So long time MTBer; soon to add a decent road bike to my stable. I have a question about handlebar position and the proper ways to ride a drop bar.
Short backstory: was recently on leave in Tenerife, and rented a road bike to see if I liked road biking and to get some ideas about what I do and don't like in a bike before I buy. Started off with a 58cm Leader, and when I broke the paddle thingy on the Campy shifter, exchanged it for a 56cm Mrazek.
The 56cm frame was clearly a better fit, but on both bikes, with the drops "level" I had to cock my wrists up to be able to reach the brakes and shifters, and the the position was really uncomfortable.
It felt like maybe a shorter stem would help... but lacking a shorter stem, I made do by rotating the bars downwards. This straightened out my wrists and put the brakes withing reach. It also moved my grip more into the "crook" of the bars, which was more comfortable.
The side effect, of course, is that it rotates the hoods forward too. I was OK with that, because I was only going to have the bike for 2 weeks, and I spent most of my time in the drops anyway. Ugly, yes, but it worked for me at the time.
But as I pay more and more attention to pictures of roadies and their bikes, it looks like most of you rarely spend any time in the drops, and the preferred position is to grip the hoods.
So I'm a little confused - it doesn't look like there's enough leverage to really use the brakes on the hoods. I suppose one can shift from that position... but it doesn't look easy. And with the hoods up that far, the brake levers seem too far away to work well in the drops.
So what gives? What is the proper relationship between bars and levers? How is it supposed to work?