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Following my accident, does my left shifter need to be replaced as the area could crack?

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3 Answers 3

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Based on your description and photo, probably not. As long as it still functions correctly. That is the key.

So, if it still works and is not broken/cracked, go ahead and use it. Keep an eye on it to see if a crack forms or the performance degrades, but lacking those things, what you have is a blemish.

Other things to consider: Are there any sharp edges that have been created post-crash that could cut your fingers/hand? If so, can they be resolved with a light filing or sandpaper/emory cloth?

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    If it should happen to fail on a ride, it's not likely to be fatal (to the ride). It might make the ride back home more difficult depending on what gear you're stuck in, but it's not like a frame crack that finally fails and dumps you on the ground in front of traffic.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 8 at 16:42
  • @FreeMan Provided the front braking does not brake with it, it is a brake lever, after all. That said, I definitely ride with similar scratches on my shifters on my gravel bike. Jun 9 at 8:54
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No - that looks like cosmetic damage.

If it bugs you, then the small plastic faceplate is available new as a replacement part.

The roughness of the aluminium casing can be filed flatter, and you can apply some enamel paint to hide the file marks.

Likewise you could simply scuff and paint the existing plastic cover - it could be done to the same shade as your bike, or in a complimentary colour

Fortunately the rubber hoods look undamaged - they tend to be harder to fix.

Lastly - do a close once-over of the rest of the bike looking for other damage. Anything that pokes out is a candidate, so pedals and saddle etc.

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    Minor tidbit: the shifter bodies are glass reinforced nylon, not aluminum.
    – MaplePanda
    Jun 9 at 6:05
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    @Vikki You're being unreasonably cautious I think. Even if there was invisible internal damage, the region in question is not critically structurally significant. Also note the location of the damage: it's on the side closest to the camera, so the impact would have caused tensile stress on that side too. Since we don't see cracks, it's reasonable to conclude there was no significant damage.
    – MaplePanda
    Jun 9 at 6:08
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    @juhist Replacement is much easier if you can source the right ones, I was referring to fixing a damaged or cut or abraded one. Glues don't stick well and it never looks right. Fortunately OP's hood looks fine.
    – Criggie
    Jun 9 at 19:26
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    @Vikki As long as the mechanical actions of shifting and braking are working as-expected then internally it will be fine. This is more annoying cosmetic damage, but being exposed on the front of the bike it can be very annoying.
    – Criggie
    Jun 9 at 19:27
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    @Vikki Sorry—not understanding what you mean when you say “the impact moving from left to right”. I’m not seeing how a crash with damage in this region could possibly lead to the compression force being on the damaged side and the tensile force being on the hidden far side.
    – MaplePanda
    Jun 14 at 19:47
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That’s normal and harmless. Even much deeper abrasions in that location are just cosmetic.

If you’ve clamped the brifter with the correct torque (i.e. relatively weakly) it should twist around the handlebar if sideways impact forces get too strong.

I’d check around the pivot point of the brifter and check the handlebar for any scratches, bents or deformations (you probably need new bar tape anyway).

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