Reproduction Aero AX Brake lever hoods
(for 600AX / 7300 Dura Ace AX brake levers circa 1982-1984)
Available in the original colours of Light Blue / Gum Brown / White / Black
These replacement hoods are a cost effective solution to the ‘no hoods’ problem faced by builders of Aero AX specced bikes. In terms of shape and form, these hoods are a perfect fit and faithful to the originals as they are made from moulds taken from new old stock (NOS) hoods.
They are NOT perfect, so please read the following before ordering:
- These are reproduction parts, made one pair at a time and on a hobby basis – they are not a commercial standard product – please set your expectations accordingly
- Each pair are unique, with plenty of faults and some imperfections in the mouldings I have made, these are shown in the pictures so please take a close look, loads of pictures here so zoom in and browse
- Each pair is colour mixed as a pair (so right and left are uniform in colour), however each pair are unique from the next
- They will tear or rip on fitting, just like NOS original will unless you are careful – please read the fitting notes and take time and care! Fitting information is below, read carefully and take your time.
- They are priced to be affordable and to reflect they are NOT commercial grade product (new old stock hoods are upwards of $100 if you find them, other reproduction projects have been pitched at around £50 gbp give or take and as of yet, have not been produced)
Please note: the pictures shown on these pages are all of actual hoods I have made.
Current service status
ALL ORDERS UP TO 25 APRIL ARE NOW PROCESSED AND POSTED OUT, THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE! (and sorry it has been such a long wait for some).
FOR NEW ORDERS, PLEASE NOTE SHIPPING AND READ THE INFORMATION BELOW.
Please allow 10 days production time, plus shipping time to your location (5 days should cover all global locations – I can’t control customs time or costs however).
Basic fitting guide (applicable to original New Old Stock Aero AX hoods as well).
- Be gentle, treat the hoods as if they are the NOS ones you have finally found and paid a fortune for. Remember what you are fitting have been hand made and travelled far.
- Remove the levers from the bike
- Remove the clamp fixing that attaches the lever to the handlebars
- Carefully insert the BACK of the lever body through the FRONT opening of the hood cover, it fits with careful persuasion.
- Massage the hood into position (preferably dry, not using chemicals although warmth from a radiator can help)
- Congratulate yourself for not splitting the hood, admire the fit
- Refit to the bike, post the pics and your triumph to the Facebook group for us all to admire
- Then, most importantly, find another AX frameset to build up (you know that one is never enough!)
If you fit by pulling the hood over the front of the long lever, you will almost certainly split the hood – Please follow the process above, it works for me and it has worked for others that have now completed their bike build.
If you split the hood, please don’t panic. Send me a message and I will help as much as I can.
General service expectations:
I try to hold a number of pairs ready to go, I use these myself for my own bikes.
However, Please allow 10 days production time, plus shipping time to your location (5 days should cover all global locations – I can’t control customs time however).
If I can produce and ship to you as quickly as I can, all orders are processed in the order in which they are placed in.
If there is a problem for any reason, I will let you know.
If you are not happy to wait, please do not place an order, email me and I will do my best to help.
Further notes below
Lots to read here – mostly very boring – a combination of information from chats, Facebook conversations and just about everything you never needed to know about Shimano Aero AX hoods and this particular project.
Why make the hoods?
Originally I made these as I needed them for my own bike, a Raleigh Road Ace (blue hoods, 600Ax levers).
I bought the bike having owned them in the past, I was really pleased to see someone advertising hoods being made but alas, they were not. So I made them myself. Shared it online and then had a request to supply so display bikes can be completed. Some of the first hoods made are fitted to bicycle builds that were commissioned for Shimano and are on display in celebration of their 100 years. This is not a job and never will be, I have a job and a life – which is why these take forever to make!
Do you ship to me?
Yes, I’m happy to ship worldwide at actual cost.
The website calculates this based on your location and the costs relate to what it costs me to send from the UK using a registered service.
Please note values for customs declarations are listed correctly, so please consider import taxes or handling fees on your side – I can’t tell you what that may be.
Shipping is expensive, I’m UK based. Taxes and import fees are not something I can predict or cover for your end.
Please read the above and look at the photos, in detail – I’m hoping that if you are genuinely interested in buying these you appreciate that it has been a labor of love to produce these hoods and it’s all bit of a ‘punt’ so no refunds if not happy, of course if the hoods fall apart, go missing in transit – I will happily help as far as I can. Hoods are made to be good value, the shipping in most cases outside of the UK is proportionally very high and only makes sense with multiple pairs being purchased, that is out of my control I’m afraid. This is another factor why returns are not offered as such, I’m not Amazon and these are pretty much made to order. I’m not looking for a product review etc. If you think they are crap, and you’ve wasted your time and money, please consider that mine has been wasted first, many times over, to get to this point. I made these hoods for myself and people have asked me to supply, nothing more than that.
Can they be used?
The first pair I cast for myself went directly onto my Raleigh Road Ace, where they have sat since. They have been ridden in all weathers for over 1000 miles, they are discoloured and ageing to the point of looking like original hoods. They have not split. They were the first made, and things have only improved since, most AX bikes would not be having such a hard life…
Are they 3D printed? and if not why not?
To my knowledge, I’m the only person to have demonstrated that 3D printing is not the way to go with these.
I had the hoods professionally scanned and edited ready for production, the materials currently available do not give a flexible enough hood to fit, never mind use. The potential is there but not without compromise. The ‘resolution’ even at the highest standards is not the same as a casted wet mould, details are lost. My current thought are 3D printing is best for mould creation, although I prefer retaining the detail of a wet mould. So no, there is no 3D printing in this process. If you would like to buy the scans I have had made please let me know.
I’ve experimented with the aero bottle, and that is more promising.
These look crap, I can do better!
If you can do better, please do and send me a link when they are ready to buy!
I will gladly buy a pair if they are affordable – I’ve collected AX stuff on an off for over 20 years, and to my knowledge very few people have bothered to make these, especially in the correct blue or offered the full range of original colours. I made them as I had hoped to by a pair that were advertised and was disappointed they were still not actually in production. New Old Stock hoods are increasingly difficult and expensive to source, you will need them to do your own, or my 3D scans. Over time I will be hoping to improve the output, not just of these but other Aero AX items too.
Will there be a commercial run of these?
I hope so, and I would happily buy them.
I’ve had a lot of requests to commercialise and scale up production with a perfect product, this is not financially viable if you are looking to provide these hoods at sensible prices! Unless you have to, or work with tooling the production facilities. The hoods are left and right handed, so require two sets of tools made from either from original hoods or the scans I have. The set up costs for this are more than you can realistically recoup in sales and there for it is high risk in order to just break even. Each pair made should then be commercially sound product, but at run lengths that are not aligned to global need.
To top this off, as soon as they come out as ‘OK but not quite right’, demand drops right off and you’ve got stuck. Colours are an issue as well as there are four official colours to my knowledge (light blue, black, white and gum brown) and proper commercial runs can’t just switch out colours like you can on a one by one basis.
I’ve had costs from multiple sources for this as a project, there are taxes to add onto the quotes. My understanding is that if anyone was to go down this route and get it right, the hoods would be sold in the region of £50 a pair, which is understandable. Not what I am doing though and good luck to anyone who is planning this, I’d been keep to help out if I can (in an advisory way, not funding…)
Do Shimano still make these hoods? will they remake them?
To my knowledge it’s a no on both counts, with little interest when they have been approached.
The hoods must have been made for no more than two years and all things point to one short run of them at the time. The components were not very popular, there are plenty of stories of bar cap ends, bottles, spares all being binned in bulk from shops in the 1980’s due to taking up space and no sales. What a shame. There are reports that the original tooling for the hoods were outsourced to a supplier in Japan, they have since been recycled so on that basis they no longer exist. If this is not the case and someone has access to other information, please contact me. Just like the reproduction decal industry around restoring classic bikes, Shimano seem to have very little interest in supporting legacy projects, other than showing a little interest other than buying bikes in order to display (a recreation of the Aero AX poster bike was commissioned by a fan and sold back to Shimano for their displays). I would love to see Shimano reproduce these hoods and I would happily be first in line to buy them.
Isn’t hunting New Old Stock (NOS) without compromise the way forward?
Well yes. However NOS hoods are not without their problems. Firstly they were hard to find 20 years ago and now almost impossible. When you do find some they will almost always be gum brown and the most sought after colour is the light blue (Aero AX blue), last pair in an unopened pack I have seen were $175USD. The rubber is now 40 years old, due to the design and the rubber ageing, they will be as likely to split or crack as my hoods… The original design and material are both somewhat flawed, hence whilst most hoods have survived 40 years, Aero AX hoods sadly have not and that is why so many bikes are missing them. The rubber ages very badly, dries and cracks to the point people bin them off the bike, or they have split. Of course there is the issue that other than owning unopened NOS, it value immediately drops as soon as you take it out the bag. Personally having bought very expensive NOS, the best you can do with it is keep it in the bag and sell/store with the bike you’ve build or restored that is wearing repro hoods. If I stumble across a box load of Aero AX hoods in a basement somewhere, I will buy and sell them at a ‘sensible’ price through this website, promise!
Where’s my order?
Drop me an email and I will follow up, based on the information at the top of this page you should have guidance for current lead times and confirmation by email on status of your particular order, I’m an individual and will do my best to sort any issues, so please bear with me.
Why can’t I place an order ?
This will be because I have more demand than I can cope with, and rather than have you wait longer than expected, I will keep a list of people to contact once the page able to process an order again. I don’t expect this to happen as I am trying to keep a small stock ready to go.
Where can I get more information or find other enthusiasts?
There is an active group on Facebook, plenty of bikes being shared, builds, advice and rare Aero AX parts. Worth taking a look and joining even if you can’t stand the whole Facebook thing, I joined just for access to groups whilst looking for specialist or hard to find parts, it has been great to see Aero AX projects and meet other collectors that I would not have ever been aware of. So love it or hate it, it is undeniably useful for the keen hobbyist. The Aero AX group has over 1000 members from all around the World. www.facebook.com/groups/aeroax/
Thanks for making it this far!
I hope you find this information useful and if you do order hoods, it would be great to see them on the bike and hear that you’ve enjoyed completing your Aero AX project.
If you have any questions that are not covered here, please email me and I will update accordingly.