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.
Try This First
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.
- Park Tool HXS-1.2 Hex Wrench Set
- Park Tool Wrench Combo Set
- Park Tool SD-Set Shop Screwdrivers
- Tri-Flow Superior Lube
- Park Tool SK-3 Starter Mechanic Tool Kit
- Park Tool PK-3 Professional Tool Kit
Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum
How do I take the spring off my rear shock?...Read more
Does anyone know if the FSA comet 27/39t crankset with FSA external bearing bottom bracket can be converted to a 1x chain ring? I am unable to find any information anywhere....Read more
Hi, new here. Do not know much about maintenance, that is why I need an advice on chains. I have KMC chain on my hybrid and someone told me that I can use a bit of WD40 to keep it running, clean it from dust and whatsoever. He also is not very bright in terms of bike knowledge so I am doubting his claim. Probably WD40 is not good for lubing the chain or keeping it clean, right? There is need for s...Read more
I have changed the handlebars on my son's bike for him and repositioned the gear change from the post to the bars. Now the gear shift lever, when in the lowest gears is changing all by itself into the higher gears. Whilst this automatic feature could be useful, it is not very practical for him! I have tried tightening the tightener but that didn't work. Any helpful suggestions very welcome, fr...Read more
So I have a problem adjusting the V brakes on my bike. If I set them up so the pull on the lever feels normal, the wheel is won’t move because the pads are already on contact. If I set them up so the wheel will spin freely, then the they are so mushy that fully pulling the lever barely has any effect. I’ve tried a few things: checked the housing and cable, checked for points of flex / wobble i...Read more
Ciao. I know that some bike riders overexaggerate the 'cleaning part' and wash (or spray) their bikes at least once a week. I know, it's mandatory after a muddy trail ride. But I'm thinkging more about daily commuters. It gets dusty here and there, but how long is too long without a shower for a bike? For a bike that rides almost every day....Read more
So, I bleed my Magura MT7 brakes easily 10 times in the last week but there's some air trapped inside that I just can't get rid off, no matter what I do, already tried everything I saw on the internet and that lever is still spongy and the rear wheel will turn with brakes fully applied if I push it hard enough. Any bike mechanics here with some input for this kind of situations? Thanks in advance...Read more
Schwinn Boundary bottom bracket bearing let go. I would like to upgrade them to sealed bearings. Threaded frame bottom tube 35 mm nut thread od. x 73 mm wide....Read more
Please watch the attached video. I gave a ride to person on my luggage carrier and her jeans got stuck in the chain. Ever since then, my back has been making this "ticking" sound or whatever you can call it, and it feels as if there's a bit of resistant to the pedals and a "locking" motion sometimes. Moreover, the wheel seems to be swinging a bit in the video and it's not turning in a straight cir...Read more
I am upgrading an 8 year old Scott Solace from the Ultegra 6700 series, have acquired almost all the new components but wondering about the shifters. I have the Shimano Ultegra ST-6703 shifters for a triple. They work on my double crankset with a 10 speed drivetrain. What I am trying to find out is will the 10 speed shifters work with an 11 speed setup? Like I said, the shifters, even though they ...Read more
Hello, new here. Recently, I bought an old second hand bike and decided to fix it up. I wanted a cheap frame that I could work on and tweak from the ground up. Have learned a lot about bike repairs (lots of mistakes) and learned that there’s still a long way to go. Including pics and would like some ideas on how to work on fixing this up from here (please go easy on this newbie, haha). That bein...Read more
Hello togehter I got my frist piggyback damper, en hear a „nock“ which definitly comes out of my dampet while i‘m squish the damper. Is this a normal noise? Video here: https://www.reddit.com/r/MTB/comments/pvygel/fox_dpx2_2021_is_this_noise_normal_i_hear_a_quiet/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf thanks✌🏻...Read more
Hi guys, I have restored a 90' Fisher mountain bike. It works perfectly apart from the front derailleur. Gears goes down no problem. They go up from the first to second cog no problem but it is very difficult to make it go to the biggest gear. This is an old SRAM groupset. It is not the cable tension, not the limit screws and not the position of the derailleur on the frame. These are the basic t...Read more
First time adjusting a headset and I'd like to get it right. Brand new giant reign with a carbon frame, that I do not want to damage I finally have the preload set to where there is no play but I'm concerned that it is to tight... Stage 1- obvious play/clunk Stage 2- no clunk, but if I lock up the brake and push and pull hard, I can feel some very slight movement Stage 3 - no play or movemen...Read more
20210910_120907(1).jpg (Size: 82.12 KB / Downloads: 31) Hi, i am looking for a rear axle for my Devox felt rear wheel. i cannot find one anywhere, if not is there an alternative...Read more