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RS505 cable guides - a cautionary tale

sam wsam w Posts: 21
edited October 2019 in Workshop
A quick tip that might save you a lot of money. The RS505 hydraulic shifters have replaceable cable guides within the body. I'd not considered that these should be treated as a consumable item, the cable slowly wore through the guide and I only realised when it had cut through the shifter body itself and eventually became completely jammed in the ratchet mechanism. I can't see any way to repair the damage, and ended up having to buy a new shifter.

Replacement cable guides cost less than £2 (Cable Guide A - Right - Y03N75000 or Cable Guide A - Left - Y03M75000), a new shifter costs £140. I'd recommend replacing every time you put in a new cable, mine wore through after a few months of use, there was no visible damage to the cable or any other factors that would obviously accelerate wear.

Couple of photos for illustration
Shifter body as it should look
39763616454_5d36271c19_z.jpgshifter-1020908 by Sam W2, on Flickr

Shifter body with damage
39763616174_b0d74a240f_z.jpgshifter-1020914 by Sam W2, on Flickr

Posts

  • me-109me-109 Posts: 1,173
    But surely the guide is just the clear/white plastic along the cable route away from that exit hole? Looks like the hole is worn through and changing that bit won't help.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,073
    Looking at the EV view doc., I can see the guide A you are referring to, fits at the front end of the inboard side of the shifter body, where the shifter cable exits the ratchet mechanism. It needs to be made of a more durable material IMO. Can't see any mention in the Shimano DM doc. of regular inspection/replacement, so good call on your part.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,073
    me-109 wrote:
    But surely the guide is just the clear/white plastic along the cable route away from that exit hole? Looks like the hole is worn through and changing that bit won't help.

    ME, the white guide you can see in the photographs is the end of the longer guide B no 5. The OP hasn't fitted the new guide A no. 6, to his new shifter, top photo. All is clear in EV-ST-RS505-3902.pdf
  • sam wsam w Posts: 21
    Just to clarify, the white cable guide was fitted when the damage occurred, but isn't shown in the photo.

    The cable cut right through the white plastic guide, then through the black plastic of the shifter body. I initially tried fitting a new white plastic guide, but it pulled straight through the gap in the black plastic and got caught in the ratchet mechanism.

    Seems like a design flaw, and agree with comment above that the (removable) guide should be made of a more durable material. Also agree the manual ought to mention that the cable guide needs inspecting regularly to check for wear.

    Right hand shifter with knackered gear shift but working hydraulics currently available on ebay
  • sam wsam w Posts: 21
    Here's a photo of an (undamaged) cable guide that's missing in the photos above

    815WzNtxC-L._SY463_.jpg
  • sam wsam w Posts: 21
    An update to this, I've just had the same happen on the left hand lever, except in this case the white, replaceable, cable guide hasn't worn through. The body of the shifter has simply collapsed under the strain of the cable. No warning, obviously given the problems I had with the right hand shifter I've been keeping a close eye on it, took it apart a week ago and all looked fine. Very frustrating, feels like a design or manufacturing flaw
  • Seems i,m not the only one. Had the same problem, so bought a new shifter, and.... Did exactly the same. At £170 each, this is a terrible design. I have contacted the seller for a refund, tho, i,m not very optimistic. Sadly many items are purchasable except the main body which is the culprit. Will update soon.
  • This has just happened to me too on the left shifter and the cable has chewed through the plastic of the shifter body. I can't believe my whole shifter is ruined because of the failure of a tiny plastic cable housing. Has anyone been able to bodge this somehow to fill the gap in the shifter body?
  • Worried this may be happening to the right shifter on my Cube...

    Is a symptom of this happening related to sprocket shifting failing?

    Part way through Sunday's short blast, for the first time I've been aware, the shifting would work fine on the 32T-18T (or maybe 16T) but the derailleur would not shift from the lever on the smaller sprockets.

    Probably worth mentioning I moved the cassette from my Hunt to Fulcrum rear wheel on Sunday. I wasn't aware of a shifting problem after the transfer and during the first half of the ride, but then again, I didn't specifically test the whole shifting range after the transfer and I wouldn't have had much need for the 14-11 sprockets early on the ride while heading up to Beacon Hill.
    ================
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • sam wsam w Posts: 21
    First sign of problems is bad downshifts and loss of access to the higher gears. This is because the cable is getting pulled into the shift mechanism, and unsurprisingly the spring tension from the rear mech isn't enough to overcome the added friction.

    I had a look at repairing the shifter body, but came to the conclusion that it was going to be impossible with a home workshop. With better facilities you might be able to machine some kind of metal sleeve, but can't see it being cheaper than buying a new shifter.
  • Worried this may be happening to the right shifter on my Cube...

    Is a symptom of this happening related to sprocket shifting failing?

    Part way through Sunday's short blast, for the first time I've been aware, the shifting would work fine on the 32T-18T (or maybe 16T) but the derailleur would not shift from the lever on the smaller sprockets.

    Probably worth mentioning I moved the cassette from my Hunt to Fulcrum rear wheel on Sunday. I wasn't aware of a shifting problem after the transfer and during the first half of the ride, but then again, I didn't specifically test the whole shifting range after the transfer and I wouldn't have had much need for the 14-11 sprockets early on the ride while heading up to Beacon Hill.

    Just had another look at the right shifter with the hood peeled back, the white plastic guide looks longer than in OP photos and looks OK.

    However, I flipped the Cube upside down and successfully managed to shift into the 11T sprocket, which was great until I tried to shift towards the 32T sprocket... Not interested, not a single click from the shifter.

    Started to worry the shifter was now wrecked, but had another look at the white cable guide and discovered the cable had sheared and one end was now inside the guide! :shock:

    No shifter cable sets in the spares box, not sure I've ever done a gear cable replacement, nevermind one with internal frame cabling and I was hoping to go hill climbing over the next few days off work... Got a feeling I'm going to end up using the rear derailleur limit screw to pick something like the 16/18/20 sprocket to use with the 34/50 chainrings as a 2-speed system to get me to around Warnford and then climb cat4s that typically hit at least 7%. Tackling Harvesting Lane that hits 15%, nevermind Milland Hill that hits 25% and I want to climb for the first time will be off the cards. :(
    ================
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • I've had the same thing happen to me on the left shifter.

    Lost tension making changes into the big ring difficult/temperamental, and then on the way home from work the next day I lost shifting altogether. A quick Google lead me to this thread so I thought I'd take a look to see if I'd suffered a similar fate...

    First thing I noticed was the curved upper cable guide was "sinking" in at the top causing the bottom half to stick out non-flush with the straight cable guide:

    aou4wCM.jpg


    I removed the gear cable and cable guide (which wasn't damaged in any way), and low-and-behold the plastic beneath the cable guide had perished and torn open - hence why the curve cable guide was at an odd angle (sinking in to the hole in the plastic beneath):

    E70b8Bq.jpg


    I tried to fix it with some chemical putty (EvoStick Hard & Fast) by filling in the hole - I used the cable guide to help form the shape and not block the cable route:

    GZ54CZs.jpg


    Unfortunately, this didn't work. The cable guide still wouldn't really sit in flush, and when I re-ran the cable for testing the gear change would just cause the top cable guide to pop in and out (see video below) and the front derailleur doesn't move a millimetre:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/2E5j32AvB78MHzz18

    So, it looks like I'm going to need to buy a new shifter.

    Am I right in thinking I can reuse the existing hydraulic cables and caliper etc? Also, do I need to drain the existing mineral oil out before I can remove the old shifter then refill when the new one is fitted, or is there a way to keep the fluid in the system whilst I change the shifter?

    Cheers!
  • edward.sedward.s Posts: 124
    If you stay with a 505 shifter then its a straight replacement and all the hoses etc will marry up.

    If you move to the (in my view miles better) r7000/8000/9100 series levers then you would need to use the different gland nut those levers use, they are bigger and have a large flange on them. That'll almost certainly mean a new olive and barb. It'll only shorten the hose about 12mm so you'll probably be fine to use the existing hose.

    If you can pick up a set of r7020 105 levers I'd fit those. Have done the same swap on the missus's winter bike and she likes them a lot more, more comfortable and better shifting.

    The fluid will drain out of the lever, but you may get away with just pushing some new oil up from the caliper once the new levers are in place. In all honesty I'd probably drain and then do a full fill/bleed.

    The new style levers also don't look like some kind of phallic ornament attached to the bars :)
  • me-109me-109 Posts: 1,173
    Just found these for sale on here:
    search.php?&sr=topics&search_id=newposts&start=60
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    I've had the same thing happen to me on the left shifter.

    Lost tension making changes into the big ring difficult/temperamental, and then on the way home from work the next day I lost shifting altogether. A quick Google lead me to this thread so I thought I'd take a look to see if I'd suffered a similar fate...

    First thing I noticed was the curved upper cable guide was "sinking" in at the top causing the bottom half to stick out non-flush with the straight cable guide:

    aou4wCM.jpg


    Ugh, think I have the same problem as this.

    Came to change the cable on Sunday and the thing wouldn't budge out of the holder. The guide is sticking out like yours.

    Has anyone had any look with warranty claim? Bike is 18 months old now but seems like a quite common problem.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Oh censored . I think they are the shifters on the bike I recommended to a colleague when he wanted ideas for his long service award.

    Mind you, the bloke in the bike shop did a pretty good job of persuading him that carbon fibre has the structural integrity of candyfloss, so I'm not sure he's actually ridden the thing yet...
  • elcanielcani Posts: 280
    Shimano warranty is two years, isn’t it?
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    Just thought I'd check back in on this.

    I received a warranty replacement on sat after 8 weeks back and forth with CRC. And would have been another 2-3 weeks for a decision from Shimano if CRC hadn't initially lost my shifters.

    Long story short, I was offered a replacement before they found them so they stuck to their initial offer.

    Worth anyone in future trying your luck, but can't say for certain Shimano would cover warranty - thinking I might have been lucky despite the wait.
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