Today’s QT comes to us from RBR Premium Member Martin Estner, who offers a take on adjusting the positioning of shifters/brake hoods. Here’s what he writes:
The recent tip on aligning a handlebar stem reminded me of how I adjust the positioning of brake hoods.
I like my handlebar drops parallel to the ground, and I like my brake hoods to be set so that my hands and wrists are in a straight position with no bend as if I were shaking hands with the hoods.
After adjusting the handlebar angle, I will adjust one brake hood so that it is in my preferred position and tighten it. Then I will position the second hood approximately at its correct spot and place a straight edge across the tops of both brake hoods.
Then I more carefully position the second one so that the straight edge is exactly parallel to the top part of the handlebar nearest the stem and tighten it. I’ll generally take the bike for a little spin around the block just to confirm that it feels right before putting on the bar tape.
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Mark "Killa" Barrilleaux says
Regarding the ergonomic aspects of brake hood positioning, as opposed to the symmetry achievement aspects, I like to point the front ends of my hoods slightly inward. This allows me to rest my hands on the hoods without placing pressure on my median nerves (carpal tunnels), while keeping my elbows and shoulders in a more natural position.
The angle I use is about five degrees. It’s not excessive but it is visible. If it looks like you crashed and bent both brake levers in, that’s probably too much.
Kerry Irons says
I’ve always had good results by laying a straight edge along the bottom of the drops and have the end of the brake lever just touch it. Both levers end up in the same spot and the hoods are a perfect extension of the tops of the bars.
And I angle my hoods in just a bit as well!
Marcus Judge says
I had a bike fit recently where they moved one lever back by about 1 cm. This was because they noticed that one arm had longer reach than the other. My arms are the same length but one shoulder is dropped, something I’d never noticed in over 50 years of looking at myself in the mirror!
Another precision method: