Bill called last week to let me know he gotten in a 56 WSD for me to test ride. I had some time to go in a try it out today. I walked in the shop about 1145 and immediately ran into Kelly--we had some trouble locating the bike and he ended up having to call Bill to straighten things out. Turns out he had ordered a 1.5 instead of the Madone 4.5 for me to try, just to get the fit dialed in. I don't blame him--it's a pretty weird size to be ordering a high performance bike in, just for a test ride.
Anyway, Kelly pulled the 1.5 and got me on the trainer for a quick fit. Man...a WAY taller bike than I have ever ridden! Believe it or not, after watching a few pedal revolutions he raised the seat even higher. Felt pretty good. The reach was appropriately short, but I still felt like I had to reach "downhill" to get to the hoods, so he took it upstairs and switched out the stem. Then I was ready to roll.
I headed outside and struck off in the direction of the nearest climb (not far at all). Immediately I noticed how much more upright this bike had me sitting. The ride was pretty responsive, even though it was an aluminum frame. Not very aggressive, but definitely comfy. I even felt upright in the drops. I hit the hill and shifted down (nothing remarkable there--a 1.5 is spec'd with Tiagra, YUCK), then climbed up the ~1/2 mile climb to the top. Felt pretty good--handlebars were wider than I am accustomed to. I cruised around a bit at the top, and then turned around to head down...the true test.
Descending...was pretty good! I felt stable enough that I didn't ride the brakes much at all, and I didn't have to shove my butt way behind the saddle to take pressure off the front wheel.
Despite the fact that it was an aluminum frame spec'd out with lower end components, fit-wise it was possibly the most comfortable bike I've been on.