Join Date: May 2011
Location: Central Kali'
Bikes: REI 2009 Novara Randonee
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57 here too.... next month.
I've discovered on my various motorcycles over the years, that handlebar position, wrist angle, and the amount I lean forward is CRITICAL for comfort for the long haul. I coupled what I figured out about motorcycle seating/handlebar-position.... with bicycle 'textbook' handlebar & seat position, and concluded that the first 300 miles on my new bike just wasn't 'correct'.
After replacing the stem with something half the length, and getting rid of the 'too narrow' handlebars for something more appropriate for my wide shoulders, my ride is MUCH improved. I am no longer hyperextending my arms to reach for my bars, and I now have a little more bounce/flex in my lower-back to absorb the bumps. I opt'ed to angle my drop-downs such that they more resemble a "touring" set-up. With time, I will lose weight and gain flexibility, gradually dropping my handlebar height until I am comfortable to reach for the drop-downs.