The A1 Premium Aluminum frame uses a bowed top tube and oversized downtube for superior power transfer and remarkable vertical compliance. The Allez carbon fork soaks up road vibration, provides laser-accurate steering, and is ultra light. The Comp-Set stem combines a 12-degree rise with an oversized 31.8mm bar clamp, for comfortable, accurate steering. Find comfort in the drops with ergonomic Specialized Comp bars, with oversized stem clamp area for a solid bar connection.
Strengths: stiff frame, Good looks, Great value, Comfortable
Weaknesses: Front derailleur, wheels and tires
I bought my Allez compact over the summer and have been very happy with it. I live in a fairly hilly area and this bike climbs very well. I test rode a few bikes before I bought this one and was very impressed by the ride quality and stiffness of the frame. Of all the bikes I rode this one feels more responsive and quicker to accelerate than all the rest including some much more expensive bikes. The only real complaints I have are the heavy wheels and tires( wheels this heavy should be stiffer and stronger than these), and the front derailleur doesn't up shift unless the I'm on one of the outer three rings in the rear. The front derailleur problem may be a problem with the tune up. Overall I don't think you can buy a better bike in this price range.
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2012
Strengths: Acceleration, speed, handling, low price, great value.
Weaknesses: Shifting occasionally rough but I think that is me not the bike components.
I bought this about a month ago. Every time I go out, I love this bike more. I getting really used to the get up and go feel of this bike. Could not be happier. I added try bars and this will be my bike for the sprint try season this year. Nothing but good news.
Strengths: Fairly light weight for the price, maybe one of the lightest entry-level bikes out there. Stiff, barely any BB flex at all. Precise handling, it goes where I say it goes, without argument. The matte-black murdered-out look is awesome (this is a 2009 feature only, I think). Spec. Comp handlebars offer plenty of places where to put your hands. Carbon fork does soak up bumps without making for mushy road feel. Terrific build quality at the price; welds are smoothed out where you can readily see them, unfinished where you can't. Classy graphics, reminds me a bit of old Hetchins bikes, particularly the striping on the TT and chainstays. These are stenciled paint, not decals! Good saddle, once everything's properly dialed in and the saddle (and you) are broken in, long hours on this bike are no problem. The brake calipers, while having no name on them, are double-pivot side pull, and look identical to Tektro brakes. I suspect they actually are. The brake pads need about a hundred miles of riding before they "bite" well -- maybe it's the rims that need it. Bottom line -- after about 100-150 miles, the brakes bite well and offer good feedback and quick stops with no squealing.
Weaknesses: Seatpost looks like carbon but it's aluminum tarted up to look like carbon; a true carbon post may better soak up the bumps. The tires are heavy and don't offer Kevlar belt protection, so plan for flats (I've yet to have a flat on mine but I carry a full flat kit out of habit no matter what tires I have). That they're slicks doesn't bother me, slicks are best for road bikes anyway, even in the wet. These ride OK. Rims are heavy, too, but honestly, for fitness riding who cares? I won't upgrade anything on this bike until it wears out or breaks, then I'll go for a 105 groupset and polished Sugino cranks and sprockets. The tires will be the first to go -- I really do want Kevlar belts. This is more for convenience - having to break down a wheel and fix a flat on the road is misery. Pedals were a letdown -- I needed 1/2 inch longer clips, so I swapped for Wellgo mtb pedals with longer clips. One last nit -- the gel pads under the bar tape have to go -- useless, in my view. First chance I get I'll re-wrap the bars with Cinelli cork in Splash or Zebra, in black and white. The stock tape is great, it's the gel pads under it I object to. I've found over-padding invites numbness.
Can't go wrong with this bike. Mine's 56cm, matte black. Fast, agile, fairly light, good road feel, and even with the stock Tiagra / Sora groupset, it's very usable for fast fitness riding. After many hundred fairly fast miles over rutted, rough, dirty, sandy pavement, the groupset, tires and wheels are still OK and true. Comfortable once properly dialed in, good for hours. It's no posh steel ride, but it's not going to rattle your teeth out either. Perfect bike for fitness riding on a budget. And it really does look special, what with the bowed-in stays, arched, tapered top tube and tasteful, restrained graphics. But what really matters is that it rides like the wind. I'm a a bit of a clyde, and this bike still rides like the wind.
Similar Products Used: 56cm 1987 Schwinn Traveler (lightweight True-Temper steel, oh how sweet she was! I had 700c x 23 Mavics shod with Avocet K20 Fasgrip Kevlar slicks on mine), 56cm 1990 Peugeot (forgot model, unremarkable ride), 56cm 1994 Bianchi Premio steel (utterly forgettable)
Bike Setup: All stock, save for the pedals (I put in wellgo mtb clips to deal with my big fat feet). Specialized Wedgie saddle bag filled with a spare tube, a kit with a co2 inflator and two 16g bottles, glue patchkit, two tire levers, a few folded-up paper towels and a few latex gloves in a ziploc bag, a Park multitool and a 30-year old Leatherman. A PlanetBike Stealth 1/2 watt Superflash tail light at bottom of seatpost, and up on the bars a 3rd-Eye glass 3" convex bar-end mirror, a PlanetBike one-watt Blaze headlight (in black!), a Garmin Edge 305 gps computer, and a silver Adjustabell bell. PlanetBike bottle cage with a white Polar Bottle. Top of saddle to floor 39", top of bar to floor 38.5", kneecap about 1/2 inch behind pedal spindle. Painted parts of shifter cable jackets flat-black to avoid glare from the headlight at night.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: June 4, 2010
Strengths: Great geometry
Decent beginner setup
Weaknesses: heavy wheels but i guess thats the category
the sora/tiagra combo is a bit too noisy
Excellent bike for the money. Love the geometry but definitely some parts could benefit from upgrading like wheels which i already changed with a set of 2010 Mavic Aksiums (original equipment is Alex R500)
Bike Setup: 2009 Allez Sport Compact
Keo Classic Pedals
2010 Mavic Aksium wheelset
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2010
Strengths: nice frame, carbon forks, smooth ride.
Weaknesses: crappy no name brake calipers, sora shifters.
I like the bike I have no real problems with it its smooth on the hills and the carbon fiber forks hold up to most of the bumps. This is my first bike and I am all about pushing it to the limits which it is handling great. I love how light it is and its a nice head turner.
I'm looking to upgrade framesets from my current allez. Whichever I choose I'll be building it up with my current Rival components. The Allez E5 OSBB (frameset) is $800 and the Tarmac is $1500 for the complete bike (i'd disassemble and sell all the parts to offset the additional cost).
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