Adjusting hoods on your road bike

The hoods on my road bike looked a little odd when I went for a spin last week:

Hoods: Before

I didn’t remember then being aligned inwards as much as they were. It looked odd. But the thing was that it didn’t feel uncomfortable, it felt normal. But it still looked strange. A quick chat with a friend identified that they were indeed not right, in that they should not be converging but instead should be parallel with each other, therefore in line with the drops.

What I’d never managed to work out before was how to adjust the hoods. I couldn’t even tell how they were attached to the bars. I could tell from the fact that the handlebar tape was under the hood rubber that the hoods go on after the handlebar tape goes on, but there was no obvious way for how to attach the things. They seemed to stay there by magic.

However, I have now discovered how it’s done. Ultimately, you need to peel back the rubber and find a hole into which you can stick a 5mm allen key. Turn it left to loosen it, not too much so that it comes out completely, but just enough so you can rotate the hoods, and bingo – align them, turn the bolt back right again to tighten, and you’re done. Then do the other side.

Hoods: After

As with everything, it’s easy when you know how. The biggest issue I had was merely finding the hole. It was so hidden, that even when I could see the hole, it wasn’t obvious that it was a 5mm hexagon into which an allen key would fit. But now I do. Therefore, it ended up being a 5 minute job.

I think they ended up like that because the bolts were not particularly tight, as it was quite easy to loosen them. I therefore think that the bolts have been a tiny bit loose and I have therefore pushed the hoods inwards slowly over time, and it was only when I had put the bike away for 5 weeks (due to breaking myself, see previous posts) that it was then obvious that something was wrong, when I pulled the bike out of storage.

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