LittleGreyCat wrote:All this does involve taking off the nice new handlebar tape which has been barely used (sniff).
It might not be necessary to completely remove and throw away the existing tape. Some tapes are not very sticky, and so can be unwound and rewound. You only need to unwind it to just below the brake lever/shifter housing to allow you to move the housing up/down a fraction on the bars, wrap the surplus out of the way somehow, e.g. with a bit of Sellotape to stop it unwinding and trailing, and then go for a short test ride (or two or three if you find you want to tweak the position again once or twice more). Once you are satisfied, rewind the tape around the housing and the top of the bars. The cables under the bars are probably held in place by some electrical tape, and you might need to unwind and possibly replace this when you move the housing.
You will have to learn to tape the bars at some point anyway, so actually partly unwinding and then rewinding the existing tape will give you an easier introduction into getting the hang of it than retaping the bars completely.
LittleGreyCat wrote:With more experience of riding drops I would have checked the setup and had them tinker until it was right before they taped the bars up. Lesson learned.
You are going through a learning/experience curve which most of us have been through, and starting to find that you have particular wants and needs when it comes to how your bike is set up and the components on it. No shop can anticipate those for each cyclist, and you may find it takes more than one attempt of changing the bars rotation and the brake position before you get it how you want it. My approach to this in the past has been to tell the shop to leave the bars untaped (except for electrical tape over the cables in two or three places to secure them to the bars), so that I can get the bars and levers set up just how I want before taping them myself. If you wear track mitts, or it's winter and you are wearing full gloves, the lack of tape is not so noticeable, with the result that you can take your time before deciding that you have finalised your position and taping the bars.
FWIW, I think a lot of the rapid change in and proliferation of new bar shapes/bends have created as many problems as they have solved, especially in combination with the changes in shape and ergonomics of STI/Ergolevers and the limitations sometimes specified/imposed by the makers of the levers on where they must be fitted, e.g. Campagnolo are quite prescriptive about which part of the bars' curve is and is not acceptable for positioning the levers.
It was a lot simpler when there were only a few variations on the basic curved handlebar, with no radical changes in the bends. Instead the curve of the average brake lever was probably fairly concentric with the curve of the bars, so the distance from the bottom of the brake lever to the bars did not change so much if the lever was moved up or down on the bars.
Steve Hogg has written some interesting articles on the subject of handlebar shapes and lever position:https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/articles/get-a-grip-road-bars/https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/07/behind-bars-bar-and-brake-lever-positioning/