important: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.

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.

Look Inside

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.

Further Repair

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.

Disassemble Shifter

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.

Reassemble Shifter

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.

Related Links

Related Tools

Categories

Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum

Schwinn 3rd Avenue 700C hybrid

Lastest post 1 day ago

The bike, new, was $199 from an Amazon dealer, and it came with a load of great reviews and very few negative ones. That should be a warning to anyone looking for a new bike; the shills are out there. If anyone buys one with the idea of putting it together and going for a ride, they would be disappointed. Walmart bikes are better. Seriously! I knew that it would need some work because you do...

Read more

Bike pedal nut spins in place

Lastest post 3 days ago

Hi All, Got a new Trek MTB and attempted to change the pedals. Unscrew the drive side pedal easily by turning anti-clockwise; all good there. This is where my noob mistake happen... Did the same by turning the left side pedal the same way (anti-clockwise) and over crank it such that the bolt is now just spinning clockwise and anti-clockwise without coming off. It's not loose.. just spinning in ...

Read more

Oil can spouts

Lastest post 3 days ago

Years ago, oil cans had long spouts. Even the throw away cans had long spouts, but makers started putting little nubby spouts on the cans which makes it hard to get into some places such as my bike derailleurs. To oil those I have to pour oil onto a screwdriver blade and let it run down. The cans of '3 in 1' oil I used as a kid, on my bike, had a long spout. So after digging around I found cans w...

Read more

Brake lever hood replacement

Lastest post 3 days ago

Does anyone know of an aftermarket brake hood that (reasonably) fits Suntour GPX brake levers?...

Read more

Replace disc brake pads

Lastest post 6 days ago

First time doing this, I have to be 100% confident. Are there any risks and potential failures that have to be considered before switching the disc brake pads? I just bought the same pads I have had before, Shimano B01S resin. Will switchem th tomorrow hopefully. Nothing much can go wrong, right?...

Read more

Hi all. Couple more questions from the mountain biking beginner. What tool is the best for unmounting/mounting disc brake rotors? I currently have CUBE ZX20 32H wheelset if that helps. Also how can I fix a very slightly bent rotor? It's not very noticeable but still bothers me with that sound ... squeeks against the pads once in a while....

Read more

Using Evapo-rust for bolts

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

I just wanted to show how I rescue rusty bits and pieces using Evapo-rust. does a decent job for just soaking, letting it work, then rinse and lightly scrub and then off to the bench polisher. this is how to start off and I will post pics of the finished bolts when complete. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. ...

Read more

Hello, bike riders! In order to improve forum members' experience, we have implemented an option to mark your threads/questions as solved ✅ Currently we have added this option only for the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics section, and threads can be marked as solved only by the thread's author or forum moderator. Such addition will allow forum members and new visitors to identify 1) already solve...

Read more

I am the original owner of Cannondale Quick 2016, which I have purchased from one of the Authorized Cannondale shops. Everything went well to begin with, and the bike rode very well. But one day, while cycling on a straight, tarmacked road, all of a sudden my front wheel begun to wobble uncontrollably; the wobble was strong enough to set me straight under a heavy traffic, it was a very near miss. ...

Read more

xposting this to a few forums as I truly don't know where to start! Link to current setup https://imgur.com/a/Uxwkd54 I come from a car repair background and am trying to learn more about bikes. I have a bianchi I use to commute, and an ol' fuji single speed I'm using as a learner. Just toyed around on the brakes a minute and one part broke (old). Yay! New parts! But how do I know which caliper...

Read more

Brake pads for Old Peugeot

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

Hello! Recently I was "given" an old Peugeot bike. Checking its decails and the number on the shift derailleur I found out is from 1982. The brakes and brake pads are original. I might not replace the brakes just yet, but will for sure replace the pads since they´re old an hardened. Do any of you know which pads might suit this?   BRAKES.jpg (Size: 149.58 KB / Downloads: 10) ht...

Read more

Shimano chain master link

Lastest post 2 weeks ago

Hi. I have Shimano HG601 chain 11-speed and I want to add the master link to it. Watched some videos but I have to be 100% sure, that is why I hereby present my brief plan: 1. there is a black link in the chain 2. I use the chain tool to push that black pin out 3. then I add the master link 4. finish up with using the special tongs to press that master link into the chain Does this look like a g...

Read more

Almost finished by bike upgrade, only to find my freehub is too small for new cassette. Is it possible to upgrade the freehub from 10 speed to 11 speed or do I have to buy new wheels? Wheels are Shimano RX05......

Read more

Seized bike stem?

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

Hiya, on tour at the moment. Realising from hand and wrist pins that my flat bars are a bit low for me. I opened the little cap and undid the hex bolt, but the stem seems to have seized to the frame. Any tips on unseizing it without damaging it? Someone suggested wd40, which I don’t have. Would regular chain lube (tf2 all weather) overnight work?...

Read more

Thru Axle 150mm x 15mm needed

Lastest post 3 weeks ago

  IMG_2496.jpg (Size: 203.54 KB / Downloads: 7) asked this question over on /r/fatbike and i'll ask here as well: i bought a used fat bike, a mongoose argus comp, that was upgraded with a rockshox bluto 100mm suspension fork. I have a full squish XC bike, and with no real need for the supsension on the fatbike, i purchased the stock mongoose alloy rigid fork ($50). I am planni...

Read more

Post your own question in the forum