Specialized lowering price on Allez Sprint framesets

2x set-ups of aluminum race ready rig set to be available starting in July

Road Bike
The centerpiece of the frame is the bottom bracket area, where it’s typically difficult to bring all the tubes together in one place without a lot of extra material.

The centerpiece of the frame is the bottom bracket area, where it’s typically difficult to bring all the tubes together in one place without a lot of extra material. Not so much here (click to enlarge).

“With normal butting the tube is thickening and making it stiffer,” explained Chuck Teixeira, Specialized’s guru of all things alloy. “With Smartweld you get a more sculpted and more organic look that is also very bombproof. Plus because you are using brazing, you’re operating below the melting point, and we know that if you melt you change the structure and it gets more brittle. That’s why normally you would have to make things thicker to address that issue. But in this case we don’t have to do that. Instead we can spec incredibly thin alloy without the risk of burning through tubes like in traditional TIG welding.”

This is particularly valuable in the bottom bracket area, where it’s typically difficult to bring all the tubes together in one place without a lot of extra material. “You always have something floating in space,” added Teixeira. “But with our one-piece stamped brazed area, we can move the weld up away from the connection, which helped us make the bike 30 percent stiffer at the bottom bracket than our previous Allez and on par with an S-Works Tarmac frame.”

Real World Testing

Of course proof can’t be found on the pages of a white paper; it’s got to happen out on the road. And here we can personally say that this bike rips (though it must be said that our test mules at a recent press event were not stock builds, and instead were spec’d with high-end Roval CL60 carbon wheels and supple Specialized Turbo tires).

Bike and framesets come stock with a Venge ViAS aero seatpost.

Bike and framesets come stock with a Venge ViAS aero seatpost (click to enlarge).

Regardless of components, during a pair of hard-charging test rides in the mountains around Santa Cruz, California, the Allez Sprint X2 with Shimano Ultegra behaved just as a race bike should. Bottom bracket stiffness was rock solid, and handling was quick, nimble and precise, just as you’d expect from a bike with 10mm lower stack height and a 0.75 steeper seat tube angle than the Tarmac, which allows for more aggressive body position.

Admittedly, with the aluminum frame subtle road buzz was palpable at times, but that could partially be blamed on the deeper dish wheels, and could likely be remedied by letting a little air out of the tires. We ran 100’ish PSI on both test rides.

The slimmed headtube is said to improve aerodynamics.

The slimmed headtube is said to improve aerodynamics (click to enlarge).

Bottom line, even if you have a bunch of cash burning a hole in your pocket, there’s a good argument for skipping the high dollar composite frame road bike, and instead opting for aluminum and dumping the extra money into components — or just put it back in your savings account.

For more information visit www.specialized.com.

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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