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Hey all,

I'm looking to upgrade my 2006 Specialized Allez Elite frame (56cm, all aluminum, E5 alloy). Since I like to upgrade partwise, it already has Hed Ardennes wheels (a great choice, may be going tubeless soon once a decent road tubeless tire drops) and full SRAM Red (huge improvement over my older 105). Now I'm planning on buying a new frame/fork and just switching all the parts over, then maybe building up the Allez frame into a lightweight commuter.

I've been doing some research and I found the 2009 BMC SLX01 Racemaster for a pretty good price (~$1700 for frame, fork, headset, proprietary seatpost). However, I've also realized the Specialized Tarmac Pro frameset is around $2000, which puts it in my price range. Reading reviews puts the BMC in a pretty good light, but I have personal experience with the quality of Specialized bikes, as well.

I ride probably ~150-200 miles a week, depending on how many times I commute (15 miles each way). I race at least once a week during the summer, predominantly flat crits and a few occasional rolling hills road races. (Nothing is that hilly in MN, which is partly why I ditched the stock triple for the 53/39 double.) I'm about 5'10", ~170-175lbs dressed to ride, and I'm definitely a sprinter vs. a climber or time trialist.

I figured either the BMC or the Specialized would be an improvement, what with the carbon in the seat stays on both. I'm questioning how much smoother the aluminum/carbon BMC would be over my current aluminum frame, and how much smoother the full carbon Tarmac would be over the BMC (if at all). I think either frame will be stiff enough for full sprints. I'm also wondering if the aluminum in the BMC would appreciably increase the long term durability over the full carbon (including full carbon fork/steerer) on the Tarmac.

I'm leaning towards the BMC right now, if for no other reason than the $$, but if anyone has some insight into these issues, any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

strikeir13
 

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If you're planning to race it, stick with Al. It's more likely to survive a crash intact, and it looks like the BMC is a little less expensive.

I have 2 friends now that have cracked the chainstays on their Specialized CF frames. I don't know which model. But both are strong riders, and a bit lighter than you. While Specialized eventually replaces them at a discount, it still takes time.

Incidentally, today I took delivery of a BMC. I absolutely LOVE it!
 

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I just posted this reply in the "frames/forks" section and it seems to apply here as well -

I've had a BMC Racemaster SLX01 for approximately 2.5 months and have fallen in love with it.

To provide a frame of reference, I also have a titanium Serotta Concours and a carbon fiber Look 381i. I fully expected the BMC to provide a much harsher ride than the other two and have been completely surprise at its comfort. I've done multiple longer rides on it, including 2 century rides and multiple metric centuries. Because of its ability to provide a comfortable ride, I'm seriously contemplating selling the other two...
 
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