It’s a 1983 model yet the only surviving parts are the frame, fork, headset, seatpost, front mech and brake levers. Every other part has changed. At least once.
The latest change has been a new set of tan rubber Cane Creek lever hoods for the original drilled Weinmann brake levers.
I had considered getting new levers altogether to match the new Tektro R559 brakes.
I eyed TRP’s lovely RRL-SR levers in tan but couldn’t stump for the cost. And anyway, I like non-aero, cables-sprouting-from-the-top levers for a few reasons:
- They are an important part of the bike’s instantly recognisable old-school look
- They are a piece of cake to re-cable, without disturbing the bar tape
- Their smooth loops give much lower cable friction meaning you don’t have to buy silly-expensive cable inner and outer
So I thought the best course of action was to give the existing levers a new lease of life.
The old black hoods are in good condition but are a little slippy and unforgiving and I like a contrast between bar tape and hoods.
I’m a fan of no nonsense black cloth tape so tan it was. There are a few types around: Rustines gum hoods are nice but expensive, Dia-Compe make a nice tan hood for their brakes, which will fit many non-aero levers but the Cane Creeks are perfect for the Mafac and Weinmann shape of lever fitted to so many bikes throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Fitting them was a doddle.
- Undo the old cable and slide out
- From beneath push out the nylon cable end stop – this makes hood removal much easier.
- Wriggle the old hood forward and down over the brake lever.
- Fit the new hood reversing the last step – the new hoods had enough stretch to slip the cable end stop underneath the rubber and back in place.
- Re-thread the cables and that’s it.
I bought mine from SJS Cycles for £9.99 plus P&P.