Today marks the release of a new Specialized Allez. Sure we’ve had the Allez Sprint relatively recently, but that’s more of an aluminium version of the Specialized Tarmac than what we think of as the ‘normal’ Allez.
While the Allez been the company’s top end road bike in the past, it now sits as a budget road bike, and in my opinion it’s a far more important release than a new Tarmac would be, and I think it has a greater responsibility to be a good bike than far more expensive models. Not just the Allez specifically, but all road bikes around the £1,000/$1,000 dollar mark. Sure that’s shifted a little upwards along with everything else in life, but the genre remains the same; it’s many rider’s first ‘proper’ road bike. It’s the gateway to the sport we all love, and given the market share Specialized has, it bears a greater responsibility than smaller brands.
The new bike on the face of it shares a lot of the hallmarks of the genre from older generations, but I haven’t ridden it so I will refrain on passing judgement. Our Tech Editor is currently writing up a first ride review as I write this, so I will stick to broad brushstrokes rather than granular detail, but be sure to give that a read to find how the bike actually handles in the real world.
The £1,000 bike
The best budget road bikes, those around the very bottom end of four figures, are for many of us the jumping off point into a world of club rides, tight clothes, strange obsessions over sock height and tan lines, and, eventually, hair removal. It all starts with a basic package of a decent frame with appropriate geometry, and basic componentry that’s ripe for upgrading once you’ve completely abused and failed to maintain them. There are a myriad of options in this category, even beyond those we’ve featured in our buyer’s guide, but given the prominence of Specialized as a brand, the Allez perhaps sits above the rest as something akin to ‘the default choice’ for many consumers, something I don’t believe really exists in any other bike category or bike genre.
When I first got into cycling, mostly because my best friend had been doing it for a couple of years and I’m extremely impressionable, I asked him what bike I should get. “Just get an Allez. I’ve got one and it’s great”, he said, and not really much more to be honest, so…
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