Specialized Allez Triple Review (2008)
Specialized has pulled out all the stops with the latest in the line of Allez models for 2008. The Allez Triple really brings a lot to the table for an entry-level bike, as the components are quite upgraded (new 9-speed Sora for one…) on a pretty good frame. I didn’t expect it to be the miracle bike, but there were some surprising components for a low price of $800.
The black and silver model of the Allez looks really great. It’s very clean, simple, and looks fast. I also like the white handlebar tape as it contrasts the frame quite nicely. That said, I’ve really never been a fan of white bikes, so I really don’t like the look of the white, and red model. It’s a clean look as well, but not for me.
The Aluminum frame is described as “A1 Premium Aluminum”, and is a compact road design with an integrated headset, and hourglass speedstays. It’s a great frame for an entry-level bike, and includes an aluminum steerer, carbon fiber legs, and a carbon fork that allowed for a somewhat smooth ride. The Allez can be found in 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 61cm sizes. The full geometry can be found here.
The Allez drivetrain was pretty much dipped in a bucket of Shimano components. It includes the latest in the Sora, and Tiagra lines, and that’s a nice upgrade, as it’s now 9-speed. The shifters are Stora STI (flight deck compatible), and these have been upgraded over the 2007 Sora shifters. The Sora shifters are still hard to shift in the drop position, so keep that in consideration when purchasing the Allez. The front derailleur is Sora, and the rear is Tiagra with an SRAM 9-speed cassette. The biggest drawback to the drivetrain would be the Sora front derailleur, as it can be pretty touchy, and slow.
The brake levers are the latest Shimano Sora, and have been noticeably upgraded this year. The front and rear brakes on the Allez are a bit forgettable with average stopping power, but that can be forgiven. The wheels are the Alex S500, 700c, and are pretty standard on the entry-level bikes (but a bit heavy). A lot of people seem to upgrade the wheels, and tires after riding the Allez for a while. As usual, the pedals are not clipless, and will be something you’ll likely upgrade quickly.
The base model of the Specialized Allez has been the best bang for the buck that I’ve seen so far of the $700-800 bikes. It has some great upgrades, including the new 9-speed sora/tiagra setup. I’d try for an upgrade to a Tiagra, or Ultegra front derailleur (should be cheap, $15-20) from the LBS when you purchase it (among all the other freebies they throw in), and you’ll be good to go for a long time.
As always, make sure to visit your local bike shop, ask lots of help, and get properly fitted before purchasing any bike.
|Sizes||49, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 61cm|
|Frame||A1 Butted Road Aluminum|
|Fork||Specialized Carbon, alloy crown, Alloy steerer|
|Wheels||Alex S500 700c|
|Tires||Mondo Sport 23C|
|Shifters||Shimano Sora, 9-speed STI, flight deck compatible|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Sora FD-3403|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Tiagra RD-4500-GS|
|Crank||Sugino Comp 52Ax42x30T|
|Cassette||SRAM PG-950, 9-speed 12-26t|
|Pedals||Composite Body, Alloy Cage, with Toe Clips and Straps|
|Saddle||Specialized Comp Road, full padding|
|Seat Post||Specialized carbon fiber wrapped, 27.2mm|
|Handlebars||Specialized Comp, 6061 alloy, short-reach drop, 31.8mm|
|Stem||Specialized 3D forged alloy 31.8|
|Headset||Specialized Mindset, 1 1/8″ integrated threadless, sealed bearings, alloy 20mm cone w/ one 10mm and two 5mm alloy spacers|
|Brakeset||Shimano Sora ST-3400 flight deck compatible Levers with Teflon Pivot Calipers w/ Cartridge Pads|