Since the prevalence of carbon, aluminum frames have taken a backseat, seen merely as an introduction to road riding. Specialized’s engineers are changing our tune. They are proving that aluminum has its place among the greats. That said, aluminum does offer a great entry-level price point for those new to cycling or who want to giving racing a try.
The Allez range shows off the capabilities of aluminum – from Win Tunnel-tuned and ultra-stiff race rockets to fully capable all-rounders. Specialized’s innovative welding and DSW hydroforming techniques give aluminum frames the ideal balance of responsiveness, comfort and handling.
If you’re into gran fondos, weekend epics or racing, you need a bike that’s reliable and stiff. Beginning with an aluminum frame, you just might be able to focus more of your budget into upgraded components (wheelsets, etc.).
2017 Specialized Allez SL Sprint
VeloNews called the Allez a “strong reminder of how much livelier a metal frame can feel when compared to a carbon version.” Bike Radar said of the Allez: “It has a reputation for not only delivering a great ride but also being great value. A reputation it has earned over a surprisingly long period.” Bike Radar also shared:
Since its launch [in 1981, when it was made out of steel], the Allez has not only been introduced to the rest of the world it’s also been refined, tweaked and fettled every year. 2017’s Allez bikes are the 36th generation of the frameset and although they’re still made from metal, now it’s aluminium rather than steel, they’re considerably more sophisticated than the original.
The five models in the 2017 Allez range have all benefitted from geometry that’s trickled down from the Tarmac, Specialized’s WorldTour rig. But also the D’Alusio Smartweld (DSW) technology — which uses hydroformed weld joints on the headtube to produce a stronger, lighter and stiffer front end — that was reserved for the premium S-Works models in previous years, has found its way on to more of the affordable Allez bikes.
2017 Specialized Allez SL Sprint Lineup
To help potential buyers with decisions, Bike Radar clarified the differences within the Allez line:
The Allez DSW SL Sprint Expert and DSW SL Sprint Comp top the Allez range and are both high-performance machines, with the DSW front end and an aero-profiled seat tube and seat post pairing. If you’re looking to for a well-priced, well-honed bike with a competitive streak for racing, these two are well worth a look. Both come with an 11-speed Shimano 105 groupset, Axis Elite wheels and Praxis chainsets.
If you happen to live in the States, you also have the option of the Allez DSW SL Sprint Elite, which uses the same frame as the Expert and Comp models but hangs Shimano’s 10-speed Tiagra groupset on it.
Specialized Allez SL Sprint Elite
The Allez DSW SL Sprint Elite has all the performance you need to explore the world of cycling. At the heart of it is Specialized’s DSW SL Sprint Technology, which strategically places more welding material where it’s needed, resulting in an aluminum bike that’s more compliant and considerably stiffer. How stiff, exactly? It’s the stiffest alloy bike Specialized has ever tested.
Drawing inspiration from the Rider-First Engineered Tarmac, this frame has a unique down tube, bottom bracket shell, and head tube, plus fork sizes that correspond to frame size. This ensures uniform performance across the entire size run.
Making sure every single watt you produce gets transferred to the road, it has short chainstays that create an extremely stiff and rigid rear triangle. But it goes beyond just pure rigidity, as the hydroformed tube shapes have also been aerodynamically optimized to slice through the wind.
Specialized built up the Allez DSW SL Sprint Elite with Shimano Tiagra shifting, fast-rolling Axis Sport alloy wheels and a stiff Praxis Alba 2D crankset – making it a perfect bike to
- E5 Premium Aluminum frame with Allez D’Aluisio Smartweld Sprint Technology refocuses weld locations, allowing for more material to be placed where it’s needed for increased stiffness and compliance where you really need it.
- Specialized’s top-tier S-Works FACT carbon fiber fork provides incredible stiffness and front end steering response, while also efficiently absorbing road chatter.
- The Praxis Alba 2D crankset is an incredibly stiff crankset with supreme ramping for precise shifts between the rings.
Praise for the Specialized Allez Sprint
“The Allez Sprint is clearly offering an affordable alternative to the Venge, but it’s also it’s own bike in its own right.” – BikeSoup
“The Allez Sprint’s handling is spot on, as would be expected of a stiff frame with a 73-degree head tube angle mated to a 58-millimeter trail figure… But as responsive as things may be up front, this aluminum frame (it boasts an S-Works carbon fork) shines even more brightly under power.” – VeloNews
“The new Allez DSW SL isn’t just an interesting bike because of that SmartWeld technology; it may just be the very best privateer race bike in the company catalog, regardless of material, signaling a new era in high-performance aluminum bikes.” – CyclingTips
“Criterium geometry in a smart alloy aero package.” – BikeRadar
“Stabs at the pedals are rewarded with right-now accelerations, and there’s an immediacy to the bike’s handling reflexes that fits perfectly with its sporting intentions. Cast these comments as fluffy hyperbole if you wish, but even the most skeptical luddite won’t be able to deny the difference in feel on the road. It’s real, and dramatic.” – CyclingTips
“The Allez is a good reminder of just how much more alive a good metal frame feels than even a high-end carbon one. There’s just a more direct connection to the road.” – VeloNews
Come in to Higher Gear to talk with our friendly experts to see if the Specialized Allez SL Sprint is right for you.