crash resistant levers

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by gt5504b

So I am planning to build a nice light replacement for my rough roads (sometimes CX) bike which still has a Campy Record 10s gruppo.
My problem lies in the fact that the bike sees a decent amount of time off asphalt or even dirt road for that matter, and the occasional (yearly?) crash is not uncommon. What this has amounted to is a few broken brifter bodies, as the side impact on that very stiff brake lever snaps the composite (read: plastic) body. This has resulted from a wash out on a rough gravel road turn, once another cross rider crashing and falling onto my bike, and once from just slipping while riding back up onto asphalt from a steep and broken shoulder.

The problem is of course the fixed brake lever transferring the impacts to the body.
Of course the Campy brifters are rebuildable, but I'm a little tired of doing so.
I had originally planned to try the new SRAM Red 2012 (for its light weight and compatibility with some of my other wheelsets), but wonder if that is just inviting more trouble?

So with weight a consideration what would you suggest?
Are the SRAM or Shimano bodies more durable than Campagnolo?
Should I just go for Shimano (which would be the most rational, since the brake lever shift movement will likely eliminate my problem), and if so new or old Dura-Ace or Ultegra?
I'm thinking maybe second tier brifters combined with top tier drivetrain may save me in replacement costs, for a minimal weight penalty?

OK, give me some ideas!

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by Kastrup

Well, the entire shift-arm moves on a Shimano shifter. So they might survive the odd crash more likely? I have no evidence nor any real life experience to support this claim but in theory it sounds sane no? :)

"Stay cool and try to survive" A. Klier to the other members of the Garmin classics squad the night before P-R.

by Weenie

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by spandexboy817

Touring bar end shifters if you are REALLY concerned about durability! I think that any crash durability differences between sram,shimano, campy will all just be heresay....

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by artray

Down tube shifters . Nothing lighter and there out of the way .

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Frankie - B
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by Frankie - B

Can we please remove the word 'brifter' from everyone's vocabularies?

Oh, and another vote for shimano this time

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by mr_tim

I would be more concerned about snapping or denting a top tube vs. shifter assembly parts. :!:

FWIW, why not change the shift lever to the ultrashift version - the housing is available as a part & rebuilding the ultrashift assembly (should it be necessary) is a lot easier than the older ergoshifter assembly - the springs placement is much much easier to achieve. You'd also sidestep all the changing of compatible parts that way too - which should be cheaper & lighter in terms of £/gr - assuming the existing groupo is still 100%.

If you really wanted to address the problem you've been having, why not look for a machining shop to do the brake pivot bolt in a lighter weight metal so that it breaks before the housing does should you crash....

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by HillRPete

Frankie - B wrote:Can we please remove the word 'brifter' from everyone's vocabularies?

Ok, "shike", if you insist.

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by gt5504b

Thanks for maybe reassuring me that there may be no major difference between brands. Although Shimano does seem the logical choice here.

The new bike will get a new groupset, and the old one will stay around. So no need for small steps.

Also I'm only talking about very minor laying down the bike. So no frame damage has ever been a real risk.

Also, I hope this is taken nicely, but I love that WW has its own brand of trolls. Yes downtube and even barcon shifters are light, but I'll stick with integrated indexed functionality, thank you.

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by latman

I have only used Shimano but only tighten them enough to stop them moving when YOU use them , and if there is a fall that exerts more force it will disloge them on the bars and NOT just snap the body

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by SpinnerTim

I've found Shimano levers to be pretty durable. Most crashes just make them ugly, not inoperative. Anything serious enough to kill an STI lever probably leaves the rider in a world of hurt.

If you're doing the kind of racing where Crit happens, it's best not to invest in too much finery on high-risk portions of your build.

For instance, my crit bike is an old Cannondale Six13 with a full DA7800 group for derailleurs, chain, rings, crank, cassette, and BB. These are parts that are fairly shielded even if you lay it down, and they yield better shifts and shifts under load when you're going flat-out, not thinking clearly, and can't afford a missed/slow shift or dropped chain.

By contrast, my shifters on that bike are 105 5600, the wheels are old Rolfs, and the cockpit is all-alloy. If I break a 5600 lever, I can get a used one in great shape for ~$30.

I'd go with strong, higher-end metal-on-metal drivetrain components and save some money on the shifters. Most mid-level shifters are functional equivalents of the top-end stuff, and the real difference is weight. Much of the "feel" related to shift quality comes from the actual rings, cassette, chain, and derailleurs.


by Weenie

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by Foo

artray wrote:Down tube shifters . Nothing lighter and there out of the way .

Yep and good luck finding anything else in todays gear that will survive direct impact. :wink:

So long as you have tried your best, then you should have no regrets!

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