When it comes to top-end racing bikes we automatically think carbon fibre, right? Well, think again. At the Down Under Classic last week, Peter Sagan piloted the all-new alloy Allez Sprint, a super-stiff bike designed for dominating criteriums and bunch sprints.
If alloy is fit for a three-time world champion, then it’s certainly fit for us. Here’s the lowdown on the new Allez Sprint Disc from Specialized…
A daring debut
As all the other pro teams climbed aboard their carbon fibre bikes for the Down Under Classic criterium, it seems unlikely that Peter Sagan and a selection of his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates should choose to race on an alloy frame. But they were out to prove a point – that this traditionally low-end material is due a reputation overhaul.
Sagan rode the new Allez Sprint a few times in pre-season training and had this to say about it in an interview with Cyclingnews:
“I did some training on the bike at the team camp in Mallorca in December. Now they've built me a new bike, with new colours. It's a lot stiffer than the Venge and the Tarmac. We're going to try and race it in the criterium and then we'll see how it goes.”
Despite it being the first time Sagan had raced the new Allez Sprint, he still managed to sprint home for second place, only beaten by the home favourite, Caleb Ewan. The bike proved quick in the finale, blisteringly quick in fact as Sagan chased down the back wheel of Ewan after a massive crash on the final corner. In the end it was the nippy acceleration from Ewan that sealed the deal, but we’re certain we’ll see Sagan aboard the Allez Sprint again, especially in these short and punchy criterium races.
A closer look at the Allez Sprint
Paired with the standard Shimano Dura-Ace components used by Bora-Hansgrohe, as well as accessories from CeramicSpeed and K-Edge, it was difficult to distinguish the Allez Sprint from the team’s usual bikes at first. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll spot Specialized’s expertly crafted Smartweld joins across the frame.
This innovative system moves welds away from their conventional locations – butting right up against the tubes where there is most stress from flex and impact – and places them in other spots instead, increasing the overall stiffness and comfort of the frame. Add to this the carbon forks and a carbon aero-profiled seatpost, the Allez Sprint’s frameset looked like something of a hybrid of the two Specialized flagship bikes, the Tarmac and the Venge.
Sagan opted to fit his unmarked carbon stem and super-aero S-Works Aerofly handlebars to the frame, a cockpit combo that has worked brilliantly for him on the Venge. The bike has also been painted to Sagan’s own unique colour scheme, a metallic silver base coat with green chevrons running across the frame, conjuring visions of his historic Hulk impressions and multiple green jersey victories.
Overall, Sagan’s Allez Sprint Disc clocks in at a scant 8kg. Who needs carbon fibre when you can have a super-stiff alloy bike that’s also incredibly light?
The Allez Sprint has had the nod of approval from the three-time world champion, but will it get one from you? Why not head down to our store and try out an Allez Sprint for yourself – channel your inner Sagan!