Specialized Allez Sprint X1 criterium racing bike debuts

Highlights include newly designed bottom bracket and 1x gearing

Road Bike
The 1x gearing is a nod to pure racing performance, where a limited gear range is all you need.

The 1x gearing is a nod to pure racing performance, where a limited gear range is all you need (click to enlarge).

It appears aluminum road bike frames are coming back in vogue. In July, Cannondale rolled out its latest alloy offering, the CAAD 12. Now Specialized has launched a new version of its popular metal machine dubbed the Allez Sprint. Initially the new bike will come in just two builds and a frameset, due in part to its narrow focus.

This is a criterium racing machine pure and simple, thus the 1x drivetrains. The Specialized Allez Sprint X1 Expert gets SRAM Force 1 (with 50t chainring) and a $2600 price tag. The Specialized Allez Sprint X1 Comp will come with a SRAM Rival 1 (with 48t chainring) and cost $2000. Both bikes boast a S-Works FACT carbon fiber fork for improved stiffness and front end steering response. Frameset alone is $1350.

Frameset alone is $1350 — and looks great.

Frameset alone is $1350 — and looks great (click to enlarge).

The key design highlight continues to be what the Big Red S calls its Smartweld technology that was first introduced three years ago. The idea is that by hydroforming the individual tubes of the frame you create a seamless and uniform weld location. This helps control material thickness and shape, which strengthens the tube bonds.

Specialized is taking that a step further this go round, applying the manufacturing technique to the new bike’s bottom bracket, which is claimed to bump up stiffness and strength. The new BB is far bigger than its predecessor, which gives you the stiffness you’d expect and allows for the use of large tube diameters elsewhere.

While the new BB looks like a single piece of aluminum, it’s actually three pieces welded together.

The new BB looks like a single piece of aluminum, but it’s actually three pieces welded together (click to enlarge).

While the new BB looks like a single piece of aluminum, it’s actually three pieces welded together. You just can’t see the weld marks because of a process that melts them away. The result is a joint that looks more carbon than alloy.

Continue to page 2 to learn more about the new Specialized Allez Sprint X1 »
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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