How to Fix a Broken Gear Shifter

A gear shifter is a device on the handlebars of a bicycle that allows the rider to change gears. The gear shifts can be done with just one hand, and in most cases, riders will shift gears while pedaling either down or up hills.  For example, you might need to switch from an easier gear to a harder one not to slow down too much when riding uphill.

How to Fix a Broken Gear Shifter

Likewise, if you are riding downhill, such as on a steep mountain bike trail, you might want to switch your gears for more speed and better control going downhill.  The gear shifting technique varies depending on where and how fast the cyclist is traveling at any given time. Sometimes regular usage of bikes can result in the breaking of the gear shifter. For this reason, today, I will discuss an easy technique on how to fix a broken gear shifter.

Why Gear Shifters Break?

Why Gear Shifters Break

One of the main reasons that gear shifters on bikes break is because they are not maintained properly. Gear shifters need to be lubricated and cleaned regularly. When this does not happen, the friction caused by metal rubbing against metal causes them to break. Another reason why they break is that they are made out of cheap materials. If the part were made of a more durable material, it would last longer.

Required Materials

A pair of needle-nose pliers A screwdriver A small piece of rag or cloth WD40 A wrench Allen key (key size – 10mm) and T25 Torx bit. Chain breaking tool (optional but recommended). – An alternative for this tool is using a piece of Table knife, thin wire, or similarly shaped object to push the pinout from the inside tube. This might be easier if you have no chain-breaking tools at hand. Loctite Thread lock sealant Cable ties Zip ties dental floss cables & wires Selleys

Procedure on How to Fix a Broken Gear Shifter

Step 1:

Notify the mechanic that you need a new shifter assembly*. Get it replaced immediately. You may find the replacement part at your local bike shop. If not, get one shipped online and install it yourself!

Step 2:

Push out the broken pin (which attaches the gear cable to the shifter assembly) using a protective rag or cloth. Make sure that you hold onto the end of the cable with pliers while pushing out the pin, so it doesn’t fly off in any direction or hits someone in the head!

Step 3:

Unscrew the housing cap using a screwdriver. The housing cap will have 4 holes, two for screws and 2 for Allen key attachment (hexagonal shape). Remove screws first, then attach Allen’s key. Loosen it, but don’t remove it yet!

Procedure on How to Fix a Broken Gear Shifter

Step 4:

Spray some WD40 into the tube at the bottom of the shifter assembly. If you do not have any WD40 on hand, use something similar like Selleys No More Nails or white spirit/white gas so that you can slide in new cable & wires easily into the tube.

Step 5:

If your bike has a front derailleur, shift gears to a low gear before pulling out wires through the cable exit hole with pliers and cable cutters (shifter side near crank arm)

Step 6:

Feed new wires through the tube to the inside of the shifter assembly housing.

Step 7:

Slide a piece of cable tie into the hole for cable tie anchor (where cables come out). Make sure it’s not too loose or too tight and that you leave enough space for zip ties later in step 9.

Step 8:

Cut off any excess cable, leaving just enough length to attach a new retaining pin to the shifter assembly. Add some Loctite thread lock sealant onto the end of the cable so that when you push a new retaining pin into place, your gears don’t get stuck again!

Step 9:

Attach Selleys No More Nails / other similar glue-like substances at the broken gear shift pin tip while connecting them back together. Alternatively, you can use a piece of wire or thin metal to push the pin back in from the outside tube (if you have no chain-breaking tool at hand).

Use a Piece of Wire or Thin Metal

Step 10:

Attach zip tie over cable tie. Make sure it’s tightly secured and not too loose or tight. Slide-out excess length of cable for easy removal later on.

Step 11:

Shift gears to high gear and ensure that the broken shifting pin has locked into place inside the housing cap then remove Allen key attachment, screw-in housing cap securely onto shifter assembly using a screwdriver. If doing so causes any problem with the functioning of your gears, Remove them again & check that no other cables are stuck inside! Repeat step 10 if necessary until you fix everything perfectly!

Step 12:

Stretch out the new gear cable and wire either side of the bike’s frame using a flexible material like dental floss or similar. Secure them with zip ties by wrapping around cables at least once then attaching more zip ties to themselves.

Step 13:

To avoid any future damage to housing or shifter assembly, use masking tape to cover sharp edges on the inside area of the housing cap & tube as much as possible!

Step 14:

Break-in your newly installed gear shifter by riding for a while and shifting gears randomly through your entire range, taking care not to smash into other vehicles or obstacles along the way. But watch out when you shift from low to high gears because this may cause the chain to break, so be careful!


The first precaution is to make sure that you wear the right type of gloves. There are different types of gloves, and you need to make sure you have one that will not harm the car and won’t get in your way. The second precaution is to use a mat on the ground where you will be working. This mat is for both the protection of the bike and your own safety while working. The third precaution is using a level head to fix this issue. You might think it’s simple, but if there was something wrong with how it was put together, it might be more difficult than anticipated, so take your time.

You may read also: How to Put a Chainsaw Motor on a Bicycle

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Fix a Gear Shift?

Yes, you can fix a gear shift. Gear shifts are not as complicated as they seem, and it is important to know how to do this yourself to save money on auto repair bills.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Gear Shift?

The cost of fixing the gear shift depends on what needs to be fixed.

If the gear shift is not moving smoothly and feels like it has been damaged, a technician will need to replace the broken parts with new ones. Again, the cost for this would depend on the make and model of your car.

If there is something wrong with your gear shift, but it does not feel like it has been damaged, then a technician will need to inspect it for problems that may be causing your issue. This would cost more than replacing broken parts because you do not know how much work needs to be done before repairs can be made.

How Do You Fix a Loose Gear Shifter?

To fix a loose gear shifter, you should first inspect the car and make sure that it is safe to drive. If you are in doubt about your safety, then don’t drive the car.

Next, take the gear shift knob off of the shifter and examine it for any damage or wear. You may also want to spray some lubricant on the shifter and shift knob before re-installing them if they are worn out. Make sure that all of the gears work properly as well by turning them one at a time while pressing down on each gear button with your other hand.

If none of these solutions help you solve your problem, I would recommend replacing your entire shifter assembly because it is not likely that only one part will be replaced to fix this issue.

What Happens when Gear Linkage Breaks?

The gear linkage can be the part of a car that breaks when the vehicle’s differential or transmission.

When this happens, the gears cannot move, and it will not allow any other parts to work. This may cause damage to the engine and transmission because they are connected through a chain of gears.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Gear Shift?

The process of replacing a gear shift takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.

This is because the gears in the transmission are usually not replaced as they are matched with an engine’s specifications. Instead, only the selector plate and selectors are replaced.

There are two steps that you will need to take for replacing a gear shift:

1) Remove your old gear shift knob or lever

2) Disconnect the negative battery cable and remove it from its socket on the frame

3) Take out your new selector plate by pressing down on it near its mounting points

4) Install your new selector plate by aligning it with the holes in your transmission’s housing.

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