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Alivio Rapidfire Front Shifter.. Can only shift to 2nd gear (middle ring)
#1
My alivio Rapidfire front shifter seems to be stuck to the 2nd gear (indicator) no matter how I shift it to the 3rd gear. I tried adjusting the cables down to the front derailer (following the nice videos here on adjusting derailers) but it seems the shifter is the problem. I can only shift 1 to 2 then 2 to 1 but not going to the 3rd. I cannot feel any tension from the shifter if I try to shift 2nd to 3rd. (cables are attached properly)

I detached the cable from the front derailer just to see if the shifter is the problem. I can switch from 1 to 2 but not to 3rd.

I am not quite familiar with the internal mechanism of an alivio front shifter but I just want to throw a wild question. Is there any lock/or limit adjustment that can be set in the internal mechanism of an alivio rapid fire front shifter so you can control the maximum gear change (like if you have only 2 chain rings) =).

This shifter has been working pretty well since i bought my bike 4 years ago but not until now.


thanks for your help.
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#2
There's no internal lockout. A couple things might cause this. First question is if you can push the shifter (and derailleur) into "3rd gear" (outer chainring) but it just drops back to 2nd. The other alternative is that from second you can't move the shifter any farther.

If you can keep moving the shifter, but it won't hold 3rd, it might not be catching the 3rd 'tooth' inside to hold 3rd gear. It could be that the internals are just gummed up or there is actually something broken inside. I've had good luck flushing these type of shifters with chain lube to get old gummy ones working again. There are lots of little springs and pals that must move cleanly for the shifter to catch.

If the shifter stops at 2nd, is it possible you have the cable so tight that when the chain is on the inner chainring, you are already on position 2 on the shifter? Sometimes people confuse the first "click" with first gear (inner chainring). 1st gear is the tension all the way released on the shifter. Shifting to the first "click" would be 2nd gear, etc.
I wouldn't worry too much about what the gear indicator says, those things can break or mis-read even if the shifter itself is fine.

Last thought, if you put the outer limit screw on the derailleur in too far, it would block the shifter from being able to push the derailleur to 3rd gear (outer).
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#3
Have you changed the cable recently?
Pull the cable out and check if the changer works then.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#4
Hi Dave,

I just had it fixed, and you are correct on the 3rd "tooth" not holding third gear. The gear "tooth" was stucked due to dirt and I had it oiled and physically did some play on that "tooth" to remove dirt. And that did the trick. It is now shifting happily 1, 2, 3... Thanks for the videos on reconditioning shifters, it did help a lot.

Mon
(12-04-2009, 05:08 PM)cyclerUK Wrote:  Have you changed the cable recently?
Pull the cable out and check if the changer works then.

Hi CyclerUK,

Yes, i had the cable changed as well after the shifter went ok. My shifter problem was due a gear tooth not holding up as pointed by DaveM in his post. Had it oiled and it is shifting ok now.

Thanks,
Mon
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#5
Oil, like time, heals all wounds...
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