Would you be tempted by Specialized’s new Allez Sprint Ltd road bike, equipped with Shimano’s 105 Di2 12-speed groupset, for £3,100? This bike is available in the UK for the first time today.
The Allez Sprint is a performance-focused road bike that’s based on Specialized’s Tarmac SL7, but built around an alloy rather than carbon-fibre frame. With typical self-confidence, Specialized calls it “the fastest alloy road bike in history” thanks to the time the SL7 spent in the wind tunnel – some of that aero-ness having been transferred over despite the change of material.
When we reviewed it last year, we were full of praise for the Specialized Allez Sprint Comp which was built up with the Shimano 11-speed 105 R7020 mechanical groupset that was current at the time, describing it as a fast race bike with excellent handling and plenty of stiffness. With a bottom bracket and down tube hydroformed from a single piece of alloy, that frame really is a corker, as is the carbon fork.
Our only real criticism was that the £2,650 price was high for an aluminium bike equipped with a mid-level groupset.
Now the Allez Sprint frame is available in the UK for the first time with the Di2 (electronic) version of Shimano 105, with a compact 50/34T chainset and an 11-34T cassette. You get hydraulic disc brakes and a threaded bottom bracket. Nearly everything else on the bike comes from Specialized itself apart from the DT Swiss R470 rims and Supercaz handlebar tape.
Naturally enough, we’ve requested one for review.
Would electronic shifting entice you to buy an aluminium-framed road bike for £3,100? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with an aluminium frame, of course, and there are certainly others on bikes costing well over £3K. Cannondale’s CAAD13 Disc 105 Di2 is £3,250, for example, while the same bike with SRAM Rival AXS components is £3,400.
If you’re interested in 105 Di2, the most accessible of Shimano’s three electronic groupsets for road bikes, it’s available on the new Boardman SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 announced last week. That bike features a carbon fibre frame and at £2,800 looks like an absolute bargain on paper – but no one rides a bike on paper.
A carbon-fibre frame doesn’t always mean a better bike, but would you want carbon at three grand?
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.