(Update: 14/12/2017) Since this review was published, all 2018 Specialized Allez bikes have been subject to a recall due to a potentially defective fork. Here’s the full statement from Specialized.
For many years the Specialized Allez has been an alloy race bike with a strong reputation. Up there with the Cannondale CAAD-series machines as a highly-rated entry-level race bike, it’s been a stalwart of the sub-£1,000 scene.
Despite the relatively racy geometry, that competitive price tag has meant that new roadies and Cycle To Work schemers have flocked to the Allez as the go-to machine to dip their toes into the sport or upgrade from their previous bicycle. This reviewer was among them, once.
That popularity has partly led to the old version’s extraordinarily long shelf-life – it remained fundamentally unchanged since the back end of 2010 – and so while it was still popular in the bike shops, it was really beginning to show its age. Compared to the likes of the CAAD10 and, latterly, Cannondale CAAD12 – both of which I’ve had my hands on for some short taster rides over the years – my previous generation Allez weighed a proverbial ton, while it couldn’t hold a candle to the Cannondales in terms of overall ride quality.