As far as entry-level road bikes are concerned, the Specialized Allez offers comfort, speed, and versatility that’s typically found on bicycles with a much higher price tag. The ride quality provided by the Allez is awe-inspiring, offering a level of comfort often provided for only by high-endurance bikes. An Extraordinary frameset, flexible tubeless-prepared wheels, and adaptable perseverance geometry make the Specialized Allez a great option for cyclists that want a top-tier riding experience while not breaking the bank.
The Allez shattered all of my narrow-sighted expectations within the first ten minutes of riding. I jumped on the seat and was planning for a quick cruise around the block. However, it was so comfortable that I spent the entire day riding this bike. The setup of the bike was perfect right from the dealer. Handling and control over the cycle are rider-friendly, which means that I could concentrate on the beautiful scenery and appreciate the experience as a whole.
While it is easy on new-cyclers, veteran cyclists can still get that adrenaline rush if the bike is pushed. The Specialized Allez has the potential to be an exhilarating bike if you are one to take risks behind the handlebars. Also, if you aren’t satisfied with a particular component of the Allez, it offers an adaptable upgrade platform so that it can grow with you as you put more experience on those pedals.
Things to Consider
When it comes to road bikes, many of the same considerations should be made much like other bike types. Frame material composition, suspension, and drive-train are vital, but the most important aspect of road bikes is their geometry and handlebar orientation.
Road bikes are built for speed. As such, aerodynamics is an unfortunate detail that we all must deal with. Frame geometry is key to producing a bicycle that performs well and the handlebar orientation is one of the most important deciding factors.
There are three main handlebar layouts featured on road bikes today. They are the flat bar style, drop bar, and performance driven handlebars. The flat style is ideal for commuters and they offer an upright riding position that is comfortable and efficient at moderate speeds. The drop-bar style is developed for a more aggressive riding style that is well suited for long-distance bike rides. Finally, the performance-driven handlebars offer the best in terms of aerodynamics. They will force the rider into a more forward-facing crouched position to boost aerodynamic efficiency and improve the steering responsiveness. The performance-driven handlebars are recommended for only the most avid cyclists that are interested in racing.
Features and Benefits of the Specialized Allez Road Bike
Over the Summer of 2017, Specialized redesigned some of their earlier models and produced, what would become, the latest generation of the Allez. This model dropped the seat stays and narrow tubing, producing a frame more similar to the high-end Tarmac, Diverge, and S-Works Venge. In fact, Specialized utilized its extensive database to re-engineer the frame geometry in much the same way they did for these higher-end bikes. This means that the Allez performs similarly to these top-tier cycles while offering you an entry-point at a cost-effective rate.
But what makes the frame so unique? A thin-wall frame manufactured from Specialized premium E5 Aluminum sheds weight where other frames can’t. The frame retains its comfort that Specialized frames are so widely known for and if you have any doubts, maybe the fact that this frame is shared with the top-tier Allez Elite will sway your opinion.
The premium E5 Aluminum frame enables the bike to come in at a whopping 20.6 lbs (9.35kg), and the internal cable routing of the rear brake cable gives this bike a top-quality feel that is comparable with more expensive models.
Want more details? We have you covered. Included below is an in-depth view of the features that come along with the innovative Specialized E5 Aluminum frame.
- Seat angle: 73.25°
- Head angle: 73.5°
- Chainstay: 16.5”
- Seat tube: 20.8”
- Top tube: 22.2”
- Head tube: 7.1”
- Fork offset: 1.8”
- Trail: 2”
- Bottom bracket drop: 3”
- Bottom bracket height: 10.4”
- Wheelbase: 39.4”
- Stack: 23.5”
- Reach: 15.2”
As a road bike, the Specialized Allez does not feature a full-suspension or innovative front fork shock absorber that is commonly found on hybrids or mountain bikes. Instead, Specialized focused on the road bikes specialization; shredding pavement at high speeds.
When it comes to power delivery from the pedals to the wheels, any shock-absorbing suspension systems included on the bike will eat a portion of that power. With a suspension-less bike like the Specialized Allez, no power will ever be lost to the shock absorbers; this provides instant power and responsiveness that you need from a road bike.
What makes the Allez so different from other road bikes on the market is that it features a full carbon fork on the front end. Front forks are typically the most detrimental to performance as far as weight is concerned. Carbon is the lightest material used in bike and bike component fabrication, so a full carbon fork sheds weight where other forks simply cannot.
The full carbon fork included on the Allez offers supreme rigidness and responsiveness that you should expect from a road bike. The drive-train delivery is unobstructed from power eating suspension systems included on both hybrids and mountain bikes. If speed and performance are what you seek, the Specialized Allez road bike is a perfect option for all you adrenaline junkies out there.
Despite the wheels’ attempts to curb the bike’s sportiness, rider input and handling will prove to be user-friendly to a wide group of individuals. The wheels on the Allez is an area that Specialized could have spent more time developing, but to a common cyclist, they will prove to be more than ready to take on whatever you throw at them.
The aluminum wheels that the Specialized Allez is equipped with are dense and slow to react which is detrimental to the Allez’s acceleration rate. These Axis Sport wheels are fabricated with a 24-spoke design at the rear and a 20-spoke setup on the front. As has been said, they are not the lightest wheel option on the market, but after riding the Allez, I found that they didn’t hinder the quality of the ride at all.
One advantage the Axis Sport wheels have to offer is a tubeless-ready option. World-renowned DT Swiss produces the tubeless tape along with a 32mm stem.
The Specialized Allez is manufactured with an eight-speed Shimano Claris groupset paired with a 54/30 crankset along with an 11-32 cassette at the rear. This drive-train delivers a wide scope of gearing options that will prove to be sufficient for most climbs. However, there are substantial voids between gears that a 10 or 11-speed drive-train seeks to eliminate.
Shimano 105 groupsets may not have the same reputation as some others on the market. Still, the feel and shifting abilities of the groupset are comparable to sets that are included on top-tier bicycles such as the Sora (9-speed) or Tiagra (10-speed). Yes, you will be sacrificing a few sprockets on the cassette, but the selling point of the bike makes these differences negligible.
Ergonomically speaking, the drive-train is superb. The hoods are smaller than most road bikes and adapt to your hands, unlike many other bicycles. They are almost identical to the Shimano Dura-Ace mechanics that lie at the opposite end of the product line. This means that you are given an incredible deal when it comes to the price/technological trade-offs between the two groupsets.
The Specialized Allex features Tektro, alloy, dual-pivot rim brakes. This is one area that could have used a little more attention from Specialized, let’s see why.
These rim brakes produced by Tektro offer uninspiring stopping power. This does not mean you should give up on the Allex. It simply means that it is an area that could use some tweaking. The brake handles are easy to pull, but the power delivery is quite lackluster. You can expect to be traveling a bit further than you intend before slowing to a stop, which doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the rider.
At low speeds, these Tektro brakes will prove to be an efficient and reliable option for the average cyclist. However, at high speeds, you need brakes that stop on a dime, and these brakes simply can’t own up to challenge.
However, if you ride in an area that doesn’t see a lot of traffic or other obstructions, the Tektro dual-pivot rim brakes should suit you nicely. They are ‘budget brakes’ and is most likely one area that Specialized had to cut costs to develop an entry-level cycle. Luckily, the Specialized Allez was developed with modification in mind, so upgrading to a more efficient braking system should be of no issue. If upgrading the brakes on the Allez is in mind, we suggest a Shimano hydraulic braking system.
|Feature||Pros||What this Means|
|Frame||Specialized E5 Premium aluminum||Incredible lightweight frame that offers a high degree of control over the bike; capable of high-speeds|
|Wheel||Aluminum 20/24 (front/rear) spoke Axis Sport||Heavier than most other wheels, but is not detrimental to the bike’s performance; tubeless ready|
|Suspension||Specialized FACT carbon fork||Sheds weight where other manufacturers can’t; rigid and responsive for optimal power delivery|
|Drive-train||Shimano RS200/Claris Crank & Group Set||8-speed system that is sufficient for most climbs, although wide voids between gears may prove to be insufficient for some cyclists|
|Brake||Tektro, alloy, dual-pivot disk brakes||Provides a decent amount of stopping power, but you may look into upgrading to Shimano hydraulic disk brakes|
Why Make the Investment?
The Specialized Allez is one of the winners of the Bike of the Year award for the year 2020. This award is given to bicycles with industry-leading performance features and handling capabilities. Needless to say, it is a world-renowned award reserved for only the most elite bicycles on the market. Investing in a bike with such an award is a no-brainer, and will serve you countless advantages over any run-of-the-mill bike options that the market is flooded with.
If that isn’t enough, the Specialized Allez has also been featured in many world-renowned biking circuits. Most notably among its users is Peter Sagan, a UCI World Champion three years in a row and winner of the prestigious ‘Maillot Vert’ during his Tour de France campaign back in 2012. During the recent Down Under Classic, he swapped his tried-and-true S-Works Venge for the Specialized Allez. If the Allez is preferred by an athlete with such an impressive track record, why wouldn’t you make the purchase?
If you’re looking for a road bike featuring a lightweight aluminum frame with options comparable to the Specialized Allez, there are a few options worth considering – the Trek Domane, Giant Contend, and the Fuji Roubaix. All of these bikes will offer you the same roundabout performance that you will get out of the Specialized Allez – at nearly the same price point. Listed below is a chart comparing a few vital features of each bike.
As you can tell, all four of these bikes are nearly identical. The Giant Contend has the edge over all the others due to its 2×10 gear system but lacks the addition of the Claris to its group-set. However, the advantages of each are more of a subjective claim.
|Specialized Allez||20.6 lbs||Aluminum||Carbon||700c||Shimano, Claris||2×8|
|Trek Domane||22.1lbs||Aluminum||Carbon||700c||Shimano, Claris||2×8|
|Giant Contend||20.1 lbs||Aluminum||Carbon||700c||Shimano||2×10|
|Fuji Roubaix||20.1 lbs||Aluminum||Aluminum||700c||Claris, FSA||2×8|
Despite some of its drawbacks, the Specialized Allez makes a great option for newcomers and veteran cyclists alike. Even if the brakes and wheels’ performance seems to be detrimental, bear in mind that this bike was manufactured to be an entry-level bike with an unparalleled modification ability. The Allez core components (frame, fork, drivetrain) are of a quality that is common to high-end road bikes and is one of the best bangs for your buck. Upgrading the undesirable components (brakes, possibly wheels) can render you a bicycle that will prove to be a force to be reckoned with if you are the racing type.
All in all, the Specialized Allez is a phenomenal piece of machinery with features that are quite rare in the entry-level road bike class. Its versatility has garnered the attention of professional cyclists around the world and is the recipient of the 2020 Bike of the Year award. As such, Specialized must be doing something right in their developmental process. The Allez is truly a bicycle that should require some serious consideration when you are deciding on your next road bicycle purchase.