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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am a avid mountain biker but I've been wanting to get into road riding. I was hoping to get some advice on a good first bike. I currently ride a Specialized MTB and want to stay within the Specialized family. I really want the bike for long rides (not a commuter) and fitness. Some friends have recommended an Allez. I was reading up on that model on Specialized's website and it says it is for competition. Would that be good for me? I am in the NYC area and the roads here are pretty rough. Any thoughts?

BTW I want to stay around $1000.
Thanks in advance,
Tim
 

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tgonzo182 said:
Hello, I am a avid mountain biker but I've been wanting to get into road riding. I was hoping to get some advice on a good first bike. I currently ride a Specialized MTB and want to stay within the Specialized family. I really want the bike for long rides (not a commuter) and fitness. Some friends have recommended an Allez. I was reading up on that model on Specialized's website and it says it is for competition. Would that be good for me? I am in the NYC area and the roads here are pretty rough. Any thoughts?

BTW I want to stay around $1000.
Thanks in advance,
Tim
The Allez is in the 'competitive' category, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to race it. They also have an endurance category that includes the Secteur, which has geo modeled after the Roubaix.

The categories mentioned are really just Specialized terms for race and relaxed geo, that you may have heard about. Generally speaking, race geo allows for a slightly more aggressive rider position with quicker (some say twitchy) handling. Relaxed geo bikes allow for a slightly more upright position, and slightly slower (more predictable) handling.

Also generally speaking, all else being equal, bikes with longer wheelbases (relaxed geo) will have a somewhat more comfortable ride. Given your mentioning NYC streets, if comfort is high on your priorities, the Secteur may be more to your liking, but IME setting the correct tire pressures for rider and conditions goes a long way in contributing to a cyclists comfort.

Bottom line is that you have to visit your Specialized dealer, get sized/ fitted and head out on some test rides. Get out on the roads and focus on fit/ feel, ride and handling. IME that's the best way to determine your preferences and whittle the field.

Lastly, while I'm admittedly a Spec fan, this being your first road bike, I suggest you visit some other reputable shops and try out some difference brands/ models. The exposure to subtle differences may lead you back to Specialized, or it may make you realize there's something that just feels right about another. You'll likely have this bike awhile, so it's worth the time and effort to get it right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PJ352 said:
The Allez is in the 'competitive' category, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to race it. They also have an endurance category that includes the Secteur, which has geo modeled after the Roubaix.

The categories mentioned are really just Specialized terms for race and relaxed geo, that you may have heard about. Generally speaking, race geo allows for a slightly more aggressive rider position with quicker (some say twitchy) handling. Relaxed geo bikes allow for a slightly more upright position, and slightly slower (more predictable) handling.

Also generally speaking, all else being equal, bikes with longer wheelbases (relaxed geo) will have a somewhat more comfortable ride. Given your mentioning NYC streets, if comfort is high on your priorities, the Secteur may be more to your liking, but IME setting the correct tire pressures for rider and conditions goes a long way in contributing to a cyclists comfort.

Bottom line is that you have to visit your Specialized dealer, get sized/ fitted and head out on some test rides. Get out on the roads and focus on fit/ feel, ride and handling. IME that's the best way to determine your preferences and whittle the field.

Lastly, while I'm admittedly a Spec fan, this being your first road bike, I suggest you visit some other reputable shops and try out some difference brands/ models. The exposure to subtle differences may lead you back to Specialized, or it may make you realize there's something that just feels right about another. You'll likely have this bike awhile, so it's worth the time and effort to get it right.
Thanks for the great advice. I am going to set up some test rides this weekend.
 

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I agree with what PJ wrote. Another thing comes to mind with regard to geometry and that is the "relaxed" geometry of the Secteur may more closely resemble that of your mountain bike. Which may mean more comfort initially.

I understand that your price point is $1,000 but, if you can swing it, $1,400 will get you into a bike with 105 components. I'm not saying that the $910 Secteur or the $850 Allez aren't good bikes. I'm sure they are just fine. However, both of those bikes have a mix of Sora and Tiagra components and not the right mix. The biggest issue I see is that both bikes have Sora shifters which utilize a thumb mechanism for down shifting that can't easily be reached when you're in the drop position on the handle bars. If Specialized would have used Tiagra shifters instead it would have been fine because they function exactly like the groupos ahead of the Tiagra level. So, for a little more money you get a bike that shifts better/easier and you get a groupo that really benefits from the advances made in the Dura-Ace and Ultegra groupos. The 105 groupo is really solid and durable and would last you a very long time.

Just my two cents.
 

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tgonzo182 said:
Hello, I am a avid mountain biker but I've been wanting to get into road riding. I was hoping to get some advice on a good first bike. I currently ride a Specialized MTB and want to stay within the Specialized family. I really want the bike for long rides (not a commuter) and fitness. Some friends have recommended an Allez. I was reading up on that model on Specialized's website and it says it is for competition. Would that be good for me? I am in the NYC area and the roads here are pretty rough. Any thoughts?

BTW I want to stay around $1000.
Thanks in advance,
Tim
I have a Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29-er and Secteur Elite.

I got the Secteur for the long rides with its more upright/softer geometry.

First thing you do, whether you get an Allez or Secteur (sport model gets the 9-speed tiagra/sora drivetrain), is get more durable tires. I ditched my All-condition Pro II for Bontrager Race All-weather Hardcase.

Some of the NYC area rides for known for getting flat tires. My bontragers served me well during the Ride to Montauk....

Broken Rockhopper @ Deer Park (aka Allamuchy South)


Secteur
 
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