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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone spray a little lubricant into their shifters? I spray a tiny amount of WD40... but wondered whether there was anything better? I am mindful of the plastic (nylon?) parts inside.. nylon has good oil resistance thopugh.. so maybe spraying in a smidge of spray grease would be a good idea for silky smoothness?
 

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ixnay on the ubble-u dee forty-ay.

Look for a good lightweight grease. I use Tri-Flo grease in a tube (not to be confused with their oil or their aerosol). WD-40 can do more harm than good -- it's crappy lube that displaces good lube, and gets sticky pretty quickly.
 

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Petroleum based products can eat away the polymer seals and parts on your bike. It's best to stay with synthetic products. There are too many other bike-specific options out there so look around. That said, it's not always a good idea to lube everything on your bike even if it does move. Make sure you read your service manual for manufacturer restrictions regarding your bearings, pivot joints, etc.
 

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I remember one mechanic who recommended a graphite type lubricant after thoroughly cleaning the mechanism (I think with WD40 but not sure) and drying it out (with compressed air) before applying the graphite lube...a search will probably yield some results...
 

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kronik said:
Does anyone spray a little lubricant into their shifters? I spray a tiny amount of WD40... but wondered whether there was anything better? I am mindful of the plastic (nylon?) parts inside.. nylon has good oil resistance thopugh.. so maybe spraying in a smidge of spray grease would be a good idea for silky smoothness?
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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MikeDee said:
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
hmmm, if it ain't broke, maintain it?

I've found a teflon based spray to work well in shifters. I generally spray the crap out of them from though the cable removal port, allowing the lube to leak out, cycle the shifter, clean up the mess you've made and ride your bike :)
 

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Lab Worker said:
hmmm, if it ain't broke, maintain it?

I've found a teflon based spray to work well in shifters. I generally spray the crap out of them from though the cable removal port, allowing the lube to leak out, cycle the shifter, clean up the mess you've made and ride your bike :)
Where does the manufacturer recommend this type of service? I've only heard of recovering sticking road STI shifters by spraying TriFlow in the shifter, but not as normal maintenance.

My read is that there is grease lubing the inner parts of a shifter, and spraying lube in there dilutes and flushes out the grease - not a good thing unless the grease has hardened.

I wouldn't do anything to a shifter unless it doesn't work properly.
 

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MikeDee said:
Where does the manufacturer recommend this type of service? I've only heard of recovering sticking road STI shifters by spraying TriFlow in the shifter, but not as normal maintenance.

My read is that there is grease lubing the inner parts of a shifter, and spraying lube in there dilutes and flushes out the grease - not a good thing unless the grease has hardened.

I wouldn't do anything to a shifter unless it doesn't work properly.
Shimano doesn't provide any recommendations on how to maintain products that are used in the mud and dirt.

After a year or two (or ten) of offroad (or even road) use, there won't be much of the factory grease left in a shifter. Shifters arn't very well sealed to the elements, whatever grease was in there from new will wash away reasonably quickly. With the nylon ratchets used in Shimano shifters I can't see a problem with flushing out contaminates that will only wear down the nylon teeth untill the shifter fails to engage correctly, or flushing out the larger chucks that jam the little tiny return springs.

There is no highspeed movement or continious movement in a shifter, so my view is that a light, high quality lube (like the Triflow you mentioned), used regularly on a shifter will not cause any damage.

BTW: you can often recover a mountain shifter as well as a road STI by flushing it with spray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nylon is kind of self-lubricating, but many people who specifiy and assemble nylon gearing often pack the gears with grease e.g. drill and radio controlled car manufacturers.

I think spraying in a bit of good synthetic oil is a good idea. Shifters work nice afterwards.
 

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Yes its generally a good idea to keep them oiled after prolonged use particularly if theres a lot of wet riding and mud involved. Do it when you feel them kind of sticking. Most worn out shimano shifters are in fact just dirty and cruded up inside. WD40 is good to flush them clean but it acts as more of a degreaser than a lube. I would recommend a thick almost grease like oil so it stays put. Make sure to nicely saturate everything so it works its way inside everything. I usually use Tri-Flow. I can't remember the exact kind right now but it comes in a squirt bottle and is extremely thick. Much more so than the kind you would put on your chain. Works miracles on dirty shifters.
 
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