Specialized’s popular Allez road bikes have been refreshed for 2022 with some new colours and interesting spec choices, but most of the 2021 features remain unchanged. One surprising alteration, though, can be found on the Allez Elite, which moves from the highly popular Shimano 105 R700 groupset to SRAM’s rather dated 11-speed Rival groupset which launched way back in 2014.
In recent years, groupset manufacturers have focused increasingly on electronic and disc brake groupsets. Many would argue that this is where the market is headed, but this focus has left bikes with mechanical shifting and rim brakes dressed in groupsets that often haven't been updated for some time.
There is also a price increase of £100 on this bike which takes it to £1,349, though that is still an affordable price in today’s road bike market.
The Allez Elite has gone from using Shimano’s 105 R7000 11-speed groupset, launched in 2018, to SRAM Rival, launched in 2014 . Shimano components have been increasingly difficult to get hold of due to the serious strain placed on the supply chain, which has led some to speculate that it is those supply issues that have forced the move to 2014’s SRAM Rival groupset.
While SRAM provides the parts for the shifting, braking is dealt with by Axis 1.0 callipers and Praxis supplies the chainset in the form of the Alba model.
Elsewhere, the Allez Elite remains unchanged from the 2021 model and is still the most affordable unisex road bike in the Specialized range to roll on DT Swiss wheels.
A KMC X11 EL chain is a solid component choice that should provide plenty of silent miles of use.
The range still starts with this base Allez, though the price has jumped up by £100, and for your £899 you’re getting an aluminium frame, FACT carbon fork, Axis Sport wheels and a selection of Specialized finishing kit.
The frame and fork have some neat features that we’re pleased to see, but also ones that you’d only have found on higher-priced bikes a few years ago. The threaded bottom bracket is great for riders that are looking at the Allez as a dedicated winter bike. Specialized’s OSBB might have been good for stiffness, but I personally found it often made quite annoying noises when ridden through the winter.
Internal cable routing gives clean frame lines and while a fully integrated front end would have been right up to date, the easy servicing of a headset that isn’t also hiding wires is more appropriate for this bike.
Finally, Specialized has worked 26mm tyres into the frame and fork to give you a more compliant ride over broken surfaces. There’s a growing body of evidence that tyres up to 28mm are faster too, so there is a potential speed increase to be had as well.
Shimano’s Claris 8-speed groupset takes care of the shifting and the 50/34T chainrings combine with a SunRace 11-32T cassette to give a wide range of gears.
As with all of the Allez bikes, you’ve got mounting points for full-length mudguards and a pannier rack which, when combined with the sub-£1000 price, means that this bike will continue to be popular with people looking to get a bike on the Cycle to Work scheme.
The Allez sport has also been treated to that £100 price increase, and it still sits in the middle of the range with a Shimano Sora 9-speed partial groupset. Like the Allez Elite above, the Allez Sport uses Axis 1.0 brakes and a Praxis Alba chainset.
The Allez range looks set to be available in sizes 44 through to 61, though we’re not yet sure about an availability date. The question remains though; is Specialized's choice to spec SRAM Rival components because of supply chain issues? We've asked Specialized to comment.