Ultegra Component

Shimano Ultegra 8000 8020 Gear Lever Problems

With less than 1000KM on the bike Neil’s rear changer decided to stop working. Now normally this would be a warranty problem on such a new and barely used bike, however as Neil is a poor student he bought this “New” bike second-hand and therefore has no warranty with it.

Basically what has happened is there is a small spring broken in the lever that needs replacing. A brake lever can be broken down into just a few components, each component having a multitude of parts, the body, the lever, the hydraulic piston and the gear changer.

Ultegra Component

This is the gear changing component in one piece. It can be removed from the brake lever assembly in minutes.

The gear changer unit is small and on the 8020 can be removed from a lever in a matter of minutes, as long as the lever is off the bars.

Unfortunately you cannot buy this small unit, so the broken spring means you have to throw away a lever that costs 200 Euro minimum. Now that is ridiculous.

Two seasons ago Neil had a crash on his old bike with a 8000 lever and it broke, however the spring in that lever was intact so he decided to take it apart, learning in the process how to do it, recovering the spring. One lesson learnt here, a 8000 lever needs the actual lever removed from the body to be able to remove the gear changer component. So of course we removed the lever on the 8020 too, mistake. No need to remove the lever and over an hour spent getting it back together again.

Watch the first of three videos here

So now he stripped down the 8020 lever to get the gear component out, then took that apart and reassembled with the recovered spring, I make this sound easy, but almost certainly 8 hours worth of effort as there was no guide on how to do it. Still what else is there to do in a lock down…

Watch the second and longest video, brake down the component only if you want to do it….

It is possible to repair a 8000 series lever, however Shimano don’t want you too, in preference to spending 200 Euro for a new lever, absolutely outrageous stuff. At the least they should sell the gear mechanism and allow that to be fitted separately if the lever is off the bike a ten minute job.

Eureka, no thanks to Shimano fixed

I know, we live in a consumer world, brakes and gear changers being integrated into one was a great step forward in bicycle technology, but from an environmental point of view is it really OK to be throwing away such a serious piece of bike technology simply because the spring failed…


Fuji XF16-80 and the XF18-55 which one

I was lucky enough to pick up a two week old Fuji XF16-80 for half price. What a bargain and delighted I am to have found it. Side by side the lenses are a fair bit different and despite what others may say, connected to my XT2 the newer lens is substantially bigger and heavier.


Side by side the lenses are physically a lot different.

I wanted for my XT2 a Weather Resistant lens and this is the main reason for me buying this lens as now I have a package I can use in South West Ireland in most weather conditions. I was also expecting the extra reach of the 80mm lens, 120mm 35mm equivalent to be useful. But I was myself a little disappointed with a simple test outside of my office window.

Fuji XF16-80

16-80 at 80mm focal length

18-55 at 55mm focal length

Of course there is a difference but in lot’s of cases nothing that a good pair of legs could not sort out.
On the wider end the 16mm and 18mm focal lengths are not enormously dissimilar.

16-80 at 16mm focal length

18-55 at 18mm focal length

So the reasons that I got the 16-80mm lens are two, it has weather resistance, which is, in my book a useful thing to have on at least one of my lenses and lastly, OIS. Image stabilisation. Since I started shooting video with Fuji, I have almost stopped using a tripod. The OIS on the 18-55 is four stops and on the newer 16-80 it’s 6 stops. This allows me to hand hold the camera in virtually every situation avoiding having to carry a tripod at all. Its a no brainer.

Fuji XF16-80 and the XF18-55 which one

If you are thinking of buying this lens, for me in this not too technical review those two reasons are the only two reasons. I love the 18-55 it’s tiny and you can take it anywhere, as long as it’s not raining. The extra reach of the newer lens is not enough of a reason to get it. Just the WR and OIS are for me the deciding factor, I am keeping the 18-55 for travel as it is considerably smaller and feels lighter.

Both great lenses.

Read my ideas on the X100 series of cameras

Why you should not buy the X100 series from Fuji

Why you should not buy the X100 series from Fuji, is an interesting question, seeing as it is probably the camera that set Fuji back up in business. There have been five versions of the camera:

X100, X100S, X100T, X100F and the current X100V

Currently on Adverts ie for 340€

And what fantastic little cameras they have all been in their allotted time scales. However the reason that maybe a buyer should think of not buying one of these cameras is simple, the XE series of cameras. The XE1, XE2, XE2S and the XE3, are all very similar in specification to each of the X100 cameras, they are not identical but very close. The advantage of the XE series of cameras is simple, if you ever wanted to you can change lenses. So you have a huge range of Prime lenses and Zoom lenses available.

Why you should not buy the X100 series from Fuji

Looking on the second-hand market today here in Ireland I see that I can pick up a X100S for 340€ which to me sounds like a very good price and I would be tempted. However on the same site I can pick up an XE2 body for 220€ and a XF27mm lens for 160€, yes it is 380€ and therefore more expensive, however the XE2 body allows me to choose my lens which has to be a huge swing in choice. The XF27MM lens is F2.8 compared to the 23MM F2.0 so the lens is faster on the X100, but picking up faster lenses or Zooms is simple enough. An example currently being an XF18mm F2.0 for 250€ currently on line.

Currently on Adverts ie for 220€

Whichever X100 body you would be interested in has a close equivalent in the XE range, buying the XE just makes more sense. However, so far the XE3 has been the last version in the range so the most recent X100V is the only real X100 that has an advantage in as much as so far Fuji have not released a newer XE camera, the water resistant capabilities of the X100V would be of huge interest to some users.

Sold on Adverts ie for 160€

X100 series from Fuji

Currently on Adverts ie for 249€

Whatever camera you decide to buy, enjoy it, its about the image , not the camera….

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