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New Specialized Allez Sprint revealed

Jordan Gibbons
14 Jul 2015

The Specialized Allez Sprint has a new aerodynamic aluminium frame and Sram 1x groupset.

Photos leaked on several online sources recently seem to suggest an impeding release of a new iteration of the Specialized Allez. Following on the heels of its recent launch of a new aero road platform, the California based company appears to be offering a more reasonably priced and practical alternative.

Images show a dramatically more aerodynamic looking seat tube and post, similar to that of the Venge. The seatstays also drop much lower on the seat tube as is the trend in many of the new generation of aero road frames. Meanwhile the front end retains the practicality of a ‘traditional’ stem and handlebar, as one would expect in a more budget orientated model and brakes appear to be standard calipers rather than the Venge’s wind cheating integrated units. We think the choice of traditional calipers makes sense for a less experienced racer or simply a rider who can’t afford multiple bikes.

Specialized Allez Sprint frame

Similarities with the brand’s top end bikes do not end with the tube shapes. The fork appears to be very similar to that used on the current Tarmac and the flat topped handlebars are reminiscent of those available on the latest venge. Paint jobs depart from the current ‘black everything’ trend and seem to be clear coated aluminium - not only does this reinforce that, yes, your bike is metal, it also saves valuable weight.

What is clear in the multiple instagram shots posted by dealers at Specialized’s annual product launch is that the bike appears to embrace the new Sram 1x11 drivetrain. Doing away with the need for a front mech allows designers much more latitude in the shaping of the bottom bracket area for a more responsive bike without weight penalties. The new bottom bracket shell certainly looks wider and stiffer than previous models, and a leaked catalogue also notes the use of Specialized’s ‘D’Alusio smartweld’ technology. The name refers to engineer Chris D’Alusio who has long been part of the design team at Morgan Hill and worked on the Venge and Tarmac models. Close ups of the frame suggest that the bottom bracket area is formed and then smart-welded onto the frame tubes. Presumably this is the ‘smartweld’ technology and involves a proprietary process that Specialized will reveal (or not) when the bike is launched.

Specialized Allez Sprint smartweld

What the leaked catalogue also suggests is that the bike may be available in 2x11 configurations in the future. Oddly, the catalogue lists the bike as equipped with Shimano’s 22 speed Ultegra but shows pictures of a 1x11 Sram model. Close ups of the current frame clearly show that it lacks derailleur mounts or guides. Perhaps this catalogue is entirely in error or perhaps the new bike will be offered in a more traditional set up in years to come. Although no mount is shown, the tube shapes on the photos we have seen do not seem to make the mounting of a braze-on front mech mount impossible. Perhaps clearance at the bottom bracket area may be a limiting factor as the frame leaked is labeled as an ‘Allez Sprint x1’.

A source close to the Morgan Hill headquarters confirmed ‘the Allez is going to be a serious contender for the best crit bike I have ever ridden, certainly the best aluminium one’. It’s refreshing to see a return to alloy bikes that offer a performance package at a reasonable price rather than merely an afterthought in a catalogue or a bike designed to look like a top of the lie frame regardless of ride quality. The use of a single front chainring decreases the cost of the bike with only one mech, shifter and chainring to account for, allowing for the company to spec what appear to be carbon bars, wheels and seatposts. This is the first bike we have seen to adopt a single chainring only design but it may be the first of a new generation.

Specialized Allez Sprint head tube

Specialized has a long history of making fantastic alloy bikes and its current Allez is amongst the favourite budget performers. With the wealth of engineering and aerodynamic expertise available to the company the bike is certainly an interesting proposition for a racer primarily interested in flatter road events and time trials. If embracing this single chainring set up has allowed Specialized to create a much superior Allez frame then this might well be the budget race bike of choice for 2016.

Be sure to check for updates once more detailed information becomes available.

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