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Cycle Maintenance - rebuilding ergo shifter

an easier task than you'd think

My ergopower shifters lost their click!
How I replaced the G springs

Cycling home from work I suddenly realised that something wasn’t right. Every time I changed gear the lever wasn’t giving me any feedback. It was indexing, but I was fighting to work out where to place the lever to select that indexed gear. My Campagnolo ergo lever had lost its click!

When I got home I looked into it and realised that something was sick. As soon as I disconnected the cable from the derailleur there was a ping and the shifter changed. There was obviously something wrong inside the ergo lever.

I took a different bike to work the next day, and whilst there asked about my problem on my favourite cycling forum. The responses soon came back, it was probably nothing to worry about, it was just a worn spring that was replaceable. In fact Campagnolo suggest replacing these springs every 10,000 miles. I stripped the shifter down that evening, and seeing nothing obviously wrong decided to take the gamble and order replacement “G springs”. I ordered them from Italian cycle products who, despite me only ordering them at lunchtime, had them delivered to my door by the next day. An excellent service.

Although I approached this job with apprehension, it is actually a very simple task. I’m writing it up here in the hope that it will be of benefit to others (or me next time I need to do it!).

A useful item to also have is the exploded parts diagram. here's the one I needed (page 40 of the pdf)

First (optionally, and for ease) remove the rubber casing covering the levers.

pull the cables out of the housing Remove the cables, both brake and gear, by disconnecting them and then pulling them through their housings.

Remove the shifter from the handlebars by fully undoing the retaining screw.

unscrew the housing
Pull the brake lever on and insert the hex key in behind the lever so that it engages in the end of the internal assembly. You can then bolt the hex key into a workbench or vice, which means that the whole lever can be easily worked on.

insert the allen key
hold the washer Slide off the black plastic cover that covers the assembly. Hold the washer down tight (to prevent that famous “ping” and components firing around the room that always seems to follow these exercises) and remove the bolt that forms the axle of the whole assembly.

Carefully remove the washer, then the spring, followed by the pivot axle nut that the spring connected to.

how it should look
thumbshifter removed You can then remove the thumbshifter and its operating spring.

prise the part out You can then, using a screwdriver, prise out the next part (which the springs ratchet onto). This leaves a thin washer to be removed, then finally you’re at the part you want.

lift off the washer
main housing Note how the springs are engaged in this part. I removed them, cleaned all the parts I had removed and added fresh grease. I then inserted the two new springs (the fresh grease held them in place).

Reassembly is a simple matter of reversing the disassembly procedures.

Insert the spring assembly housing, the thin washer, then the body that the springs ratchet onto. (Remember which way round the thin washer went!)

I then inserted the thumbshifter spring into the body, hooked the thumbshifter onto it, and pressed it into place against the spring tension. I loosely fitted the silver centre axle (I didn’t press it fully into place) and held it there by inserting a small screwdriver down its centre. This was the most fiddly part of the whole job.

tighten the spring I replaced the main spring, and using another screwdriver against the small one temporarily holding the parts together, wound the centre nut around until the correct tension was met. That was the point at which I pressed the centre unit down to engage on the axle, so holding the springs correctly in place. Keeping a gentle pressure on the centre part I could remove the temporary screwdriver, add the washer, then add the axle bolt which I fully tightened.

It was then a simple matter of replacing the plastic cover, refitting the unit to the handlebars, and replacing the cables.


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Last updated 22/02/2006