The proprietary grade aluminium tubing of the Specialized Allez is fairly 'fat' and the welding and finish are to the usual high standards we expect of Specialized. There are six sizes to choose from, though none have the widely-used 55.5cm top-tube length, based on the virtual horizontal line from the tube centres. You can opt to go smaller with the 54cm size, but we chose to test the 56cm, based on a 57cm top-tube. It is a light frame for this kind of money.
The Specialized weighs in at 20.1lb/9.1kg and its own-branded oversized anatomic bars and twin-clamp, four-bolt stem has a level of finish you'd expect at this price. The Specialized Comp 143 saddle offers good support and a slip-proof top, though we were less impressed with the carbon-wrapped aluminium seatpost that slipped in the frame until we applied some Tacx Carbon Prep.
The Allez Sport's Jalco Dynamics wheels have 24/28 straight pull spokes laced to polished hubs with traditional ball and cone bearings. The front hub initially felt a little rough, and the bearings needed readjusting, so it's worth checking after purchase. These wheels weigh almost the same as the Shimano WH-R500s, and with the Allez costing £200 more than rival Cube and Pinnacle bikes, we would have expected lighter rims and Kevlar beaded tyres. The Mondo tyres do, however, roll beautifully and the V-shaped tread pattern gives you the confidence to bury the Allez Sport hard through corners.
The Allez Sport's performance took us a while to gauge, and while the ride lacks the fun factor on climbs and the steering can feel lifeless at slower speeds, its true colours can be seen when stepping hard on the gas. This is where its stiffness comes into play. The tyres are largely responsible for the outstanding level of cornering grip, but there is no getting away from the fact that this bike comes alive when ridden aggressively.
The Allez Sport has a touch more sparkle than some of its rivals, does not particularly exceed expectations at this price. Compared to some sub £500 bikes, it is rather outclassed in terms of value for money.