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Comfort in the hood - a newbie question(8 posts)

Comfort in the hood - a newbie questionTurtle Boy
May 28, 2003 10:14 PM
Or rather on the hoods. When riding my Lemond Tourmalet with my hands directly on the hoods - I find it fairly uncomfortable - like there is a lot of pressure in the area between my thumb and index finger. I continually want to pull back an inch or 2 back onto the bars. Now to be honest I'm not in that great of shape flexibility wise and I need to drop about 15lbs in upper body weight. I'm also a big guy at 6' 1" and 218lbs.

I had a fitting done when I bought the bike - I also believe Lemonds run a little long on the upper tube. The original stem had a length of 130mm - we reduced that down to about 90mm.

So do I need to try a shorter stem - is it possible to get too short a stem - does that affect steering control.

Or will I just get used to it over time. I'm going to try to put some dense foam padding on them as a test.

Thanks in advance -- Henry
re: Comfort in the hood - a newbie questionTurtle Boy
May 28, 2003 10:15 PM
I'd send a picture but I haven't figured out how to yet - besides I fear the stem police would put an APB out on me
re: Comfort in the hood - a newbie questionukiahb
May 28, 2003 11:14 PM
Part of the problem might be the hoods/levers themselves...many people are more comfortable on Campagnolo ergo might be worth a test ride on a Campy equipped bike for comparison. (FWIW I'm NOT anti-Shimano, have bikes equipped with both)
re: Comfort in the hood - a newbie questionJuanmoretime
May 29, 2003 12:59 AM
Your stem is a little short, it sounds as though you were sold to big of a bike. Are you using gloves? Do they have well padded? How long have you been riding this bike? There is probably going to be a small adjustment time. Is your stem too low? Is it flipable to get your bars higher? Higher bars will put less pressure on your hands.
Is your saddle level?Dave Hickey
May 29, 2003 3:38 AM
I sounds like you have too much pressure on your hands. If your saddle points down in front, your hands are supporting most of your body weight. A level saddle balances your body weight.
re: Comfort in the hood - a newbie questionslide13
May 29, 2003 5:34 AM
My advice is too give it some time. I also ride a Lemond and when I started on it I weighed in at 275lbs. I'm down to about 245lbs now and am getting much more comfortable out on the hoods. When I first got it I felt too stretched out. I switched my stem down to 100mm and went with a seatpost with slightly less setback (Thomson) to help. Now that I've been riding more I'm getting more comfortable out there on the hoods and the other day while riding I even felt like I could have used a little longer stem to stretch out on. If your new to road riding give your body a little time to get in shape and get used to the new position its being asked to stay in for long periods of time. I wouldn't go any shorter in the stem, 90 is about as short as you'll probably want to go.
I wouldn't go much shorter than 90mmRay Sachs
May 29, 2003 7:02 AM
Sounds like your weight is too far forward and you're supporting it with your hands. I wouldn't go with a shorter stem, given how much shorter this one is than what the bike was spec'd with. You don't say how much lower the bars are than the saddle - if you're relatively new to the sport you should try to get the bars up pretty close to saddle height until you get stronger / more flexible (or maybe forever, as in my case). Whether you can do that with this bike is a question I can't answer, but your bike shop should be able to.

I agree with making sure the seat is level and maybe even tilted up slightly at the nose. As counterintuitive as it may sound, I'd also try moving the saddle BACK on the rails. This will extend your reach, but will also move more of your weight back onto your saddle and off of your hands. So even though you may have a longer reach, you may have less pressure on your hands. This is where lack of flexibility may start to be a problem, but it's worth a try.

Good luck,

same height same weight.......shamelessgearwhore
May 29, 2003 1:15 PM
Yeah I just bought a new bike and I'm 6'1" and 215 lbs and I'm going through the same issues. I just got a Campy equipped with a 60cm frame BB to the seatpost (not top tube). I have been experimenting with rotating the whole handlebars back a bit so that the hoods are at a more relaxed and natural position for the hands, maybe 10 degrees from the usual horizontal position they do at the shops. I will end up rewrapping the bars and adjusting the levers position so that they are angled up a bit while the angle of the bars remains at the original level. Right now they are angled too high up to accomodate the hoods. I don't feel the pressure point beteen thumb and forefinger any more though.