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Buying bike hood covers

Old 02-10-21, 02:15 PM
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brumbiker5
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Buying bike hood covers

Bought my first road bike from a friend of my dad's for £50 (had a mountain bike but it got stolen). I've seen online people advise that brake lever hoods are a great purchase to make. Do I need to buy a specific type or is it a general fit? All I can gather is that the handles are ITM - Italmanubri.
Thanks!
Photos: imgur.com/gallery/2XZjIC9

[edit: meant brake lever hoods not hood covers)

Last edited by brumbiker5; 02-10-21 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 02-10-21, 02:24 PM
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Not sure whether you are referring to brake lever hoods or handlebar tape. Handlebar tape is non-specific to the make/model of your handlebars. Brake lever hoods are specific to the make/model of your brake levers. Google brake lever hoods for your specific brake levers to see what's out there to buy
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Old 02-10-21, 02:25 PM
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Thanks - referring to the lever hoods. Sorry to sound like a complete noob but how do I find out the model of brake levers? I cant find the bike model online - is it just too old that this will be an impossible feat?
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Old 02-10-21, 03:03 PM
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Could your post be any more free of details? You really should just figure out a way to post a photo, it's the only way to know for sure.
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Old 02-10-21, 05:51 PM
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pic assist..........



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Old 02-10-21, 05:55 PM
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Quite a few old bikes didn't have any thing on the brake lever housings back then but the bare aluminum that you have. Especially the ones with a turkey leg as yours has.

I suppose you might find some generic something or other that works, but I can't think of any. Who is it that will think bad of your bike for having them bare naked and as is?
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Old 02-10-21, 10:17 PM
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Just buy some Tektro RL340 levers for $24. They are good quality, inexpensive, and will work better than the levers you have. Itll be just as easy to install new brake levers as it is to put hoods on those current brake levers(if a replacement hood even exists for that shape).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tektro-RL34....c101071.m2460

Hoods for older levers are $12-25 usually, at least for common levers. Uncommon levers either don't have hoods available or they are absurdly expensive.

You need new bar tape too. New tape will be more comfortable.
While you have the old tape off, check that handlebar for corrosion as I can see rust under the tape.
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Old 02-10-21, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Just buy some Tektro RL340 levers for $24. They are good quality, inexpensive, and will work better than the levers you have. Itll be just as easy to install new brake levers as it is to put hoods on those current brake levers(if a replacement hood even exists for that shape).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tektro-RL34....c101071.m2460

Hoods for older levers are $12-25 usually, at least for common levers. Uncommon levers either don't have hoods available or they are absurdly expensive.

You need new bar tape too. New tape will be more comfortable.
While you have the old tape off, check that handlebar for corrosion as I can see rust under the tape.
I believe he's in the UK so he'll have to search EBay over there.
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Old 02-10-21, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
I believe he's in the UK so he'll have to search EBay over there.
Oh look at that currency,, it appears he is.
Well even if they cost 30 quid or 3000 pence, I would still say its worth it instead of searching for brake hoods for entry level 40+ year old brakes.
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Old 02-11-21, 12:18 AM
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It'd be almost a shame to put 2020 black Tektro levers onto a 1970s/80s bike that's almost pristine original as it rolled out of the shop, down to the reflectors and bar tape. Though someone clearly replaced the brake cables, which suggests that it was ridden, and taken care of.

My first 700c bike in the early 90s, with Weinmann brakes, had the suicide levers and rubber brake hoods over them. It was vanishingly rare to see that.

I'd say replace the bar tape with something with a bit of cushion, and if you do ever find yourself riding with your hands on the hoods, just get used to wearing gloves/mitts. You probably wear something on your hands most of the year round in midlands English weather.


Actually, these Dia-Compes look like they might be the ticket; they have punch-out holes to allow for the "extenders." Just wish they came in white.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dia-Compe...EAAOSwugJeefMM

13 squid plus P&P.

Last edited by Leinster; 02-11-21 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 02-11-21, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
It'd be almost a shame to put 2020 black Tektro levers onto a 1970s/80s bike that's almost pristine original as it rolled out of the shop
I don't know if it would be shameful or not, but it would look hideous. OP should find some good, vintage used ones with hoods. Doesn't matter what kind as long as they don't have turkey levers. Anything Shimano will probably be the least expensive.
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Old 02-11-21, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
It'd be almost a shame to put 2020 black Tektro levers onto a 1970s/80s bike that's almost pristine original as it rolled out of the shop, down to the reflectors and bar tape.

Actually, these Dia-Compes look like they might be the ticket; they have punch-out holes to allow for the "extenders." Just wish they came in white.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dia-Compe...EAAOSwugJeefMM
Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I don't know if it would be shameful or not, but it would look hideous. OP should find some good, vintage used ones with hoods. Doesn't matter what kind as long as they don't have turkey levers. Anything Shimano will probably be the least expensive.
Good lord- the black levers can easily just be silver levers. I picked the cheapest I found in a 30 second search because the entire bike cost $50 so its a reasonably safe bet keeping costs down is a deciding factor.
Silver rl340 levers cost $30usd right now at multiple sites.
This place sometimes.

Also, generic DC hoods could fit, or they could be too small or the wrong shape and wiggle. People toss those things on all sorts of old brakes regardless of fit though, so whats one more.
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Old 02-11-21, 10:55 AM
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That bike must have been stored in a hermetically sealed “time capsule”!!! For the amount of steel present, it’s amazing how little rust is visible , tho I’m sure there is some hiding underneath the handlebar tape (as mentioned) as well as other out of sight locations. RE: brake hoods, I think I’m not so sure that I’d bother with it. As also mentioned, padded cycling gloves would be sufficient. Many will certainly suggest keeping this bike “bone stock” and I might agree. A local bike museum might be interested in it but I don’t think that there’d be much monetary value (more like accepting it as a donation .)
If, however, the OP wishes to keep it and ride it, along with replacing the bar tape with some new padded stuff, I would definitely ditch the “turkey legs” (also called “safety levers” or more appropriately “suicide levers” ). I’ve done so on nearly every bike that I’ve “rehabilitated” ! The lever pivot can be replaced or the portion where the “safety lever” attaches can merely be cut off with a hacksaw.
Due to the nearly “all steel” construction, I’m guessing it won’t be long until the OP starts looking for something less heavy .

Last edited by sovende; 02-11-21 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 02-11-21, 10:55 AM
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Was considering new brake levers that's great to know thanks.
Yep bar tape was next on my list of upgrades. Would corrosion on the handle bars be a big issue?
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Old 02-11-21, 10:58 AM
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Ah right I see
Wasn't concerned about others to be honest - simply wanted them as they'd be more comfortable plus look nicer!
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Old 02-11-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by brumbiker5 View Post
Was considering new brake levers that's great to know thanks.
Yep bar tape was next on my list of upgrades. Would corrosion on the handle bars be a big issue?
If the bars are too corroded/rusted, they can break. Thats a big issue. Based on the rust I can see and the level of other components, I am assuming your bars are made of steel so if the rust is too great, it isnt safe. No idea how bad the rust is- it could just be surface rust that comes off with a few swipes of abrasive cleaning.
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Old 02-11-21, 11:05 AM
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FWIW - The brake levers are not ITM. The handlebar and stem are, but the brake levers are not. As others have mentioned, the brake levers look to be Dia-Compe (or similar generic).
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Old 02-11-21, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Good lord- the black levers can easily just be silver levers. I picked the cheapest I found in a 30 second search because the entire bike cost $50 so its a reasonably safe bet keeping costs down is a deciding factor.
Silver rl340 levers cost $30usd right now at multiple sites.
This place sometimes.
I refurbish vintage bikes, and things that look and feel appropriate are important to me. Some don't care about that sort of stuff. They just look for a simple fix. With a little thought and experience, you could find a perfect solution that is also cost effective.

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Old 02-11-21, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I refurbish vintage bikes, and things that look and feel appropriate are important to me. Some people don't care about that sort of stuff. They just look for an easy fix. With a little more thought and experience, you could find a perfect solution that is also cost effective.
Totally understand- I refurbish em too, though not many in the last year.
Initially I thought about suggesting DC hoods, then decided against it because in the end you now have entry level turkey lever brakes with hoods that might fit well or might be loose around any number of areas since there were seemingly endless small shape differences on entry brakes back then.
Some value appearance over comfort and ease of use. Others value comfort and ease of use over appearance. No right or wrong here, its why there are so many options- to allow for all the preferences.
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Old 02-11-21, 12:30 PM
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Try to determine brand of lever. then look for those
You may have to modify another brand hood if required.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brake-le...hoods/?geoc=US

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brake-le...hoods/?geoc=US
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Old 02-11-21, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
If the bars are too corroded/rusted, they can break. Thats a big issue. Based on the rust I can see and the level of other components, I am assuming your bars are made of steel so if the rust is too great, it isnt safe. No idea how bad the rust is- it could just be surface rust that comes off with a few swipes of abrasive cleaning.
Agree about the breakage.

However, those bars look to me to be alloy, most likely not anodized. My old 1873 Fuji had bars with the thicker center reinforcing area. Most I have seen were a sleeve, but some were machined in. Whether by machining or a sleeve, all were done before the bar was bent to its final shape. When bar tape was applied it was level with the sleeve. For OP, a magnet will be his friend in rapidly, without disassembly work, discerning alloy vs. steel. If raw alloy without anodizing, it would polish up nicely. While I have read debate about alloy bar fatigue on older bikes, this example does not look to have been heavily ridden, and/or was very carefully maintained (an owner after my own heart).

I was really surprised to see those hoods with popouts for the suicide levers. Having been a rider during the bike boom and suicide lever era, I never saw factory hoods for them, just owner-made alterations. Most were left bare, probably for cost reasons as they were usually on bikes targeted for newer riders. One of the misguided safety solutions of the bike boom era that did not work well as they limited the available cable pull.

Last edited by Bill in VA; 02-11-21 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 02-11-21, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post
they limited the available cable pull.
I always hated that.
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Old 02-11-21, 04:31 PM
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First rule of bicycle photographs - They must be taken from the drive side.
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Old 02-12-21, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
First rule of bicycle photographs - They must be taken from the drive side.
The question was always about brake levers. He’s not entering hot or not.
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Old 02-12-21, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by brumbiker5 View Post
Ah right I see
Wasn't concerned about others to be honest - simply wanted them as they'd be more comfortable plus look nicer!
brumbiker5 Welcome to bikeforums.
The type of brake levers on the bike you have are an older, more basic style and not designed to be ridden on the hoods, nor to accept any sort of hood cover.

Newer style brake levers are inexpensive and are designed for hand placement on the hoods.

If your goals are comfort and spending as little money as possible I have a suggestion:

Try using some foam pipe insulation and duct tape. That is what I have been doing on my bikes since I developed "crampy hands" in my mid '40s. I use 3/4-inch foam. It comes split, and is about $4 for 6 feet. I had been a daily commuter until recently, and the foam would last me about a year before it would compress enough to loose its cushy-ness.

Pics here: How to add padding to drop bars?
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