Here in 50+ we've had an ongoing set of threads about handlebars and comfort. (never mind the title, in 50+ we're more into pies than bars........unless they serve pie).
This thread is about refining the fit for drop bars on a daily rider. This is not about racing or aero, it's for general use. (Drops are still good aero for the ever present into the wind rides). We have folks here for whom tradition doesn't work. Yen is one, with prosthetic wrists who just can't get her hands around the drop bar setup. I've always been bothered by a perceived lack of braking force for my hand position on drop bars.
I've tried moving the hoods up down while rotating the bars up or down with little positive result. (positive by my desires......don't go nuts yet). There is a traditional pattern for drop bar setup. As with all traditions it varies by rider preference, but here goes anyway. The bar is set up on a work surface with the flat portion behind the drop level on the surface. The brake levers are set up vertically and the hoods are on the same line as the bars when viewed from above. On a classis bar shape, this usually leads to the tips of the brake levers touching the surface when the flat part behind the drops is parallell with the surface. The bar width is the same as the shoulder width of the rider so the hands are parallell and straight ahead in the drops or on the hoods.
Over the last 2 years, I've been working with bullhorns on road bikes and bullhorns and aero bars on TT bikes and I've discovered some things that I like better than the hand position on traditional drops. This year I started playing around with dirt drop bars and they have some interesting features that make the hand position different from traditional drops also. I've discovered that I am more comfortable when my hands are more open or rotated slightly outward (fingers out, wrists in). This was counter intuitive from my MTB experience untill I held my hands out in front of me and rotated them 90 degrees from palm flat down to vertical in.
To make a long story shorter, I am in the process of experimentint with the hoods on my drop bars pointing outward slightly (maybe 15deg) from the centerline of the bike. I've never done that before and I've never seed it done but at first blush it seems to have some promise. I find it easier to wrap my hands around the hoods when I want a full hand of brake lever.
Anyone else ever try something like this?