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2003 Allez Elite - twitchy/unstable?

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2003 Allez Elite - twitchy/unstable?

Old 03-28-05, 11:59 AM
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2003 Allez Elite - twitchy/unstable?

My wife and I bought Specialized Allez Elites (AL) with carbon front fork. I did a lot of research on these bikes and saw only great reviews! Last year I began riding a lot more (I rode my first century - did 2) a total of about 3500 miles - which is great for me. Many of these rides were with our club. I always new that I was slow going down steep descents - but I thought it was me - I felt unsteady. However, I know think it may be the bike - Those I rode with encouraged me to check it out. any comments -

I am working with my LBS to see if there is a problem with the bike - we have made a few changes, but none seem to be a great fix!

I'm looking for any comments or suggestions that anyone may have!
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Old 03-28-05, 12:28 PM
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Perhaps find someone you ride with that is about your size and weight, that you know to be more comfortable than you are at decending, give it a go? That might help you determine if it is you, and if it is, that's OK.

I have a 2004 base model Allez triple, which ia AL fram/carbon fork, and I know I've done some minor decents at maybe 32 MPH without feeling any problem with the bike, but I used to race BMX so I may be dain bramaged.
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Old 03-28-05, 12:39 PM
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Old 03-28-05, 12:44 PM
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I test rode a Specialized Allez Comp (AL fram/carbon fork) a few times b/f I purchased my Trek 5000. One of the factors was that I felt like the Allez was twitchy and it made me nervous. I think the "stance" of the frame and the angle of the forks can be different between different bikes and makes a bid difference on this topic. Could maybe be altered by tweaking things associated with the angle of the fork and the bars.
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Old 03-28-05, 01:02 PM
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I have the 2003 Allez base model. I believe it to be the same frame, but yours came with higher components. I have the carbon fork too. I've taken it into the 50's a few times and many, many times into the high-30 and low-40 mph range and I've got to say it feels rock solid. I'm very confident in the bike at those speeds; now the drivers and the debris have me a bit worried...

I'd say to work with LBS and see if anything is wrong with it as mine has been perfect.
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Old 03-28-05, 01:20 PM
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Thanks for the comments - I have had a friend who owns a bike shop ride the bike - he and one of his techs have ridden the bike - they each say it feels more unstable than most bikes -

I raced mountain bikes for several years and had no problems on fast/steep descents - so it was a little wierd that I had such a hard time descending with this bike. I have hit the 48mph mark and the low 30's many times - but it was a scary afair!!!

I stoped at a bike shop out of town this past weekend - the tech there said he had a friend that rode the same bike I did - he also had trouble with descending (he races motorcycles - he said he was suprised that he was so timid on downhill rides)

Thanks again for the comments - keep them coming - I will continue to ride and work toward the remedy - it is sad that I hate to climb because I dread the descent!
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Old 03-28-05, 01:31 PM
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The allez does have a shorter wheelbase than most bikes of similar size, but I would think the stem legnth would have more to do with that than the bike itself. Mabey your wheels are out of tune? Something you don't notice at 20 might be a big factor at 40. I've taken decents at 45 on my allez and I'm fine with it. Mabey the geometry just isn't for you tho.
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Old 03-28-05, 01:41 PM
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We have checked both wheels - there was a problem with the front wheel having an imperfection in the wheel - weighted more that it should have been - my LBS has given me a new front wheel to try - It was better, but there we still alot of twitchyness in descending.

I have looked at changing the stem - I just didn't want to put down money here and there to try to fix an unkown problem - it could get costly.

Someone else mentioned that maybe the geometry and my body doesn't work!

I ride a 58 - I'm 6'0 approx 200lbs
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Old 03-28-05, 01:44 PM
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Bike might be too small for your size.
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Old 03-28-05, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by peddlerdonnie
I have looked at changing the stem - I just didn't want to put down money here and there to try to fix an unkown problem - it could get costly.
How long is your stem? Shorter stems can make bikes feel twitchier.

Is the fork aftermarket or stock? If you replaced the fork with a different rake, that can affect handling pretty significantly.

Have you taken test rides on other comparable crit-style race bikes? Maybe you just don't like the faster steering of these types of bikes. I ride a spec roubaix with pretty stable handling, and crit-style bikes feel pretty twitchy to me now.
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Old 03-28-05, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by B10Cycle
I have the 2003 Allez base model. I believe it to be the same frame, but yours came with higher components. I have the carbon fork too. I've taken it into the 50's a few times and many, many times into the high-30 and low-40 mph range and I've got to say it feels rock solid. I'm very confident in the bike at those speeds; now the drivers and the debris have me a bit worried...

I'd say to work with LBS and see if anything is wrong with it as mine has been perfect.

I'll have to agree with this. I've done the same speeds on mine and it has felt totally solid (except once when a spoke broke at 45 mph on the piece of s#!t Alex rims! Scary, but I slowed it down and didn't wreck). Check you wieght distribuation on the descents.
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Old 03-28-05, 02:59 PM
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Everything is stock on the bike - the stem is faily long - I know it is terrible that I don't know the length.
My nest step is to try riding a few other bikes - that will actually happen this week!

I'll let you know!

Again, thanks for all the help and comments
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Old 03-29-05, 04:14 PM
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I'm 6'0" and "180 lbs geared up" and rided a 56cm Allez Pro. I consider myself to have long arms and legs and I find a 56cm kinda roomy. I considered a 54cm frame but went with the 56cm frame for long ride comfort. I think I would have been perfectly happy with the smaller "more whippy" 54cm frame too. I tried a 58cm frame and it was way too big for my liking.

Anyhow, at 6' tall, I would say that the 58cm frame may be too big for you. Your weight distribution should be 60/40 back to front. If your weight distribution is too far forward because you need to reach the bars, when your decending, your distributing way too much wieght to the front wheel leaving too little wieght on the back wheel. This will definatly make handling squirley. Is your saddle clamped generally in the middle or close to the back of the seat rails? Have you had the bike fitted by a qualified bike fit technician?

BTW: Your stem should be 120mm if it is the stock stem that came with the bike from Specialized.

TJ

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Old 03-29-05, 04:24 PM
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Have you tried moving the seat around to get the weight distribution set right my get you to the above 60/40 distribution.

As for me it was my stem that made my paramount twitchy when I went to a longer stem things smoothed out a lot on decents most noticable in the downhill turns.
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Old 03-29-05, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for the input - I can't say that I have been "fitted" to my bike - but I ride with several people who do this type of thing. They all say that the bike is a good fit. I do feel that I am stretched out a bit -I have put the seat in many different places - it was as far back as it would go - it is now in the center. I can reach the hood easier, but I continuely find my self trying to move back on the seat.

My LBS where I purchased the bike has it at this time. They are sending someone my size out for a spin on it Thursday. In the mean time - I have borrowed a bike from another bike shop, and have another set up for Thursday. I want to get a feel for a couple of other bikes.

I do love my bike except for the descending part. At the bike shop today, I talk with a friend who is a pro racer on Mnt bikes and road bikes. I have ridden with here and her husband (on slow recovery days) and she reassured me that I was a very, very slow descender - I still think it is in the bike. Again I'm not a great athelete, but I can hold my own in most activities with most people. I participate in activities such as kayaking, caving, rock climbing and the such - I don't just sit around - I just want that secure feeling on the bike as I do what I love - enjoying the great outdoors on a bike!

Thanks again for all the comments!
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