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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally a break in the rain!! The weather report for the weekend called for rain throughout Sat. with clearing on Sun. so I thought I would have to wait until tomorrow and only get one ride in this weekend. Well, much to my delight, despite rain this morning, it finally cleared enough that I was able to get out at 2:30 for a 20 mile ride. Even through the rain had stopped, there was some major wind to deal with ranging between 15 to 25 mph - but I didn't care.

I have read that the Columbus SLX E5 tubing used in this frame makes for a stiff but rough riding bike and many recommend a carbon seatpost such as Specialized's Pave with the Zertz insert. I built the bike using my favorite Thompson Elite and was prepared for something less than a smooth ride. Much to my delight the bike is indeed stiff, but rides very smoothly. No perceivable vibrations through the handlebars and it took small bumps in stride without jarring me. The compact geometry with its shorter wheelbase makes for very responsive handling and delicious cornering. It was very stable even given the strong winds. As for the Korso's, I'm sure they contributed their part to the smooth ride, but not knowing "how" they're supposed to ride that's only a guess. They're whisper quiet, ride lighter than their 1740 grams and the hubs roll like crazy. I didn't do anything that would put them to any kind of limit, with that said, I didn't find them at all flexy. Mine were spot on true out of the box and remained so after the maiden voyage. Overall, color me very happy with all aspects of the bike and the wheels. Weight with pedals: 17.37 lbs.

 

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Hey Bladin, How'd the "flat" stem angle treat you? I know thats more of a personal preference but would like to know your thoughts.

My 2005 Allez Elite is essentially the same frame and I did notice a hard ride at first. I think this was due to my road riding inexperience and the fact that I was running 120psi. I dropped the tire pressure to around 110 and gave my body time to adjust to the road so the ride was much smoother now.

One more question, in your experience of building and riding bikes, how much do the stem and handlebars contribute to ride comfort?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First let me explain that I'm an older rider (55) and that I have some minor neck issues. With that in mind I have always had my stem angled up and have used at least 30mm of stem spacers. This time around, I decided to give it a try with the stem in the neutral position with a measurable drop between saddle height and the bars, much too my surprise, I find the position very comfortable and I now have more bend in my elbows taking pressure off my hands. My core strength must be good enough, because I have no back strain at all.

Based on this installation, I recently shortened the stem, reduced the spacers and used a neutral mounting position on my TST titanium road bike and I've achieved the same results as with my Allez Pro. I find the handling and turning on both these bikes superior to those with the stem turned up. As with everything related to bike fit, who knows if this would be the same in your circumstance, but it sure wouldn't hurt to try.

As to ride quality, I find the Allez Pro, with tires at 120psi, to be very comfortable and delivers a surprisingly smooth ride for a stiff, all aluminum frame.
 
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