I rode for 30 years including BMX racing and 5 years as a messenger in San Francisco (hence my name). However, I have been away from bikes for 20 years and am out of touch with technological developments.
I just picked up a carbon fiber 105 road bike, and an entry level gravel bike (primarily for my son) but I ride it too.
I found some amazing dirt tracks and gravel around my master planned community...20 miles worth!
Hence I am thinking of building a dedicated gravel bike. I want speed and do not planning anything to rough or technical, primarily dirt and rocks. I want as small a tire as possible, however I am 220 lbs.
I will be doing 3 one hour fitness rides per week (I am a competitive bodybuilder and spend 8-10 hours in the gym per week) at a fast pace (keeping my heart rate up around 80% of VO2 Max). I will not be racing. I have zero interest in riding from the drops and do not want to have to reach down in order to stop. I ride the hoods, which leads to my question: Why does modern shifting from the hoods suck, even with all the technological advancements?
I heard about "1 finger shifting" but on my road bike 1 finger shifting from the hoods is terrible. Is this because my road bike has traditional calipers? Will the shifting be more responsive if I have Hydraulic disc brakes?
I ask because a want to go with drop bars, not flat bars. But I also want good breaking, and I don't want to spend 20 feet rolling while I shift my hands to my drops, I want strong breaking from the hoods.