Peter Sagan rode an alloy Allez at the Tour Down Under in the crit race to a second place finish – he won the race last year.
So does that mean any of us should be able to show up at the local club ride with an entry-level Allez and hope to ride it to victory? Well, hold on a second, sparky. It isn’t quite that simple.
The bike Sagan rode is a long way from what you or I could get without a special order and a lot of cash… the high-end Allez Sprint Comp Disc available from Specialized is a nice, aero alloy frame with a Tarmac fork and a Venge saddle mast. That much, aside from custom paint, is exactly what Sagan rode – and that’s exactly where the similarities end.
The public version is then fitted with Shimano 105 hydraulic disc components. Certainly a worthy groupset, but Sagan got Dura Ace Di2. Sagan also had Roval 60mm deep dish carbon wheels, a $2,500-ish upgrade for we mere mortals. He also got the ceramic everything bearing upgrade. Finally, he got his unmarked Zipp stem and S-Works unmarked Aerofly handlebar.
What does all of that mean? Well, Sagan’s Allez was actually be a little lighter than his Venge when he lined up to start the race. Only slightly more than 17-1/2 pounds for an alloy bike. Not bad. Ours would likely be around 18-1/2 to 19 pounds out of the box (guessing, of course). Still, not bad for an aluminum bike – and with the greater frame clearance allowing wider tires built into the frame, riding that alloy frame on, say 26 or 28mm tires would actually make it feel reasonably comfortable – and there’s no doubt, as is mentioned in the article, the alloy Allez will be considerably stiffer than a carbon fiber Venge – one of the stiffest carbon fiber frames on the market.
In the end, for $2,200, the Allez Sprint Comp Disc is a legit road bike. It’s no Venge, but it’ll do – and if you went all weight wienie on it you could get it down to about 17 pounds flat.
Of course, my Venge only weighs 15-3/4 pounds…
I wonder what Sagan thought of the bike as he took second in the Crit. Interestingly, it does go to show that you don’t need an ultra-light carbon fiber bike to compete – at least, when you’re a three-time world champion.
I won’t be trading the Venge in any time soon, though.