With more than a hint of aggression in its hydroformed E5 aluminium frame, the Allez Sprint Comp Disc looks like a coiled spring, waiting to unleash its energy on demand.
The raw beauty of the D’Aluisio Smartweld frame is laid bare by its stunning brushed finish, with a clear lacquer coat protecting its decals from abrasion and sweat, adding an attractive gloss.
The eponymous Smartweld design shifts the traditional welding areas of tube junctions, creating simpler, stronger welds that can’t weaken adjoining tubes or the crucial head tube and bottom bracket areas.
Rather than mitring and welding the main triangle tubes on to a round head-tube or bottom bracket shell, these instead include the roots of each tube so that the frame tubes are simply butted on to them.
Shimano 105 hydraulic disc and 160/140mm RT70 rotors. David Caudery/Immediate Media
Although the bar, stem, head tube and top tube are conventionally shaped, the down tube has a broad truncated aerofoil profile. The seat tube goes full aero with a cutout for the rear wheel and a matching carbon seatpost from the Venge. The all-carbon fork is borrowed from the Tarmac SL6 Disc, making this an impressively specced frameset.
Bedecked with Shimano’s 105 hydraulic disc groupset, plus Specialized’s favoured Praxis Zayante alloy chainset and Specialized finishing kit, there’s a lot to like.
The dropped seatstays and the curvy, crimped chainstays are bridgeless, and even though the 26mm Turbo Pro tyres measure 27mm on the DT Swiss R470db wheelset, there looks to be clearance for tyres of over 30mm.
The seat tube goes full aero with a cutout for the rear wheel. David Caudery/Immediate Media
Rolling with just over 80psi in the tyres, the Allez Sprint has a firm ride that’s not harsh. The ride quality isn’t comparable to the best carbon frames but is good for aluminium, more like carbon fibre five years ago.
It relates every surface blemish with braille-like communication. With a highly tuned feel, the Allez Sprint eagerly builds and clings on to speed, with that frameset multiplying every ounce of effort.
The Praxis Works-assisted Shimano 105 drivetrain is efficient and geared for speed with its 52/36 rings and 11-28 cassette, and the 105 hydraulic discs are excellent for late, consistent braking when attacking corners.
The Allez Sprint Comp Disc offers peerless handling and enormous speed potential. Courtesy
Throwing it in to consecutive, technical 90-degree corners, the Allez Sprint is all instant reaction, with incisive cornering and perfect line precision.
Its steep 74-degree seat and 73.5-degree head angles make for a front end that’s quick and a saddle position that wills you to roll a bigger gear. My 56cm bike’s 990mm wheelbase matches that of the Tarmac, while its bottom bracket drop is 3mm less, at 69mm, allowing you to pedal out of corners sooner.
At high speeds, the Allez Sprint is reassuringly stable, the fork still tracking accurately when braking hard in to downhill corners, and the Specialized saddle and handlebar proving well shaped and comfortable.
Seriously impressive lateral rigidity makes this a treat for explosive riders. The bike’s accelerative nature is only dulled when the road rises for a sustained distance because, although the DT Swiss wheelset rolls well and feels keen, its rotational mass slows uphill progress.
Crits are rarely that hilly, but to be properly competitive the Allez Sprint needs a wheel upgrade, which at this price can be factored in to your buying decision.
Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc geometry (56cm)
Seat angle: 74 degrees
Head angle: 73.5 degrees
Seat tube: 52cm
Top tube: 55.5cm
Head tube: 16cm
Fork offset: 4.4cm
Bottom bracket drop: 6.9cm
Bottom bracket height: 27cm