Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

TECH NEWS

Specialized launches all new "lightest in class" Allez and ditches rim brakes for good

The US bike brand boasts this is its best Allez yet... but if you like your road bikes priced under £1,000 and equipped with rim brakes, Specialized can no longer help you. We've also taken it for a quick spin!

A year after launching the race-focused Allez Sprint, Specialized has now revamped its classic, entry-level Allez. Two models are available, the Allez and Allez Sport, with carbon forks, clearance for up to 35mm tyres and hidden mudguard and rack mounts. Both are also disc brake-only, which marks the end of rim brakes across Specialized's whole adult bike range. With the entry-level Allez starting at £1,100, it also means you'll now need over £1,000 to buy a new Specialized drop bar road bike for the first time. How does it ride? Read on for our initial thoughts... 

2023 Specialized Allez Flo Red bike

The Allez was the first performance road bike created by Specialized in 1981, and back then it was a steel race bike. The first alloy version was seen in 1994, and almost three decades later, Specialized says that the new Allez is the best yet with increased confidence, versatility and performance. It also claims the new Allez is "the lightest in its class" with a claimed frame weight of 1,375g and full bikes weighing between 9.5-10kg in a 56cm frame size. 

> Opinion: "Aluminium frames are the work of the devil"

Aluminium road bikes are enjoying a resurgence of interest at the moment and some cyclists (perhaps not Steve in the article linked above, but a good proportion!) are realising that you can get a lot of performance and equipment for your money by sticking with alloy. So, let's take a closer look at what the new Allez has to offer... 

2023 Specialized Allez Flo Red bike

> Specialized Allez Sprint vs Trek Emonda ALR — which aluminium race bike will win this epic showdown?

The new Allez features the Specialized E5 alloy frame in similar geometry to its Roubaix endurance race bike, making it suited to endurance rides, commuting or as an entry into road cycling. Specialized says that it's comfortable and confidence-inspiring, but also handles "like a pure race bike". 

As we've mentioned already, the Allez frame is said to weigh 1,375g (56cm, painted) and the Allez is claimed to weigh around 10kg with a 56cm frame. With the same frame size, an Allez Sport has a claimed weight of approximately 9.5kg.

Specialized claims the new Allez is "the lightest in its class", though we couldn't help but notice that a Cannondale CAAD Optimo 1 (Cannondale Advanced Aluminium Design), also size 56cm, is said to weigh around 9.0kg; but that has rim brakes rather than discs, so provisionally we'll take Spesh's word for it. 

2023 Specialized Allez Sport seatstay bridge

> Is Trek’s new road bike really aluminium?

In recent years we've seen the trend for wider and wider tyres. The new Allez comes with 30mm tyres and has an impressive maximum tyre clearance of up to 35mm, giving the versatility to ride rougher roads. To compare, the outgoing entry-level Allez with rim brakes is equipped with 26mm tyres and has a maximum tyre clearance of 28mm. 

Based on previous feedback, there are now hidden mudguard and rack mounts to make the Allez suited to commuting as well as long endurance rides. The recommended max tyre width is 32mm with mudguards installed.

2023 Specialized Allez Flo Red bike

> What are dropped seatstays good for? Should you get a bike with them?

The new Allez also features an angled chainstay bridge, but Specialized says that this is "purely a modern aesthetic design cue" and that mudguards will mount easily to the chainstay bridge. 

Geometry 

Specialized says that the Allez utilises endurance road geometry and is based on the Roubaix and outgoing Allez. 

Compared with the Roubaix the new Allez has a slightly shorter reach but longer chainstay length. For a 54cm frame, the reach of the Roubaix is 376mm compared to 370mm for the Allez, and the chainstay length is 415mm compared to 425mm on the Allez. 

2023 Specialized Allez geometry chart

> How to read a bike geometry table: the numbers made easy

It is available in seven sizes from 44-61cm and all bikes are designed for 700c wheels/tyres. 

Pricing and components: rim brakes are out, sub-£1k Specialized road bikes are no more 

2023 Specialized Allez Flo Red bike

The new Allez has two model levels, the Allez and Allez Sport. The Allez is priced at £1,100, featuring Shimano Claris shifting and mechanical disc brakes. It also comes in three colour options: Gloss Smoke/White/Silver Dust, Satin Maroon/Silver Dust/Flo Red and Gloss Lagoon Blue/Cool Grey/Blaze. 

The Allez Sport is the more expensive of the two, priced at £1,600 and specced with Shimano Tiagra shifting and hydraulic disc brakes. It's also available in three colour options: Gloss Dove Grey/Cool Grey/Chameleon Lapis, Gloss Tarmac/Black and Satin Tropical Teal/Teal Tint/Arctic Blue. 

2023 Specialized Allez Sport front headtube

> The rising cost of cycling

With the Allez being Specialized' entry-level road bike, this means that none of the brand's current model year road bikes are priced under £1,000; a step change from the end of the last decade, when the entry-level Allez retailed at around £600. The Specialized Sirrus flat bar fitness bike is the only model available with options priced at under the magic grand mark across its adult range. 

This launch also marks the end of rim brakes across the whole Specialized adult bike range, with only some Specialized kid's bikes yet to receive the disc brake treatment. 

2023 Specialized Allez Sport downtube semi integrated cables

Here is the full spec breakdown of the new Allez (the only difference between the two models is the groupset): 

  • Frame: Specialized E5 Premium Aluminium Disc frame with SmoothWelds
  • Fork: FACT Carbon
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris mechanical disc / Shimano Tiagra hydraulic disc 
  • Chainset: 50/34T
  • Cassette: 11-32T
  • Bottom bracket: BSA threaded
  • Wheels: Axis Sport Disc tubeless ready 
  • Tyres: Specialized RoadSport 700x30c
  • Handlebars: Specialized Shallow Drop
  • Stem: Specialized 3D-forged alloy, 7-degree rise
  • Saddle: Body Geometry Bridge, steel rails

First ride impressions

2023 Specialized Allez Sport climbing riding shot

Jamie was lucky enough to get out and put a few miles in on the new Allez Sport ahead of its launch. Here's what he had to say...

"The new Allez in many ways is a predictable upgrade, but that's not to say it's not very welcome.

Road cyclists of all abilities are turning towards wider tyres and in my opinion, one of the main drawbacks of the outgoing Allez was the tyre limitations especially when using mudguards. The 2023 Allez solves this issue with clearance for 35mm tyres, and perhaps more importantly 32mm tyres with full mudguards fitted. By doing this, Specialized has brought its entry-level machine bang up to date.

2023 Specialized Allez Sport rear disc brake

Obviously, the lack of rim brake options brings with it the end of an era, and I for one am sad to see them go. I'm sure that this is a point that will stir up plenty of feisty comments, but it is worth remembering that bike brands do tend to be influenced by consumer demand and not the other way around.

Although I was (and am) very happy riding rim brake bikes, I think for the Allez, this move makes a lot of sense. It is after all a bike that for many will be ridden through the depths of winter and on commutes with 'varying' conditions. Therefore, I think that the benefits of such wide tyre clearance far outweighs the weight penalty that disc brakes are responsible for.

2023 Specialized Allez Sport riding shot downhill

Out on the road, the Allez feels every bit the performance endurance bike that it's always been, with tried and tested geometry including that long top tube and stable handling characteristics.

The extended chainstays haven't caused the Allez to lose its spark, and the dropped seat stays are said to improve comfort. Without more miles and back-to-back testing, I'm unable to completely confirm those claims, but I was impressed with the overall ride experience; perhaps partially down to the bike coming with 30mm tyres fitted as standard, helping to soak up the potholed Surrey roads.

Overall, the Allez promises more versatility while retaining the sprightly performance that the Allez is renowned for. I'm looking forward to putting some more miles in back on my local roads."

2023 Specialized Allez Sport side view

For more information, you can head over to the Specialized website.

What are your thoughts on this new Allez? Let us know in the comments section below...

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

Add new comment

29 comments

Avatar
Gerhard | 11 months ago
0 likes

Except for the lower seat stays, I don't quite see progress in this Allez frame or bike. I understand that for a new frame or bike, it must be 'the lightest in its class' - which is quite a bold announcement.

I've built a Scanidum-Alloy race bike on a budget, and paid around USD 895 for a complete mechanical 11-Speed 105 (R7000) with Ultegra R8000 caliper brakes. The road-ready bike with two bottle cages and carbon clip-less pedals came in 8.3kgs. 

In alloy, there are great new or old alternatives out there, I've bought my frame (1.2 kgs @ 56cm) as a New Old Stock and sourced the parts I wanted, put some brain and elbow grease in the built, learned a lot, and saved some money. 

https://gerhardwanninger.wixsite.com/mysite/post/scandium-fastrax-race-bike-build-3

Avatar
NicholasM | 12 months ago
3 likes

Looks like the welder turned up drunk for work again.

Avatar
Saucepan | 1 year ago
2 likes

🤔 I bought the Allez Elite with 105  groupset for £1000 in 2021. Seems a very steep increase in price for barely any gains

Avatar
Dnnnnnn | 1 year ago
1 like

It's just as well we're all also earning about twice what we did in 2017 - those (cable) disc brakes are pricey!

Avatar
mark1a replied to Dnnnnnn | 1 year ago
3 likes

Hmmm. I won an Allez Sport (next model up) in a bike shop raffle draw back in 2017. RRP at the time was £799, thinking back now, I wish I hadn't sold it on straight away, end of an era really.

 

Avatar
marmotte27 | 1 year ago
1 like

Judging from some comments, wide tires and mudguards were invented a few years ago, because apparently impossible before disc brakes...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to marmotte27 | 1 year ago
1 like

marmotte27 wrote:

Judging from some comments, wide tires and mudguards were invented a few years ago, because apprently impossible before disc brakes...

Caliper brakes don't lend themselves well to wide tyres, but V-brakes and cantilever brakes don't usually have much issue with wide tyres.

Avatar
marmotte27 replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Yes, I was being ironic...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to marmotte27 | 1 year ago
2 likes

marmotte27 wrote:

Yes, I was being ironic...

...or were you?

Avatar
peted76 | 1 year ago
2 likes

It's a bit of a heavy monster.. but as the reviewer says.. it's an ideal first proper road bike ripe for upgrades.. which for evey Allez rider I've known.. is exactly what they do.. upgrade the parts and they've been good bikes which get incrementally better over time. If the reviewer had said.. it's an ideal first proper road bike 'for dentists'.. then I think we'd all be nodding along knowingly.

I've been a big fan of the Allez in previous iterations.. this one though being so porky and with prices the way they are.. I'm not so sure about. I'd probably not reccomend this bike to someone I liked.

Avatar
cyclisto | 1 year ago
1 like

The price seems expected. An expensive brand, inflation rally and disc brakes.

I don't have disks due to cost, but having ridden an MTB with basic hydraulics (the stopping power was awesome!) I agree it is toward the right direction. Economies of scale will make discs more accesible to broader public, therefore greater safety.

Avatar
wtjs replied to cyclisto | 1 year ago
1 like

I don't have disks due to cost

You can't get much cheaper than £450 for the Halfords Intercity folder with surprisingly good Tektro hydraulics. However, the problem is that you can't get decent tyres for the unusual 20" variant- and the stock tyres it comes with have manufacturing defects, bulges etc

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
1 like

wtjs wrote:

I don't have disks due to cost

You can't get much cheaper than £450 for the Halfords Intercity folder with surprisingly good Tektro hydraulics. However, the problem is that you can't get decent tyres for the unusual 20" variant- and the stock tyres it comes with have manufacturing defects, bulges etc

That's still a lot of money. With so many people switching to disks, there's going to be lots of bargain second-hand caliper braked bikes around.

Avatar
cyclisto replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
0 likes

I actually meant when buying the bicycle and I don't intend for the time being to replace my bicycle.

It still is ridiculously expensive to buy any drop bar bicycle with hydraulic brakes compared to the ones with flat bar. I ride 90mm mini-V brakes which means that pad-rim clearances are very tight but the bite is very good so I can survive with discs. I couldn't definitely survive with flat bar though, very tiring and very wide for urban traffic.

Avatar
OnYerBike | 1 year ago
2 likes

Maybe it is less noticeable in real life, but I am not a fan of that seatstay bridge. Especially with the chunky tubes and 'agricultural' welding, it just looks fugly. 

Other than that, I wouldn't be complaining much. I like disc brakes - they allow for wider tyres (especially with full mudguards) which is a Good Thing, and also means you don't have to replace the rims/wheels regularly. It does push the weight and price up, but arguably both are perfectly reasonable compared to other bikes fitted with full hydraulic disc brakes. Obviously with all these "tech news" stories the proof is in the pudding so would like to see a full review.

Avatar
El Camino | 1 year ago
3 likes

Well I like it.

Avatar
KDee | 1 year ago
8 likes

That seatstay bridge...🤮

Avatar
marmotte27 | 1 year ago
0 likes

"that bike brands do tend to be influenced by consumer demand and not the other way around."
Oh no I don't think so. Not in this capitalist consumerist world.

Avatar
marmotte27 replied to marmotte27 | 1 year ago
1 like

About plastics in general (not that carbon frames can be recycled as far as I know...):
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/23/recycling-can-releas...

Avatar
nicdoye | 1 year ago
5 likes

My 1992 Specialized Allez Epic weighs less than this abomination!

Avatar
Krislord | 1 year ago
5 likes

£1100 for 8 speed shimano with a wonky chain stay bridge? I don't know how they sell so many bikes!

Avatar
Dnnnnnn replied to Krislord | 1 year ago
1 like
Krislord wrote:

£1100 for 8 speed shimano with a wonky chain stay bridge? I don't know how they sell so many bikes!

I was a bit confused about the bridge - there's a photo of a pointlessly angled seatstay bridge - maybe that's what they meant. I hope the chainstay isn't also afflicted by this "modern aesthetic design cue"!

Avatar
Krislord replied to Dnnnnnn | 1 year ago
2 likes

Yeah I never really thought about what that bit was called. You're right it's between the seatstays. 
 

Either way it's as though they didn't add one and then realised it wasn't sturdy enough and added one. The wonky angle of it and the noticeable welds are rather cheap looking. 

Avatar
check12 | 1 year ago
5 likes

Lol bike shaped object territory - "full bikes weighing between 9.5-10kg in a 56cm frame size. "

Avatar
EraserBike replied to check12 | 1 year ago
6 likes

"Lightest in class" if that class is Aluminium disc brake roadbikes released by Specialized in 2023. 

 

Avatar
chaos | 1 year ago
7 likes

I have had so many Specialized bikes over the years, but they have really lost the plot over the past few years. So "RIP rim brakes" is the final nail in the coffin. Sad about that! Bikes used to be simple and environmentally friendly. Now they are morphing into expensive complex machines with increased landfill potential. Sad about that too! Spesh should focus on listening to the customer instead of relying on the customer listening to their marketing propaganda.

Avatar
themuffle replied to chaos | 1 year ago
0 likes

chaos wrote:

So "RIP rim brakes" is the final nail in the coffin

But disc brakes are so so good, especially so in the Winter..... As are wider tyres that are only made possible by having disc brakes. 

Avatar
chaos replied to themuffle | 1 year ago
2 likes

I admit I love rim brakes. They keep me honest. I would do stupid things with discs and end up locking them up in a panic stop - I do not have the necessary skills. So, for road bikes - they not for me. Wide tyres are great, and yes I understand why people use them for wide tyres. 'But' for me wide tyres equals touring. And, touring means the world. A world where discs are not always recognised, or practicable. I just wish it was matter of customer choice and not a bike industry dictat. I see kids bikes, that are already heavy enough, with discs and wonder how I survived many years ago. Hence why I now repeat "sad".

Avatar
IanEdward replied to chaos | 1 year ago
2 likes

chaos wrote:

I just wish it was matter of customer choice and not a bike industry dictat.

This. So much this. 

I think it's sad that the last half decent and reasonably widely available rim brake bike has now departed. I use my Allez Elite (with rim brakes, half decent hoops, heavy Pirelli tubeless tyres and PDW guards, still lighter than those quoted above) as my winter bike in all conditions. Never once have I wished for discs and frequently I rejoice that I don't have them (usually when riding in the company of someone with squealing or rubbing wet/gritty disc brakes).

Also, are cheap cable discs REALLY better than decent rim brakes? Hydro I could just about understand.

As for wide tyres? Boardman still produce their SLR carbon machine for £1100, stated weight 9kg. It comes with deep drop callipers and space for wider tyres.

My gravel bike (cantilever mounts but running mini-Vs) takes 40mm tyres.

The technology was there but the industry preferred to adopt a technology that they could charge significantly more for, wonder why 

Latest Comments