Specialized Allez: The Ultimate Race Bike for Circuit Races and Criteriums

The Specialized Allez has long been a popular choice for both amateur and professional cyclists alike. Known for its superb handling, stiff frame, and cost-effective price point, it has become a go-to race bike for circuit races and criteriums. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at what makes the Specialized Allez such a beloved bike, comparing its cost to similar models, examining its frame stiffness, and analysing its cornering predictability.

How does the Specialized Allez handle?

When it comes to handling, the Specialized Allez stands out from the competition. The bike’s geometry is designed to provide an optimal balance between stability and agility, ensuring that riders feel confident and in control during fast-paced races. The lightweight aluminium frame and carbon fork work together to offer precise steering and efficient power transfer, allowing riders to easily navigate tight turns and technical sections of the course.

Cost compared to similar bike frame models

The Specialized Allez is not only a high-performing bike, but it’s also a cost-effective option for those looking to invest in a quality race bike. The Allez range starts at around £750 for the entry-level model, going up to £2,200 for the top-tier Allez Sprint Comp model. Comparatively, similar aluminium race bikes from other reputable brands like the Cannondale CAAD13 and the Trek Emonda ALR can cost upwards of £1,000 for the entry-level models and over £2,500 for the top-tier models. Considering the performance, features, and componentry offered by the Specialized Allez, it presents an attractive value proposition for riders on a budget.

Specialized Allez

Frame stiffness

Frame stiffness is a crucial factor for a race bike, as it directly impacts power transfer and responsiveness. The Specialized Allez features a stiff aluminium frame, made from the company’s E5 Premium Aluminum, which ensures that every watt of power is efficiently transferred to the road. The Allez Sprint Comp model takes stiffness to another level with its innovative D’Aluisio Smartweld Sprint Technology, which strategically places more welding material where it’s needed for increased stiffness and minimal weight gain. This results in an exceptionally stiff and responsive bike that rivals many carbon fibre bikes in terms of performance.

The popularity of the Specialized Allez in circuit races and criteriums

The Specialized Allez has become a popular choice for circuit races and criteriums due to its exceptional combination of handling, stiffness, and affordability. Its agile handling allows riders to quickly change direction and maintain control in the chaotic, high-speed environment of a criterium race. Meanwhile, the stiff frame ensures efficient power transfer and acceleration, enabling riders to capitalise on tactical moves and breakaways.

Also because the Specialized Allez is made from aluminium, it has a tendency to bounce rather than break when the inevitable crash happens in a race. Particularly in lower-level racing like Cat 4 races, the chances for a crash on racing circuits can be quite high and rather than racing your best, you should always race what you can replace which is more achievable with the Allez.

The bike’s popularity reached its peak when Peter Sagan raced a Specialized Allez Sprint during the Tour Down Under Classic (the Schwalbe Classic in 2023), a pre-stage race criterium hosted in Australia. With so much of the pro peloton riding carbon fibre, having such a superstar of the peloton rider aluminium caused a stir.

Cornering predictability

One of the standout features of the Specialized Allez is its cornering predictability. The bike’s geometry, along with the precise steering provided by the carbon fork, allows riders to confidently lean into turns without fear of unexpected changes in handling. This predictability is crucial in fast-paced criterium races, where split-second decisions and precise cornering can make all the difference between victory and defeat.

The Specialized Allez has earned its reputation as a top-performing race bike for circuit races and criteriums. Its agile handling, stiff frame, cornering predictability, and competitive pricing make it an ideal choice for both amateur and professional cyclists. With the Specialized Allez, riders can expect a bike that delivers exceptional performance without breaking the bank.