Review of the Top 5 Models
If you’re in the market for a high-performing entry-level road bike that won’t break the bank, then you likely can find what you need in the Specialized Allez series. This guide focuses on five of the most popular bikes from the series in a range of price points to help you compare components and performance to find the best bike for your budget. The Specialized Allez series has several bikes to choose from, but we’ll be reviewing only the five most popular models.
Specialized Allez Series Bike Overviews
The following five bikes are the most popular models in the Specialized Allez series, ranging from $750 to $1250 to meet your needs for components, comfort, and performance. The Allez series is one of Specialized’s most popular models, with its ability to give beginning and professional cyclists what they need in a good road bike.
The Specialized Allez is the basic model of the series, offering those who want a reliable entry-level bike to start their journey into road cycling. At $750, this entry-level bike is a good one to start with if you plan to upgrade as you need more out of a bike’s speed, power, and agility.
Allez isn’t just for racers. Instead, it’s designed to be both a commuting bike and a racing bike for entry-level racers. You’ll notice that its geometry offers a healthy balance of comfort and agility, leaning more toward the comfort end of the spectrum. This consideration makes it an excellent choice for those who want a sporty-looking bike, but don’t necessarily need the high-end components that make it more agile and pricey. The Specialized Allez is a great new bike for the fast commuter for its great frame design and overall ride quality.
Specialized Allez Sport
The Specialized Allez Sport is also an entry-level bike in the series, but this one is more expensive than the Allez at $950. Whereas the Specialized Allez is more for the real beginners of the road racing world, the Specialized Allez Sport is more for those with some experience who still want a budget-friendly bike under $1000. Experienced racers may consider the Specialized Roubaix series instead, a set of high-end racing models that are great for fast-paced action.
This bike offers higher-end components than the Allez and a frame that can absorb shock a bit better. But, interestingly, the geometry of each bike is the same, meaning that neither one is necessarily better for racing and aerodynamics than the other. Where you’ll notice the difference between the two, instead, is with the smoother uphill climb and a more stable frame and fork in the Specialized Allez Sport.
Specialized Allez E5 Sport
At $980, the Specialized Allez E5 Sport is just slightly more expensive than the Allez Sport. This bike has a less sporty geometry than the Allez Sport, but its frame uses Specialized FACT carbon fork construction to give it an advantage in shock absorption and power transfer.
This bike also uses Shimano Sora shifting, rather than the Praxis Alba 2D crankset of the Specialized Allez Sport. As a result, you’ll get a more reliable and smoother shift from the full Shimano Sora shifters for excellent hill climbing and downhill descents with the E5 Sport.
The Allez E5 Sport is possibly Specialized’s best entry level road bike. Its performance minded handling, speed control, and power make it an excellent choice for experienced riders to get a bicycle on a budget.
Specialized Allez E5 Elite
The Specialized Allez Elite is, perhaps, one of the brand’s most-reviewed and purchased bikes. This one comes with an $1150 price tag, almost $200 more than the E5 Sport. Although it’s still considered an entry-level racing aluminum bike, it offers one of the best values for cyclists looking for speed, performance, and reliable components.
The redesigned E5 alloy frame uses the same E5 Premium Aluminum with FACT carbon fiber fork as the E5 Sport, giving it excellent shock absorbing abilities and stiffness on the road. With the upgraded Shimano Tiagra system, coupled with the Praxis Alba crankset, the E5 Elite offers more gears for shifting and more power from the bicycle with every movement you make. It’s one of the best aluminum road bike models that Specialized offers, with excellent high speed handling for such a light bike.
Specialized Allez DSW Elite
Another excellent bike from the Allez Elite series, the Specialized Allez DSW Elite is the most expensive of the group at $1250. This bike is the brand’s attempt to make a more budget-friendly version of its top racing bikes, like the Specialized Tarmac. Using D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology (DSW), the aluminum frame uses smooth welds to piece together points of low stress, giving more material to high pressure points to improve frame stiffness.
Both Specialized Allez Elite models make great bicycles for serious racers who want a great bike that can grow with them, prefer a sporty and agile bike, and who want the highest value frame and components for their dollar.
Specialized Allez Series Bike Comparisons
From the Specialized Allez to the Allez DSW Elite, most riders can likely find an excellent match for them and their budget. Although the bikes don’t have significant differences in looks, and some are even very similar in geometry, it’s the subtle differences that you’ll notice in these bikes on the road. Your choice will likely come down to the groupset and comfort that you prefer.
Stack & Reach
The Allez series of bikes tend to balance comfort with agility, which you can see in its stack and reach measurements. When one bike has a long stack, it tends to have a shorter reach than the other bikes. This contrasting geometry can give the bikes some good aerodynamics while also making them more comfortable for the rider, rather than sacrificing one for the other.
The Specialized Allez DSW Elite is one of the more aerodynamic bikes in the series, but you’ll notice that it also provides some balanced comfort with its shorter stack than the Allez and Allez Sport. And, its reach is the same length as the E5 Sport and E5 Elite, which can give it some stable maneuvering downhill.
Chainstay length = the distance BB to the rear axle.
The sporty, agile Specialized Allez DSW Elite has the shortest chainstay length of the group, giving it the best cornering ability of these five bikes. The Allez and Allez Sport have the longest, which could make for smoother riding, requiring less effort for hill climbs, but they also may not have the best power transfer and quick maneuverability of the other bikes.
Bottom Bracket Drop
Bottom Bracket Drop = Drop from the wheelbase to the bottom bracket.
Again, we see more of a similarity in the bottom bracket drop measurement of the three bikes at a higher price point, the E5 Sport, E5 Elite, and DSW Elite, which are meant more for agility and power than comfort. The more extended measurement of the Allez and Allez Sport gives these bikes better clearance of obstacles, like bumps and rocks that wheels can hit, but they likely won’t have the stability you’ll find in the sportier Allez bikes.
The three more expensive bikes are focused more on touring than comfort rides, so their lower bottom bracket drop can give riders a more stable center of gravity than the lower-budget bikes meant mostly for flat, easy-to-maneuver roads.
Effective Top Tube Length
Effective top tube length = the level measurement from the seat to the stem.
The effective top tube length of the Allez and Allez Sport is the same, which is slightly longer than the other three bikes in our comparison. What this means for you is that you’ll be in a more stretched-out position on these bikes. Your position can give the bike better aerodynamics, but it could also require you to reach more for your handlebars, which may be uncomfortable for those with short torsos.
Allez’s wide selection of bikes makes it one of the best bike brands for performance and accessibility.
For the lowest budgets, the Allez and Allez Sport offer excellent entry-level racing performance for less than $1000. The E5 Sport provides a sportier style and a full Shimano Sora groupset for just a tiny bit more than the Sport.
As you move toward the higher-end Allez models (the E5 Elite and DSW Elite) you’ll benefit from higher-end components and construction that lends to the power and agility of the bikes. A lower budget will give you the most comfort with the Allez line, whereas a higher budget will provide you with more performance and maneuverability.
The significant differences in these bikes are the groupsets they use. Each bike uses Shimano components, but ones from different tiers.
The Allez, for example, uses the Shimano Claris, which is the brand’s lowest tier of components. The Sport and E5 Sport make use of Shimano Sora, a step above the Claris. The Sora makes for a lightweight bike that also offers nine speeds instead of eight. The higher-budget bikes both use Shimano Tiagra components, which are still members of the entry-level tier, but offer the broadest range of gears with 10-speed cassettes.
All five bikes use Specialized E5 Premium Aluminum frames, but with slightly different construction and details. The DSW Elite provides the most responsive and stiffest frame, thanks to DSW technology.