2011 Specialized Allez Road Bike Review.
So you want to get into road cycling but you’re not sure if spending $2,000-$3,000 will be the right thing to do for the beginner? What bike should I buy that will allow me to enjoy cycling without taking a second mortgage? Coming from a hi-end bike, it is hard for me to downgrade my line of thinking to bikes that cost less than $1,000. However, when I was on business travel three years ago to Fort Worth in Texas, the meeting turned out to be completely irrelevant to me so I excused myself and needed to kill some time before my flight next day. An idea came to my mind – ‘let’s rent a bicycle and see the surroundings’. I found a local bike shop that agreed to rent me an inexpensive Specialized Allez, aluminum frame with basic components. I took it out for 3 hours and had a great time riding the Trinity Trails. One thing that surprised me at the time I remember, is how well this bicycle performed. The ride was very enjoyable and pleasant. So, without hesitation, my immediate answer would be to get a Specialized Allez. However, in order to confirm my three year old memories, I decided to take a test tide on 2011 Specialized Allez to see what this bike is capable of on familiar roads.
Recent weekend, I took a 2011 Specialized Allez for a 40 mile ride. You might like to know that Allez has more than 30 years of Specialized heritage. The first Allez was manufactured in 1979. Allez is basically an aluminum version of Tarmac or maybe the other way around. It is characterized by straight lines, except for the slightly curved sloping top tube, giving the bike great pedaling efficiency. When I put it on the scale, the weight showed 21 lbs, which is quite heavy in comparison to modern carbon fiber bikes. If you read my “The Best Bicycle Upgrade” post however, you already know that this weight gain is insignificant in comparison to overall rider+bike mass. Bike weight is overrated marketing hype ever. People will pay $500 to lose 1/2 lb. Just leave your cell phone at home, that will do it. The components on the bike are a lower level Shimano Sora group but during my test ride they performed surprisingly well. The bike I tested had a triple gear in front but shifting was just fine. The bike rides very pleasantly. I was surprised that you can get that kind of performance in this price range. I rode a Trek 2200 aluminum bike once and remembered it as teeth rattling experience. Allez’s frame, however, was very forgiving and subdued most of the vibrations. If you prefer a woman’s version of a similar bike, it is called Dolce. Both are great beginner bikes that will provide you with an enjoyable ride and will leave an extra $2,000 in your pocket. Yes, a carbon fiber bike is more sexy and up to date but there is absolutely nothing wrong with an aluminum frame especially at this price.