Specialized Allez Elite 2009 review

Performance and comfort combined

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £978.71 RRP | USD $1,418.00

Our review

Solid all-rounder combines high performance with comfort
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Four Allez models make up Specialized’s entry-level road bike range for 2009. They are designed to be light, stiff and efficient – essentially, race-ready out of the box, although the vast majority are going to be pressed into service for general road duties. The upright ride position of the top dog Elite Double won’t suit everyone, but you can’t argue with the forgiving ride quality, and Shimano 105 kit packs on value.

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Handling: Fairly upright riding position and forgiving frame make for a comfortable ride

The Specialized has a high front end which gives an upright riding position. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Well, we certainly felt we were getting more air than usual on the chest, increasing the wind resistance. The bars are low-drop, so even when you go down to the ends, your body position isn’t that flat. If you’re after an extremely aggressive setup, you’re making things hard for yourself here.

On the other hand, lots of our test riders found the Specialized very comfortable, especially for long rides. You can sit there and spin in that position without your back ever griping. A supportive, just-soft-enough saddle and gel-padded handlebar tape help, and the carbon back end smooths over rough roads well. When you’re comfy you can get the power in more effectively, you’ll feel like riding for longer and you may enjoy yourself more.

The Allez bowls along on the flat just fine. When you throw in the extra power you don’t get quite the snap of some lighter bikes, but the steering is pretty accurate. 

Hit the climbs and that higher than average front end can again make an impact. Some testers found it hard to get right over the bars to muscle the Allez about as much as they wanted on out-of-the-saddle sections. Still, the 34T chainring matched up to the 27T sprocket will get you up even the tough stuff while seated without too much trouble. We wouldn’t say that the Allez is remarkable on the climbs – it would need to lose a bit of weight off the wheels for that.

The fairly upright riding position and forgiving frame make this a very comfortable ride.
The fairly upright riding position and forgiving frame make this a very comfortable ride.: the fairly upright riding position and forgiving frame make this a very comfortable ride.
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Chassis: Highly manipulated alloy tubes keep strength high and weight low, build quality is excellent

The heart of the Allez is its E5 aluminium frame which comes with a massively oversized down tube and Specialized’s distinctive arcing top tube that slopes steeply southwards for a low standover height.

The Allez’s head tube is long at 205mm, although it’s still 20mm shorter than you’ll find on the equivalent size from Specialized’s Roubaix range. But, especially with a 20mm cone spacer on top of the integrated headset, the front end is certainly tall. 

You get carbon wishbone seatstays out back and the legs of Specialized’s in-house fork are carbon too. It’s all neatly done with smooth joints and a tidy finish.

Just in case you forget the name..
Just in case you forget the name..: just in case you forget the name..
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Equipment: Shimano 105 gearing produces its usual exemplary performance and in-house kit is second-to-none

The groupset is nearly all Shimano’s top-value 105 kit, although the brake callipers are no-name copycats and the compact crankset is also a downgrade. Though it’s from Shimano, you don’t get the lightweight rigidity of the hollow forged arms on higher end options so it would be our first upgrade.

The Shimano 105 shifters and mechs work together to provide as-soon-as-you’ve-thought-it changes up and down the 10-speed cassette, and our fears about the unbranded anchors proved unfounded. You can leave your braking late in both wet and dry conditions and know you’ll get strong, predictable stopping power, adding to your confidence on the descents.

Mavic’s CXP22 rims are no lightweights but they stayed true for the duration, while Specialized’s own cartridge bearing hubs ran smooth from the off. 

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The Mondo Pro tyres don’t offer the same level of puncture resistance as you’ll get with Specialized’s Armadillos, but they still provide good protection and excellent all-weather grip.

Shimano R535 double chainset
Shimano r535 double chainset: shimano r535 double chainset
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Product Specifications

Product

Name Allez Elite (09)
Brand Specialized Bicycles

Description This bike features Shimano Compact, 50x34 chainset.
Rear Derailleur 105, short cage
Top Tube (cm) 57
Standover Height (cm) 81
Seat Tube (cm) 49
Chainstays (cm) 41
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28
Weight (lb) 20.4
Weight (kg) 9.27
Stem Comp-Set, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt 31.8mm bar clamp, 4- position adjustable
Shifters 105, 10-speed STI, flight deck compatible
Seatpost Carbon wrapped, two-bolt clamp, 27.2mm
Saddle Comp Road, full padding
Rims CXP 20mm depth
Pedals Silver cage, black body, w/ toe clip and strap
Available Sizes 49 52 54cm 56cm 58cm 61cm
Headset Type Mindset, 1-1/8" integrated threadless, steel cage bearings, 20mm alloy cone with one 10mm and two 5mm alloy spacers
Handlebar Pro, 2014 alloy, short-drop, ergonomic shaping, 31.8mm
Front Tyre Size 700x23C
Front Tyre Mondo
Front Derailleur 105, 31.8mm clamp, bottom pull
Frame Weight 1500
Frame Material Specialized E5 aluminum, fully manipulated tubing, smooth weld compact race design, FACT carbon seatstays
Fork Weight 642
Fork FACT carbon, carbon fiber legs, aluminum crown and steerer
Chain Shimano 105, 10-speed
Cassette Shimano 105, 10-speed, 12-27t
Brakes 105
Wheelbase (cm) 101