Author Topic: Easy shifter rubber repair  (Read 1522 times)

steve216c

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Easy shifter rubber repair
« on: April 16, 2021, 06:29:35 PM »
I bought my bike 2nd hand with old style Rohloff twister. The problem was the rubber was beginning to perish and it was sticky and not so nice to use. As the replacement rubbers are no longer produced, I first tried tape over the rubber. But that didn't hold too long. Then I had more success with talcum powder which at least stopped the sticky residue and left my hands smelling baby fresh. And as luck would have it, I managed to source a shop in Prague and brought their very last replacement grip and all was well.

But this irked me. I like the triangular grip, and feel irritated at the thought of having to buy a complete new shifter when the next rubber fails. At least until I spotted something on the net that just might work.

I ordered myself some shrink rubber from AliExpress :https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33024658608.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.51527039eyBXRj&algo_pvid=4879d00f-ca6d-46ca-a2f8-0112d627a71a&algo_expid=4879d00f-ca6d-46ca-a2f8-0112d627a71a-8&btsid=0b0a556816185923855095828e892e&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_, and 4-6 weeks later my shrink rubber arrived. Simply cut to length and heat (hot air or boiling water does the trick in seconds) and the rubber girth shrinks to whatever is under it. The length of the rubber you cut stays the same. I cut the excess rubber after shrinking to grip on the first attempt realizing this wasn't actually necessary. Better cut to length as it will be cleaner looking when fixed.

I tried it on my old shifter grip. Success. Then tried on my shaped grips which are beginning to wear. The new like appeals to me. I haven't tried the grip shift as the new one is already mounted and working. But I have now ridden a week on the shrink rubber grips and have had no issues. Everything sits tight. All is good.

For those who don't mind the wait for the slow boat from you know where, I can recommend investing the under GBP 4- including postage for a meter of this stuff and use it to extend the useful life of your grip shift and grips- or to customize them in your favourite available colour  ;D

I took 50mm diameter. The rubber pre shrinking has a little give. 45mm would have been fine for the grip shifter itself. I probably could have used 45mm on my shaped grips too for a tighter post heat shrink to fit than 50mm gave me. If you have non shaped grips, then take 45mm which I am pretty sure would fit the Rohloff twister better too.

Here are some photos of my shrink grip rubber grip fix:







and finally to compare new shifter rubber next to repaired shrink grip shifter and matching grip:


One of my colleagues already asked if I can do his bike grips too. His favorites have seen better days, and liked the look when he saw my bike at work this week. With 1m of tube, I still have plenty left to use for other projects.





« Last Edit: April 16, 2021, 07:36:38 PM by steve216c »
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

Danneaux

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2021, 09:25:52 PM »
Sure looks good, Steve, and a super photo-tutorial and results shots. Well done!

Best,

Dan.

PH

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2021, 09:53:08 PM »
Never heard of the stuff, but I have some Ergon grips that would benefit from recovering.

John Saxby

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2021, 09:56:03 PM »
Thanks, Steve.  Well done and nicely explained in text and photos.  This is useful stuff indeed.  I've used shrink-wrap covering for electrical connections, but I didn't realize it came in much larger diameters.

Cheers, J.

Matt2matt2002

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2021, 10:29:07 PM »
A great topic with excellent pictures and step by step instructions.
Could you clarify a couple of points for me please?

Are you re-covering the Rohloff gear shifter or/ and the hand grips?

I had the old model gear shifter and thought the design poor. While on my clockwise circumnavigation of Sri Lanka in '16 ( 2016, I'm old but not that old, wink wink ), the extremely high temperatures made my palms sweaty and it was almost dangerous at times with the lack of grip.
I improvised on the fly with my go-to must have on every tour, piece of gear; rubber bands.
This did the trick and I completed the tour safely.

I replaced the shifter with the up-dated model and have completed several further ( hot) foreign tours with no issues. However close examination shows some wear so I am interested to know if your covering includes the shifter.

Many thanks again for the pictures and guide.

Best

Matt
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

steve216c

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2021, 10:48:22 PM »
A great topic with excellent pictures and step by step instructions.
Could you clarify a couple of points for me please?

Are you re-covering the Rohloff gear shifter or/ and the hand grips?


Both. My intention was to restore the old grip shifter to make a non sticky spare. And by the time the rubber arrived the grips were getting tired so I did them too. But as I have a newly fitted grip shifter rubber so I left that on my bike untouched.
One of the photos shows new shifter next to wrapped shifter next to wrapped hand grip just for comparison. .
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

Matt2matt2002

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2021, 11:48:44 PM »
Ah yes. I see now.

Matt had his slow hat on today.
Many thanks.

Best

Matt
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

mickeg

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2021, 11:16:33 PM »
Looks like that is the first generation grip.  Mine, purchased in 2013 is the second generation, it is much rounder in shape than yours.  And the grip abrades easily, plus it was hard to grip if I had ungloved wet hands.  I tried several solutions, including at one time stretching some inner tube rubber over it. 

But, the solution I found to work best was to add three beads of Shoe Goo (black, not clear) and that gives it a shape closer to triangular like yours.  Used two or maybe three layers to form the beads.  Not sure if Shoe Goo is sold where you are, I am in USA, the clear version is easy to buy but the black version is rare.  I bought the black on Amazon.  If you are not familiar with Shoe Goo, it is a viscous liquid sold in a tube like a toothpaste tube, you can apply it to worn shoe soles and it hardens up to become like a replacement rubber that is very durable way to build up shoe sole material.
https://www.acehardware.com/departments/home-and-decor/cleaning-and-disinfectants/shoe-care/8258766

Photos are from October 2016.  I am using the Hubbub adapter to mount my Rohloff shifter on the end of drop bars on my Nomad Mk II.  And this looks like it will last longer than I will, as it looks like that today.

steve216c

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Re: Easy shifter rubber repair
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2021, 05:29:45 AM »
I remember Shoe Goo from youthful days trying to extend the life of the soles on my favourite Converse boots. Good stuff that did what it said on the tube.

I havenít found it available in Germany but I had read reports, possibly yours, suggesting this as a solution to such problems. I did find a number of glues on AliExpress that appeared to have similar properties and had pondered such a tube as an experiment.

As I mentioned, I was able to source a brand new old stock replacement grip shift rubber so my needs were resolved but I was curious if the very cheap shrink rubber would hold on my spare old grip and on my not so old but wearing hand grips. As the shrink rubber shrinks to the shape of the material below including its contours it probably works on new shape grip too. And the various colours available lend themselves to styling experiments not necessarily available easily on the mss as ršt but that look pretty finished and professional once done- much like vinyl car wrapping used to customise a car vice respraying. It only covers the substance below as a cosmetic solution.

The shrink rubber does not perform a permanent bond with the rubber and can be removed using sharp knife easily if needed to return to previous conditions.

I donít know how well the shrink rubber will hold over time. But I plan to use it on other otherwise sound but aged looking grips on the family bikes to extend their usefulness assuming my first attempt continues to hold.

As for Shoo Goo, I am sure there are other uses beyond shoe repairs the makers never envisaged like yours. And as long as people like you or me experiment on alternative uses to solve unrelated problems, it makes for interesting life hacks and may help others out suffering similar issues to find other solutions too.

If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...