Soon I’m going to perform a brake upgrade to my mid 1980’s Motobecane Grand Tourer with Weinman model 610 centerpull brakes (see pics attached below). This will entail swapping out the stock Weinman brake levers for Aero brake levers (Tektro model RL340), a pair of cyclocross style interrupter levers (Tektro RL70), replacing the front and rear brake cables and housings, replacing the brake shoes (the latter covered on a separate C&V post), and finally installing new bar wraps.
I have few questions before beginning:
1) Cable Routing: note in the attached pic how the front brake cable is routed. A rather large chrome brake housing holder (is that the term?) which also held a reflector , attaches under the upper headset nut and the bare cable runs from there to the calipers. If the Aero cable routing for the front brake follows the handle bar until near the quill then curves down to the cable housing holder, it seems the cable bend there would need to be of a pretty small radius (compared with the current routing) and thus problematic?
2) Cyclometer wire routing: What is the cleanest? I have the wire wrapped around the bare front brake cable (not pictured), but there’s no brake housing there to protect it and I fear that a sawing action from brake cable friction may eventually damage the wire. It looks sloppy and jingus.
3) Order of work sequence: Based on the location of the front brake housing holder, should I perform the headset maintenance first (lube and/or replace headset bearings), before addressing the brake cable routing and installation?
4) Handle Bar Wraps: the stock rubber ‘faux stitched leather’ bar wrap looks as if it was shrink wrapped onto the handlebar. I assume there is no way to salvage this and it needs to be cut off (i.e., it’s not removable/replaceable)?
5) Brake Housings: I’d like to get the similar color brake housings as they match the silver paint well. They’re weathered, but look clear as one can see the inner spiral metal wraps. I’m reading about Teflon coated housings, but some folks say they cause more problems than they solve? What is recommended as an inexpensive yet well made housing?
I also need to get some fitting issues squared away which will have an impact on this upgrade, as I'm thinking it may be beneficial to swap in a shorter stem. I have very long legs, very short torso, and slightly longish arms. I feel way too stretched out to ride comfortably with my hands on the hoods (albeit riding the stock hoods is awkward due to ergonomics). I think the frame top tube may be a tad too long for me. Nonetheless, I'm eager to reap the benefit of improved braking action and more importantly, improved ergonomics, from the aero brakes. Currently I ride mostly in NYC and with my hands on the bar tops: perhaps the aero brakes (possibly combined with a shorter stem) will allow me to conformably ride on the hoods; if not then the shorter reach to the bar tops plus interrupter levers will be my comfort zone.