Hi, everyone:

I've posted several messages here regarding the problems I was having with the fit of my new road bike; upper back pain, numb toes and saddle discomfort. Well, here's how it all turned out:

I was ready to junk the bike, but decided instead to have a fitting at a reputable bike shop. I brought my bike with me. They did a fit kit and then put me on a Serotta jig where they watched me pedal and let me try several seats and made some fine adjustments and measurements. After coming up with my ideal fit specs, they turned their attention to my bike. Surprisingly,
they felt it was workable and could be made to fit me correctly. They recommended exchanging my 42 cm bars for 38 cm; they set the seat height per my ideal specs; they also set the seat for-and-aft position.

I had already gone to a shorter stem and they felt that the new stem was just right. All 3 of the women's saddles I tried were horribly uncomfortable. I had already tried 2 other women's saddles that were equally uncomfortable, so I decided to put on the Selle Stratos men's/unisex that came on my bike. I had replaced it with a women's saddle without really giving it a good try. What a pleasant surprise when it turned out to feel pretty good.

The results? I feel balanced on stable on the bike. I can pedal nice tight circles. I am well-balanced pedaling out of the saddle. No more shoulder pain and the toe numbness is a lot less. I think cycling shoes will solve the rest. The Selle saddle isn't perfect, but at least it's workable -- by far the most comfortable of the bunch. I went for my usual one hour ride and finished in 52 minutes, so I know I'm getting power and efficiency when I pedal. I'm not exactly one with the bike, but I'm definitely blending in <grin>
I'm even starting to like my sport-road-touring Raleigh R300 with
it's chunky frame tubes, heavy duty brakes and wider, stable tires.

Thanks, again, everyone.