Mick F wrote: ↑20 Sep 2021, 9:05am
I still think that moving the bars closer would be better - for me at least - or even fitting straight bars.
My own experience was that the reduction in discomfort by switching from riding on the hoods to gripping the top of the bars was deceptive. It led me to believe that a shorter stem was the solution, but when I bought and fitted one my position still did not feel 'right'. Consequently I kept tinkering with the bars, trying to figure out what the missing element was. So I tried raising the bars, lowering them, rotating them back, rotating them forward, fitting a longer stem, fitting an even shorter stem etc.
And that is the problem with the approach I took: there are so many different permutations of combining those variables, that I ended up going round in circles trying to find the right combination.
I had subconsciously avoided considering my saddle position. I did not want to face up to the possibility that the problem was there, because at the back of my mind was the suspicion that it might be impossible to fix. The saddle was already pushed as far back as it could go and the seatpost was one with quite a bit of layback. The thought that I had spent a lot of money on a new bike and that I had made a very bad mistake, was something I did not want to acknowledge.
It was reading various posts on this forum, especially those by 531colin and reohn2, on the subject of steep seat tubes that persuaded me to confront the issue, especially when I read this thread - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=104331
, which showed me that there were seatposts with more set back, and that is what I ended up buying.
I have digressed in posting my own experience above, but I thought it useful to share because it highlights some of the potential difficulties and pitfalls, and I would not want you or anyone else to experience the frustration I did, as I tried one stem after another and made change after change to the bars' height and rotation.
Assuming that your problem is one of bike fit, it would seem there are three potential solutions:
A. Shorter stem to reduce the reach
B. Saddle needs to go back further
C. Both A and B.
If you were using a threadless stem with a removable face plate, it would be easy and relatively inexpensive to try a shorter stem. However, I think you have Cinelli bars and stem with a 26.4mm clamp diameter, which was unique to Cinelli and discontinued in 1998. Although Cinelli still make quill stems, they are now 26mm clamp diameter. To try a shorter stem with your current bars you would probably need to hunt down a suitable used Cinelli 26.4mm stem on Ebay, and I would not be happy about using a ~25 year old or more second hand stem. Like you, I have stems that are ~35 years old, but again like you I have owned them from new and I know they have not been crashed or subjected to a hard life. So to try a new stem you might need to get new (26mm clamp diameter) bars as well.
Moreover, it is potentially unlikely that you would identify the right choice of stem length with your first purchase. Quill stems are so much dearer than cheap threadless stems that it is very expensive to experiment by buying different lengths.
If it were just a matter of finding the right stem length, then the risk of needing to buy more than one length to try is something you might just have to accept. However, if it is the case that actually you *do* need to move your saddle further back, you run the risk of wasting quite a bit of money doing as I did, i.e. buying one stem after another and getting increasingly frustrated in the process.
In my opinion, it is a 'no brainer' that you should try moving the saddle back before attempting to vary the stem length and adjust the bars etc. It should involve buying just one seatpost, and experimenting with moving the saddle further back by 5mm, 10mm and maybe 15mm.
I would not worry about the increased reach that results from moving the saddle back. Get the saddle position right, and only then think about stem length and reach. As I think 531colin has often stated, it's not unusual for people who have their saddles too far forward to find that they are comfortable with a longer reach once their saddle position is right. That was my experience too: once the saddle was further back, stem length became less critical, and I could fit a longer stem if I wanted to have a more aero/stretched position, because my upper body was balanced and I was not putting much weight on the bars through my hands and arms, i.e. stem length became more a matter of choice, rather than dictated by one length being much more comfortable than another.
If you do decide to try increasing the saddle set back, there are a few options providing your seatpost is 27.2mm. If it is not 27.2mm, then I think the only obvious choice is the V K saddle adjuster (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/saddles/vk-saddle-adjuster/
), but I suspect it might not be suitable anyway, because I think it might put the saddle too far back for you (as well as being heavy and ugly).
In 27.2mm there is a bit of choice, but the obvious candidate is the two bolt seatpost discussed in the thread linked above, which is sold/has been sold as the Velo Orange 'Gran Cru' seatpost, Planet X Holdsworth 'Gran Sport' seatpost, and SJS Jtek 'Long Layback' seat post. It has 30mm layback, which looks to me to be at least 10mm more than your Campagnolo seatpost, and possibly even 15mm more.
Unfortunately at the moment Planet X are not listing the seatpost, the latest batch of the Jtek version in silver comes in a sandblasted finish (previously it was polished), and Velo Orange is a small US boutique brand which doubles the price in the UK.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/seat-posts/ ... er-272-mm/