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This is Specialized's best-selling road bike year after year, and it's obvious to see why when you look at what you get for under £550. Specialized know how to combine the ideal mix of frame, wheels and groupset to offer perfect packages within different price points, and you won't get much better for this amount of cash. The Allez is a superb first road bike and will induct you into the world of road riding with a sturdy, competent and fantastic-looking starter set-up.
Specialized Allez 2013 product review
This bike is no slouch and you may be surprised by how quick it can accelerate. You or your mate's fitness may be the only barrier to keeping up with a far more expensive carbon outfit. The Allez feels sturdy and would make a great commuter, but its comfortable geometry can keep you in the saddle for far longer than the ride to work, making it an ideal winter trainer tool. It has a workmanlike dynamic to its gear shifting, which is no bad thing, but still offers consistent, reliable performance in all conditions. Steering is smooth and the bike tracks cleanly through turns, boosting confidence in faster sweeps and feeling as nimble as a bike of greater spec. A shallower drop to the bars also aids all-day comfort.
FRAME AND FORKS
You should be happy with such a decent A1 Premium Aluminium frame as the Allez's, as it's essentially the same as their pro level Tarmac frame, just in alloy not carbon. So while it's not super light, it's far from heavy and offers pro-spec geometry that will perform the way a higher-end Specialized road bike will. This, the lower-spec of the three Allezs (Elite, £899.99 and the Sport, £724.99) features an aluminium fork rather than carbon, so it may not be as comfortable on the bumps, but it's a sturdy enough set-up to survive the cross-town urban commute, pot holes and all.
It's impressive what level of quality kit you can get on a road bike at this price these days. The basic Allez benefits from full Shimano groupset, with an 8-speed cassette and a compact double, 50-34 chainset on the front, offering reliable and solid shifting, which is exactly what's important while you're focusing on building up fitness and speed. Shimano 2300 levers pull Tektro dual-pivot brakes, which grip Axis Classic rims. Shimano 2300 STI shifters complement a level of quality that by all intents and purposes shouldn't be on a bike of this low price. Specialized alloy seat post, bars and stem and branded finishing kit ice the tasty cake that is the Allez.
While you're finding your feet, and developing your style and preferences, the Allez will meet your needs more than adequately. At this price point, and with this surprisingly competent level of kit, the Allez could make a great second bike, as a winter trainer or your work commuter, while your carbon race machine stays safe in the garage. Alternatively, and more inline with the majority of Allez sales, this is an excellent novice bike for anyone making their foray into the potentially costly forum of road riding.
For a full Specialized package, with Shimano kit, the Allez is not to be sniffed at with an asking price of just £549. This is your entry ticket to road riding right here.
SPECIALIZED ALLEZ - FULL SPECIFICATION
- Colours: Black/Charcoal/White, Red/Silver/White
- Sizes: 49cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 61cm
- Frame: Specialized A1 Premium Aluminium, fully manipulated tubing with smooth welds, 1-1/8" lower bearing,
- Fork: Specialized Aluminium fork, alloy steerer and crown, 1-1/8"
- Wheels: Axis Classic
- Front Tyre: Specialized Espoir Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection, 700x25c
- Rear Tyre: Specialized Espoir Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection, 700x25c
- Shifters: Shimano 2300 STI
- Front Derailleur: Shimano 2300
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano 2300
- Chainset: Shimano 2300 compact 50/34
- Cassette: Shimano HG-50, 8-speed, 12-25
- Chain: KMC Z51
- Bottom Bracket: Sealed cartridge, square taper, 68mm
- Front Brake: Tektro dual-pivot
- Rear Brake: Tektro dual-pivot
- Brake Levers: Shimano 2300
- Saddle: BodyGeometry Riva Road, Cr-Mo Rails, 143mm
- Seat Post: Specialized Sport alloy, 27.2mm
- Handlebars: Specialized Comp, 6061 alloy, shallow bend
- Grips: Specialized S-Wrap
- Stem: Cast alloy, 4-bolt, 31.8mm
- Headset: 1-1/8" sealed Cr-Mo cartridge bearings integrated w/ headset, 20mm alloy cone spacer, w/ 20mm of spacers
- Pedals: Nylon flat test ride, loose-ball, w/ reflectors
- Extras: Chainstay protector, derailleur hanger, clear coat, owner's manual
- Weight: Not Specified