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First time restoration - Sticky brake hoods.

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First time restoration - Sticky brake hoods.

Old 04-21-22, 01:06 PM
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First time restoration - Sticky brake hoods.

Howdy all,

First time posting on here so applogies if this is the wrong forum for this topic.

I purchased a bike on a whim as i thought it would be great idea to learn about bike maintence by restoring a neglected old bike.

My first question, which may be the first of many, is about the break handle hoods. The old hoods have to go so I bought a new set of handles and hoods from ebay. However, there is a not nice feeling of stickyness. Is this a feature of old rubber or is there a way to get the hoods feeling nice again?

Thanks for any suggestions.....

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Old 04-21-22, 01:41 PM
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Great question! I don't know the answer, but look forward to the responses. I wonder if something like ArmorAll might help?
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Old 04-21-22, 01:47 PM
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I've had good luck washing hoods with dawn dish detergent.
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Old 04-21-22, 01:52 PM
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Magic eraser, Dawn, water then Ive been told, baby powder, but Id imagine that would cause grime build up.
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Old 04-21-22, 02:37 PM
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Not much to lose, sticky, icky or experiment and find a fix. Advise to proceed with caution as it can be made worse and or rip, tear, melt, etc.

Last edited by merziac; 04-21-22 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 04-21-22, 02:44 PM
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I've only only ever succeeded in making sticky hoods worse. More often than not they just start to melt.
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Old 04-21-22, 03:56 PM
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Can you return them to the ebay seller?
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Old 04-21-22, 04:25 PM
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If they're new they certainly shouldn't be sticky.

I've made mine sticky cleaning them with the wrong cleaner. Repeated applications of baby powder before every ride eventually got them back to relatively normal.
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Old 04-21-22, 05:09 PM
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Soak in soapy water for 2-3 minutes on stove (not boiling!).
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Old 04-21-22, 05:27 PM
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clean them (warm water and dish detergent, sure),
DRY them,
apply glycerin and knead it in with your fingers.
lightly dust with favorite baby powder or talc (but not that stuff with asbestos...right?)
you might need to repeat the baby powder a couple times as it wears off.
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Old 04-21-22, 05:28 PM
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Send them back !!!

Should not be sticky at all.

If you cannot send back, then try above suggestions.

When I have cleaned "dirty" hoods....................all suggestions have failed

Good Luck
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Old 04-21-22, 07:03 PM
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I have run into this a few times. Not sure if my advice is good in all cases I clean them with Dawn dish soap, dry them with a towel and thenI just use them. The feel does get better in a short while (a few rides) and my guess is that the natural oils from your hands does the trick. That said, I usually (actually always) ride with my fingerless gloves but the stickiness does go away, sooner or later. The baby powder or corn starch does a quick repair also.
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Old 04-21-22, 09:22 PM
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I think once it goes sticky, it will be impossible to restore the hoods as they had already broken down organically....on their way to becoming bacon.....
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Old 05-03-22, 04:02 AM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

Really nice to know there is a such an active community on here.

I tried some water and soap but I was cautious due to not wanting to make the problem worse. It seemed to help a little but not much. They were second hand vintage break levers with hoods, so i think it might be just old rubber causing the problem. I guess the whole idea of this project was to learn a few things along the way. Maybe they will recondition as I start to use them....

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 05-03-22, 08:48 AM
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If you search the forum, you'll find several threads on which modern brake hoods fit which vintage levers.
My own solution to clean but sticky hoods is to lightly mist them with a couple coats of clear spray paint.
Mist, not paint.
Works with many plastic-rubbery items
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