Brake hood alignment

Since my current bike is the first I've ever owned with drop bars on, I thought I'd seek advice.
I've got to adjust the hoods as they were set too far up the curve of the drops for me and are causing hand numbness/pain when using them. At the same time I've noticed one is slightly turned in whereas the other is dead parallel with the plane of the end of the bars. Should the hoods be aligned parallel like this or turned in slightly or is there no fixed thou-shalt-align-thy-hoods-like-this and it's down to the individual?
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
There are no real hard & fast rules, make the position comfortable for you. I will say that if you have your hoods in a very weird position then you've probably got problems with your handle bar setup.
 
Define weird please?:smile:
I rotated them backwards a bit (ends pointing more towards rear wheel spindle than straight back) as using them where they were made the webs between my thumb and index finger hurt like hell!
I think I need a session with the bar tapes off and a good fiddle 'n ride to see what suits me best.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
FWIW, my rule of thumb is to have the bars set so that a straight line drawn along the bottom section of the bar would go thru' the middle of the bolt that holds the back brake, then mount the brakes so that the mounting bracket goes round the forward-most part of the bar (meaning the bit where your hands sit 'on the hoods' is horizontal, give or take), with the front-aft parallel to the top bar - ie, neither turned in nor out.
 
That's roughly how I was going to set the hoods Swee'pea. A mate at work has just got a Defy 3 and the bars on that are a slightly different shape to mine on the curved section. The hoods on his lie nice and parallel with the top of the dropped section and look very comfy indeed. Must have a play when I get half an hour :smile:
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
I tend to work out where my levers should be from feel, my only real issue is it does mean I'll have to sacrifice a roll of bar tape, the whole process will take me about a week of riding every day for 30+ miles.
1) I get the bars in a comfortable position, this can take a long time to do.
2) I sort out the brake levers for riding on the drops (I corner on the drops an awful lot so having good brake reach is very important for me).
3) I'll then tweak the position so that I'm comfortable for long periods on the hoods.
4) I have another go with the brake levers on the drops but this time adjusting with reach as much as possible.
5) reiterate 3 & 4 until I've reached the best compromise.
6) throw away the now destroyed bar tape & properly wrap the bars.
 
Hrrmm, sound like a good plan actually, and a roll of bar taps isn't that expensive either, not at the price of getting bar/brake positioning correct.
Am I thinking along the right lines that you took the tape off and on as you adjusted, or did you just cut off a suitable amount to give you some movement with the hoods but left enough to ride with and then removed said amputated bits once adjustment was complete in favour of brand shiny-new tape?
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
I wrap the bars the wrong way so just re-wrapped the bottom section every time. This kills the shape of the tape so it no longer sits properly thus really needs to be replaced once you've got the levers in the right position.

Oh I forgot to add earlier when I mean in a weird position is where the hoods are sticking up at a very high angle so can't really be used on the drops or right down the drops so the hoods can't be ridden on.
 
Thanks for the clarification Gras, makes sense (re-wrapping) I'll give it a go.
The bars had been set with the lower most straight section of the drops parallel with the ground, which meant that the top section was sloped downward to the hoods. I'd like to reverse that as I think it'll be more comfortable for me.
 
Have now had a fiddle with both bar position and the hoods after that and all I can say is, if you're suffering with numb hands/wrists or any other kind of pain, HAVE A FIDDLE! The difference is just incredible, and I've not really moved my bars & hoods that much. Biggest difference was achieved by turning the hoods inwards, so that the gear indicator part (Shimano Tiagra) is square with the axes of the bars, not the part of the hood behind said indicators. I'll post a photo, as it's far easier to make sense of it with a pic.
 
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