Even though more and more riders seem to be looking towards gravel or all road riding, there’s still a place for a good ol’ skinny tire road bike. And if you’re just looking to get into the sport, there’s also a place for affordable bikes, though affordable doesn’t mean you have to give up on performance. As proof, Specialized offers up their entry level Allez, Allez Sport, and Allez Elite. In spite of being the very first entries in the Allez product line, the base models pack a surprising punch at an affordable price.
Around $1000, you’re not going to find many carbon frames, but what you will find with the three new entry level Allez is an E5 aluminum frame with smooth welds, but more importantly a 1 1/8″ to 1 3/8″ tapered head tube with a FACT full carbon fork. Keeping things simple, the frame features a threaded bottom bracket, 100/130mm QR dropouts, and a clamp on front derailleur, though the frame does feature internal cable routing through the downtube.
Above, the Allez Sport is shown with an impressive build kit, all for under a grand. At the time, only the Allez Sport was available for photos, but the Allez and Allez Elite use the same frame and fork but with a different part spec.
On the $750 Allez, you’re still getting the 31.8mm bar and stem, and Body Geometry Toupe Sport saddle, but the drivetrain will be a 2×8 Shimano Claris group with a Shimano RS200 crank, Tektro brakes, and Axis Sport wheels.
The Allez Sport bumps up to a Shimano Sora 2×9 drivetrain with a Praxis Alba 2D crank and a few other goodies for $950.
While the Allez Elite adds a Shimano 105 2×11 drivetrain with DT Swiss wheels complete with sealed bearing hubs for $1200.
Built around the Specialized Wide Range Fit geometry, the bike is a little less aggressive with a more neutral fit. Specialized notes that this may be one of the only $750 bikes tested in a wind tunnel, and the frame has small improvements like the dropped seat stays to show for it.
UPDATE: On December 13, 2017 Specialized issued a recall to the 2018 Allez bikes that had already been sold by that time & in stock at bike shops, due to a potential fork failure. Replacement forks are in development, and expect to replace all defective forks by March 2018. Until then, stop riding an Allez if you have one, and wait to buy one if you had been planning a purchase.