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Vintage Brake hoods, simply inferior?

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Vintage Brake hoods, simply inferior?

Old 06-06-13, 02:36 PM
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CenturionIM
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Vintage Brake hoods, simply inferior?

I have used a few lines of brake levers, namely shimano light action, dia compe, cane-creek SCR5, shimano sora and shimano 105 5600. I have found vintage hoods to be vastly inferior due to 3 reasons:

1. The rubber hood is a lot more stiff.
2. The contact point between hands and the hood is narrow, not fat and square like modern hoods.
3. The sharp warp-in ergonomics.

All these points contributes to increased pressure on the thenar space (area between thumb and index finger) and is very uncomfortable on long rides. Gets sore really fast.

Is modern hoods simply better? Obviously tons of people have ridden with vintage hoods and tons of people do now. I just can't get it to become a non-issue for me.

I am trying to decide between rehabbing a pair of dia-compe with new hoodsor just replace them with tektro.
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Old 06-06-13, 02:58 PM
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I agree with your sentiments and have been looking at the sram s500 brake levers for a while.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:01 PM
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I agree. I have one bike with 80's era Shimano 600 levers and hoods. My other drop bar bikes have more recent Campy or Tektro levers and are indeed much more comfortable. They seem designed so that I can have a smooth unbroken ramp from the bars onto the hoods.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:07 PM
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Yes.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:15 PM
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Yeah I felt about the same way. Had the original Dia-compe Grand Compe levers and brakes on my Centurian. The hoods were rough so I replaced them with a pair of knock offs that were supposed to fit. They didnt fit quite right and as anal as I am about my bikes just went ahead and replaced the brakes and levers with Cane Creek black SCR's. The new brakes and levers are great, so I made a good choice.
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Old 06-06-13, 06:26 PM
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Tektro. Great brakes for the money.
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Old 06-06-13, 06:50 PM
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CenturionIM, I wear cycling gloves which help, but I just could never become comfortable with the various non aero hoods. Campagnolo aero levers seemed quite sharp on the top of the hood. The Shimano aero hoods are okay, Suntour and DiaComp are wider at the top of the hood and more comfortable to me. The Cane Creek/Tektro levers are even wider, similar to a Shimano integrated shifter, but I haven't used them yet.

Brad

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Old 06-06-13, 07:00 PM
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Just reflected this morning on how poor the Campy gen 1 ergo shift hoods feel compared to Gen 2 and Shimano STIs. Old DiaCompe and Modolo are similarly finger-numbers. These assume you'll ride in the drops.
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Old 06-06-13, 07:15 PM
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Trends have changed as to fitment relation of seat height to stem/bar. A lot more weight is now on your hands. French fit and horizontal top tubes allowed the early narrow aero levers to be fashionable. As mentioned above, you spent more time on the drops, now it's all brifter.

The wider ergonomics of a modern lever is welcomed, I agree that it's more comfortable. Trying a pair of RX100 levers as compared to my Tektro 200a, night and day.
Smaller hands probably don't suffer as much with old aero levers.
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Old 06-06-13, 07:26 PM
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I don't spend enough time riding on the hoods to notice any problem with them.
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Old 06-07-13, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BentLink View Post
These assume you'll ride in the drops.
ah, now it makes sense.
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Old 06-07-13, 09:32 AM
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I have some Tektro 200a on my commuter and like them. However, the aero Campy levers (Athena?) I have on my Raleigh are also quite comfortable. I don't wear gloves, ride the tops/hoods 90% of the time, and have around 2" saddle to bar drop.
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Old 06-07-13, 09:33 AM
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As riding positions have changed, not only the role of the brake lever hood has changed, but even the definition of the word. Look at this 1950 catalog page:

From the bar tape and the location of the brake levers, it is obvious that the designer assumed the rider's hands would be in the drops most of the time. The brake levers do not have what we would call 'hoods.' Nonetheless, the description clearly states that the brakes have "hooded levers."
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Old 06-07-13, 10:50 AM
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Your problem used to be my own, but I find I'm spending a lot more time in the drops these days. Problem solved

My current problem is my thighs are getting so huge I can't find boxer shorts that fit them and still fit my waist anymore. Help me! I'm becoming a 41er!
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Old 06-07-13, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
My current problem is my thighs are getting so huge I can't find boxer shorts that fit them and still fit my waist anymore. Help me! I'm becoming a 41er!
Ha! Okay, what you need, and I am perfectly serious, is (a) shorter crank arms, and (b) learn to spin. Your thighs are too big because you are pedaling too hard. Pedal faster.
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Old 06-07-13, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
My current problem is my thighs are getting so huge I can't find boxer shorts that fit them and still fit my waist anymore.
Ahem, have you tried "active shorts" in the ladies wear department?
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