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Rebuild or Replacement of 1991 Deore DX Shifter

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Cowtown Offline
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Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013
Post: #1
Rebuild or Replacement of 1991 Deore DX Shifter
Hi all!

New member here and already looking for help. I have an ancient Specialized Rockhopper Comp mountain bike. After a decade + of non-use, I'm looking to prep it for basic use (exercise, light trails, general trashing). Unfortunately, the shifter for the front derailleur is non-functional. I can shift to the big chainring, but it instantly drops back to the small (3 x 7 drivetrain). I need to either rebuild the shifter (pita) or replace it with something equivalent.

Being the bike isn't worth much, I hate to spend tons on it, but I do have friends that can help out if I can find parts. I have not been able to find a "vintage" DX shifter.

Any suggestions? I will probably buy a new bike in the next year, so its not a biggie, but I do look forward to riding old school!

Even a diagram showing how its assembled would be helpful in the event it can be rebuilt.

Thanks in advance


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Jul 30, 2013 04:03 PM
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Joe_W Offline
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Posts: 1,177
Joined: Jul 2009
Post: #2
RE: Rebuild or Replacement of 1991 Deore DX Shifter
It might be a gummed up ratchet. You can use eg. Triflow to wash that gunk out. If you cannot fix it, replace with about any other Shimano MTB shifter. The ones for the front are really inexpensive if you order last year's or older part.

Oh, and please replace your brake pads!
Jul 31, 2013 03:46 AM
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Cowtown Offline
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Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013
Post: #3
RE: Rebuild or Replacement of 1991 Deore DX Shifter
Thank you for the info. I tried the Triflow thing and unfortunately it didn't work. I'll find a suitable replacement.

And I'll replace the brake pads. They're more like hard plastic than rubber at this point!
Jul 31, 2013 09:56 AM
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RBurrelli Offline
Senior Member


Posts: 184
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #4
RE: Rebuild or Replacement of 1991 Deore DX Shifter
You also might check the shifter cable. It could be frayed or rusted in the housing causing some friction. Possibily disconnect the cable from the shiter and then see how it functions.
Jul 31, 2013 10:48 AM
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Joe_W Offline
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Posts: 1,177
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Post: #5
RE: Rebuild or Replacement of 1991 Deore DX Shifter
Actually better remove the cable from the housing but leave in the shifter and see if it moves correctly by pulling it a bit with one hand and shifting with the other.
Aug 1, 2013 04:51 AM
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1FJEF Offline
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Northern Mexico (Central CA)
Posts: 650
Joined: May 2011
Post: #6
RE: Rebuild or Replacement of 1991 Deore DX Shifter
(Jul 30, 2013 04:03 PM)Cowtown Wrote:  I have not been able to find a "vintage" DX shifter.
Thanks in advance
Deore DX Shifters are on Ebay for about $50. Just do a thumb shifter search on Amazon & you'll find a ton of $10-$30 options with or without an integral brake lever (watch it, new levers are normally designed for V-brakes). Your picture looks like it's an integral set up that isn't what I call ancient.
It's got V-brakes, right?
If you bought a new integral shifter/brake lever, you could buy excellent Kool Stop Supra 2 pads for $11 or a new front V-brake set w/pads for $16ish. Add $8 for a front cable if you are switching from cantilevers to V-brakes.
If you need cantilever brake shoes- spend $10 & get Kool Stop Eagle Claw 2 in SALMON. This style of brake from Kool Stop really works, I've tried just about every variation of rim brake they make. I use the Supra2 which is the style for less ancient (your words) V-type brakes.
Aug 1, 2013 05:36 AM
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