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I've never noticed this before but when I adjusted my hydro's levers to be close to the bar for my small hands, I notice a decrease in power. When I adjust it out, it seems that the power returns. Is it all in my mind or does the reach adjustment also affect the power/modulation for Shimano hydro's? On my Hayes hydros, there isn't much of an effect (but then again, the Hayes do not adjust as close to the bar as the Shimano units)...
 

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The reach adjustment is not only according to the size of one's hand. My hands are large but I always prefer "close" reach...like all the pros do. That's the matter of ergonomics. Unless you adjusted the levers that were too close to the bar so you could not "squeeze" enough juice because there was a dead stop/limited throw. The reach adjustment should never affect the power, but modulation which is partly related to ergonomics of the system and one's preference.
 
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