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Old 02-19-06, 09:56 AM   #1
SEAtrain
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Ergopower Lever Position

Hi,
I'm hoping to improve the comfort of riding on the hoods of my Campy Record Ergopower levers. The instruction manual shows that the bottoms of the levers must be directly in line with the bottom of my handle bar drops. My handlebars have a traditional shape like the manual shows so I'm reluctant to move them up.

However, I see many pros with levers up nearly to the top of the handlebars. Pg. 58 of the February Velonews shows an example. I see the bars are shaped much differently from mine. The bottom of the drops aren't parallel with the ground and the bars don't have a smooth, curved shape.

In order to move them up, I think I need a different set of bars. Is this true? Can you help with specific examples of bar manufacurer and models? Any drawbacks that I'm not considering?

Thanks.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAtrain
Hi,
I'm hoping to improve the comfort of riding on the hoods of my Campy Record Ergopower levers. The instruction manual shows that the bottoms of the levers must be directly in line with the bottom of my handle bar drops. My handlebars have a traditional shape like the manual shows so I'm reluctant to move them up.

However, I see many pros with levers up nearly to the top of the handlebars. Pg. 58 of the February Velonews shows an example. I see the bars are shaped much differently from mine. The bottom of the drops aren't parallel with the ground and the bars don't have a smooth, curved shape.

In order to move them up, I think I need a different set of bars. Is this true? Can you help with specific examples of bar manufacurer and models? Any drawbacks that I'm not considering?

Thanks.
Change one word in the post to may.

There are no hard and fast rules. There are reasons why Campagnolo recommends their setting. Those reasons pertain to averages and generalizations, and their recommendations work for most, but not for all. Try them where you like.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:23 AM   #3
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I have never used Campy stuff on my own bikes, but I have ridden bikes with Ergo thingy wotsits on them. They work pretty much the same as Shimano versions, but are more 'stubby' at the top, for want of a better word.

Try moving the lever so that the tops of the hoods are well above the flats of the bars and the levers should still be reachable.

I can't describe it any better, but have a look at my setup:
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File Type: jpg dropsBFimg.jpg (99.6 KB, 34 views)
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Old 02-19-06, 10:32 AM   #4
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I like to run my ergo lever so that the hoods run flat with the top of the bar. Run your setup in a way that is comfortable for you. If your a guy what the Hell are you looking at the manual for any way.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:56 AM   #5
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As proof that you can run the levers (and bars) however you please...

...even the pros do what's most comfortable:
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Old 02-19-06, 11:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CPcyclist
I like to run my ergo lever so that the hoods run flat with the top of the bar. Run your setup in a way that is comfortable for you. If your a guy what the Hell are you looking at the manual for any way.
I'm diqualified from this generalization as I'm engineer. That means I obsess over detail then I make the same decision as I would have made before I gathered detail.

Thinking about it just a bit more. It seems to me that as lever position goes up it becomes more difficult to brake from the drops. Have any of you experienced this?

Looks like I need to experiment.
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Old 02-19-06, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiftinjon
Change one word in the post to may.

There are no hard and fast rules. There are reasons why Campagnolo recommends their setting. Those reasons pertain to averages and generalizations, and their recommendations work for most, but not for all. Try them where you like.
Indeed. The manual says "it may not function properly."
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Old 02-19-06, 11:05 AM   #8
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I've always had trouble reaching my Ergo levers from the drops with traditional bends and even ergo bars. I recently remedied this situation by switching to Ritchey Biomax Pro's. To me, these bars are butt ugly but now my Ergo levers sit nearly flat at the tops and I'm able to comfortably reach the levers and even flick the thumbies down from the drops. I got their short reach shallow drop version.
Salsa makes one somewhat similar to these but their drops flare out too much which I don't care for...

Last edited by roadfix; 02-19-06 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 02-19-06, 11:06 AM   #9
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Your question pertains to road brake lever hoods generally, including Campy Ergo, Shimano STI, and brake levers that don't include shifters.

An increasing number of riders like their brake hoods higher up on the bar, to where it's almost like riding bullhorn bars. Some people tilt their bar back. Some people have the drops of the bar flat, and the tops of the levers flat and attached at the middle of the curve of the bar.

Basically, this ends up being about what's most comfortable for you, which depends in part on bike sizing.
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Old 02-19-06, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAtrain
Indeed. The manual says "it may not function properly."
Indeed. In fact they do say...

"The gap between the control levers and the handlebars must ensure suitable grip as well as sufficient lever movement for correct braking power."

...but, and as you have indicated...

"If the Ergopower is too high or too low it may not function properly."

...but they don't say,
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAtrain
...the bottoms of the levers must be directly in line with the bottom of my handle bar drops
What is recommended is an awareness of how the lever body is mating with the bar to be sure it is properly seated. If it cannot seat properly, you can't position the lever there.

Or for the engineers, this is black:

http://www.origami-club.com/color/black/image/black.gif

...and this is white:

http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/color...on/p/white.htm
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Old 02-19-06, 12:25 PM   #11
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I'm grateful for the photo of the racer with the high-position levers above. I put mine up pretty high, too (these are Cane Creek brake levers, but they have the exact same shape as Campy Ergo brifters):



I am probably going to try them a little higher even. The problem is that as you move the levers around, the distance to the brake lever from the drops changes. Depending on the curvatures, it might get bigger or smaller as you move them around. I suspect that if I move mine up, the distance will increase. I need to experiment a little more until I get it right, and I suggest you do the same.

After trying a new position, try riding around (or on a stationary trainer) without putting the tape on to save you the trouble of taking the tape on and off over and over again. You don't want to have them in a bad position but find yourself reluctant to change them again simply because you spent so much time re-wrapping the handlebar tape.
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Old 02-19-06, 01:29 PM   #12
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There are many riders who seem to place their brifters high enough to make the top of the hoods level with the bars, irrespective of where the bottom of the levers wind up. As long as you are satisifed with your ability to reach the brakes while in the drops, I don't see why this is a problem. I suspect the Campy instructions have been written with some guidance from the Campy legal department.
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