Specialized Allez Race C2 2014 review

Lively and responsive all-rounder

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
£1,300.00 RRP

Our review

Addictively lively and responsive all-rounder
Skip to view product specifications

The Specialized Allez Race C2 is a fine example of the company’s ‘innovate or die’ mantra, even though a lot of its innovation is very well hidden. 

Advertisement
  • HIGHS: Outstandingly characterful, endlessly enthusiastic frame dressed in decent kit for the money
  • LOWS: Sparky handling might alarm less aggressive riders; absence of rack or mudguard eyes
  • BUY IF… You want a bike that you’ll be absolutely gagging to ride at every opportunity

Drop out the full carbon fork and look inside the frame and that’s where things get interesting. Rather than using open-ended tubes carefully cut to butt against other tubes to form a very shallow weld seam, Chris D’Aluisio and the Specialized design team have developed ‘Smartweld’.

This uses pre-formed ultra-thin tubes with bulkheads at each end to create a large, flat butt joint between each tube. The extra metal means the frame isn’t that light, but it increases junction strength and reduces tube wall thicknesses elsewhere. 

The Specialized Allez Race C2 was built with 'Smartweld' technology
Specialized allez race c2:
Russell Burton / Future Publishing

The results are obvious when you dig your spurs in. Those thin walls combine with the tapering curve of the leaf spring-style top tube and super-skinny seatstays and genuinely seem to catapult you forwards.

The spring-loaded effect even seems to help fill in the normal speed lull between the power phase of each turn of the cranks at slow revs. Despite an average weight the dynamic frame loves to be danced up hills out of the saddle. It urges you to attack until it snaps the elastic on the other bikes and heads for the summit solo. It’s equally effervescent in sprints, out of corners or anywhere else your combative urge comes out.

 The stout-legged, tapered Tarmac fork adds precision to the equally rapid and responsive handling to create a ride that feels far more alive than that offered by any budget carbon bike. 

While the frame tends to skim over rather than soak up rough sections, the long skinny seatpost helps to reduce road buzz enough to limit rough road fatigue when you’re cranking out the watts in the saddle. The adjustable Elite-Set stem also allows finer tuning of the ride position than spacers alone. 

The Allez Race C2 has a BB30 bottom bracket and a 10-speed Shimano 105 groupset
The allez race c2 has a bb30 bottom bracket and a 10-speed shimano 105 groupset:
Russell Burton / Future Publishing
Advertisement

Shimano’s 10-speed 105 groupset does its usual reliable job and Specialized’s tyre and wheel pack are par for the price, but the new Allez frame is definitely worth significant upgrading if you get the funds.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Allez Race C2 (14)
Brand Specialized

Available Sizes 49cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 61cm
Headset Type Specialized 11/8-13/8in
Weight (lb) 19.14
Year 2014
Wheelset Axis 2.0, 24 straight gauge radial spokes front, 32 straight gauge 3-cross drive, radial offside rear
Weight (kg) 8.68
Stem Specialized Elite-Set 3D 100mm
Seatpost Specialized Sport 27.2mm
Saddle Specialized Toupe Comp Gel
Rear Wheel Weight 1940
Rear Tyre Size 700x25
Rear Tyre Specialized Espoir Elite 700x25
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Handlebar Specialized Comp shallow bend 420mm
Bottom Bracket FSA BB30
Front Wheel Weight 1290
Front Tyre Size 700x25
Front Tyre Specialized Espoir Elite 700x25
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Weight 1403
Frame Material E5 Premium Smartweld alloy
Fork Weight 410
Fork Tarmac FACT full carbon 13/8in lower bearing
Cranks FSA Gossamer BB30 50/34, 175mm crank arms
Chain KMC X10
Cassette Shimano Tiagra 12-28
Brakes Shimano R561
Frame size tested 54cm