Specialized says the new Allez Sprint is “the fastest alloy road bike ever”

Can aluminium finally compete with carbon?

Specialized Allez Sprint LTD

Specialized has launched the latest update to its Allez Sprint aluminium road bike, claiming it is “the fastest alloy road bike ever”.

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The 2022 Allez Sprint borrows heavily from Specialized’s WorldTour-level road bike, the Tarmac SL7, with identical geometry and tube shapes optimised for both aerodynamic efficiency and low weight.

Key parts, such as the seatpost, fork and aero road handlebar (on top-tier builds), are even shared with the Tarmac SL7, creating a strikingly similar profile between the two bikes at first glance.

It all adds up to a bike that Specialized claims is “41 seconds faster over 40km than the previous Allez Sprint Disc”

The 2022 Specialized Allez Sprint will be available as a frameset for  £1,599 / $1,700 / €1,500 / AU$2,400 or in two builds: with Shimano 105 R7020 for £2,650 / $3,000 / €3,500 / AU$4,200, and, in certain territories, SRAM Force eTap AXS for $6,800 / €7,500.

We’ve had the Shimano 105 build in to test, so head to our 2022 Specialized Allez Comp first ride review to see how it rides.

2022 Specialized Allez Sprint key details

  • The frame features hydroformed aluminium tubes, with truncated aerofoil shapes based on those found on the Tarmac SL7
  • The tubes are welded together using Specialized’s D’Alusio Smartweld technology
  • Specialized claims the 2022 Allez Sprint is “41 seconds faster over 40km than the previous Allez Sprint Disc”.
  • Frame weights are said to be “in line with the previous Allez Sprint Disc”, with the lightest build weighing 7.9kg for a size 56cm
  • The 2022 Allez Sprint is disc-brake only, and features a BSA threaded bottom bracket
  • The frame and fork have clearance for up to 700 x 32c tyres
  • There are two build options with SRAM Force eTap AXS or Shimano 105 R7020, plus a frameset option with a choice of six paintjobs

An “alloy superbike”, but not an S-Works

Specialized says the 2022 Allez Sprint is an “alloy superbike”.
Specialized

As with previous Allez Sprint models, the 2022 incarnation features hydroformed aluminium tubes, welded together using Specialized D’Alusio Smartweld technology (named after Chris D’Alusio, who was Specialized’s director of advanced research and design in 2013, when the technology was first used on the S-Works Allez).

As you’d expect, Specialized is keen to point out that while aluminium might not have the same desirability factor as carbon fibre holds in today’s road bike market, that “doesn’t mean it’s a ‘budget’ material”.

By using this Smartweld technology, Specialized says it is able to make alloy frames that rival carbon ones for key characteristics such as stiffness, weight and ride quality.

Weld points have been moved back from the traditional spots on the head tube, which Specialized says “removed redundant material from the head tube, promoted a uniform result across all the bikes we built, and minimised strain on high-stress areas of the bike.”

The Smartweld technology is key to the bike’s construction.
Specialized

Additionally, the down tube and bottom bracket are now “hydroformed from a single piece of alloy”, which “eliminates unnecessary welds and maximises power transfer and structural integrity”.

Specialized says these features make the 2022 Allez Sprint “the world’s first alloy superbike”.

The down tube and bottom bracket are now formed from a single tube of aluminium.
Specialized

This is a slightly surprising statement, considering the previous Allez Sprint Disc has been raced by WorldTour pros, and there has already been an S-Works Allez using similar technology.

When asked why this latest iteration of the Allez didn’t receive the S-Works moniker, Specialized said, “Alloy is an amazing material, and we’ve gotten incredible performance out of it for the new Allez Sprint, but S-Works represents the pinnacle of innovation and performance, and that is represented by Tarmac and carbon in road racing.”

The 2013 S-Works Allez was the first Allez to receive the S-Works label.
Specialized

That statement also ignores the fact that aluminium bikes were used to win the biggest races in cycling, prior to the widespread adoption of carbon fibre bicycles at the elite level.

In 1998, for example, Marco Pantani used an aluminium Bianchi Mega Pro XL to cement his place in cycling history with victories at both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.

Perhaps, then, it’s more accurate to say this is “the return of the alloy superbike”.

The fastest alloy road bike ever?

The truncated aerofoil shapes of the hydroformed tubes are “borrowed” from the Tarmac SL7, as are features such as the heavily dropped seatstays and integrated cable routing.

In addition to the same fork, Specialized says the 2022 Allez Sprint also uses the same headset compression ring as found on the Tarmac SL7.

This enables mechanical and electronic gear cables, and hydraulic brake lines to route internally through the headset bearings and into the frame.

A new headset cover guides the cables into this compression ring while still enabling compatibility with standard stems.

The front end on the Allez Sprint LTD build is very tidy.
Specialized

As mentioned previously, parts such as the fork, seatpost and – on the most expensive build – the aerodynamically optimised S-Works Aerofly II road handlebar are all taken directly from the Tarmac SL7.

These optimisations result in a claimed advantage of 41 seconds over 40km, compared to the previous Allez Sprint Disc, which Specialized says makes it “the fastest alloy road bike ever”.

Asked to substantiate this claim, Specialized says, “The new Allez Sprint puts itself in a class of its own for alloy bikes – beating out many of the top carbon bikes on the market with its aero performance – much of this testing was done during the development of the Tarmac SL7.”

As a result, Specialized says the 2022 Allez Sprint offers similar aerodynamic performance to the Tarmac SL7, trailing it by only “12-16 seconds over 40km”.

The Tarmac SL7 is still the faster bike, according to Specialized, but only by a small margin.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

That would indicate Specialized hasn’t actually compared the new Allez Sprint to other currently available alloy road bikes, such as the Cannondale CAAD13, though – it’s simply inferring that it’s “the fastest alloy road bike ever” from the results of its testing versus the Tarmac SL7.

Specialized also says the seatpost and fork contribute to an “unparalleled ride quality”, without the harshness customarily associated with aluminium race bikes.

Given how important tyres are to a road bike’s performance, the 2022 Allez Sprint now has clearance for tyres up to 700 x 32c, mounted on rims with a 21mm internal width.

Specialized notes this should leave 4mm of clearance around the tyre, but this is “dependent on the exact tyre and rim combination as there is quite a bit of variation [in sizing] among tyres.”

Specialized Allez Sprint 2022 geometry

The Specialized Allez Sprint has the same race-bike geometry as the Tarmac SL7.
Specialized

While the stack and reach figures differ from the Tarmac SL7 (and the Specialized Aethos, which also shares the same geometry), Specialized says the fit parameters are nevertheless exactly the same once the required headset cover is accounted for.

Specialized also says key ride characteristics, such as stiffness and compliance, are tuned across the size range by varying the wall thickness of the aluminium tubes used to construct the frame.

As a result, each bike in the size range should provide the same ride experience.

Frame Size (cm)495254565861
Stack (mm)508520537558584605
Reach (mm)378383387398405411
Head tube length (mm)105115133153180200
Head tube angle (degrees)71.7572.57373.573.574
Вottom bracket height (mm)266266268268268268
Вottom bracket drop (mm)747472727272
Trail (mm)635858555552
Fork rake/offset (mm)474744444444
Front centre (mm)575578580592607614
Chainstay length (mm)410410410410410410
Wheelbase (mm)9749769799921,0061,013
Тop tube length (mm)509532541563578596
Standover height (mm)735755765795815835
Seat tube length (mm)470495510530550570
Seat tube angle (degrees)75.5747473.573.573
Crank length (mm)165170172.5172.5175175
Handlebar width (mm)380400420420440440
Stem length (mm)8090100100110110
Saddle width (mm)155155143143143143
Seatpost length (mm)300300300300380380

Specialized Allez Sprint 2022 specifications, pricing and availability

Like the Tarmac SL7, the Specialized Allez Sprint is now available in disc brake form only. It has also moved to a 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket, away from the OSBB 61 press-fit bottom bracket the previous version used.

The frameset is compatible with both mechanical and electronic groupsets, in 2x or 1x form.

In a first for Specialized on its alloy bikes, the front-derailleur hanger is removable.

This is intended to offer the cleanest possible setup when running a 1x drivetrain (something which is increasingly common in criterium racing, where the typically flat courses can make the inner chainring redundant).

The Allez Sprint is something of an icon in the world of criterium racing.
Specialized

Specialized says frameset weights are “in line with the previous Allez Sprint Disc”, but declined to put a figure on it.

The claimed weight for the lightest (and most expensive) Allez Sprint LTD build is 7.9kg for a size 56cm.

Our size 56cm Allez Sprint Comp test bike weighs 8.8kg, according to our scales.

There are just two build options in the 2022 Allez Sprint range; the Allez Sprint LTD, which costs $6,800, and gets a SRAM Force eTap AXS 1x drivetrain and Roval Rapide CL wheels, and the Allez Sprint Comp, which costs £2,650 / $3,000 and gets a Shimano 105 R7020 2x drivetrain, and DT Swiss R470 DB wheels.

At launch, the Allez Sprint LTD build is only available in the USA, Europe, Pacific, Taiwan and Japan.

The 2022 Allez Sprint is also available as a frameset for £1,599 / $1,700 / €1,500 / AU$2,400, with six different paintjobs for those looking to complete a custom build.

Allez Sprint LTD

The Specialized Allez Sprint LTD.
Specialized
  • Price: $6,800 / €7,500 (only available in the USA, Europe, Pacific, Taiwan and Japan)
  • Frameset: Specialized Allez Sprint
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Force eTap AXS 1x, with SRAM Force AXS power meter
  • Wheelset: Specialized Roval Rapide CL
  • Tyres: Specialized S-Works Turbo
  • Seatpost: S-Works Tarmac Carbon Post
  • Handlebar: S-Works Aerofly II
  • Stem: Specialized alloy, 7 degrees
  • Saddle: Specialized S-Works Power
  • Claimed weight: 7.9kg

Allez Sprint Comp

  • Price: £2,650 / $3,000 / €3,500 / AU$4,200
  • Frameset: Specialized Allez Sprint
  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 R7020
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss R470 rims with Specialized hubs
  • Tyres: Specialized Turbo Pro, 700x26c
  • Seatpost: S-Works Tarmac Carbon Post
  • Handlebar: Specialized Shallow Drop, with Supacaz Super Sticky Kush tape
  • Stem: Specialized alloy, 7 degrees
  • Saddle: Specialized Power Sport
  • Actual weight: 8.8kg

Allez Sprint frameset

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  • Price: £1,599 / $1,700 / €1,500 / AU$2,400
  • Frameset: Specialized Allez Sprint
  • Seatpost: S-Works Tarmac Carbon Post
  • Claimed weight: Not given