Alloy gear shifters on 2012 Campy Centaur levers ?



DanDare

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Jul 15, 2009
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I know the Veloce gear shifters are plastic/composite having looked at them closely, i understand the Centaur shifters used to be alloy but Campag's website doesn't seem to say if the current shifters are alloy or not. Looking to order my new groupy & have read comments regarding the more flexable feel of the plastic/Veloce gear shifters over the alloy ones.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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FWIW. The "plastic" components on a majority of Campagnolo shifters are:

  1. the body (heck, you would think that for the price, the Record & Super Record bodies would be CF for durability AND weight) ... the "ears" which hold the brake lever are still on the thin side particularly when compared to the robust "ears" on the TEKTRO copies
  2. the shift paddle

The shift paddle has been composite on Record & Chorus + Mirage & Xenon (!?!) shifters for over a decade; so, while they are not as robust as an alloy shift paddle would be, it is what Campagnolo has chosen to use to save a few grams ...

The V3 (to borrow the HUDZ designation) paddle design is slightly more robust than the V2 design; but, I can't say how much stiffer or more durable it is.

If in doubt, you may want to opt for the all alloy Athena shifters.
 

DanDare

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Jul 15, 2009
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I can't find any evidence that Athena gear shifters are alloy either, 3 major suppliers i've now contacted say they're all composite. Campy website doesn't say.
 

alienator

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DanDare said:
I can't find any evidence that Athena gear shifters are alloy either, 3 major suppliers i've now contacted say they're all composite. Campy website doesn't say.
2012 Athena has the option of black alloy levers, silver alloy levers, and levers with a "carbon finish." 2012 Centaur has the option of black alloy or CF wrapped alloy levers. I've got 2010 black alloy Centaur levers.
 

CAMPYBOB

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I've used the Chorus plastic shift levers for 7 (three bikes/groups...one set for five consecutive seasons) years and they function perfectly and have held up well for me. No issues here.

The levers appear to be a glass reinforced nylon or thermoset. The blade area does flex a little if you catch only the rearmost tip of it when shifting, but there is not a lot of flex in the upper part of the lever. Overall shift feel if firm and solid to me.
 

DanDare

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alienator said:
2012 Athena has the option of black alloy levers, silver alloy levers, and levers with a "carbon finish." 2012 Centaur has the option of black alloy or CF wrapped alloy levers. I've got 2010 black alloy Centaur levers.
I'm talking about the gear shift lever, not brake lever.
 

alienator

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DanDare said:
I'm talking about the gear shift lever, not brake lever.
I've had no issues with shifting with the Centaur brifters (except that I do not much like that Powershift only shifts up one gear at a time), no matter the conditions in which I shift. I think it would be difficult for someone to actually detect flex in the lever. I suspect that instead of flex that is felt, it is the slight compression of the shift housing. Over the summer I switched from Campy cable to Ashima cables, and the shifting appears to be slightly more crisp. I think less compression of the Ashima might account for that feeling, and that leads me to my suspicion about the slight compression of the Campy shift cable housing.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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Originally Posted by DanDare .

I can't find any evidence that Athena gear shifters are alloy either, 3 major suppliers i've now contacted say they're all composite. Campy website doesn't say.
Apparently, specs are a moving target & subject to change ...

  • I believe that 2012 Athena shifters were the first year when they (and, some other Campagnolo shifters) incorporated the PowerShift mechanism instead of the UltraShift mechanism

While I can assure you that a pair of 2012 (silver-or-black) 11-speed ATHENA shifters which have alloy brake levers also have alloy shift paddles, I certainly do not know what a pair of 2013 Athena shifters will have.

While I prefer alloy over composite-or-even-CF on my shifters, too, I have used both Mirage, Chorus, and Record shifters which have composite shift paddles for about 10+ years without any perceivable problems ...

When in doubt, buy NOS.

BTW. Now that I know there is a possible demand, if your REALLY need-or-want a pair of 11-speed PowerShift levers which have BLACK alloy brake levers & BLACK alloy shift paddles then I can sell you a pair for a HUGE premium ...

  • of course, I actually recommend that you simply consider buying a pair of 'silver' levers which have 'silver' shift paddles to ensure that the shift paddles are alloy instead of composite.
 

DanDare

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Jul 15, 2009
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Well i thank you for your replies chaps. I reckon i'll no longer worry too much about whether they're plastic/composite (or whatever they're made of!) & will most probably still go for the Centaur groupset. Admittedly i've become a bit over obsessed about the odd ****le someone may have had & therefore published on some distant forum review site etc & then it's got stuck in my head, likewise i need to be worrying less about 20g here & 35g there when deciding exactly what to spend my hard earned on :D
 

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