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specialized allez or dolce for women?

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specialized allez or dolce for women?

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Old 09-13-05, 10:10 PM
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inbrooklyn
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specialized allez or dolce for women?

Hi, I'm looking to buy an under $800 road bike for commuting, NYC riding, and the occasional long ride. I've decided on a road bike as opposed to touring/hybrid/comfort because I want to be light and fast, even though I'll often be riding with a backpack and heavy chain. I like the Specialized Allez but feel very stretched out when reaching for the brakes, like I'm really grasping . . . I don't know if this is just because I'm not used to the road bike riding position, or because the bike doesn't fit me. I tried a shorter stem on the Allez but still felt stretched. I also tried the Dolce and it felt better but definitely more upright, and I'd rather not pay more for a WSD unless I really have to. Any women out there (or men who know women) who have experience with these bikes? I'm just under 5'5" and fit a 52 cm frame. The guys at various LBSes don't seem to think I need a WSD, and think I would get used to the stretched-out feeling, but I'm looking for more opinions.

Also, if anyone has recommendations for an under-$800 road bike (not WSD) with a more compact geometry . . . or does this automatically put me into the realm of comfort bikes?
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Old 09-13-05, 10:16 PM
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What length of stem did you try on the 52cm Allez? (Assuming you're talking about the $800 price range, it would probably be an Allez Sport, not the base model Allez)...
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Old 09-13-05, 10:33 PM
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I would say go with the dolce becuase it is designed for women. Part of it might be that you havent gotten used to the road bike geometry.. Not quite sure.. ill ask a friend
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Old 09-13-05, 10:37 PM
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why dont they have forum string especially for women on this site? I dont mean to sound like sexist or anything but the bikes designed for women are slightly different and there are some different issues that women face biking then Men do. Anybody think they should have that?
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Old 09-13-05, 10:38 PM
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I was actually looking at the base model, hoping to spend less than $800 if possible. I went down to a 100 mm stem, still wasn't convinced. Don't know how much shorter I could go without compromising steering.
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Old 09-13-05, 10:48 PM
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Are you talking about the reach that your hands need to make to the brake levers? If so, you can get shims for the brakes that will bring the levers toward the bar and reduce the pull length. If you mean arm reach, this will help a bit too. Another thing to try is rotate the bars a bit to lessen the distance.

T.J.
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Old 09-13-05, 10:50 PM
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yeah but she doesnt wanna hafta mess with that much when you first get a bike...go with what fits
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Old 09-13-05, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by inbrooklyn
I was actually looking at the base model, hoping to spend less than $800 if possible. I went down to a 100 mm stem, still wasn't convinced. Don't know how much shorter I could go without compromising steering.
My wife just got a Dolce Vita and loves it, but it was about $1k. Its a pretty good fit for her but even with the wsd she still feels a little stretched out so the lbs will probably swap out the stock stem for a shorter one in a few days. The base model Dolce has the same geometry and was only I think $750 at the same store. It has the same geometry but with lower spec components and doesn't come with the aerobar (she wanted an aerobar because she's going to do a tri).

edit: she's about 5'3" and got a 51cm frame
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Old 09-13-05, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by AtlAllez
yeah but she doesnt wanna hafta mess with that much when you first get a bike...go with what fits
It would be nice to hop on a bike and everything is magically dialed in for your body geometry but the reality is this never happens. It takes me a few weeks and 100's of km for me to dial in all of my past & current bikes so I can ride them for hours without any discomfort. There are so many things that need to be adjusted like optimized seat height, seat angle, setback, stem reach, bar angle height, brake lever height...

It would be irresponsable to yourself as a cyclist if you do not take the time to do this.

T.J.

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Old 09-13-05, 11:39 PM
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I rode for almost 2000 miles last season on a bike that had a top tube that was tooooo long--many women do have different needs in a road bike, a shorter top tube often being one of them. I now ride a WSD--and it is amazing what a well fitting bike does for you--are you sure that the 52 cm frame is right for you? I am almost 5'8", with a long inseam, and a 50 or 52 cm with no longer than a 52 cm top tube is what works for me.
I never got used to that superhero stretched out feeling, and my lower back and my shoulders always ached. I don't have that problem now--and if you are thinking of carrying a backpack--a well fitted bike is a must.
Just adding my experience to the mix of opinions...best of luck to you.
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Old 09-14-05, 12:11 AM
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Remember, one of themost important measurements when sizing up a frame for your self, is the top tube length, not the seat tube length. At 5'4/5", and with the average build of a female, I would say find a WSD that seems to fit you better, especially if you still feel a little stretched on the Dolce.

If you do want a WSD bike, but are concerned about the price, here's just an option. The Trek series aren't that expensive, and come with good components. The 1000 series is a great bike if you're on a budget. The 1500 is a little nicer, but comes with better components.

http://treksandiego.com/site/itemdet...=39&sort=Price

http://treksandiego.com/site/itemdet...=39&sort=Price

I am by no means an expert on Womens bikes, but I learned an aweful lot studying womens frames when I was searching for a bike to build with WSD geometry for my wife. After months of research I finally found a frame for my wife that would fit, and set it up with a good set of components, just for her.
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Old 09-14-05, 07:03 AM
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I bought a Dolce and rode it for about 18 miles. It was way too small for me - I felt all bunched up. Took it back and got an Allez Elite which fits like a glove. Here's why - I'm 5'5" and take a 50 or 51cm frame, but am long from the waist up.

The person who sold me the Dolce was more interested in a sale than fitting me correctly. When I took it back to the LBS, the guy who worked with me took one look at the way my body was constructed and said it was the wrong bike and then did a fitting on the Allez.

So, if the Dolce 'feels' right to you and the Allez 'feels' too long - that's a clue to go with the Dolce. You can't go wrong with either bike - can't tell you how pleased I am with the Allez - most comfortable bike I've ever had (so far!).

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-05, 07:14 AM
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My wife, who is around 5'2" rides and loves her Dolce. She sits fairly upright on it and finds all of the controls are easy for her to reach and use. She has the base model bike and so far we have no complaints. Do some shopping....We purchased her bike for $600.00 brand new from our LBS.
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Old 09-14-05, 07:26 AM
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My wife is 5'5" and she rides a 50cm Allez. She liked it better than the Trek 1500 WSD and Dolce. We were suprised that she wasn't a 52cm but the top tube length of the 50cm was perfect. I'd suggest trying it if the 52cm was too long. Just means the seatpost sticks out a little more but it works fine.

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-05, 08:15 AM
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Ok time for a girl to chime in, I have the Dolce Elite, love this bike SERIOUSLY, it fits me like a glove. Its a size 51, I'm only 5'3. What I say is you gotta test ride these bikes. The WSD is great cause everything is smaller for the women whom is riding it. I don't have problems with reaching the levers or anything like that.

Good luck and don't be afraid to ask the boys at your LBS questions!!!

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Old 09-14-05, 04:22 PM
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I'm just over 5 foot tall and like my new WSD road bike lots and lots.

I really got annoyed with all the guys at the bike shops who kept steering me towards "comfort" and "hybrid" bikes. Could just be my own personal perception, but to me, there's no comparison.

You may want to rethink that backpack and heavy chain though--bad on your back!

I bought a "tubus fly" rack because it's only 12 ounces so it doesn't add much weighwise to your bike, but is rated for up to 40 pounds--I normally only use a rear bag for grocery shopping. Otherwise, I just carry a tiny handlebar bag, and seat bag for tools and emergency repairs.

There's lots of different bikes with compact geometry. I'd shop around at several different bike shops because I've found that most are limited to a couple of brands.
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Old 09-14-05, 07:27 PM
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When you're comparing frame sizes you really need to measure the frames. I use my wife's fabric measuring tape, metric on one side imperial on the other. Last time I checked, Specialized frames were measured c-c, Trek frames are c-top of extended seat tube. The difference is about 4 cm, apples and oranges. The most important measurement is probably the virtual top tube length. Trying to make a frame fit by using a short stem will change the way the bike steers and may make it feel twitchy. People shorter than about 5'4" really need to consider a WSD with 650mm wheels because the smaller wheels allow a shorter top tube.

Al
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Old 09-14-05, 08:06 PM
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My wife is 5'2" & just bought a size 51 Dolce Comp which she loves. Everything about the bike fits her well especially the short reach Ultegra shifters/brake levers. She also prefers the full size wheels of the Dolce over the smaller wheels of the Trek WSD she tried out.
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Old 09-14-05, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by John B.
My wife is 5'2" & just bought a size 51 Dolce Comp which she loves. Everything about the bike fits her well especially the short reach Ultegra shifters/brake levers.
I have heard about short-reach 105 and Ultegra levers on women's bikes for a while now, but I don't see specific models on Shimano's site - is it the identical mechanism and lever with a shorter length of hood body? If so does anybody know the shimano part number for the shorter hoods?

ST-6600 product page:

http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1126750744323

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Old 09-14-05, 08:23 PM
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I can compare them tomorrow to the Ultegras on my Roubaix Comp to see what the differences are if no one comes up with an answer.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:20 PM
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Took a look at them today and the hood & lever don't look all that much different from each other. It looks like the shorter reach lever may mount differently inside the hood. They are 3/8" closer to the bar then the standard Ultegra levers.
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Old 09-15-05, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by thewalrus
I have heard about short-reach 105 and Ultegra levers on women's bikes for a while now, but I don't see specific models on Shimano's site - is it the identical mechanism and lever with a shorter length of hood body?
My wife's 105 have a little shim stuffed in them to keep the levers closer to the bars. Its the little piece with the blue diamond on them. I only have Tiagra on my Allez so I can't compare directly, but hers do appear to be closer.
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Old 09-16-05, 07:48 AM
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My girlfriend is abotu 5'2" and is riding a Dolce Elite. She LOVES the way it fits. The short reach levers, narrower bar width, and the shorter top tube really helped her.
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Old 09-16-05, 08:18 AM
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I'm telling ya the WSD ROCK!!! Little girls like myself have a new found appreciation for it!!!
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Old 09-16-05, 11:05 AM
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I bought my Trek 1000C WSD about 5 weeks ago (already have over 300 miles on her), after trying out the Specialized Allez and Allez Sport the same day. The guys at the 1st lbs tried and tried to get the Allez and Allez Sport to fit me--different stem, moved the seat, etc. One was a Sm and the other an XS frame--I'm 5'7" btw. I just did not like the way I felt all stretched out--what the OP mentioned about the superman position. Left that lbs and visited one considerably closer to home. As soon as I walked in they did a FitKit and talked to me about what I was looking for/interested in. I'd read a lot here and knew I was looking for an entry level road bike, rather than a hybrid--I wanted the variety of hand positions. I was coming off riding an old mtn bike/hybrid for about 10 years. It had gotten uncomfortable for me after hitting 40. The guy ran the numbers from my sizing and pulled a 54cm Trek 1000c wsd off the rack--tweaked it a bit--and on I climbed. Fit like a glove!!! Not stretched out like the Allez--didn't try a Dolce, so can't compare there. I just know with my long legs and short torso, I need the shorter top tube of a wsd. The top tube of my old bike is several inches longer than on my new road bike--may explain the numb hands and back pain I was having. I'd go for the wsd in a second!!!

BTW--here's a pic of my baby -
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