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Road Gear

Aluminum never went away: Specialized Allez Sprint

The Specialized aero road racing bike that's not carbon and not out-of-this-world expensive.

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The 2022 Specialized Allez Sprint is an aluminum bike designed for racing. Only available with hydraulic disc brakes, both electronic or mechanical drivetrain groups are options. Pricing starts at $1,700 for a frameset.

Specialized first introduced the Allez road bike in 1981, seven years after the company was founded by Mike Sinyard.

The long-time CEO recently stepped away from his day-to-day duties, but the Morgan Hill, California-based company presses on with the sixth iteration of the race bike. In 1981, the company introduced a steel Allez. The Allez Epic was released in 1988, followed by another iteration in 1994. Throughout the following two decades, no significant updates were made to the Allez; however, in 2013, Peter Sagan raced the Allez S-Works Limited at a few events prior to the Tour de France.

Shared cues, geometry, components

Specialized reworked the Allez as a bit of an aluminum counterpart of the Tarmac, taking cues, geometry, and even sharing a few components from the top-tier race machine, including the fork, seatpost, and cockpit. Specialized indicates that the Allez Sprint shares the same geometry as the Tarmac and Aethos; while the stack and reach numbers on the Allez are slightly different from the carbon bikes, the effective geometry remains the same (see below).

Like the S-Works Tarmac, the new Allez Sprint carbon seatpost offers an integrated location for a Shimano Di2 junction box for easy charging access. The S-Works Tarmac seatpost is available in 20mm and 0mm offsets and 300mm and 380mm lengths. Complete Allez bikes and framesets will include the 20mm offset model.

If a wireless drivetrain is being used — like one from SRAM — a secondary cover is included with all Allez Sprint models to cover the seat post port. Alternatively, the A-Junction location in the handlebar is also still an option.

The cockpit on the Specialized Allez Sprint Comp features a new stem that allows for aero cable routing for wired and wireless drivetrains. (Photo: Specialized)

The Allez Sprint comes paired with the S-Works Aerofly II handlebar, but any stem can be used on the new Allez Sprint. All all compatible with Specialized’s new, integrated headset cover, making the front end of the bike indistinguishable from the Tarmac SL7 used by SD Worx, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Bora-Hansgrohe, and L39ion of Los Angeles.

Specialized claims “that once you compensate for the height of the necessary headset cover on each bike, the stem’s lowest position ends up at the same point in space” as the pricey carbon bikes. Specialized also indicates all hydraulic hoses, mechanical cable housing, or electronic wiring are routed through the newly designed headset cover, and the hydraulic hoses are straddled by the mechanical cable lines.

The internal cable routing in the Allez Sprint is run through the same compression ring that is used in Tarmac SL7, allowing cables to run internally through the headset bearings. The cable exits are located on the underside of the bottom bracket for the front derailleur and the chainstay for the rear derailleur.

The Specialized Allez Sprint uses the same fork as the Specialized Tarmac. Compression plugs allow for clean internal routing of cables and hoses from the caliper through the headset and handlebars. (Photo: Specialized)

If a mechanical shifting drivetrain is used, full housing is run from the shifters to the derailleurs—apart from the integrated cable stop formed into the bottom bracket for the front derailleur mech.

The house-brand Roval wheels come with 700x26mm tires, but the Aluminum frame can accommodate 32mm road tires, on 21mm rims, and still retain nearly 4mm of clearance. The Allez Sprint LTD comes with the deeper-profile Roval Rapid CL wheels, while the Allez Sprint Comp gets DT Swiss R470 wheels.

Your choice: 1x or 2x drivetrain setup

One feature that the Allez Sprint offers — and that the Tarmac does not — is a removable front derailleur mounting tab. This is is the first time Specialized has offered this feature on any of its road bikes. For those who want to ride a 1x-drivetrain, they can just remove the front derailleur mount (or leave it in place and run a chain guide).

Front mechanical mount or not, the frameset weight remains nearly in line with the previous version of the Allez Sprint Disc at 7.9kg (17.41lbs) depending on build spec.

Removing stress, refining shapes

The Allez Sprint headtube is fabricated from a single piece of aluminum alloy, and hydroformed into an hourglass aero shape offering consistent wall thickness that is uniform for the upper and lower bearings, as well as allowing for internal cable routing. Like many of Specialized’s top-tier racing bikes, the Allez Sprint was designed and tested using data collected in the on-site wind tunnel. Specialized claims the new Allez Sprint is 41 seconds faster over 40km than the bike raced by Sagan, or Colin Strickland at the Red Hook Crit.

The updated Specialized Allez Sprint gets a very aero front end. (Photo: Specialized)

The one-piece bottom bracket and downtube have been hydroformed from a single piece of alloy, which is a departure from the manufacturing process from the previous edition of the bike. This design and manufacturing process removed two stress points in the new Allez made the Smartweld junctions more effective. All Allez Sprint models have a 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket.

The latest version of the aluminum aero road bike is available in black/brushed foil, gloss oasis/cool grey, Chamelon Oil Tint/black, water effect/black, raw aluminum/black fade/black chrome, sand-White Mountains/satin red-gold-pearl, black/rocket red, and gloss purple tint chameleon/satin chameleon color combinations.

Speciazlied Allez Sprint geometry

2023 Specialized Allez Sprint geometry (Illustration: Specialized)

Specialized Allez Sprint builds and pricing

Pricing for the new Specialized Allez Sprint is $1,700 for the frameset, $3,000 for the Allez Sprint Comp with a Shimano 105 group, and $6,800 for the Allez Sprint LTD with a SRAM eTap Force AXS group. Compare this to the Cannondale CAAD 13 105 build with a similar wheel setup, which is priced at $2,300, or the Trek Émonda ALR5 which also is fitted with Shimano 105 and also sells for $2,300.

Specialized Allez Sprint LTD build

Specialized Allez Sprint LTD build spec.

Specialized Allez Sprint Comp build

Specialized Allez Sprint Comp build spec.

Specialized Allez Sprint frameset-only

Specialized Allez Sprint frame-only build spec.