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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

Alastair

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  • 4
    It might be nothing, it might be toast. It is impossible to asses it without at least a picture.
    – Paweł
    Jun 28, 2023 at 19:55
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    Presuming this is a campagnolo brifter on a drop bar? Could you show the issue clearly in a photo? And is the crack growing over time ?
    – Criggie
    Jun 28, 2023 at 22:42
  • Is it coupled with the brakes or not? Staying without brake, even without just one, is far more problematic than staying with just one gear.
    – nightrider
    Jul 1, 2023 at 20:34

2 Answers 2

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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.

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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.

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    Campagnolo parts tend to be expensive - replacing parts just because they're old will be costly. Gear cables? sure change them annually for a few dollars, but we need more info. Lets see if OP comes back with photos.
    – Criggie
    Jun 29, 2023 at 0:03
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    @Criggie Yeah, true. Would be cool if the LBS in OP's area had another broken brifter of the same model, but not cracked, so maybe they could just replace the cracked part of the brifter. I love when things can be repaired, reused, recycled.
    – Robert
    Jun 29, 2023 at 0:20
  • Is the plastic part of the brifter an integral part or just casing at all? Isn't there a full metal underpinning that provides the structure of the shifter, both holding the internals, the bolt of the lever and the clamp to attach to the handlebar? A picture would be helpful to assess. When applying force (braking, leaning on the brifter), the crack shouldn't extend, that would be a bad sign...
    – DoNuT
    Jun 29, 2023 at 5:43
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    The cracked part is probably the lever body. It may be just a casing. However, my understanding is that a) Campy doesn't offer spare shifter parts these days, and b) it's possible that an LBS would have a few otherwise damaged Campy shifters to cannibalize parts from, but it's exceedingly unlikely because Campy has no OEM presence and is an unfamiliar brand to most, especially younger cyclists,
    – Weiwen Ng
    Jun 30, 2023 at 15:17
  • @WeiwenNg My thoughts exactly, I'm running a 10-speed Campy bike and if any groupset-specific part breaks, I'm not hoping that my LBS has something in stock but rather that the part is still produced or can be found somewhere on Ebay, globally.
    – DoNuT
    Jun 30, 2023 at 16:02

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