531colin wrote:If "taking weight off the hands and wrist" really is all you need to do, then just move the saddle back
Colin, I have seen you state this a few times and I hate to disagree with you but I think you are wrong. Over 70 years ago I was taught bike building by a man who had a bike shop in Walsall and he always stated that in order to optimise pedalling the saddle was set in a optimal position and recorded as a measurement using a vertical datum from the centre of the BB. Every bike mechanic I know agrees that this is close to being right. If you are saying because your arms ache you should move your saddle back you are then moving from your optimal position on the bike. If the aching is cause by incorrect positioning of the upper torso then it is the stem that needs to be lengthened or shortened as required. The saddle remains in the same place.
Regarding the OP’s hand problem, I suffer badly with arthritis in my left hand and am constantly trying new methods to help. You have had some good suggestions but it changing gear is a problem, like mine, an alternative is needed. Barcons are good because you can then use full v-brakes with matching levers to give better braking. At the present time I am experimenting with a hybrid method using full vs on the back with a Tektro lever and a friction down tube shifter for the front mech. If I am having a bad hand day, I can still reach through to change the front with my right hand.