When the Team America first arrived it was apparent that it had been well cared for by the previous (original) owner. I spent some time cleaning, but for the most part everything about the bike was very nice. Naturally, there were a couple small exceptions.

1. The brake hoods. The brake hoods that came on the bike were old and crusty. They had seen better times and it was clear that they would need to be replaced.

A friendly BikeForums.net user offered to send me a pair of NOS hoods at no charge and I was thinking my problems were solved. Unfortunately, the replacement hoods arrived and turned out to be for a later model Dura Ace brake lever. (see below)

The hunt was on for the correct hoods. After some hunting online, I was somewhat horrified to learn that the brake hoods I needed were none other than the old Dura Ace AX brake hoods. Finding a pair of them in good condition is likely harder than finding Paris Hilton within 10 miles of a church on a Sunday morning. If you are lucky enough to find them, you have a decision to make… Do I buy these NOS Dura Ace AX brake hoods, or do I go ahead and overthrow that small island nation that I’ve had my eye on? Decisions, decisions.

The brake hoods have arrived and I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that the price tag on these is indeed very real. They are still a bit crusty and will require some careful reconditioning before I install them.

Speaking of brakes, another small project involved swapping out the later model Dura Ace brake shoes that came on the bike with the older “period correct” brake shoes..

Out with the new(er)…

And in with the old(er)…

That’s it for now, I am sure there will be more to come…

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