Calfee was frame only back in 2007. I did the build.

  3. Marten says:

    I just had the same issue on my 2012 Cannondale RT2 (Ultegra shifters). Make sure to fully tighten this bolt and not get tempted to leave it a bit loose to keep shifting more crispy. That bolt seems to loosen very easily.

  4. Marten says:

    …also, the shifter only blocks up under tension when this bolt is loose. Once and as long as tension is released you can shift down again

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.