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Cycling induced anoesis
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sjhiker said:
I've been testing bikes for a couple of weeks now, and I've been able to get the various LBS's to dial in the bike so that I'm very comfortable riding in the hoods, however, I can never get really comfortable in the drops. I often feel like I'm reaching too far to reach the shifters. Is this just a fact of riding in the drops, that you *are* reaching more than in the hoods?
If I'm understanding your post correctly, the issue is not with your flexibility or overall comfort riding in the drops, rather finger reach to the levers. If that's the case, you may benefit from a shifter that has adjustable reach. I know that Sora and Tiagra offer that, but Specialized also offers shims that you can install in 105 (and up) models that will bring the levers closer to the bars.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
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13,006 Posts
sjhiker said:
Not quite "finger reach", but to be a bit more specific... I'd like to be able to ride in the drops with my hands towards the front of the drops with a fairly straight arm. However, I find that I need to bend my elbows quite a bit in order to have my hands at the front. Seems that when I'm towards the front of the drops my forearms come pretty close to rubbing against the horizontal (or top?) part of the bars.
You're supposed to keep your arms slightly bent at the elbow when in the drops (as well as tops and hoods, for that matter), so it may be a flexibility issue or simply riding in the drops is not entirely comfortable for you - fairly common to anyone new to road riding.

For future reference, you don't want to ride with your arms straight because doing so tends to transmit road irregularities/ harshness up through your hands/ arms resulting in sore arms/ neck/ shoulders. Keeping a relaxed upper torso is key to maintaining comfort.

Seeing as you've been testing bikes for a couple of weeks (thus have been exposed to several bars shapes and shifter placements) I don't think this is the primary cause of your discomfort. That's not to say that in the myriad of bar choices on the market one isn't better for you than another, but right now I think it's more a 'getting acclimated' issue.
 
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