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  1. #1
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    Sticky rubber brake hoods

    My recently acquired '86 Centurion DS Ironman came with Dia Compe brake levers with black rubber brake hoods (so there's the C&V theme ). Anyway, they are really sticky in the top parts where the hands go and I don't know what to do. The other parts of the hoods are fine, just the parts on the top are sticky. I've tried multiple scrubs with paper towels soaked in dish soap or WD40, and also tried coating with either of these liquids and letting it sit for a few hours before scrubbing. Nothing...

    Is there some magic way to make these unsticky? Or, is it that the rubber is starting to dissolve and I just need new hoods?
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    racer x flies across cobblestones with a grimace of determination, three feet of seatpost, bars level with ankles, carbon fiber frame with Kryptonite lugs and a millimeter clearance between the fork and the 700x21c tires. This gives everyone a *****

  2. #2
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    Get yourself a bottle of something called Goo Gone and give it a try, you can usually find it at the supermarket or a hardware store.

    I've used it to get rid of everything from sticker mung on a bike frame to sharpie on the laptop screen.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Dear kmart,
    You shouldn't use oil on anything you don't want to move around, like brake hoods. So, since you have thoroughly cleaned them, wipe them dry with some Dawn dishsoap, let dry, and then sprinkle them with some cornstarch baby powder. That will eliminate the stickiness immediatley! Congrats on the Ironman. an excellent bike. Enjoy riding it!

  4. #4
    Senior Moment grinningfool's Avatar
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    22 Year old brake hoods are probably deteriorating, and replacemants are readily available. I got a pair from niagara for about 11 bucks.

  5. #5
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    Those brake lever hoods are readily available and inexpensive, so I'd replace them if I were you. Not much point going to a lot of effort to save something that is easily and cheaply replaced. As speedfreak suggest, corn starch or soemething like thatr may help until you can get the new hoods.

  6. #6
    Philologist
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    If you don't replace them, they'll keep getting worse, and eventually they'll be very difficult to remove. I recently had to replace a set of early '80's Dia-Compe hoods that had been transformed into something resembling dry, cracked leather on the outside and rubber cement underneath. It took a brass wire brush in a Dremel tool to get all of the sticky mess off.
    Ţćs ofereode, đisses swa mćg. ("That passed away, this also can.")
    from Deor, in the Exeter Book (folios 100r-100v)

  7. #7
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    If you aren't wedded to natural gum, when you get replacements, you might think about getting ones that are some sort of color (black, blue, white, etc.) In my opinion, these are made of different material, and not as susceptible to UV deterioration. Of course, they're not quite as cushy -- a bit harder to the touch. Actually, these days natural gum is quite hard to find, unless you're buying NOS on eBay.

  8. #8
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    I ended up getting a pair of Tektro R200a levers. I like the shape of the hoods more. Thanks for all the help.
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    racer x flies across cobblestones with a grimace of determination, three feet of seatpost, bars level with ankles, carbon fiber frame with Kryptonite lugs and a millimeter clearance between the fork and the 700x21c tires. This gives everyone a *****

  9. #9
    Senior Member afilado's Avatar
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    I want to keep any straight petroleum based product off rubber. They are generally incompatible in that the first wants to "melt " the second, chemically/generally speaking. Most common synthetic
    rubber variants are petroleum derivatives and tend toward returning to that original state when in the presence of their liquid relatives. Natural rubber can be even more sensitive to incompatible environments. There are exceptions, of course but even milder oils, mineral spirits, etc. are for metal parts, not rubber.

    I use GoJo handcleaner on brake pull covers and rubber parts. It is water-based yet contains enough of the correct solvent to cut thru dirty grease rapidly. The solvents are bound up in the H2O by various surfactants (soaps) so that you get a multiple chemical action - cleans well yet is water soluble and rinses completely. Use some liquid dish soap (not dishwasher detergent) to help dissolve the GoJo for final rinse. For tough jobs use a soft toothbrush to scrub lightly.

    If you need to "lubricate" the rubber part for ease of tight installation sprinkle a bit of fine talcum powder on it, then use a small paint brush to brush off visible excess. Talc is softer than metal so even if a smidgeon gets on the metal workings it will not abrade.

    Works like a charm for me.
    Last edited by afilado; 10-19-08 at 12:31 PM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart View Post
    I ended up getting a pair of Tektro R200a levers. I like the shape of the hoods more. Thanks for all the help.
    Good choice.

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