Ask a Mechanic | Changing Hoods

Question: My Dura Ace 7900 shifters need new hoods and I have never installed them before. I’m worried that I will rip the hood when I’m pulling it over the lever. Do you have any tips on how to avoid this? From: Jim

Answer: Changing your hoods is nothing to worry about. Shimano hoods are really tough and can hold up to a lot of stretching. Sram hoods aren’t quite as tough, but they are a little easier to get over the lever, so whether you are installing Shimano or Sram hoods, it’s not that bad. You just need to take a deep breath and mentally commit to muscling them in place.

While you could cut the old hoods off, I recommend that you pull them up an over the lever the hard way so that you can see just how much abuse these things can take and to get a feel for how hard you will have to work to get the new ones installed.

Leaving the new hoods in a warm place or out in the sun can help to make them a bit more pliable. You can lube the lever body with some rubbing alcohol to help the rubber hood slide into place. Then just go for it and pull the hood onto the lever. Once it is on there make sure that it is lined up rotationally and then use the hood’s internal bosses and hooks to fasten it to the lever. Then just massage everything into place.

Your new hoods likely won’t fit perfectly at first. Like a newborn baby, they go through a lot of abuse on the way to their new home and can look pretty rough at first. Just know that everything will tighten up in a day or two and your shifters will look factory fresh.

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