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  1. #1
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    old brake hoods turned sticky--any remedy?

    Bought a pair of vintage brake levers on our favorite auction site, with hoods that appeared (in the listing photo) to be in good condition, but when they got here, I immediately noticed that they had a significant layer of dirt and skin oil on them, and the rubber has degraded to the point of being sticky. Is there any remedy for this at all? Anything at all that can be done to make the rubber not sticky? They are Sante aero levers, which have a quite unusually-shaped hood, and it will not be easy at ALL to find a replacement hood to fit these.
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  2. #2
    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    Not sure but try a dab of white spirit on a rag. Test clean a small area and see what the effect is. Other wise you could test with a light acid such as lemon juice or vinigar so see if that cuts through the sickness, again because these are spechial parts do a small test area.

  3. #3
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    The white spirit does take off the grime and old skin oil, but the rubber itself is still sticky. I know this means that the rubber has begun to break down, but can anything be done to reverse it? I found an old thread that mentions using cornstarch or talc to make them feel normal, but I'm assuming that this would only be a temporary measure.
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  4. #4
    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    Sorry but it sounds like a temp measure is prob all you can hope for. It is like when wood rots there is nowt you can do after all rubber is a natural substance so will rot eventually. Some one here may have a magic solution so don't give up yet.

  5. #5
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    You could always try to neutralize the stickiness with talcum powder or something of the sort.
    That said, I've always just stuck new brake hoods on ("always" being indicative that I've run into this issue twice).

  6. #6
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    You might try something like 409 cleaner or undiluted simple green (and unrinsed) on them. It will leave a little residue making them feel a little slicker than before, but it will take away the stickiness. Sort of a compromise between normal and sticky, I guess-
    Last edited by well biked; 10-26-06 at 03:29 PM.

  7. #7
    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Are these the levers?



    You should be able to find something tht fits at Loose Screws
    1981 Nishiki Ultimate
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    "index shifters = frets on a fiddle"

  8. #8
    JRA...
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    like tim, i've heard talcum powder works.

  9. #9
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    Here's another solution: Try painting the hoods with the vinyl paint they use to change the color of car interiors. Not a permanent fix but may last longer than the talcum powder idea.

  10. #10
    NYC nycphotography's Avatar
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    And how do yo PREVENT the stickiness in the first place?

    I just replaced a sticky set of Ultegras (because they were crashed, loose and worn out, not because they were sticky)... and would prefer to keep the new ones from breaking down if possible.

    Not to mention the gooey sticky mess that the grip on my Milwaukee cordless drill turned into.

  11. #11
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    OldYellr, that's them! And you're right, LooseScrews does have a replacement that fits, but only in black. The seller has agreed to take them back and refund all my money, so I guess I'll do that. I'm really curious about the vinyl paint recommended above, but if I try that and it fails, I can't return them. So maybe someone else can try it with a problem hood.

    nycphotography, I think that if you clean the skin oil and dirt off your hoods from time to time, instead of leaving it there, they won't break down like this. At least not nearly as fast. It's the skin oil that accelerates the breakdown, because you can actually feel that the stickiest parts are where the person's thumb and fingertips rested. It's pretty clear. So clean them often, and that will help.
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  12. #12
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Powder is all you can do after a point. You should always clean any part of your bike that you touch. Especially if you sweat all over it. Biggest destroyer of bikes are the people that ride(abuse) them, and then they think the stuff is garbage because it broke or wore out. Sante' was a cool group parallel with 105.

  13. #13
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    ^^All true. Except that last bit, because actually, Sante was right between Ultegra and Dura Ace. Very very nice stuff.
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  14. #14
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    As far as the vinyl paint, I've used it on old non-leather saddles, and it does okay, but not great. The stuff I used was very glossy and slick, and to tell you the truth I doubt it would adhere well to something like a brake hood, especially an old one. Think of the slickest, shiniest vinyl upholstery you've ever seen, that's pretty much what the particular product I've used is like-

  15. #15
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    I used an old toothbrush and simple green with detergent in it to make a black pair of hoods white again. I think you should enjoy the extra grip of these sticky hoods. If the hoods were made out of hard plastic everyone would complain that they didn't have enough grip and would have to wear gloves all the time.

  16. #16
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawkd
    ^^All true. Except that last bit, because actually, Sante was right between Ultegra and Dura Ace. Very very nice stuff.
    was it? So much for my memory. TY

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tsuru's Avatar
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    I've got this "problem", searched and found this thread. Anyone come up with better and sure-fire solutions in the past two years??

    It's not a huge problem, just a slight annoyance.

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