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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ride for the past 6 yrs has been a 58 cm Specialized Allez Elite with a 58.2 cm TT and 110 stem that is +18 degrees. I recently received a nice gift: 58 cm Focus Cayo Expert with a 57 cm TT and 110 stem that is +15 degrees. The Specialized fits me like a glove. Comparing the two; the headset/bars on the Focus are a good 3 cm lower than the Specialized and the TT is obviously a little shorter. I have my saddle height the same. The Focus rides like a dream, but I notice a little discomfort in my lower back 30 minutes in to a ride. Plus, it just feels a little awkward positioning since I'm so used to my old bike (I am not flexible at all...can't touch my toes). Question is; do I change the length of the stem or the length of the stem + the stem angle? I am also going to move the seat back a little and see what that does.
 

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Start by getting the saddle in the same position reative to the bottom bracket. If you are using the same length cranks and the same saddle this is easy. A little trickier if you are using a different saddle.

A different seat tube angle will change the effective top tube once you get the saddle in the correct position.

Then you can deal with getting the bars in a better position. The issue is that your frames are not good fits if you have to use such extreme positive stem angles.

Jeff

I can,t touch my toes but I use a -6 degree stem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Of course the LBS "fit" me on the Specialized = put me on a bike they had in stock. It came with the +18 stem. I don't know if the frame did not fit me, or I'm just so used to that position after 6 yrs. I will evaluate the seat tube angle first. Crank arms are the same length.
 

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As you've found, there are more differences between the two frames than just 12mm's in TT length. It's likely the frame stack differs as well.

I agree that saddle adjustment should come first, but I'd start by measuring your KOPS +/- position on your Allez, then (to start) setting it the same on the Focus. Depending on variances in saddles and pedal systems, saddle height is going to be close, so once height, fore/ aft and tilt are set, you can then focus on reach/ drop.

You're not at this point yet, but considering you're experiencing lower back pain and have an additional 3cm's of drop on the Focus, I'd lean towards the problem being more of a saddle to bar drop issue than reach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A few more specs:
Specialized = seat tube 540, seat tube angle 73, head tube angle 73, head tube length 205

Focus = seat tube 580, seat tube angle 73.5, head tube angle 73.5, head tube length 170

How significant is the .5 difference in angle? Excuse the ignorance, but what is KOPS and how do I measure this? Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, and the stem is +6 on the Focus and +8 on the Specialized. Don't know where I got the 18 and 15. I'll google KOPS and give it a shot. I did use the 0.882 x inseam, which is similar to my current/previous saddle height.
 

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nephro said:
Oh, and the stem is +6 on the Focus and +8 on the Specialized. Don't know where I got the 18 and 15. I'll google KOPS and give it a shot. I did use the 0.882 x inseam, which is similar to my current/previous saddle height.
Here's how to measure KOPS: bike level, pedals at 3 and 9, using the leg at the 9 (frontal) position, find the spot in the front of the knee just below the knee cap that indents a little and drop a weighted string down through the pedal spindle. Measure from the string to spindle and note the distance - also note ahead of or behind pedal spindle. Measure the Allez first, then the Focus so we can compare the two.
Follow the dotted line in the pic:
View attachment 202402
 

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nephro said:
Oh, and the stem is +6 on the Focus and +8 on the Specialized. Don't know where I got the 18 and 15. I'll google KOPS and give it a shot. I did use the 0.882 x inseam, which is similar to my current/previous saddle height.
When you say the stem angles are +6 and +8 degree, you're saying both are 'flipped up'?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, both are up. On the KOPS, the pedal spindle is 1 cm in front of the tibial tuberosity/knee. I also noticed that my arms were more fatigued on the Focus vs the specialized. Thanks a lot for your time. I would like to take the bike to my LBS for sizing, but I feel bad as this bike was purchased from an online dealer (although I have already bought two bikes from the LBS)
 

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nephro said:
Yes, both are up. On the KOPS, the pedal spindle is 1 cm in front of the tibial tuberosity/knee. I also noticed that my arms were more fatigued on the Focus vs the specialized. Thanks a lot for your time. I would like to take the bike to my LBS for sizing, but I feel bad as this bike was purchased from an online dealer (although I have already bought two bikes from the LBS)
That's a fine plan. If you're a customer, I wouldn't feel bad about bringing the bike in for sizing. Be upfront with them and offer to pay for the sizing/ fitting and they'll probably be ok with it.

We can assist you here, but the LBS has the advantage of working with you and seeing you on the bike. FWIW, if the Allez fits you well, I'm seeing enough differences in the Focus' geo that you may be hard pressed to get a good fit, but that's just a guess based on limited info.

Very generally speaking, IMO KOPS +/- is good on your Allez.
 
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