Controversial? Our Specialized Allez Review (the 5 Models Compared)

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 with its ability to give beginning to professional cyclists what they need in a road bike.

Specialized Allez

Stack (570mm)
Reach (380mm)
Price

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 out with if you plan to upgrade as you need more out a bike regarding speed, power, and agility.

The Specialized 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 it's geometry offers a healthy balance of comfort and agility, leaning more toward the comfort end of the spectrum that 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.  

Specialized Allez Sport

Stack (570mm)
Reach (380mm)
Price

The Specialized Allez Sport is also an entry-level bike in the series, but this one is a bit more expensive than the Allez at $950. Where 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.

This bike offers higher-end components than the Allez and a frame that can absorb shock a bit better. 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

Allez E5 Sport Review
Stack (548mm)
Reach (387mm)
Price

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 FACT carbon fiber fork construction that can 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. You’ll get a more reliable and smoother shift from the full Shimano Sora groupset for excellent hill climbing and downhill descents with the E5 Sport.

The Allez E5 Sport is, again, one of the brand’s entry-level road bikes, but its handling, speed control, and power make it an excellent choice for experienced riders to get a bike on a budget.  

Specialized Allez E5 Elite

Allez e5 Elite Review
Stack (548mm)
Reach (387mm)
Price

The Specialized Allez E5 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 bike, it offers one of the best values for cyclists looking for speed, performance, and reliable components.

The frame of the E5 Elite 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, aside from the Praxis Alba crankset, the E5 Elite offers more gears for shifting and more power from the bike with every movement you make.

Specialized Allez DSW Elite

Allez DSW Elite Review
Stack (548mm)
Reach (387mm)
Price

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 some of its top racing bikes, like the Specialized Tarmac. Using D’Aluisio Smartweld Technology (DSW), the aluminum frame has its pieces welded together in points of low stress, giving more material to points of high pressure, to improve the stiffness of the frame.

The DSW Elite is best for serious racers who want a bike that can grow with them, who prefer a sportier, more 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


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


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 your ride more comfortable, 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 give these bikes better clearance of obstacles, like bumps and rocks in the road, 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 will also require you to reach more for your handlebars, which may be uncomfortable for those with short torsos.

Price


For the lowest budgets, the Allez and Allez Sport offer excellent entry-level racing performance you can usually pick up 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. With the Allez line, a lower budget will give you the most comfort, whereas the higher budget will provide you with more performance and maneuverability.

Component Differences

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 that is a bit lighter weight and 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.

Leave a Comment