Shimano Shifter Not Returning [3 Key Reasons Explained]

Got stuck into shifters as it stops functioning to return? And now you are wondering whether you should reach for professional help or utilize DIY. 

Well, we get your situation closely. Worry not, confusions often come and go! 

We have prepared better planning for you. This article will guide you to reach proper solutions.

So, which factors lie behind the Shimano shifter not returning issue?

Generally, sticky triggers, coming with dirt make the shifter not return. Biking grease coming near to dust entirely makes the trigger clogging. Sticky arms also might lie behind to make the shifter broken. A faster solution depends on picking ideal sprays and observing the number of clicks.

In this article, we will show you how to solve this through the DIY process. A variety of reasons here will help you differentiate the solutions faster. 

So, let’s dig deeper!

How To Make Shimano Shifter Return

We feel you as these situations usually confine us in trouble. We are elaborating on some reasons and solutions out here. 

Hopefully, things will become more clear and more understandable to you the next time! Now, let’s dig deeper to know why Shimano shifter not returning!

Reason 1: Getting Dust

Shimano Shifter Not Returning [3 Key Reasons Explained]

Shimano brand comes with several biking components. Meanwhile, trigger finger types arrive mostly in a pair. One trigger works for the thumb while the rest appears for the index finger.

Source: amazon

Grease there usually gets full of dust over time. Also, you will find that the inner condition of triggers gets dried. As the tiny compacted spring full of dirt gets easily crammed with the tough grease.

As a result, it doesn’t stay as good as it should be. So, getting the best outcome from it becomes difficult. 

Consequently, dissipating grease oil into the outside is another common scenario due to this problem. 

That’s why the trigger issues are quite hectic. In the meantime, having a lack of soft grease puts us into real trouble, isn’t it?


The first approach should be spraying. Relevantly, these sprays help to prevent squeaks. And you will find losing rusted parts through these too. 

Sprays like this have a big role in front derailleur moving issues too.

After applying, these will break down screws and bolts. Remember, don’t consider them lubricant! Most users make this mistake often. 

However, sprays come with a depth of greasiness but contain much water. As a result, it breaks down tough things so quickly.

Here’s our recommendation for lubes you can use.

Reason 2: Not Getting Enough Click

As your bike’s shifter stops working, both shifters may not click properly. Usually, it can click 2-3 times while pushing the thumb trigger on the first try. 

Does it engage? Not really! Try out again and see if you find the same clicks as previous. Mostly, it stops clicking and engaging.

This problem is quite peculiar and interesting. Telling you why! You must need to be more attentive and concerned to dig deeper into this issue. While you get Shimano 9 speed, it will generate 8 upshift clicks. 

Similarly, 7 speed comes with 6 clicks indeed. Got the pattern in it? 

That’s right! When this rule gets broken in your bike, it results in a shifter problem. Thus, the thumb shifter will stop engaging.

Exploring 10 speed derailleurs carrying 9 speed shifters might give you a clear idea!


To solve this, let’s check the hole between the finger index trigger and the thumb shifter. A plastic cap you will find there. So, it’s the right time to take it out by using a screwdriver.

No need for any hard pushing! Just rotate the screw 3-4 times and here you go! Now, you get the access to move inside once the cap comes out. 

Remember what biking spray we brought to this discussion? That’s right! Take a cloth piece for safety and spray the inside part. 

Also, having a safety goggle will keep you tension-free while spraying. It will also prevent health hazards from spitting liquid back to you. 

However, WD-40 sprays come with a larger insertion pipe. So, everything goes hassle-free. Just push it inside as long as it can go. 

Meanwhile, the foam will be coming out due to its tiny inner area. 

Don’t get tense if all the cracks and crevices show up! It’s quite common. You may see lots of cracks coming outside. 

These tiny pieces stay in there as imposters for so long! Clap to yourself that you have done the critical part already. 

Now, It’s time to make your own verdict. Going all perfect including downshift and triggers? Getting all clicks with a nice sound? 

Then congratulations! You have made the cracks out of the shifter. Also, on this occasion, it made your bike cleaner.

Reason 3: Sticky Arm

Got a sticky arm coming with dust in the trigger? You might relate this issue to the previous one. 

However, each issue has got different ways to deal with it. Biking grease and dust altogether clog the trigger. 

As a result, it remains unable or difficult to move. Also, you can not flip it back with the spring engaging to the gear.


At first, you need to unloosen the shifter and flip it up. Then look at the top and detach the cap from the body. You will also be required to take the whole case off. 

It’s not that complicated as unscrewing the barrel adjuster will shoot you there. Meanwhile, you may put focus on the arm between two triggers. The arm catches teeth from the inner circle mechanism. 

As a result, you hear clicking sounds from this! As you get into trouble, teeth might not be working well, right? 

Simply you can apply here WD-40 just like before. Also, don’t forget to forcefully stop teeth while clicking. 

That’s how the jammed state gets loosening. All of a sudden, you may find the arm workable while clicking the downshift continuously. This is also like indexing gears.

Added Tip

Sometimes things might not get changed in real-time. It’s not a big deal indeed. 

What you need is to show patience during this period. Forcefully letting something be done is always dangerous. 

Also, your relentless try may not get the predicted success overnight. After a while, clicks will get to work, and everything you will find perfect.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How To Solve My Gear Shifter Clunking On The Bike?

If your gear shifter is clunking on the bike, you need some adjustments. Usually, adjusting the indexing is the major solution. It will disallow all sorts of cable stretching as a part of the bedding-in process. To do this, you need a hex key. It helps fit the derailleur cable retention bolt.

Why Are My Front Derailleurs Not Working?

Front derailleurs may not work if your bike gets derailleurs having lackings in the proper position. Also, non-adjusted limit screws may get you into this trouble. And the mechanism might get muddy. Lastly, the cable may get harmed.

How Long Will My Bike Shifter Last?

The durability of your bike shifter depends on the built quality of the shifter. Cheaper shifters coming as twisted types often provide you better durability. Except for these plastic-built bodies. These may run for more than two decades without any major issues.

Final Words

That was all about the Shimano shifter not returning from us. In this article, we tried to gather every reason and solution behind shifter inconveniences.

Hoping, you will have these issues resolved comfortably from next! Let us know if you still get confused! 

That’s all for today! Happy riding!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top