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Where do I really want the hoods?…(6 posts)

Where do I really want the hoods?…TFerguson
Aug 4, 2003 11:14 AM
Using a Look ErgoStem I now have a lot of adjustability (when it actually stays where I put it) and am confused about stem height vs. stem length.

If I establish a saddle set back and a certain amount of body lean, which is dependent upon my flexibility and breath-ability (i.e. gut), my shoulders are now in a set position. From this point the hoods can be in an arc with the radius being "arm length, slightly bent". What determines where along this arc I want the hoods and how do I know when I find this point.

My initial thought was to try different stem positions and then do some hard cornering and find a point where the bike feels neutral from front to back. But I find that I always instinctively put weight on my hands to further weight the front wheel no matter how far forward the stem is (within reason). It never gets to neutral. The front always feels more loose to me and the front washing out is much more disastrous than the rear. Is this normal?

Please – any thoughts as to what I am looking for in a bar/stem position? The bike I'm currently working on is only used for racing and short, hard training rides, but I will also be going through the same process on my every-day bike next.

Neither too high nor too low (NM)ModerateRonPruitt
Aug 4, 2003 12:10 PM
Are you keeping that stem?filtersweep
Aug 4, 2003 12:41 PM
Or just using it to try different positions? I'd be terrified of it slipping if you are using it for a racing and hard training bike. Besides, it is a boat anchor.

It sounds like you have too many variables to work with. I'd find your seat position you like, then your general reach to the top of the bars, then adjust your hoods so they form a nice platform for your hands... I don't think there is that much science to it at all. It is just based on comfort.

However, if your definition of comfort consists of riding quite upright, it is only natural that you will have less weight over the front wheel. Lowering the bar will go much further toward placing more weight over the front than will moving the hoods.

It sounds like you have a bit of a mess... or you are over-analyzing things... maybe start over? Those Look contraptions never quite look right in the first place.
Not asking where to put the hoods on the bars...TFerguson
Aug 4, 2003 1:45 PM
but where to put the bar so that the hoods end up in the right spot as my primary riding position. Sorry if I'm not being clear.

I'm going to lean over so far. Now where do I want my hands to be? Forward and high or rearward and low? And what affect do these positions have on handling?

re: Where do I really want the hoods?…NewDayNewWay
Aug 5, 2003 4:09 AM
I posted a very similar question (if not the same question) a week or so ago. I posed the question in terms of two identical riders riding the same kind of bike, but one with more spacers and a longer stem and one with less spacers and a shorter stem.

But nobody responded!!! Boo hoo hoo hoo!!! You guys are just meanies!
re: Where do I really want the hoods?…NewDayNewWay
Aug 5, 2003 1:35 PM
See and one of the articles they have about bike fit. If I had more time I'd post the link but gotta get out of work.

Tension in the neck area may result if stem is shorter and bars are down more. I went to a 90 mm stem down from 110 and started getting some neck pain. Now back to the 110, but may need to go with a 100 (although actually the 110 is now feeling a lot better).