New tan hoods for my old Weinmann levers

  
I bought my Raleigh Clubman from a guy with a canal boat in Shropshire almost two years ago and it’s still evolving. 

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.

  
(Pic: http://www.rivbike.com)

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. 

  1. Undo the old cable and slide out
  2. From beneath push out the nylon cable end stop – this makes hood removal much easier. 
  3. Wriggle the old hood forward and down over the brake lever.  
  4. 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. 
  5. Re-thread the cables and that’s it. 

  
I’m pleased with the new look and they’re a lot more cushioned and grippy than the originals.

I bought mine from SJS Cycles for £9.99 plus P&P. 

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14 thoughts on “New tan hoods for my old Weinmann levers

  1. Just wanted to say I’m a big fan of your bike. Everything, including the recent changes, looks great. I hope it brings you great enjoyment…because I’m sure I’m not the only one who likes to see it in action and admire it from afar.

    I think you are inspiring me to add mudguards to at least one of my bikes.

      1. theeverydaycyclist

        Thanks for the compliment. I see cycling in a very different way to most in this country. I think I’m closer to a two-wheeled rambler than anything else, a sentiment that Pondero will appreciate.

  2. Came across your blog today by accident, and then saw this about the Cane Creek Hoods. I have some horrible white affairs that a bike shop fitted to the Weinmann levers on my 80’s Holdsworth, and was looking at the Cane Creek as replacements, possibly also with cloth tape. I think you have convinced me. Do you really leave a bit of exposed bar and brake fixing clamp at the back of the hood though? This would drive me mad.

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      It makes a big difference to the look of the bike and provides a nice contrast. Which levers to you have and are tan hoods available for them?

  3. James

    Like your blog, and am a long-standing occasional customer of SJS, so don’t mind the link ;-). I have to say I am a fan of modern intergrated control levers – I had Paul Hewitt build my Van Nicholas tourer/commuter with Campag ergolevers in 2007, and haven’t looked back since – they have revolutionised my cycling, enabling quick gear changes while steering around potholes, or dodging rural buses! I never really liked bar-end shifters, and find the down-tube shifters on my old Calton Corsair positively pedestrian. I also like the clean lines of having all the cables buried under my cork tape – this enables easy fitting of bar bags and powerful lights for the Winter – but you are right that they can be a pain to maintain. The Shimano 105 levers on my son’s Boardman Road Comp is the worst of both worlds! – the control levers are not as intuitive as Campag, and while the brake cables are buried, the gear cables pop out of the side – right into the space where I want to mount a bar-bag!

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