Picked up a Ridley X-BOW today and so far after a few miles I have some questions about drop bars. I've been on Woodchipper II's from my Fargo which flare out at the bottom and have fit perfectly from the beginning. The stock ones on the X-BOW seem longer at the top from the stem and the distance between the drop and top is very short. It leaves me feeling stretched out and my hands cramped when in the drops. It's not bad, just different.
So, how do you find what drop bars fit best and how do you know to change out the bars or shorten the stem? Or change the height of the bars? How does it affect the handling of the bike? Or just get Woodchipper bars?
Coming from two steel bikes with wide tires to an aluminum skinny bike is a totally different feel. I don't feel any faster despite the lightness of the bike,it's just a bumpier ride. I think I have the fit correct, it's now making the small adjustments. I don't plan on racing..that would be a disaster, just doing the road and simple trails. I'm not sure how it would handle single track.
Also does bar tape and hood covering make a difference in grip and comfort?
I was looking at a "Jake the Snake" but the size he put on was a 56..which is what everyone puts me on and never feels right and even though the specs and price were better because it was last year's model the X-BOW seemed to fit better. I was surprised when he put me on a 51 but according to their site it puts me at a medium.
Excited about my purchase..I hope. Now to just get the little things right.