Specialized Allez road bikes range explained

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The Specialized Allez road bikes range is a well known, and well loved, platform that provided the first springboard into cycling for thousands of riders - and it continues to do so.

Arguably the most popular road bike range in existence, it has stood the test of time as a model family, with early versions appearing as far back as the late 1970s.

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Whilst some models within the family are still purpose designed to provide an excellent introduction to cycling, the range also includes some race tuned machines created with full throttle ridingat front of mind.

However the women's Dolce edition bikes have been discontinued as Specialized are putting an end to their gender separated models, even at touch point level.

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The Specialized Allez bikes range: highlights

The range consists of four key standards. The three more value orientated models, under the names 'Allez Elite', 'Allez Sport' and standard 'Allez' represent the traditional Allez values, whilst the top end 'Allez Sprint Comp Disc' model takes on a much more race focused approach.

Being a consistently best selling bike for the American giants - and indeed for retailers all over the world - the Allez has received a lot of design hours.

Back in 2018, the Allez received its biggest update, including the introduction of a new, full carbon fork, which the brand say weighs in at 350g and mimics one which you would have found on S-Works bikes not too long ago.

Specialized Allez road bike range

The geometry was also adjusted so now it’s less aggressive than that which you’d find on previous models. These updates carry over into today's models.

Using ‘wide range geometry’, the set up is designed to be more friendly to first time buyers – allowing a broader group of riders of all shapes and sized to find the right fit. This said, the bike can be slammed to ride much more like the aggressive Tarmac race bike. Alterations include a slacker fork and headtube angle and a longer chainstay for additional stability.

For greater compliance and comfort, Specialized has mirrored the rear end technology we see on the Specialized S-Works Venge and the new Diverge – the seat stays meet the seat tube much lower down.

The Allez models also include eyelets for mudguards and internally routed cables – along with hydro formed tubing which keeps the weight low.

The Allez Sprint models havea much more aggressive geometry when compared with all other Allez bikes; they're designed for out-and-out crit racing and disregards comfort in favour of full throttle speed at every avenue.

Specialized Allez road bike range

The Allez Sprint bikes even feature the 'Smartweld Technology' which Specialized first launched in 2013.

Pitched as a welding technique designed to re-invent the way alloy was viewed as a frame material, it's a form of welding that moves the joint away from high stress areas, providing a better "balance of strength, rigidity and weight", according to the company. Effectively it makes the front end lighter and stiffer.

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Specialized Allez road bikes range

Here's a look at the key models in the range...

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Specialized Allez road bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Allez road bike

The entry level E5 sits at a very wallet friendly price point for a quality road bike that is versatile. Specialized has fitted the new top end full carbon fork to the alloy frame to reduce vibrations from the road and cut the overall weight.

The levers and derailleurs are Shimano Claris 2000 STI, giving you eight gears with a Sunrace 11-32 cassette and 50/34 ringson a Shimano R200 crankset. This gear set up offers you lots of options in the hills but the wide spaced cassette will feel clunky to racers who want to find the ideal cog.

The brakes are Tektro calipers, with Axis Sport wheels and 26mm RoadSport tyres - these are all reliable and trustable, though far from premium.

Specialized Allez Sport road bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Allez Sport road bike

Moving one step up the rung, the Allez E5 Sport features the same frame as the entry level model, with refined components that will drop a little off the weight and make shifting crisper.

The frame colour comes in two options, either gloss satin dove grey and black or satin cast blue metallic and gloss ice blue.The shifters and derailleurs are Shimano Sora, this time with a nine speed 11-32 cassette - one extra gear is gained by this slightly higher end set up.The compact chainset comes from Praxis whilst the same Axis Sport wheels are used.

Specialized Allez Elite road bike

Specialized Allez Elite road bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

Topping out the Allez E5 family, dressed in a gloss green and silver or satin black and blue paint job and improved components, is the Elite model.

The key distinguishing feature is the addition of Shimano 105 shifters and an 11-32, 11 speed cassette. The greater number of gears will provide smallergaps between gears whilst still leaving plenty of downshifting potential in the hills thanks to the same wide ratio. A Praxis bottom bracket and chainset still comes with a 50/34 compact chainset.

As per all models, the saddle, stem, bar tape and handlebars are all provided by Specialized, who invest heavily in their BodyGeometry technology designed to offer a more anatomically optimised experience. 

Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc bike

The old Allez has always been considered an excellent option for an entry level criterium racer, owing to the geometry and resilient properties of alloy. With the Sprint models, Specialized took it up a gear to create a race-first model.

The frame is lighter and stiffer, thanks to the use of Smartweld technology at junctions. The geometry has been tweaked, with a shorter stack, and indeed a shorter reach and wheelbase. All this adds up to a more head down, nippy ride.

This is really more of a crit machine than a first-bike-that-could-do-alright-in-a-race. In fact, Specialized used this frame to make limited edition fixie bikes for racers at the Red Hook Crit - and racing doesn't really get more aggressive than that.

Specialized call this the "stiffest alloy bike we've ever tested", with influence coming from the World Tour-winning Tarmac and fork sizes that alter in line with the frame size for improved handling.

An aero curve at the downtube is complimented by a Allez Sprint aero seatpost. The Praxis chainset features a 50/34 chainset with an 11-28 cassette (racers might want to adjust that). The Shimano 105 set up comes with DT R470 disc wheels and 26mm Turbo Pro tyres. Its R7020 hydraulic disc brakes provide powerful braking, particularly in the wet.

There are two complete bikes and one frameset only model, with the latter having a paint job celebrating Allez's Sprint's racing heritage as part of the Sagan Collection.

Which Specialized Allez should you buy?

With four models to choose from, it's easy to understand the conundrum.

The Specialized Allez models will all be reliable rides for commuting, sportives, club runs or just enjoyable spins around the lanes. The wide ratio geometry means this bike can suit a selection of needs, from club runs to sportives to commutes.

When it comes to choosing between these, it's all about how much incremental differences in performance matter to you. The more you spend, the lighter the overall bike will be, and the crisper you'll find the shifting and braking.

The Sprint bike really is for a completely different rider: these are bikes for racers who are happy to forgo comfort.