My campag gear shifter is cracked in the plastic. I realised this when changing bar tape. It works perfectly and may be from a crash a few years ago. Is it still safe to use?
Thanks for all opinions
Without a picture, it is impossible to tell. Unfortunately, safety cannot be described in absolutes. A cracked component is likely less safe than one that is not cracked, but there is big gap between less safe and unsafe. You own tolerance for reduced safety, costs and how you ride make a big difference to the correct action for you to take (vs me, or any other person).
There are plenty of shifters/brifters with plastic that is largely cosmetic or provides for a comfortable hand grip. If the cracked component is one of these parts, safety is probably not compromised. If on the other hand the cracked part has anything to do with the operation of the brakes (or could interfere with it), then replacement would be wise.
Usually crash, crack, and years ago (so, age and possibly fatigue in addition to the impact damage) are not suggesting something is safe. Especially if they are describing the handlebars, forks, cranks, brakes, helmets, rims, and the list can continue.
There are people who replace some components regularly, even without any visible damage, just because they fear the components are fatigued and could fail unexpectedly.
If it'a a brifter (integrated shifter and brake lever combination) you are talking about, I suggest you replace the part.
If you want to keep it be very careful. Inspect it in detail and judge what could happen if the crack gets bigger, or if the cracked part fails suddenly. If you can imagine a situation in which it may cause a crash, then it is not safe to keep using it.
You can also ask at a local bike shop. They could give some advice, maybe even replace the cracked part.