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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm moving over from running (to much pain), and want to buy a basic entry level bike. I'll be doing some test rides this week, and am curious about the basic $650 Allez model. The price is great, and while I can afford more, if I don't have to, then great.

What I'm curious about, is how does the basic Allez limit a person? Any big advantages to jumping up in price? Any reasons why the basic Allez can't be a very good performing bike, and even let a person get into races (mostly for fun)? Anything I should particularly pay attention to during bike tests this week?

Thanks.
 

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Hey there,

My wife has an Allez Elite, and she's very happy with the bike. She got it mostly for average length rides and some Triathlon racing. The basic Allez model would make a perfectly serviceable road bike, and it'd see you along just fine in your first few races. I've used Sora shifters on one of my bikes for the past 5 years, and they've performed well enough, but they're starting to get some slop in them now. I will say that they do have more play in the lever throw than the newer 9-speed STI shifters. As for the 8-speed setup on the basic Allez, 8-speed stuff works plenty well.

That being said, if you don't mind investing a bit more up front though, I'd say do it.

Given my experience with the Sora stuff on the first "real" bike I bought, if I had the purchase to make over again, I'd invest a little more for some of the higher zoot stuff. Better wheels and lighter components make for a better performing bike in the long run, especially if you're considering racing. Even just for recreation, the less weight you're pushing around, the better. You'll be able to ride further and conserve more energy with a lighter bike.

I suppose it comes down to how much you're willing to spend for a given reduction in weight from one model to another, and whether or not that matters to you. The best way to decide might be to ride the basic Allez, and then ride the next two models in the hierarchy; get whichever one feels best to you and matches the amount of money you're willing to part with.

Best of luck Commodore :D
 

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i started out with an Allez Sport 9 speed double (2005 model). that got me hooked into road cycling. after about 5 months, i decided to get a second bike - roubaix elite 2006. i still ride the allez sport but generally on shorter rides and on trainers. i have found that the find that 105 or ultegra shifter and rear derailleur is much crisper and sharper than sora or tiagra. i find that i am able to shift the ultegra rear derailleur under load much smoother than the tiagra rear derailleur.

i think the entry level allez is suitable for recreational racing but it's a bike that you're likely to out grow very quickly and develop ungradeitis.

boon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I'll try and pay attention to the shifting on a test ride. I'm not sure if I'll notice a lot during a spin around a neighborhood though. I'm also not sure I have to worry about the bike's weight yet, until I drop a few of the extra pounds I have.

Best of luck Commodore
Love those books :)
 

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A lot of this decision is very personal. If you're pretty sure that you're going to just love cycling, then buy something better to start with. If you're not so sure, then that entry Allez is probably just the thing to find out without risking a lot of money. If you really get into it, you're probably going to want a second bike anyway, and the Allez can become your rainy-day bike.

The thing is that if you really get into this, neither the Allez nor something one or two steps up is going to satisfy you in the long run. And if you don't really get into this, the Allez can collect dust a lot more cheaply than better bikes.

Furthermore, the Allez is good enough that it won't make the difference between you liking to ride and not liking to ride. That is, I don't think you're going to hate riding the Allez when you would have loved to ride a better bike.
 

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I just purchased an Allez Sport (Tiagra with 105 RD) for what I was looking for, and what I wanted to spend this bike fit the bill nicely.

I origionally was looking at the Base Moase Model, but after test riding both the Sport and the Base model I felt that the more eurgonomic shifters were the better way to go (and it is less Money to buy the hardware on the bike then to upgrade as you go).

I chose to stay with the Sport and not go up to the Elite stricly because of economics.

I could not justify spending more based on my intended use for this bike

Hope this helps,

Good Luck,

A
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I road a few bikes tonight, the Allez (entry version), Cannondale R700, Lemond Croix de Fer, and Specialized Roubaix. In the end, I really liked the Roubaix the most. The Roubaix was just the most comfortable, and smoothest riding of the group.

The entry Allez was okay, but I didn't like the base shifters, and the ride wasn't quite as nice, at least compared to the Roubaix. The LeMond was smooth as well, but not quite as nice as the Roubaix. The R700 was a very nice bike, but it definitely was alittle rougher over tougher pavement, something that I don't want now. Maybe if I ride for a while and want something slightly quicker. Though the Roubaix felt just as quick for the most part.

Yeah, it's hard not to like them. I keep trying to get to the Patrick O'Brian books, but I haven't had the time yet.
I've listened to the first couple O'Brien books. I think they are better in some ways, but I just prefer the Hornblower books still. Hornblower is a more fun character I think.

Thanks for the help everyone. I'll probably pick up a Roubaix later in the week!
 

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all the other fellas gave good advice. If you think this will be a long term hobby then it's probably worth getting something beter... you can just read the threads and realise that a lot of ppl were in your situation, got a lower end bike and ended up buying a better one later. that and the fact that there is a serious syndrome that comes with road bikes, and RBR in particular... you read about other people's goodies and end up with incredible impulses to upgrade your own bike... that can be a problem if your bike is not really worth the parts.. ie having an allez frame with DuraAce all over... (no offense, i have an allez too). I think the general consensus is to buy a better frame and upgrade parts onto a good frame. Goodluck
 

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Hornblower said:
I road a few bikes tonight, the Allez (entry version), Cannondale R700, Lemond Croix de Fer, and Specialized Roubaix. In the end, I really liked the Roubaix the most. The Roubaix was just the most comfortable, and smoothest riding of the group.

The entry Allez was okay, but I didn't like the base shifters, and the ride wasn't quite as nice, at least compared to the Roubaix. The LeMond was smooth as well, but not quite as nice as the Roubaix. The R700 was a very nice bike, but it definitely was alittle rougher over tougher pavement, something that I don't want now. Maybe if I ride for a while and want something slightly quicker. Though the Roubaix felt just as quick for the most part.


I've listened to the first couple O'Brien books. I think they are better in some ways, but I just prefer the Hornblower books still. Hornblower is a more fun character I think.

Thanks for the help everyone. I'll probably pick up a Roubaix later in the week!
Hey that's great! Best of luck with your new ride. I just took a look at the spec on the Roubaix, and it looks identical to my wife's Allez Elite. I think you'll like the Roubaix alot.

You're going to go for the red color right? :thumbsup:

ps - I tried the Bernard Cornwell "Sharpe's" books for more Napoleonic swashbuckling, but they're particularly bad. If you haven't seen the A&E Hornblower films, I'd highly recommend them if you like the books. Cheers.
 

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OneGear said:
[...] you can just read the threads and realise that a lot of ppl were in your situation, got a lower end bike and ended up buying a better one later. [...]
i'm glad i started with a lower end bike. at least i now have a beater bike to use in bad weather and on the trainer, and don't mind going flat out on downhill corners. better to crash a cheap bike than an expensive CF bike. ok, it's probably best not to crash at all.......

boon
 

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Mr. Peabody said:
ps - I tried the Bernard Cornwell "Sharpe's" books for more Napoleonic swashbuckling, but they're particularly bad. If you haven't seen the A&E Hornblower films, I'd highly recommend them if you like the books. Cheers.
I liked the movies... Sharpe's Waterloo was probably the best. Can't say i've read the books though.
 

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Over the hills and far away?

OneGear said:
I liked the movies... Sharpe's Waterloo was probably the best. Can't say i've read the books though.
Yeah, the later films are better than the first few. They're a little hokey, but fun. I couldn't get the darn theme music out of my head for weeks after watching them. :D
 

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Mr. Peabody said:
Yeah, the later films are better than the first few. They're a little hokey, but fun. I couldn't get the darn theme music out of my head for weeks after watching them. :D
definitely, you tend to get immersed in the story and time period. I gotta make time for the Hornblower series now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The movies were very good for the most part. I want to see a few more. I was thrilled when I saw them announced, and when they turned out to be actually good :). The books were also very enjoyable, a series I was sad to finish.

As far as the bikes, I'm still torn, and will have to go test ride again tonight. The Roubaix, Allez, and Cannondale R700 (or even Synapse) are still possibilities. I just want a bike that I'll be comfortable riding for at least a couple years before wanting to upgrade :).
 

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Good Bike, and A Good Read

I have a Specialized Allez Elite that I use for a winter bike (Portland OR). It's a lively, nimble bike and not all that huge a dropoff from my Bianchi EV2. The 105 groupset is a must, I think, something that allows you to grow as a rider without outgrowing the bike. The 105 shifts cleanly and quickly and the braking is decent.
On the subject of good nautical reads, give some thought to Barry Unsworth's LOSING NELSON (yes, THAT Nelso) about a Brit loner and his obsession with Horatio.
 

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Hornblower said:
I just want a bike that I'll be comfortable riding for at least a couple years before wanting to upgrade :).
Is...is it possible not to want to upgrade? I've never heard of such a thing. :D

I'm curious to know your opinion of the ride differences between the synapse or R700 compared to the Specializeds. I'd bet that as long as you're fit properly by a knowledgable bike shop, you'll be happy with whichever bike you choose. As for components, the 9 speed parts will feel better in the long run (at least compared against the 8 speed sora in my personal experience, having used both sora and 105 drivetrains).
 

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Go w/105

I would suggest the 105 groupset - especially the new 2006 105 10spd -double (Nice article/review of the groupset in the new Velonews magazine). 105 groupset is a reliable groupset and from what I understand should wish to upgrade components down the road they are interchangable with higher end Ultegra and Dura Ace. My new bike is equipped with the 105 and am very happy with it.
 
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