Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New Orleans, LA
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I have slipped new hoods over older non-aero (cable comes out the top) brake-only without removing them from the bar. Obviously you have to remove the cable and housing. I wet them down with rubbing alcohol for lubrication and slipped them on. I don't think I would try it with STI levers which are much bulkier. Those I would remove from the bar and slip the hoods on from behind. As long as you have to take everything apart anyway it is a good time to replace cables and housings.
By the way, when you need to lubricate something like hoods or grips for installation, rubbing alcohol is a good choice. It leaves no residue and dries quickly. You don't have to worry about trapped moisture causing rusting on steel parts.
If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!