Question for anyone who is familiar with the setup of a bike. I am a 47 year old guy. Pretty active, but I have lower back pain- pretty bad sometimes. However, I am not ready to give up my beloved road bikes. I went to a bike shop and made it clear that I need a road bike with a less aggressive riding position, ie. more upright because of my back. I really liked the Trek Madone 5.2. However, I did not spend enough time researching it. The salespeople were all over me. They sat me on it and told me that they could make it fit perfect if they just changed the handlebar stem. They did, and I took it for a ride, and it felt great. So the next day I bought it. (Note, they added a 100mm stem with 15 degree rise to get it into the right position).
After bringing it home, not having taken it for a ride yet, I noticed that on the underside it was listed as a Madone 5.2 Sport, which means that it by default has a more aggressive rider position. The more I thought about it and researched, I found that the regular Madone 5.2 has a 30mm larger head tube specifically for a more upright ride. I am wondering, it had to take some jacking up to get the sport model handlebar position correct. How much will that affect the geometry of the bike? Would I be better off, before I start riding this thing, to take it back and say order me the regular Madone with 30mm more head tube so I won't need a special stem which might throw the geometry off a bit? Am I being too paranoid? The bike costs $3500. I want it to fit with as little deviation from the original geometry as possible. What do you think?
Does the bike shop you bought it from offer professional fitting services? Some bike shops will do a pro fit for free if you buy a high-end bike from them. It's worth asking about.
There are things you can do for your back, too. I used to have terrible back and hip problems. I started going to a chiropractor (but I don't anymore) and that really helped. He was a physical therapist, too, and a cyclist, so he knew my issues. He suggested really working on strengthening my core in order to better support my body with my muscles and reducing the pressure and stress on my back. I started up with Pilates pretty seriously and I can't believe the difference that it has made--in relieving my back pain and in my appearance!
It's certainly worth asking at the bike shop about the fitting and any other questions you have. It would be a shame to have a new (and very nice) bike that you don't want to ride.
If, by chance, your bike shop doesn't do professional fittings, I highly recommend Proteus Bikes in College Park. Jill is the owner and she's an excellent fitter. It'll cost a bit of $ and a few hours, but will be well worth it because you'll be able to ride your bike!
2) I have never heard the "Sport" designation being used in association with a Trek Madone 5.2. The new 2008's come in a "Pro" and "Performance" version. The Performance version has a more relaxed position with it's 30mm taller head tube. The Pro version has the more traditional geometry, and is similar in fit to prior year Madones.
FWIW, increasing core strength, (what tulip said, re chiropractic care, and stretching will all help.
If it's the 2008 model and the frame is blue and black, it's the 5.2 "Pro" fit. If it's all black, and/or you have a triple, you have the "Performance" fit.
However, the difference looks rather slight to me. I can understand how you might feel a little bowled over, but for what it's worth.... The geometry differences are really minor; it'd be much worse if you were looking for the more aggressive fit, and ended up with the more relaxed one.
Plus, all the bikes in that price range are equal quality, and you'll be just as happy with the Madone as you would with anything else.
Either way, if the bike fits, it fits. A 100mm, 15º rise stem is well within normal limits, so it is not going to cause a problem.