To tens – perhaps hundreds – of thousands of road cyclists around the globe, the Specialized Allez represents a beginning; the inception of their love for the sport, and holds a special sentimental place in their heart as their ‘first proper road bike’. For years, the Allez has been Specialized’s entry-level road bike, and with the brand’s position as arguably the biggest bike brand in the world, it’s a naturally common choice for interested roadies looking to try out this new sport.
The new Allez, launched this week, has a reputation to uphold. As the brand’s highest-selling road model, the Allez is immensely important to the brand, and recent iterations have served its purpose exceptionally well. As a budget-friendly, entry-level model, this Specialized can’t specialise; it needs to do everything well while meeting a price point that doesn’t break the bank. It doesn’t need to be the fastest like the Tarmac, nor the most comfortable like the Roubaix. It needs to be fun to ride, easy to own, cheap to service, and versatile enough to handle being the one-bike solution.
It also has an unusual position of responsibility, one for the future of our sport. Good or bad the Specialized Allez will still sell in vast quantities purely on its predecessor’s reputation, as well as Specialized’s brand cachet and prominence in bike shops, but with each flaw and negative experience comes an extra reason for these new cyclists to go and try golf instead, so it needs to not have any.
Last week, I received delivery of the new Allez Sport, the more expensive of the two available models at £1,600 / $1,800 / €1,750. I’ve only put a weekend’s worth of riding into it so far, but I have some early thoughts on whether it’ll live up to its prior reputation and responsibility for cycling’s growth.
Design and specifications
The base of the new Allez, no matter whether you opt for this spec or the cheaper £1,100 / $1,200 / €1,200 version, is an E5 Aluminium frame and full carbon fibre fork.
A glance through the geometry chart will tell you that the riding position is quite upright, and thus should be comfortable for most. Interestingly, with the transition to the new Allez, the geometry charts have seen some “smoothing,” as Specialized puts it. In my size 58cm, the position is quite a bit more upright and relaxed than its predecessor, gaining 16mm more stack (height) at the front and losing 4mm of reach. At the smaller end of the size run,…
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