If you are interested in a top-grade commuter, a great sportive, or an entry-level racer, the Specialized Allez Elite could be the right bike for you. And it’s well priced too! The Specialized Allez Elite lives up to its name. It’s a beautiful, elite bike. “Allez, Allez, Allez les Bleus” is the phrase French supporters chant for their national football team. It means “Go Blues!” Really appropriate for this blue Allez Elite, which goes like the wind!
Related: Specialized Tricross Review
Specialized Allez Elite Stands out from the Crowd
The Specialized Allez Elite is a beautiful bike. Actually, that’s an understatement. The first time I saw this bike in a lineup of other bikes, it felt like it just jumped out at me (even though I realize it must have just been standing there, not moving, like all the other bikes). I thought “Spectacular!” – it just looked so good.
Then I laid hands on it. It felt like quality. Then I picked it up, and it felt like air, like picking up a bike in a dream. It just seemed too good to be true.
So I took it for a ride.
And … the Specialized Allez Elite made every other bike I had test ridden all day feel like yesterday. Yes, the Specialized Allez Elite lives up to its name. It’s an elite bike.
Handling was precise and confident. Gear changing with the Shimano Tiagra transmission is smooth, efficient, precise, and effortless.
This is the first bike I’ve ridden since the Specialized Sequoia Elite that is any serious competition for it. But then again, that Sequoia came with 105 components, which really did set it ahead of the pack. For all the Elite name, this Specialized Allez Elite comes with 10-speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, which is not as good as 105. Still, it’s pretty darn good, and rides great.
The Specialized Allez Elite is targeted at aspiring racers and bike commuters who demand the best.
History of the Specialized Allez Elite
The Specialized Allez Elite was launched in 1981, and has been popular ever since. Unlike other great specialized bikes, like the Sequoia Elite, Specialized has not dumped the name in favor of a different name that no one has ever heard of. That says something about how well loved the Allez is, because Specialized is quite fond of dumping names for no good reason.
The Price is Right
Part of the reason for the long-standing popularity: the price is right. At under one thousand dollars, this bike is outstanding value for money. Not a single corner has been cut, making this bike a very strong competitor in this very competitive corner of the bike market. This segment aims to be very price-competitive, while offering a bike that is perfect for commuters and for those wanting to dip their cleats into their first race. Because the competition is so strong, all of the bikes shine – but in my opinion, the Specialized Allez Elite shines just a little brighter than all the rest.
Top Quality Components
For a start, Specialized has not given in to the temptation to keep production costs low with inferior quality parts – they have retained a full deck of good Shimano components. Specialized also manufactures a lot of its own parts, rather than outsourcing everything, which helps it to keep its costs down. The result is an excellent bike that manages to be low price yet high spec.
Hard for a bike company to do, outstanding for a budget-conscious cyclist to buy!
Specialized Allez Elite Just Wants to Go!
Then there are the visually appealing, unique tube shapes that make Specialized bikes instantly recognizable. And they don’t just look great. Anyone who has ridden a Specialized will tell you how much they reward the slightest effort. These bikes just want to go, and the Allez Specialized is a particularly good example of that effortless motion, despite weighing in at 20 pounds for the 54 cm model.
Ride it as a Sportive OR a race Bike
Sportives are long-distance, non-competitive bike rides – and the Allez Specialized is targeted exactly at those who want to ride sportives. The geometry is a bit more relaxed that it used to be, with the reach to the handlebars easier, so that your riding position is more relaxed and less aggressive – so that you can spend many hours in the saddle. There are also more gears, which is always helpful.
But if you want to ride it more aggressively as a race bike, just get a longer stem, and take advantage of a generous amount of headset spacing to drop the bars.
If you are going to get a great bike, get a great bike lock. This is the best selling bike lock on Amazon, and it’s great value for money with its current sale price.
Specialized Allez Elite Premium Frame
The Specialized Allez Elite features an all-new E5 Premium Aluminum frame with D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology, for a light, stiff and most compliant ride. A breakthrough in the weld location allows for a more durable, stiffer head tube junction, which means more material in low stress areas can be removed. And the welds are virtually invisible, making this bike look like it’s carbon. Size-specific tubes allow engineers to tune the ride for ultimate compliance.
And Add a Little Bit of Comfort …
Specialized claims that the Body Geometry Toupé Sport saddle with hollow CroMoly rails is tuned for great fit and comfort, and is laboratory tested to ensure blood flow to sensitive arteries, which alleviates rider discomfort. This is helped by a little give in the seat post. The result is a much softer ride than you would expect in such a sporty bike.
Specialized FACT carbon forks to soften the ride while offering precise steering
The forks are Specialized FACT carbon, which are basically designed to smooth out the bumps (helping you avoid wear and tear on your hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders). I have spent a lot of time on bikes with the Specialized FACT carbon forks, and for my money, they are the best carbon forks out there. A lot of bikes have carbon forks that are CLAIMED to take the bumps out, but then they just don’t. The Specialized forks do the trick.
The forks are complemented by shallow-drop handlebars wrapped in thick tape, for a ride so comfortable you might forget you are on a racing bike.
Finally, the bike sports inexpensive, slightly heavy, but effective Axis wheels that roll very smoothly on Specialized’s 25 c Espoir Sport tires. The tires are just right to help absorb bumps.
By the way, the wheels are the only part of the bike that aren’t highest quality. All the other parts are great quality. So if you want a top grade bike for a modest budget, you could just buy this bike and upgrade to higher quality wheels.
Bottom line on the Specialized Allez Elite
You could just buy a Specialized Allez Elite and ride it as you get it – it’s a great bike with great components. Or you could upgrade the wheels and have one of the best bikes on the road. And as mentioned, a couple of minor and inexpensive modifications would transform it into an entry-level racer. Whether you are interested in a top-grade commuter, a great sportive, or an entry-level racer, I can’t think of a better way to spend your money than by investing in a Specialized Allez Elite.
Full disclosure: I have no connections whatsoever with Specialized – they do not know I exist, and probably never will. But I just love them. Technically, I guess that makes me some kind of Specialized Stalker! (I won’t be putting that on my resume!)
Related: Specialized Tricross Review
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Technical Specifications of the Specialized Allez Elite
FRAME New Specialized E5 Premium Aluminum w/ D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology, 1-1/8″ lower bearing, threaded
BB SIZES: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 61 cm
WEIGHT: 9.5 kg/20 lbs (54 cm)
FORK Specialized FACT carbon, alloy crown/steerer
HEADSET 1-1/8″ integrated sealed Cr-Mo cartridge bearings, 20mm alloy cone spacer, w/ 20mm of spacers
STEM Specialized 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt, 6-degree rise
HANDLEBARS Specialized, shallow drop, alloy, 125mm drop, 70mm short-reach
TAPE Specialized S-Wrap, w/ bar end plug, 8mm bar shaper
FRONT BRAKE AXIS 1.0
REAR BRAKE AXIS 1.0
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Tiagra
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Tiagra, 10-speed
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Tiagra STI CASSETTE Shimano Tiagra, 10-speed, 12-28
CHAIN KMC X10, 10-speed, reusable Missing Link
CRANKSET Shimano Tiagra, 50/34
PEDALS Nylon flat test ride, loose-ball, w/ reflectors
FRONT WHEEL AXIS Classic
REAR WHEEL AXIS Classic
FRONT TIRE Specialized Espoir Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection, 700x25c
REAR TIRE Specialized Espoir Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection, 700x25c
INNER TUBES Standard, presta valve
SADDLE Body Geometry Toupé Sport, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm
SEATPOST Specialized Sport, alloy, 2-bolt, 27.2mm
SEAT BINDER Alloy, 31.2mm