Specialized has just revealed that it's new Allez Sprint X1 road bike, an aerodynamic aluminium road bike, is coming to the UK in 2016.
Earlier this year we reported on the brand new Specialized Allez Sprint, the company’s aluminium bike that had been completely updated with aerodynamic features borrowed from the Venge. Unfortunately, Specialized UK confirmed to us that it didn’t have any plans to bring this bike into the UK.
It’s clearly had a change of heart, maybe as a reaction to the interest, this bike generated, and will be adding it to the 2016 line-up. It won't be cheap though, with a price tag of £4,000. Yes, you can buy a carbon bike for that sort of money, but that's missing the point of the Allez Sprint. It's good to see another manufacturer pushing aluminium as a serious alternative to carbon at the top-end.
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Specialized says the new Allez is the most “advanced alloy road bikes we've ever made” and it’s been designed, as the name suggests, for crit racing. Yes, it’s unashamedly a very focused bike, but one that taps into the popularity of choosing aluminium over carbon fibre for a stiff, durable and affordable race bike.
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The new bike combines the unique D'Aluisio Smart Weld (DSW) Technology that has been a feature of top-end Allez models for the past couple of years and introduces aerodynamically shaped tube profiles and a few geometry changes to make it a better race bike.
Specialized has lopped some length off the chainstays to create a very stiff rear triangle, and shortening the wheelbase will keep the handling sharp for negotiating tight corners at high speed, typical of a crit circuit like Crystal Palace or Odd Down.
The tubes have been shaped to reduce drag. Mimicking the Venge is the teardrop shaped seat tube hugging the curve of the rear wheel and using an aero seatpost. The seatstays have been dropped, a move we say commonly on aero road bikes. The down tube meanwhile has been shaped to sit closer to the front wheel to improve aerodynamics.
The US company has obviously put its own wind tunnel to good use. “The down tube, seat tube, and seatstays have all been aerodynamically optimized to reduce drag, without sacrificing any of the explosive responsiveness that crit racing and sprinting demands. The result is a bike that saves 1.3 meters in a sprint compared to a traditional Allez,” it says.
The frame uses the carbon fibre fork from the Tarmac and the bike, and it uses the same size-specific approach first introduced with its latest Tarmac. That means that the Allez uses six head tubes and three different forks across the size range.
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Specialized has been pushing the development of cutting-edge aluminium frames. Several years ago it introduced Smartweld on the Allez model, a construction process used at the head tube and bottom bracket that is claimed to improve the stiffness and strength of the frame.
Smartweld uses hydroformed main tubes paired with a specially forged head tube.
“The headtube, toptube, and downtube have been hydroformed with a curved, dome-like edge that, when butted together, creates a seamless valley that is filled with weld material,” says Specialized.
The bottom bracket is made with two stamped halves and a central sleeve that are then welded together, which moves the welds away from the traditional joint positions and allows the main tubes to be oversized. Stiffness is apparently comparable to the carbon fibre Tarmac, an impressive feat indeed.
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Fitted to the new bike will be SRAM’s Force 1x11 drivetrain, which ditches the front mech in favour of a single ring and wide-range cassette. While we’ve seen quite a few manufacturers speccing SRAM’s single ring drivetrain on cyclocross and gravel bikes for 2016, we’ve not seen many road bikes with it.
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Sticking with the speed theme is the Roval CL64 carbon fibre wheelset and Specialized’s own carbon aero handlebar.
The Allez Sprint X1 will cost £4,000 and we believe coming into the UK in limited numbers. More at www.specialized.com/gb/gb/news/rider-first
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Or in the Australian vernacular....
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My "interpretation" is the dictionary definition of the word. Your "interpretation" is objectively incorrect. Do you not see?