Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Bikes: Two LOOK 585s, one KG461
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The plumb bob thing can be done alone. As long as the bike is sitting on a level surface, drop the plumb bob from the front of the knee to the front of the crankarm, wiht the crank at the 3 O'clock position - that's what expert Andy Pruitt does. It's still just a rough starting point. I prefer to be 10-20mm further back for better weight balance with less weight on my hands.
As for the bars obscuring your view of the hub, that is when viewed with the hands on the brake hoods, not in the drops. In the drops it's common to be sighting over the front of the bars and see the hub. Adjustments are made with the stem length, not saddle fore/aft position. This test has NO meaningful value. I use a functional test, where I insure that I have some knee to arm clearance when I'm pedaling with my hands in the hooks, my upper back is almost horizontal and my fingers can reach the brake levers.
Those who use Shimano brake/shift levers will have a longer reach to the brake hoods than SRAM or Campy users. Reports are that the new 7900 brake hoods are even longer. The 2009 Campy hoods also have 3-5mm more reach than previous models.