Fitting to my bike....
So I'm a little over five foot tall.... but I'm 240 pounds wide.
Having now ridden close to 150 miles on my new bike since the 20th of last month, I'm becoming increasingly more curious about correct 'fit'. All that I've had so far is help setting distance between pedal / seat height AND it's for/aft placement.
A little background first:
I bought a size XS touring road bike, and STILL my 24" inseam does not fit the stand-over, but I can't afford to have a $2,000 bike custom made for me.
First thing I did was find out what correct size seat I needed, having replaced it with a 155mm Specialized saddle. The seat that came on my Novara Randonee now appears to be a suitable size for a child..... certainly not a 57 year old man.
I even thought that the pedals were too narrow for my wide foot, but I think I've learned to deal with them and they don't seem too bad now (having taken the cages off them until I think I'm ready to deal with 'em.
I would like to know if handlebar width is a standard, or if drop-down handlebars can be had in differing widths(?). For my BROAD shoulders, I find my handlebars uncomfortable and seemingly too narrow..... How do I determine the correct width handlebars?
In addition to width, where are the brake/shifting levers supposed to be located in relationship to the top of the handlebars? I have received conflicting information, that mine are too high - or - that they may be too low.
My biggest problem so far is with my hands going numb, dispite constantly changing grip position. Thus I'm thinking that different handlebars may help me resolve my problem.
You should have your shoulders measured (takes most of 60 seconds) and then get the appropriate bars for yourself. Your local bike shop should be able to help you with this.
Brifters can be moved/slid up or down a little bit, and you can rotate the bars a little in either direction, which gives you a lot of "play." There isn't one right answer, though. Photos of you on the bike would help.
Your hands are going numb because you have too much weight on them. Wider handlebars won't fix this, although they should be cheap, and if you need them, you should still get them. Probably a different stem is the first thing to look at, then saddle angle ( is it level with the road, now? ), then fore/aft.
Which model bike? If the top tube is horizontal, you might want to try something with a "compact geometry" which means the top tube is slanted. They have more standover room for a given reach.
Yes, drop handlebars come in different widths. The rule of thumb is that it should be as wide as your shoulders. The XS likely has ones that are much too narrow for you.
I agree that you have too much weight on your hands too. Are the handlebars level with the saddle? If below, how much?
Pilates helped me with this problem. The best way to take weight off your hands is to support yourself with your core muscles.