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Problems with new 3x7 trigger shifter (ST EF51) on 3 side [Solved]
#1
Question 
Hi, I am new to working on bicycle gears and am hoping to get some help determining if my new shifter has failed or if I just need to make some more adjustments.

On the left side shifter, I am able to shift easily from 1st to 2nd, but when I tried to get it to go to 3rd, the chain would go up, but the shifter wouldn't lock into place. It would be great thumb exercise, but I prefer to fix it. I took the cover off and saw that the cam would rotate, but would stop just shy of going far enough to allow the lock to click in. I loosened the cable all the way and then tried it and the locking mechanism would lock with no problem. As soon as there is any tension on the cable to get the chain to shift into 3rd gear, the cam won't travel far enough to allow the locking mechanism to lock the cam in place.

I have already read about the problems with older shifters needing to have the old grease removed and new grease put in, but I believe this is a different problem.

I'd appreciate any help! Please let me know if you need pictures.

Many thanks,
Chris
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#2
It sounds like your "H" limit screw needs to come out further
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#3
(08-26-2020, 08:31 PM)CBMuir Wrote:  I loosened the cable all the way and then tried it and the locking mechanism would lock with no problem. As soon as there is any tension on the cable to get the chain to shift into 3rd gear, the cam won't travel far enough to allow the locking mechanism to lock the cam in place.



I'd appreciate any help! Please let me know if you need pictures.

Many thanks,
Chris

I agree with Painkiller. When you loosened the cable it gave the shifter more slack that allowed it to "lock" into place, but that won't affect the range of movement for the derailleur. Turning the derailleur high limit screw out a little should allow for the required range of movement; just make sure you don't over adjust or you will be dropping the chain off of the large ring due to the derailleur cage travelling too far past the ring. You may have to tweak your cable adjustment (after removing any slack when set on the smallest ring) to ensure that your indexing (if applicable) is still correct.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#4
(08-28-2020, 02:33 AM)Jesper Wrote:  e
Thanks to both of you, I will try it out tomorrow morning!
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#5
I tried adjusting the limit screws and unfortunately did not work. I believe the problem is in the shifter. After observing more closely with the cover off, I noticed that there appears to be another cam below the first one that was harder to see. When I slowly press the trigger, the little ratchet immediately catches the cam when shifting from 1st to 2nd. However, when shifting from 2nd to 3rd, the ratchet is not immediately catching the cam when I push on the lever. I believe this is why the shifter is not turning far enough for the locking ratchet to catch the upper cam. Are there are any other adjustments in the shifter itself aside from the wire tensioner knob?
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#6
At this point I would ask what the model of shifter you have, how many speeds..i.e..3x7, 3x8..etc
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#7
Thanks, I have a 3x7 ST EF51. I just received the replacement shifter today. I understand that after I set the limit screws, I need to ensure proper tension, any thing else I should check when installing the new one? Even with my old grip shifters, I had to really twist the shifters to get it to the largest cog.
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#8
As I was installing the new shifter, I looked more closely at everything. It appears that my cage is bent so that the inner part of the cage is bowed away from the outer cage, which appears to be straight. Perhaps this is why I have to move the shifting mechanism so far when shifting the front into third gear. I am going to try to straighten the cage. I'll post again when I am able to do this. Maybe I will have to buy a new derailleur.
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#9
Problem solved! I used vice grips to straighten out the derailleur cage and everything works great now! Then found my rear derailleur cage was also bowed outward, though it didn't affect the mechanics of it. Bent that mostly back into shape also. I love my new shifters. Much better than my old twist grips. Also added on some nice handle bar grips to make the bike like new, almost...

However, now I see that there is wobble in my crank shaft, which I think means I need new bearings. Maybe I'll do that in a few months.
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#10
(09-03-2020, 03:15 PM)CBMuir Wrote:  Problem solved! I used vice grips to straighten out the derailleur cage and everything works great now! Then found my rear derailleur cage was also bowed outward, though it didn't affect the mechanics of it. Bent that mostly back into shape also. I love my new shifters. Much better than my old twist grips. Also added on some nice handle bar grips to make the bike like new, almost...

However, now I see that there is wobble in my crank shaft, which I think means I need new bearings. Maybe I'll do that in a few months.

Glad you were able to solve the problem. Photos may have helped us to see the damaged areas; more eyes on the problem. If your crank bottom bracket has sealed bearings then you will probably have to replace the whole cartridge; if loose/caged bearings then you may be able to clean, grease, and readjust given good cup and race surfaces.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#11
(09-04-2020, 08:13 AM)Jesper Wrote:  If your crank bottom bracket has sealed bearings then you will probably have to replace the whole cartridge; if loose/caged bearings then you may be able to clean, grease, and readjust given good cup and race surfaces.

The rear wheel bearing was loose ball, so I am guessing the crank shaft is also. I'll be learning more on youtube about that.

I'm not sure I would have gotten a good photo of the cage as I wasn't really focusing on that until I got your suggestions on setting the H & L limits. Thanks for all your help.
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#12
(09-03-2020, 03:15 PM)CBMuir Wrote:  Problem solved! I used vice grips to straighten out the derailleur cage and everything works great now! Then found my rear derailleur cage was also bowed outward, though it didn't affect the mechanics of it. Bent that mostly back into shape also. I love my new shifters. Much better than my old twist grips. Also added on some nice handle bar grips to make the bike like new, almost...

However, now I see that there is wobble in my crank shaft, which I think means I need new bearings. Maybe I'll do that in a few months.

Iam having the same problem I can’t seem to get my shifter to get into third gear, the way you described it is the exact same as I would describe my problem. As you mention in the quote above I’m wonder what you did you fix your shifter, I have replaced my shifter entirely and I’m still having the same problem. If you have any insight on to why this may be happening I would love any advice. Ps I know that this post is old so half not expecting a response but would love if you did. Thx
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#13
(05-03-2024, 01:28 PM)Ineverlie Wrote:  
(09-03-2020, 03:15 PM)CBMuir Wrote:  Problem solved! I used vice grips to straighten out the derailleur cage and everything works great now! Then found my rear derailleur cage was also bowed outward, though it didn't affect the mechanics of it. Bent that mostly back into shape also. I love my new shifters. Much better than my old twist grips. Also added on some nice handle bar grips to make the bike like new, almost...

However, now I see that there is wobble in my crank shaft, which I think means I need new bearings. Maybe I'll do that in a few months.

Iam having the same problem I can’t seem to get my shifter to get into third gear, the way you described it is the exact same as I would describe my problem. As you mention in the quote above I’m wonder what you did you fix your shifter, I have replaced my shifter entirely and I’m still having the same problem. If you have any insight on to why this may be happening I would love any advice. Ps I know that this post is old so half not expecting a response but would love if you did. Thx

It would seem the problem was in the cage being damaged on the previous query. That still seemed a bit odd because that would not have kept the shifter itself from travelling far enough to engage its ratcheting mechanism in the 3rd position. If you release the cable completely and your shifter is able to to move through its entire range than the shifter should be okay, and I would question the actual set-up of the system (cable tension, cable binding under load, high/low limit screws adjustment, front derailleur cage positioning, damage, etc.)
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#14
You could also have too much tension on the line of the front derailleur that the shifter can't brunt the force of the line and the mech. This was a noob mistake I made many years ago. The shifter can't pull the line into the large chainring and will snap if you force it.

To troubleshoot this:

Shift into the smallest ring (3rd gear) undo the cable. Dial the barrel adjuster on the shifter all the way in (clockwise). Attach the cable lightly with just a subtly tug to remove the most basic slack. Begin to dial out of the adjuster and attempt to shift until it begins to shift smoothly.

Check the low limit screw to make sure it's not obstructing your shift. Screw it out significantly until it allows a full shift. Then, once shifted into the large chainring, peek into the mech and screw it in until it puts a light pressure on the hammer.

If this doesn't fix your problem the mech or shifter must be broken in a more dynamic way (gears, pivots, springs).
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