With more than a hint of aggression in its hydroformed E5 aluminium frame, the Allez Sprint Comp Disc looks like a coiled spring, waiting to unleash its energy on demand. The raw beauty of the D’Aluisio Smartweld frame is laid bare by its stunning brushed finish, with a clear lacquer coat protecting its decals from abrasion and adding an attractive gloss.
The eponymous Smartweld design shifts the traditional welding areas of tube junctions, creating simpler, stronger welds that can’t weaken adjoining tubes or the crucial head tube and bottom bracket areas. Rather than welding the main triangle tubes on to a round head tube or bottom bracket shell, these instead include the roots of each tube, so that the frame tubes are simply butted onto them.
Although the bar, stem, head tube and top tube are conventionally shaped, the down tube has a broad truncated aerofoil profile. The seat tube goes full aero with a cut-out for the rear wheel and a matching carbon seatpost from the Venge. The all-carbon fork is borrowed from the Tarmac SL6 Disc, making this an impressively-specced frameset.
Bedecked with Shimano’s 105 hydraulic disc groupset, plus Specialized’s favoured Praxis Zayante alloy chainset and Specialized finishing kit, there’s a lot to like. The dropped seatstays and the curvy, crimped chainstays are bridgeless, and even though the 26mm Turbo Pro tyres measure 27mm on the DT Swiss R470db wheelset, there looks to be clearance for tyres of over 30mm.
Rolling with just over 80psi in the tyres, the Allez Sprint has a firm, but not harsh, ride. The ride quality isn’t comparable to the best carbon but is good for aluminium, more like carbon fibre five years ago. It relates every surface blemish with braille-like communication. With a highly-tuned feel, the Allez Sprint eagerly builds and clings onto speed, that frameset multiplying every ounce of effort. The Praxis Works-assisted Shimano 105 drivetrain is efficient and geared for speed with its 52/36 rings and 11-28 cassette, and the 105 hydraulic discs are excellent for consistent braking when cornering.
Throwing it into consecutive, technical, 90° corners, the Allez Sprint is all instant reaction, with incisive cornering and perfect line precision. Its steep, 74° seat and 73.5° head angles make for a front end that’s quick, and a saddle position that wills you to roll a bigger gear. Our 56cm bike’s 990mm wheelbase matches that of the Tarmac, while its bottom bracket drop is 3mm less, allowing you to pedal out of corners sooner. At high speeds, the Allez Sprint is stable and the fork tracks accurately when braking hard into downhill corners, while the Specialized saddle and handlebar prove comfortable.Impressive lateral rigidity makes this a treat for explosive riders.
The bike’s acceleration is only dulled when the road rises. Although the DT Swiss wheels roll well, their rotational mass slows uphill progress. So to be truly competitive, this Allez needs a wheel upgrade, which at this price can be factored into your buying decision.
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