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Replacing worn brake hoods.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

April
14
2015

I have put 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) on my 2013 Trek Madone Di2. As expected, over those nearly 30,000 kilometers I’ve replaced numerous wearable parts: chains, cassettes, tires, tubes, bottom bracket bearings, headset bearings, wheel bearings, pedals, saddle, brake cables/housing, bar tape… I’ve even had to replace the rear Di2 derailleur and crankset.

Something I’ve never given much thought to are the brake hoods. Recently, however, they refused to stay put. The hoods would not lock on at the front of the levers, and they were basically just sliding around as I rode, annoying the hell out of me.

Of all the wearable parts found on a bike, brake hoods are one of the least expensive, and (arguably) the easiest to install. I picked up a new pair of Shimano Ultegra ST-6770 Di2 Hoods for less than 20 bucks. That’s about .0011 per mile. 🙂

Take a look at how incredibly stretched the old hoods had become (click to enlarge):

Old brake hood (L) compared to new brake hood. The old hood is considerably stretched.

Old brake hood (L) compared to new brake hood. The old hood is considerably stretched.

Another view of the old stretched brake hood (L) compared to new brake hood.

Another view of the old stretched brake hood (L) compared to new brake hood.

 

No wonder they were sliding around on me!

Installation of the hoods is super easy. You won’t need any tools, nor do you need to remove the bar tape or anything else. The procedure basically involves squeezing the brake lever (you can remove the wheel for a little more travel, but I did not need to do that), and working the old hood over and off. To install the new hoods, just do the reverse.

The new hoods are a tight fit, as they should be, but with a little effort and brute force they will slide on. When installing mountain bike grips I sometimes use rubbing alcohol to make the process a little easier. I did not find that I needed to do that with my road hoods, but that’s a good option if your puny roadie arms are not strong enough (like I have room to talk anymore). 😉

The new hoods look and feel great! I’d just installed new bar tape last week, so my cockpit is looking fresh.

That's better! Installation of the hoods is very easy and requires no tools.

That’s better! Installation of the hoods is very easy and requires no tools.


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