Ultegra lever travel

muzzan Posts: 203
edited February 2013 in Road beginners
Hi folks,

Just started using ultegra regularly on new bike. Like it, seems very smooth. However if there is one thing I would change is the lever travel when moving to the smaller cogs on the rear shifter. It seems I have to move the lever a fair way before it engages, I would rather it was a more instant engagement. Is this adjustable? Had a look at the shimano docs & it seems you can adjust the brake lever travel using their shims, but says nothing about the gear levers.

I'm also fairly sure I test rode some other ultegra bikes which had an earlier engagement of the lever. Is it maybe something to do with cable tension? Dont really want to start messing too much as the gears are shifting nicely but if there is an easy adjustment I'm missing would appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks a lot


  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    edited February 2013
    Lever travel for gears is not adjustable, only for the brakes.

    If cable tension was wrong the indexing would not be correct, so this sounds unlikely as you say the shifting is nice.

    Edit: If the levers are nice and solid with no rattles I would say they are functioning as they should.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • muzzan
    muzzan Posts: 203
    Right, ok, well thats fair enough, thanks. Thought one of the other bikes I'd ridden had a shorter travel, but maybe I'm wrong. Not a major issue, just a bit surprised theres maybe 3-4 cm of travel before the shifter engages, not sure why this would be? Esp as the upshift (smaller to larger) engages fairly instantly.

    Anyway thanks for the info :-)
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Do you mean for each gear or just when changing down from the highest gear (smallest cog on cassette)? If the latter it may just be that there's too much slack in the cable in top gear so you just need to pull it through a bit and tweak the adjustment to get it nice again. If the former I'd be surprised - I never noticed that much travel between changes when I was running Ultegra. Its big selling point is its smooth and responsive change.

    Don't get bogged down into thinking that indexing is either difficult or something you should never touch. Cables bed in, indexing goes a bit out as much as brakes occasionally need closing up, and it's the easiest thing in the world to get it right again - get the cable tension just about taut in the highest gear if needs be, nip the cable clamp up then adjust using the rear thumb adjuster for coarse adjustment and the inline barrel for fine tuning. Go a quarter of a turn at a time, and if it gets worse not better turn it the other way instead. For that reason, always start with the adjusters about halfway along their travel to give you plenty in each direction. It won't need much, as long as you can drop the chain onto the highest gear and find that the cable just has a little bit of tension in it as your start point. You'll soon learn to gauge how much that is.
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    I've had 6700 Ultegra for over 3 years now and all that time 'underwhelmed' by its performance in shifting...
    Shimano actually got it right with its Sora.
  • muzzan
    muzzan Posts: 203

    Thanks, it really isnt a problem with the actual shifting which seems fine. Its just that the distance you need to move the smaller shift lever to when up shifting the rear mech seems to me to be a bit too much & I had hoped this was adjustable so that the shift would engage a bit more instantly?

    I'm not afraid of changing the indexing, its just that the indexing seems fine at the moment, its just the lever travel I would like to reduce if possible.
  • That's how the groupset works, unfortunately.

    The best bet is to get SRAM or Di2 when you next upgrade if you want a groupset where you don't have to move the levers so much to shift.
  • muzzan
    muzzan Posts: 203
    OK, well certainly seems to be the case that theres no simple fix for this, it really isnt a big deal, sure I will get used to it. Got SRAM on the other bike & have not been super impressed, happy with the nice smooth changes on the ultegra so I will get on with enjoying the bike. Thanks for the replies.