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Hi everyone. I just recently took delivery of my specialized allez sport triple. It is my first road bike and I have a few questions. How can I tell if I have my saddle at the correct height. I know this is way more important on a road bike than it is on a MTB. My second question is regarding my stem. My bike is a 52 cm and it came with a 100 mm stem. I'm 5'8". The bike feels great and I know I definitely went with the right size, but I feel a bit streched out. I'm definitely going to go with a smaller stem but I'm not sure how small. Is a 90 mm stem going to make a noticeable change? Would a 70 mm stem affect the handling of the bike for the worse since it's alot shorter? Any help I can get here will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Couple of guidelines to get you started....

Ice025 said:
Hi everyone. I just recently took delivery of my specialized allez sport triple. It is my first road bike and I have a few questions. How can I tell if I have my saddle at the correct height. I know this is way more important on a road bike than it is on a MTB. My second question is regarding my stem. My bike is a 52 cm and it came with a 100 mm stem. I'm 5'8". The bike feels great and I know I definitely went with the right size, but I feel a bit streched out. I'm definitely going to go with a smaller stem but I'm not sure how small. Is a 90 mm stem going to make a noticeable change? Would a 70 mm stem affect the handling of the bike for the worse since it's alot shorter? Any help I can get here will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
There aren't any rigid rules anymore, I don't think. People have sort of gotten away from thinking that the setup that works for Lance and Hincapie is right for everybody. You can find all the information you'll never need by Googling "bike fit," but here are some old "rules" to help you start:
Saddle height can be approximated by raising it a little at a time and pedaling backward. When your hips start to rock, lower it until they stop and try riding that way for awhile. You can fine tune from there.
Can't tell without seeing how much shorter your stem should be, but an old rule of thumb is that when you're riding on the brake hoods, the handlebar should obscure the front hub. I'm old and stiff and most of mine are a little shorter than that, but if you see where you are now, then you can see about where you want to go.
The effect of stem extension on handling is overstated, I think. It isn't zero, but no change you can make is going to make a huge difference. I've had stems from 150mm to 60mm on one of my old mountain bikes (it was my main offroad ride for a couple of years, then I set it up as a commuter), and the adjustment takes about 10 feet. It's just not that big a deal.
 

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i found 10mm longer stem made a world of difference (i was too compact). i got 2mm narrower handlebars and also felt that (it feels 15 feet narrower). im terms of stretch and such your arms and back will tell you either in 5 seconds, or after 5 hours.....either way it will let you know.
 

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I have a 2005 Allez Sport Triple and I have very much enjoyed it. I have a 54cm and it came with a 110mm stem. I also felt that I was to stretched out. I switched it to a 90mm which helped but I still feel a little stretched. Part of the problem was that I also was new to a road bike and it takes some getting used to. About a month ago I switched to a Ritchey Biomax II handlebar which has a very short reach and drop. This has made all the difference in the world. I find myself spending more time on the hoods the more I ride it just because that is where it is starting to feel the most comfortable.
 
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