by Andrew Culture
Specialized Allez – the road bike range for all budgets.
If you are on the market for a new road bike, odds are you fall into one of two groups of people; Those that can comfortably spend north of £1000, and those who need a little more bang for their buck. The Allez range of bicycles by Specialized speak for themselves, in that they are seemingly the only road bike praised by both elite road racers and frugal city slickers alike. Whether you’ll favour the race-inspired Allez E5 Elite, Dsw Sl Sprint Expert, or an Allez E5 Sport for its proven performance, Specialized continues to excel in their market with a combination of thoughtful packaging and master craftsmanship.
We know Spesh Allez bikes look great, but how good is the hardware?
Let’s have a look at the hardware Allez bikes are comprised of – A1 premium aluminium frames, with meticulously engineered tube shaping and welding for ideal aerodynamics. AXIS wheelsets deliver tight handling and do a good enough job of absorbing bumps on unkempt roads. For tires, Allez’s standard Espoir brand are adept at hugging on corners and resist punctures with their additional blackbelt protection.
Allez bikes pick from a menu of always-reliable Shimano gearsets and brakesets, which many will tell you is the best for your money. The smooth sound and transition you get from shifting through gears is satisfying, and the level of responsiveness when braking is invaluable for downhill coasting or maneuvering traffic. In addition, Allez models come packaged with a compact chainset, enabling the rider to more easily conquer those steep hills or accelerate quickly.
For just £800 the Allez E5 Elite’s stiff frame and 10-speed Tiagra transmission lends it the raw acceleration you need to burst through green lights, while its responsive Axis brakes will halt you in a pinch. Most models weighs around 9kg, which is slightly heavy for some but over-all manageable and decent. Unless you’re prepared to spend insane amounts of money weight is not everything. Allez bikes are fashioned to ride smooth and quiet, built without excess proportions or wasted money spent at the seat and handlebars. The extra money spent by some brands on expensive carbon seatposts and handlebars will not make you a better cyclist. Comfortable seats and handlebars will make you a comfier, happier cyclist.
But will the Allez go fast? This video should answer that question.
Why the Specialized Allez gives you more ‘bang for your buck’ than other bikes.
One of the reasons for Specialized’s ability to utilise quality specs while keeping its price tag down is that they manufacture much of their own hardware rather than outsourcing. Their own standard is respectably high, and through this method they have also been able to increase specification and uniqueness of brand. Indeed, within their niche in the cycling world the Allez range of bikes seemingly stands a head above its competition, having balanced the line of pairing a high end bike with a price tag that won’t terrify you; bike costs fluctuate from roughly £500 to £1,500, depending on your preferences.
Even if your budget restraints lead you to buy a bike from the most cost effective end of the range you’ll still be buying a bike that is well worth upgrading. Buying a bike with a decent frame but cheaper components, then upgrading the components makes a lot of sense. I personally bought a bike with a decent frame then (using ebay mostly) I bought high-end second hand components over the space of a couple of years or so. Upgrading a bike this not only makes financial sense (and spreads the cost) it also enhances the sense of ownership; you’ll end up with a machine you partially built, and that’s a brilliant feeling. But I digress…
The Allez bikes are classically good looking.
So Allez bikes have the price, they have the hardware, but do they have the looks? Often it is the bike that stands out aesthetically that sticks in the buyers mind, and in this distinction Allez holds the trophy. No other bikes in its price range look as good, from its sharp proportions to its clean welds. Its build is more squared and compact, with seemingly immaculate proportions that make other bikes look too long or imbalanced.
The uniqueness of an Allez’s appeal should really be underlined. When you disregard its quality, reputation of brand and variety of specification, you’re still left with a bike that looks attractive and distinct. The thin, arching upper tube paired with a thicker, masculine lower tube gives it a professional appeal that raises it above other bikes in its class.
|Model||Groupset||Brakes||Price (at time of publishing)||More information|
|Allez Dsw Sl Sprint Expert 2017||Shimano 105 front|
|Shimano Ultegra rear||Shimano 105||£1,500||Click here…|
|Allez Dsw Sl Sprint Comp 2017||Shimano 105||Axis 2.0||£1,300||Click here…|
|Allez E5 Elite 2017||Shimano Tiagra||Axis 1.0||£800||Click here…|
|Allez E5 Sport 2017||Shimano Sora||Axis 1.0||£675||Click here…|
|Allez E5 2017||Shimano Claris||Tektro||£525||Click here…|
Which Allez is right for me?
There is also some interesting variation in the look and feel of Allez’ different models, though all of them carry a comparable level of performance. The Elite is tight and compact, responds eagerly and has a slimmed-down, sleek appeal. The Allez E5 Sport (Bike Radar editors choice) fits in aesthetically with other road bikes, but you’re still likely to stand out and zip by the rest with a few MPH to spare. The Allez AL Sprint offers advances in performance technology S-Works FACT full carbon carbon forking and Axis Elite wheels for control at top speeds, and it carries a “tankier” appeal.
So, while the Allez may be an affordable road bike, one should not make the mistake of thinking it is for casual riders; the high, flat seat and low handlebars encourage the biker to “engage” the ride rather than sit back and coast, and yet despite this many Allez riders comment on the comfort of riding for long periods.
Specialized Allez review – Conclusion
In conclusion, Allez bikes stand firmly atop their own tier; Affordable and right at that fringe of top-end hardware and performance. Serious cycling city commuters can unite behind the myriad of possibilities that Specialized offers; Whether it’s a daily commute or a relentless pace to push your limits, you’re not likely to feel or look better on the roads than you will atop any of the bikes from the Allez range.
Specialized Allez Gallery
About the author
Andrew Culture is a professional writer and reviewer who has been writing about everything to do with bikes and cycling for many years. Andrew is also a musician and award-winning zine author.