Specialized has a new women's road bike with a relatively steep seat tube called the Alias that comes with clip-on aero bars so riders can have a road bike for everyday riding and training that also works for triathlon.
“Women’s triathlon and cycling have become powerful and permanent forces in women’s fitness,” said Erin Sprague, Specialized's women’s product manager. “The Specialized Alias is the first bike of its kind, designed for women participating in mid-distance triathlon."
A steep seat tube angle and a zero-offset post help put rider into an aero position
The various Alias Tri models are sold with a zero-offset seatpost and the clip-on bars, but standard Alias road versions are also available with the same frame geometry and a 35mm-offset post.
The Alias models range from $2,600/£2,000 for the Alias Sport Tri up through $3,200/£2,600 for the Alias Comp Tri with the top-end $6,000 Alias Pro Tri being a US-only bike.
The Alias Tri comes in Shimano Ultegra or Shimano 105 configurations in most parts of the world, plus this Pro version with Shimano Dura-Ace in select markets
Five sizes are available, from 44cm to 57cm, with components being sized appropriately throughout the range. For example, the 44cm comes with 160mm cranks and 36cm handlebars while the 57 comes with 172.5mm cranks and 42cm bars.
While the head tube shares the same geometry as Specialized Amira women's road race bike (between 70.25 and 72 degrees, depending on frame size), the seat tube angle is a very aggressive 77 to 78 degrees. For context, a standard road bike typically has somewhere around a 73-degree seat tube, while a full-on triathlon/time trial bike will have something as steep as 80. A steeper seat tube angle allows the rider to move further forward in relation to the bottom bracket, and, often, rotate their torso into a more aero position as well.
While Specialized is not the first company to offer a 'tweener' bike that works for both road and triathlon — Cervélo's S5, for example, has a dual-position seatpost that offers two effective seat tube angles — it may be the first such bike targeted at women with a steep seat tube and a milder head tube angle, which will likely translate to more confident steering for new triathletes.
The Alias is sold either as a road bike, as shown with a 35mm-offset post here, or the Tri version with a zero-offset post and the clip-on aerobars
Curiously, Specialized is not selling the Alias with both posts, so a rider wanting to take advantage of both bikes styles will have to buy another seatpost. This begs the question, why wouldn't a woman who already has a road bike just buy clip-on bars and a steep-angle post? Redshift Sports created a related solution with its Switch Aero system that consists of a pivoting seatpost and clip-on bars.
The Alias frame comes with top tube mounting bosses for a bento box, and Specialized has its own Remora storage box that uses rubber flaps for retention instead of a zippered of Velcro opening.
The Alias Comp Tri comes with Shimano Ultegra 11-speed and a compact (50/34T) crank. The Alias Sport Tri is a Shimano 105 10-speed bike with a compact crank. Both feature a carbon frame and fork.
The Alias is available now.