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Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!(21 posts)

Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!2wheeler
Jul 2, 2003 6:02 PM
Hello fellow riders. I hope you are all enjoying the season to the MAX and getting prepared for the tour. I have a question I'd like to get some feedback and hopefully some posts on from all of you. I am an experienced rider/wrench (particularly mountain) and I have recently decided to buy a new "compact" road bike. I am sold on the Specialized Allez series because of all the different size options, however this has created some confusion. At 5'9.5" and 31" inseam, I cannot decide between a 56cm and 54cm bike. Seems like both can be overrun with different size stems and different amounts of the seatpost sticking out of the frame, so I was hoping you specialists and allez compact owners would post up your heights/inseams and sizes that you ride in this particular bike if you have a recent Allez compact model. I have been through every mathematical website that helps with fit like "wrenchscience.com" and my LBS says "its up to me", but I still cannont make a decision. Most importantly, Any advantages you guys/gals find over the smaller or bigger of the two frames if you can get stem/seatpost to size you up right on both? Your input would be greatly appreciated and directly affect my decision that I must make within the next few days. CHEERS!
re: Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!miguel33
Jul 2, 2003 6:36 PM
We should not meet.

I too am 5'9.5" w/ a 31" inseam, and ride an specialized allez. When I was purchasing I too came upon this very issue. I too hemmed and hawed.

In the end I decided with the 56 because I went to a very experienced fitter and he told me I looked less cramped on this bike, and he thought I would like it better. My bike, by the way, is not the compact, which makes the top tube quite high for me (there is not the 1" clearance that is thought of so highly). This has not been a problem--thank goodness.

I could probably be riding with a 90mm stem. I now ride with a 100mm. It is fine, I find myself on the drops only when I am riding hard, I usually back off a bit when cruising, as it is more comfortable. One day I will bother with shortening the stem a cm.

Whatever you choose, good luck. It is a fun bike.

I was kidding about not meeting, but it might be weird. What if you turn out to be my doppelganger.

be well.
re: Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!Scot_Gore
Jul 2, 2003 7:54 PM
I have a 2001 Allez. My first thought is at 5'9" the 56 sounds too big and the 54 sounds about right. As the previous poster said, the 56 non-compact compromises some standover for him. You won't need to worry about standover with a compact, but the TT may be too big. Without more info on your proportions it's hard to say.

What did Wrenchscience have to say about recommended TT lenght ?
How's the eyes to hub while in the drops test look to you ?

Good luck and enjoy the bike

Scot
re: Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!2wheeler
Jul 2, 2003 8:31 PM
Hey thanks to both of you who offered some great responses so far. From what the first guy said, seems he doesnt feel comfortable in the drops except in an all out effort. No offense Miguel because you had a great post, but if I was always to find myself backing off the drops, that would make me think my bike is too big for me. And as to the second post, those are some great questions. The problem with the wrenchscience numbers is they give me an overall reach (top tube plus stem length) which is again achievable by both bikes. The 54 with a longer than normal stem and the 56 with a shorter than normal stem. Both bikes can safely achieve the saddle height although the post ends up not sticking out very far of the 56cm. Also, the measurement they gave me for overall reach was 26.7" (67.82cm) which seems way too long for me because stock the 56cm allez has a measurement in this category of 67.3cm which put me waayy behind the hub/handlebar test making the hub completely visible but is still under the wrenchscience number. If it helps any, according to my measurements the wrenchscience also says I am a traditional (seattube)center-to-top tube road size 53cm, but I think that gets thrown out the window when it comes to compacts. Again, any advantage to the smaller or bigger frame if you can basically achieve ttube reach and seat height with stems and seatposts? Also, I'm interested to hear what others have chose when confronted with this compact problem regardless of the brand of bike. Which size do most of you my height (5' 9.5"/31" inseam) ride? If I had to honestly say, from stock rides the 56cm seemed a little big, but would I gain by buying the 56cm and going with a stem 20mm less and having the seatpost alot less exposed? Or do you guys think the smaller size would be a benefit? Sorry to have so many questions, but I feel the ones out riding these bikes are the true experts, not the calculator or sales staff. I guess I just dont want to choose wrong since the frame is the heart and soul. As always, thanks for the posts.
re: Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!Scot_Gore
Jul 2, 2003 9:13 PM
Like I said, the 56 sounds big to me. I partly say that because I'm 5'11" and 1/2. (It says 6' on my drivers lic. ahhhh vanity). My cycling inseam is 33.5". I ride a stock 56cm 2001 Specialized Allez Comp and I have about 5000 miles on the bike that says it fits. You're just a tad smaller than me, so a tad smaller bike seems the way to go IMHO.

HTH

Scot

PS - here's the ride so you can see seatpost, stack height and stem lenght.
re: Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!2wheeler
Jul 2, 2003 9:32 PM
Scott, that info makes alot more sense to me and is better than the algebra for frame fit. If you are 2" taller in inseam and overall height and ride a 56cm, it would make sense that I'd probably ride the next size down. And by the looks of your seatpost it looks like a smaller frame doesnt hurt....I guess its just adapting to that look when you are so used to a traditional road bike being so much frame underneath you. I think I agree with you that the 56cm sounds like too much bike for me.

BTW, that is a BEAUTIFUL bike man. Great job on the hbar tape, accessories, etc. I like that look much more than the new comps with the aero seattube.

And oh yeah, I'm 5' 9.5" and my driver's license says 5'10"....hahaha...just think of it like math class...at .5 you ALWAYS round up!

You've been a big help. Thanks a bunch.
the 54cm is the correct size....C-40
Jul 3, 2003 5:03 AM
Assuming that you have correctly measured your cycling inseam, to firm crotch contact in bare feet and are not quoting a pants inseam, you need a 54cm, no question. You also have pretty short legs for your height.

If you are quoting a pants inseam, then you should measure correctly and post again. Pants inseam is irrelevant.

See www.cyfacusa.com for more fit info.
the 54cm is the correct size....2wheeler
Jul 3, 2003 12:28 PM
Yes my correct inseam is 31". My pants inseam is 32", however my actual bare foot to crotch measurement is only 31". So far I'm leaning towards the 54cm, however some of you have made some interesting comments about being able to ride a 56cm with a much smaller stem.
C-40 knows all.Scot_Gore
Jul 3, 2003 12:47 PM
2wheeler,
When it comes to fit, geometry, and bike setup, when C40 talks pay attention. The man knows his stuff. I've been hanging out here for a couple of years and C40 is the king of geometry.

my 2 cents

Scot
racing or touring fit...C-40
Jul 3, 2003 1:20 PM
From the point of vertical fit, the larger frame will give you a touring fit rather than a racing fit. Up to you to decide what you need.

If you want to maintain a small height difference between the bars and saddle, the 56cm frame will do that with it's 2cm taller head tube. You could have as little as a 4cm drop from the saddle to the bars. The 1.4cm difference in TT length puts you in-bewteen stem lengths. Might require a 1 or 2cm shorter stem on the larger frame.

Look to the future. Do you see yourself as a serious recreational rider, (maybe racer) on the smaller frame, or more of a touring/long distance rider on the larger frame?.
racing or touring fit...2wheeler
Jul 3, 2003 1:59 PM
Hey you guys have been a big help. I appreciate all the attention you have been paying to this specific dilemma. S Gore had some good points about him being on his stock 56cm for 5k worth of miles and being content with his fit, all while he is 2" bigger in overall height and leg inseam. That makes me really think I'm a 54. But, then C-40 really had some great points too. C-40, with the measurements I have given, would you personally go with the 56cm and a 20mm shorter stem, or would you ride the stock 54cm? Riding wise I'd like a bike that can do both of the things you mentioned well (wouldnt we all?), however if I had to lean to one end of the spectrum, I would guess more the serious recreationalist as opposed to a touring rider. That is why I have chosen this kind of bike as opposed to a cromo touring road bike, or one of those new "Specialized Sequoias". I dont ever really plan on doing repetitive century rides, but more ideally see myself doing 20 - 50k max mile rides except occasional longer charity rides which wouldnt be more than a few times a year. Does that help you get a sense of what I should ride?

As always, thanks guys.
racing or touring fit...2wheeler
Jul 3, 2003 2:05 PM
Also, how does each frame size benefit a particular ride style? In other words, why would the larger frame be more beneficial to longer rides and the smaller frame be more suited for shorter, faster rides? Is it that the smaller frame is lighter, stiffer, and creates a more hunched race position as opposed to the larger frame creating that more relaxed riding position because of the longer headtube?

Are there any other benefits to a smaller/larger frame in road riding?

I know in mountain biking we go with the smallest frame that still fits, is it true that its the opposite in road?
they can fit the same...C-40
Jul 3, 2003 3:23 PM
The idea is to make either frame fit the same. With the larger frame, there will be a limit on how low you can place the bars, with the 160mm head tube length. You also want to be sure that the stem length required is no shorter than 90mm, since many models are not made any shorter. The larger frame might ride a bit smoother and would not be likely to have any toe overlap due to the longer wheelbase. The standover clearance will be at the minimum 2cm.

If your inseam is really only 31 inches, you should have a saddle height of only 67-69cm, depending on the shoe/pedal combo that you select. With a saddle height that low I don't see any reason to risk getting such a large frame. Check your saddle height from the center of the BB to the top of the saddle along the center of the seat tube to see if it's in the 67-69cm range.

For comparison, I ride a frame that is nearly identical in geometry to the 54cm Specialized(size S Fondriest). I have a much taller saddle height (71cm) which yields a 9cm saddle to bar height with an 84 degree stem and 1cm of spacer on the same 140mm head tube. I'm also only 5'-6.5" inches tall but my inseam is 4cm longer than yours (83cm vs. 79cm).

On the 54cm Specialized, you should have no more than a 7cm saddle to bar height difference, which is a pretty conservative setup. I would expect that you will require either a 110mm or 120mm stem on the 54cm frame.
suprised i guess2wheeler
Jul 3, 2003 4:24 PM
C-40 I am very suprised that you are only 5'6.5" and have a longer inseam than me. My inseam really is only 31". Now if I pull up all my special parts super tight (but gentle), I can get slightly over that, but still not 32". I dont mean anything by this because obviously you know what you are talking about and I dont, but I found your last post a little contradiciting. First, I read the part you said about "no sense to have a frame that large on a saddle height of 67-69cm", but then you said the bigger frame would ride a bit smoother and prevent toe overlap. I really dont know what toe overlap is, but I assume you mean interfering with the front wheel?

My saddle height comes out to be about 68.41cm, just like you guessed.

And yes the stock stem on the 54 is 110cm which blocked the hub appropriately in the drops and on the hoods. The 56cm didnt, but maybe with a 90-100mm stem it would?

Sorry but the saddle to hbar height difference is a little over my head right now. Is it the less the more relaxed position, and the more height difference the more "race-like" position?
new generation2wheeler
Jul 3, 2003 4:26 PM
Sorry the pants inseam threw you off. I'm one of those that wear their pants slightly longer and bigger than they should be.
get the 54cm...C-40
Jul 4, 2003 10:57 AM
If your saddle height is 68-69cm then the 54cm frame is definitely the correct size. You should have a conservative bar to saddle height with this frame size. The 56cm frame is definitely too tall. You will probably use a 110mm stem to start, but as you gain experience and experiment with saddle foe/aft position, you may end up with 120mm.

A frame with a longer top tube length will have a longer front-center dimension and a longer wheelbase than a frame with a shorter top tube. Riders with large feet or those that select a frame on the small side often experience toe overlap with the front wheel. It's exactly what it sounds like. With foot at the 3 o'clock position the tire will hit the end of your shoe. This isn't a big deal, just something you have to watch when starting off from a dead stop. You could fall if you get your foot on the inside of the wheel during a start, while moving very slowly. During normal riding the tire is never turned enough to cause a problem.

My Fondriest is the first frame I've owned which has minor toe overlap, despite my small size 8.5 shoes. The frame fits fine, it just has the shortest TT and F-C length that I would ever want.

Saddle to bar height is a very important part of bike fit. Measure vertically from the floor to the top of the saddle and then from the floor to the top of the bars. The difference in the dimensions is generally 7-10cm. I use 9cm on my bikes. Those who want a more upright position may reduce the difference to 5cm or less by using a high rise stem and/or steering tube spacers. Folks that want this minimal height difference also often select a larger frame with a longer head tube and minimal standover clearance (a typical touring fit).
BIG UP TO THE MAN C-40 "THE RAINMAN OF FIT"2wheeler
Jul 4, 2003 7:59 PM
C-40 I AM AMAZED WITH THE DIMENSIONS THAT YOU KNOW OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD. YOU PUMPED THAT STUFF OUT LIKE RAINMAN KNOWING MY SADDLE HEIGHT, STEM LENGTH, ETC. I QUICKLY RESPECT YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF BIKE GEOMETRY AND FIT, THEREFORE I WILL FOLLOW YOUR ADVICE. I FELT REALLY AT HEART THAT THE 54CM WAS RIGHT, I JUST DIDNT WANT TO REGRET IT IN A YEAR AND FEEL I MADE A HUGE MISTAKE. SOMEONE WITH YOUR FIT WISDOM CONFIRMING THAT WAS A BIG HELP. YOU CAN BE MY WINGMAN ANYTIME!

FOR EVERYONE ELSE, YOU'VE ALL BEEN JUST AS HELPFUL IN YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL WAYS. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR INPUT AND ENJOY YOUR BIKES. S-GORE, THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP AND MANY POSTS. MIGUEL, I ALSO RESPECT THAT THE 56CM WORKS FOR YOU, ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU HAVE A LONGER INSEAM AND THE FIT HAS PROVEN GOOD FOR YOU OVER THE LAST YEAR. I AM DEFINETLY NOT YOUR DOPPLEGANGER OR WHATEVER THAT MEANS.

HELL, YOU CAN ALL BE MY WINGMEN ANYTIME.

ENJOY THE TOUR GUYS AND ILL SEE AROUND "THE DISCUSSIONS".
doesn't make sense....C-40
Jul 3, 2003 3:53 PM
Pants inseam is always less than cycling inseam, not more.

It would be typical for pants inseam to be at least 2 inches shorter than cycling inseam, since the crotch of pants hangs much lower than the area being measured for cycling.

Remember that when measuring cyclign inseam, we are talking weight bearing, saddle-like crotch contact.
since you are still discussing this...miguel33
Jul 3, 2003 5:19 PM
I went back and remeasured my inseam. It is slightly larger than I posted earlier, which takes me out of the doppelganger category and puts me happily on my 56. I am still 5'9 + a little, but my inseam is 32.5-33". I set my saddle 30.5" from the bottom bracket, and so I was confused when I told you my inseam was 31"

I actually also went to wrenchscience and put in all my numbers. It told me I should be riding my bike. Imagine that. My advice to the first poster though--go to a really good shop where there is a very experienced fitter. This will take all the guesswork out of it.

I did this and have not worried that I'm on the wrong size frame. Oh, also, after I bought the bike he fit me on it. This too was a great help.
I'm the same size as you and ride an 03 Allez Cro MoSpecialTater
Jul 3, 2003 6:29 AM
Elite 56". The 54 was a little too small and had too much seatpost. They put a shorter stem (by 20mm) and I have less than 2cm of spacers. I keep removing them as I get more comfortable on the bike and have learned to stretch out. I personally like the larger size for me and have felt from day one that I made the right choice. It's a great bike.
re: Specialized Compact Allez Fit Forum to help the helpless!scary slow
Jul 3, 2003 8:23 AM
I have the 01' Allez Comp in a 53. I typically ride a 51-52 but based my decision on the TT length. I had determined long ago that a TT length of 54 was what I needed based on previous bikes. Despite the fact that the frame is larger than my typical ride, on paper anyway, there is still a ton of seatpost showing due to the compact geometry. If I had to do it over again I would probably bump up to the 54 to lessen the seat height to bar height and run a shorter 110 stem. Right now my bars are about 3.5 inches below the saddle. I typically prefer to run them closer to 2.5-3 inches lower.
The Allez is an awesome bike though and I have never regretted my purchase. It corners like a scared cat and is great for crits. It is a bit abusive on the longer days but there are always trade-offs.