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Universal Mod 61 brake hoods

Old 08-26-09, 07:48 AM
  #1  
tuccillo
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Universal Mod 61 brake hoods

I have a Ron Kitching road bike and I am looking for replacement Universal Mod 61 brake hoods. I have searched the internet to no avail. Anyone have any leads? Thanks so much. Jim
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Old 08-26-09, 07:53 AM
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Last time I got some of these it was at BicycleClassics web site. No idea if they still have them or not.
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Old 08-26-09, 08:13 AM
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They turn up on ebay now and then.
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Old 08-26-09, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tuccillo View Post
I have a Ron Kitching road bike and I am looking for replacement Universal Mod 61 brake hoods. I have searched the internet to no avail. Anyone have any leads? Thanks so much. Jim
Do you need the real thing? My experience with Universal hoods is that they rot and disintegrate at least twice as fast as any other brand.
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Old 08-27-09, 08:53 AM
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some people on the CR list are trying to talk the guy that molds replacement hoods for campy into making ones for Universal. Might want to do a search and email him.
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Old 08-27-09, 09:34 AM
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There's a guy in Italy selling original white versions on ebay. He must have a bunch, and will sell them in quantity if you email him. I just bought a few pairs as I like the white ones on certain bikes. Just search "Universal" in Cycling-Vintage Parts.
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Old 08-27-09, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Otis View Post
There's a guy in Italy selling original white versions on ebay. He must have a bunch, and will sell them in quantity if you email him. I just bought a few pairs as I like the white ones on certain bikes. Just search "Universal" in Cycling-Vintage Parts.

The white ones are hot, I think they are older than the gum, I haven't seen them in years. I still have a few pair of gum I bought years ago...
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Old 08-27-09, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
The white ones are hot, I think they are older than the gum, I haven't seen them in years. I still have a few pair of gum I bought years ago...
They look really good if you fill in the logos with red or blue paint to match the calipers.

If you want to trade a pair of gum for white PM me.
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Old 08-27-09, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Otis View Post
They look really good if you fill in the logos with red or blue paint to match the calipers.

If you want to trade a pair of gum for white PM me.
Hmm, interesting. In the "old days" the originals were filled with color: blue on the gum and red on the white. I think the ones I have (in a blue Vittoria box) are already repros. I imagine the white I've seen on ebay are too. Here's some originals in blue I happened onto when I was building this Legnano, the gum was more transparent too:
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Old 08-27-09, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
some people on the CR list are trying to talk the guy that molds replacement hoods for campy into making ones for Universal. Might want to do a search and email him.
LOL...I commented on that on CR and boy did I get an earful offline about what a meanie I was for "ganging up" on the poor guy and an explanation as to why it was impossible/difficult/just not worth the trouble to reproduce them. In fact though I exchanged emails with the gentleman who does the Campagnolo reproductions a few months ago and he simply replied at the time that there was insufficient demand for Universal hoods to make it cost effective. Fair enough. And my recent question to that list (a response actually to some existing discussion threads) was simply "Why is there so much demand for Campagnolo reproductions but not Universals when the sales of Universal brakes even on high-end Italian bikes must have outnumered the Campagnolo ones over the years by a large margin. I'm not sure how that constituted ganging up on anybody but whatever. There is a reason I spend most of my online time here and not there...
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Old 08-27-09, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
insufficient demand for Universal hoods to make it cost effective.
I told him I could probably move 25 pair myself. I asked what it would cost to tool up, thinking I could help start it, and offered new, in the box hoods to work from...

Maybe he does well enough with his time on the Campagnolo... lord knows us bike geeks are an impossibly unpleasant crowd...
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Old 08-27-09, 02:49 PM
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Count me in for hoods. I have a pair that are 36 years old and still functional. They look really marginal and should be replaced. I have seen a number of recently purchased clasics that look like they have Universal levers without the hoods. Don't forget that you need the black rubber pieces for the cable length adjustment too.
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Old 08-28-09, 09:01 AM
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I have followed this post with great interest as I too desparately need a pair of Universal Mod 61 brake hoods with the black rubber pieces for cable length adjustment. As others, I included my name on the CR listing, and I also sent an email directly to the maker of the repro Campy hoods. No reply or substantial leads unfortunately, and I suspect that dbakl has it right - no pressing urgency to make hoods for the Universal crowd.

I wonder if there are any of us who might have the time, talent, and means to start a little enterprise similiar to the Campy chap's and reproduce Universal 61 hoods? I would certainly buy a few as would others, I'm certain. Just a thought.

Dave

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Old 08-28-09, 09:49 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by laddie View Post
I wonder if there are any of us who might have the time, talent, and means to start a little enterprise similiar to the Campy chap's and reproduce Universal 61 hoods? I would certainly buy a few as would others, I'm certain. Just a thought.
It was discussed before. Forum member iab was working on it but put it on hold. See this thread:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...niversal+hoods
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Old 08-28-09, 11:21 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by laddie View Post
I wonder if there are any of us who might have the time, talent, and means to start a little enterprise to reproduce Universal 61 hoods?
I did a quick search on the web for places that make molded rubber products; they exist and state prototypes and small runs no problem but I have no idea of the cost or process.

I bet there's easily a market for 100 pair at $40. a pair... $4,000.00 to make 200? Seems doable. Anybody know anything about that business? We could form a consortium, take orders, finance production and be RICH (well, at least, have some hoods)...
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Old 08-31-09, 07:34 AM
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I would like the gum colored version and I would like them to fit but don't have to be the original.

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Do you need the real thing? My experience with Universal hoods is that they rot and disintegrate at least twice as fast as any other brand.
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Old 09-04-09, 11:14 PM
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I think $4K may be on the low side or might cover just the tooling cost without labor. Looking at the hood, it looks like it is a 3 or 4 piece mold. There is a parting line 1/3 down from the top. So an internal piece, a top and a bottom,

Now if we outsourced it.... maybe. I would hate to send one of 2 out for quote and not get it back.
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Old 09-04-09, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
Now if we outsourced it.... maybe. I would hate to send one of 2 out for quote and not get it back.
Make a rough solid resin copy of your own originals with a silicon mold, and use these copies to send out.

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Old 09-05-09, 10:02 AM
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Couple pair on ebay now...
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Old 09-09-09, 08:20 AM
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True dbakl, however I placed a bid with a $40. max earlier and was automatically out bid at $41. Now the current bid has climbed to $50, and could go higher. Unless we are willing to pay increasingly higher prices for our badly needed Universals, I would continue to encourage the start up of a repro Campy-like enterprise by someone who might have a pretty good market among us and others (CR for instance).

Dave
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Old 09-09-09, 10:04 AM
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I recently had a Windsor Competition with Universal levers that had totally rotted hoods. I ended up taking a used pair of Dia Compe (the Cane Creek hoods would probably be even better) and I cut down the tops of them so that the threaded area of the lever could poke through. The funny part was one of them was already cut, as they had come off of a bike that had a mirror mounted to one of the levers...I just finished the job! I used an x-acto knife on the hood, once it was already mounted on the lever.

They actually looked great, and there were no gaps between the lever and the handlebar. Obviously this is only a solution for a bike that doesn't need to be 100% correct. Even in that case, it's a good stopgap measure for less than $10 until you find the "right" hoods.
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Old 09-09-09, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
And my recent question to that list (a response actually to some existing discussion threads) was simply "Why is there so much demand for Campagnolo reproductions but not Universals when the sales of Universal brakes even on high-end Italian bikes must have outnumered the Campagnolo ones over the years by a large margin. {?"}
It would surprise me greatly to learn that more Universal brakes than Campagnolo were shipped on high-end Italian bikes.
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Old 09-09-09, 09:18 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
It would surprise me greatly to learn that more Universal brakes than Campagnolo were shipped on high-end Italian bikes.

They predated the Campagnolo brakes by at least 10-15 years, and many bikes from lowend to close to the absolute top had Universal brakes. Plus they had centerpulls and sidepulls. Probably what most Italian bikes had that didn't have Campagnolo brakes.

I'd guess a manufacturer sold 8 to 10 Universal brake bikes to every one with Campagnolo brakes through the mid to late 70s...
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Old 09-10-09, 12:29 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
They predated the Campagnolo brakes by at least 10-15 years, and many bikes from lowend to close to the absolute top had Universal brakes. Plus they had centerpulls and sidepulls. Probably what most Italian bikes had that didn't have Campagnolo brakes.

I'd guess a manufacturer sold 8 to 10 Universal brake bikes to every one with Campagnolo brakes through the mid to late 70s...
Campagnolo brakes cost an additional $50 on a $350 Schwinn Paramount in 1971. And they added the same to a $250 imported Italian racing bike. That was a lot - especially considering the Universal center-pulls were more powerful brakes to begin with. Universal brakes were actually preferred by a lot of racers even after Campy brought out their side-pull model in the late 1960s.

The very same levers and hoods were in use on all Universal brake models from the mid 1950s to mid 1970s. The translucent gum rubber hoods were thicker than brake hoods of any marque and always felt wonderfully comfortable - they really cushioned the hand. Unfortunately, the rubber did seem to degrade and dry out rapidly and eventually they would crack and finally begin to decompose over the years. The adjusters and their black rubber caps seem to have survived much better and mine still work very well, even now, decades later.

The levers have a beautiful elegant curve. An older shape, more like older Mafac levers. This shape is something which is not always appreciated or desired by modern cyclists. They feel much different than the shape of early Campy levers - probably the first "modern" style levers which had shorter blades and sitting closer to bends in the handlebar.

Robbie, the Campy repro hood guy, actually does have a real day job and is not just making his living off of the Campy hoods alone. He's really just a bike enthusiast like the rest of us. He does plan to eventually reproduce Universal hoods. However, the time (and also the initial cost) required to make the molds... and then ultimately the time involved cooking up and curing relatively small batches of hoods is really considerable. They are not just cranked out in a modern factory.

Modern rubber compounds could make new products far more weather resistant and longer lasting than the originals. I'll be first in line when/if I see some repros for sale.
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Old 09-10-09, 09:07 AM
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That's encourgaging news about Robbie, and I'll treat my aging, cracking, and deteriorating hoods with the greatest respect while waiting, hopefully, for him to gear up for Universals. Very nice history stronglight, and I can vouch for center-pull Universal's excellent stopping power, especially with Kool Stops. Thanks.

Dave
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