Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
You would be forgiven for thinking you’ve already seen this bike before. The new generation Specialized Allez Sprint has arrived, and it borrows elements from its carbon WorldTour winning cousin, the Tarmac SL7, while further innovating what can be accomplished with alloy.
The Allez has been in Specialized’s lineup in various iterations since the brand started producing bikes over 40 years ago. In that time it has gone from the main race bike to being superseded by the carbon fiber Tarmac, but it’s always kept its eye on performance, especially for those on a budget that can’t stretch to carbon. The latest Allez Sprint continues that tradition with all new advances in alloy construction to create the fastest version yet.
New Smartweld Tube Shapes
Most brands, it seems, have given up on innovating in alloy, but the Allez once again proves that there’s still more that this material can do. Specialized is calling the new Allez “the world’s first alloy super bike” (though curiously that means they gave the S-Works designation to another Allez bike back in 2013 but now are holding it back from this “superbike”). To create the next advances in its alloy frames, Specialized once again has turned to its D’Aulsio Smartweld technology. This construction process essentially means precisely shaping tubes to fit exactly where they meet other tubes, creating a stronger weld area with less material.
For the new Allez, Specialized has introduced two new major structural updates to the frame (along with some other aero features borrowed from the Tarmac). The first area of focus is the headtube. It’s a single piece of alloy mechanically formed to create an aero leading edge as well as uniform upper and lower bearings, allowing for internal cable routing (compatible with both mechanical and electronic drivetrains in both 1x and 2x). Beyond that, the new headtube moves the weld points, extending them well into the downtube and toptube and away from the traditional weld points at the tube junctions. This position allows for stronger welds with less material, on top of the other benefits from mechanically shaping the headtube for the most aero leading edge. “We’re really owning this material,” said Specialized product manager Cameron Piper.
The downtube and bottom bracket have also undergone a massive change. They’re now integrated with one another, formed from a single piece of alloy, eliminating two weld points at the bottom bracket in the process. This creates a stiffer and stronger bottom bracket, making this latest Allez even better suited for crit racing, one of its favored uses by racers, than before. A removable front derailleur hanger is another plus for racers who love to compete on purpose built 1x alloy crit bikes.
The new Allez clocks in at an impressive 41 seconds faster over 40km than the previous generation Allez Sprint. That’s due to a number of factors. As mentioned before, there’s the new headtube. From the front end images we have seen of the new Allez (we will be test riding one in a couple weeks), it looks exactly like a Tarmac—the front end is that clean.
Elsewhere on the bike, dropped seatstays and truncated aero tubes are borrowed from the Tarmac SL7, providing a familiar silhouette. Additionally, the Allez benefits from the same seatpost (available in 20mm and 0mm offsets) and fork as the Tarmac SL7. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the bike is now stiffer, leading to faster sprints.
Comfort and Fit
Beyond making the bike faster, borrowing the same compliant seatpost and fork from the Tarmac SL7 also helps make the bike more comfortable. Further comfort can be added through larger tires, up to 32mm wide.
The Allez’s profile and geometry look a lot like the Tarmac SL7, and that’s because they are. Though the actual numbers on the geo chart are slightly different, the Allez has the same fit as the Tarmac and Aethos road models. Racers on a budget get the same fit and handling that works for the pros, and riders who want a second bike for crit racing that can take more abuse than a carbon model have an easy transition between bikes.
Important note: this bike is only available with disc brakes.
Specialized isn’t publishing the frame weight, but says it’s on par with the previous generation Allez Sprint. The brand has said that a complete size 56cm build of the new Allez Sprint LTD can weigh as little as 17.41 pounds (7.9 kilograms).
Builds, Pricing and Availability
The Allez Sprint is available as a frameset and two builds. The Allez Sprint Comp comes equipped with Shimano 105 for $3,000, while the Allez Sprint LTD comes with SRAM Force eTap 1x, Roval carbon wheels and other premium components for $6,800. The frameset costs $1,700 and is available in six colorways.
These costs are definitely higher than in the past, with the previous generation Allez Sprint frameset going for $500 less. And for comparison, a Cannondale CAAD13, the other major choice for high end alloy bikes, built with 105 comes in at $2,300.
All Allez Sprint builds and framesets are available now.
More info: specialized.com