Strengths: Stiff, comfortable, and unique bike! You'll never see another one. Quality is outstanding!
Weaknesses: Welds aren't the prettiest I've seen
I picked up 2003 Specialized Allez Cromo on eBay for $130, stripped it and powder coated it, threw on a reynolds fork, ultegra 6600 group, and custom wheels (dura ace 7800 hubs, DT rr1.2 rims, CX-Ray spokes) and have been commuting, racing and recreationally riding it since.
Overall, it is amazingly smooth while maintaining lateral rigidity. I love the compact geometry and couldn't be happier with the bike. The handling felt a tad touchy when i first got the bike but I've since acclimated.
Similar Products Used: TCR1, TCR Advanced, TCR Advanced ISP, Look 595, Cervelo Soloist, Scott Speedster,Cannondale System6, Trek Madone, Specialized Tarmac, Fuji Team Pro, list goes on.... Think I've owned everything but a Ridley
Bike Setup: 2003 58cm Allez Powder coated white
-Ultegra 6600 group
-DT rr1.2 rims, CX-RAY, 7800 hubs
from Portland, OR
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2003
Strengths: It's holding up very solidly. Nearly problem free--all very minor issues.
Weaknesses: You have to carry a towel with you as people are constantly drooling over it.
The oversized handlebar tube makes front headlight selection an issue. Most clamps are too small. (Cateye makes a nice one that fits) Ok, I know it's not a touring bike, so that's getting a little picky, but I love it so much that I want to ride it at night, and in the rain, or whenever I can!
Here's a quick update now that I have about 500 miles on this bicycle.
No major problems. A little metal dust seal in the front wheel hub came loose and was making a jingling noise. The bike shop fixed it while I waited. No big deal.
I had a friend who is a bicycle mechanic recheck everything after about 300 miles. Nothing exciting to report.
He did some minor truing on the wheels. I had whacked them pretty good in a bridge expansion joint. I didn't know they were out of true, so it was pretty minor.
He noted that the seat post clamp was installed backwards. The bolt should be facing forwards to help reduce the possibility of damaging the carbon seat post.
No flat tires yet--knock on wood--ran over a lot of glass so far.
I've managed to mount fenders and a rack on the bike with some vinyl coated clamps. The fenders had to be cut a little to clear the brake calipers. Most bike shops should know how to do custom fender installs like this by now. It's pretty easy despite not having any braze-ons.
The tires stick pretty good in the rain, and with no tread, they don't kick up a lot of water.
I love it. I ride it 3 to 4 times every week. It's super responsive, has an ultra smooth ride, makes a great commuter bike.
from Portland, OR
Date Reviewed: July 25, 2003
Strengths: Very smooth over rough pavement. Great component group. Beautiful to look at. Excellent value. It will make your friends jealous! Steel is real. Did I mention that it's really beautiful?
Weaknesses: Might seem twitchy at first, but feels very solid after a little time in the saddle.
After test riding a number of bicycles, including several titanium bikes, I found that I was most impressed with the Allez frame. I guess I’m a sucker for a steel bike. The compact geometry makes this bike feel as fast, or faster, than the Lightspeed ti bike that I rode. The component group is excellent, especially the wheels. I’ve been riding this bike to work and back for the past couple days, and I get compliments on it every day. It’s more beautiful in person than it is in pictures. Riding this bicycle is a real joy; it takes off like a rocket thanks to the compact frame geometry. The frame is stiff laterally giving you a precise feeling while cornering, and it doesn’t wind up when pedaling hard. It has an amazing amount of vertical compliance; even large bumps are well absorbed, keeping the tires in firm contact with the pavement at all times. It's a pretty perky ride, unlike most longer framed bicycles. I thought it was a little twitchy at first, but now that I've ridden it several days, I rather enjoy the sporty feel. I rode the Elite Cr-Mo first, and loved the frame--I'm glad I spent the extra money for the Comp Cr-Mo.
Great bike. Specialized hit the nail on the head with the compact geometry. I am happy to see that there are companies making mid-range STEEL racing bikes. This bike is replacing a Cannondale R2000si that was a great bike until I was forced to ride my old 80's steel Bianchi. I feel in love with the feel of steel again. The Ultegra triple makes is easier to carry 280lbs over the hills. A two hours ride with the Cannondale beat me up unrelentlessly. I have put 250 mile on the Allez cro mo in two weeks and can say that my is cheering that I switched back to steel. It is a bit heavier than the Aluminum (which I got down to 16.5lbs!) but their is no substituting comfort. I am concerned about the Shimano R540 wheels but the LBS said that they have guys riding these wheels for cyclocross - that I shouldn't worry with my size. We'll see...
Similar Products Used: Cannondale R2000si, Lemond Zurich.
Bike Setup: Stock (Ultegra triple, R540 wheelset)
a Recreational Rider
from Prescott, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2003
Strengths: Good value - Foco / Ultegra.
Steel just feels better.
Good range of sizes to fit most riders.
Should last a long time problem free.
Weaknesses: A little flexy in bb, but I'm a heavier rider.
I got this bike as a replacement for my early 80's Allez. It has a very smooth, solid ride and has geometry that is confidence inspiring and quick, but not twitchy or nervous. The bike sprints, climbs and descends well and has a lively feel. It's a shame there are so few higher end steel road bikes from major manufacturers. The Allez Comp is priced and spec'd well and reminds me how much I really love the feel of a steel frame. The comfort will likely mean more miles and fewer concerns regarding road quality. The frame flexes more in the bottom bracket than my aluminum bike, but overall the ride is far superior with a minimal weight penalty. The shop I purchased from took the time to fit me properly and the bike fits me perfectly. I've only done about 100 miles in the first 10 days, but the bike has met or exceeded all my expectations so far. I don't necessarily like the "look" of a compact frame versus a "classic" frame, but I got the bike to ride, not look at, and the fit and ride are great. I love the Mavic Cosmos wheels (the shop let me trade straight up and the Cosmos have been problem and vice free on my other road bike). I've heard some mixed reviews of the Shimano's, but don't have a real opinion.