BIKE REVIEW – SPECIALIZED ALLEZ ELITE DSW ROAD BIKE

Shaun George BOTS Guides, BOTS News, Featured Rider, Reviews

I’ve never been much of a road biker. In fact, I’ve been riding MTBs for as long as I can remember. I never really got to try a road bike which is probably why I never took to the discipline. Anyways, about 5 months ago I got myself a road bike and it completely changed my riding and overall view on the sport of road biking.

I’m not going to bore you with how I fell in love with road biking and how I ended up with this bike right here. I’m going to tell you about my experience with the bike for the last 5-6 months. It is indeed my very own bike so don’t worry about me being biased. I’m going to tell you about what I love, what I don’t and what issue I’ve had with the bike.

Specialized is one of those brands that you hear a lot about and you know it’s one of the best in the market. I too had done my research on the brand and knew a fair bit about the company and their bike lineup. I also had the privilege of riding the Specialized Allez E5 Sport on a longish ride. Disclaimer, this ride convinced me that I needed a road bike.

Fast forward a month, and I’m taking delivery of my brand spanking new Specialized Allez Elite DSW from BUMSONTHESADDLE.

OVERVIEW

Before we talk about the specifications let’s all appreciate what a good looking bike this is. At the time I got it, it was available only in one color which is this matte grey with white and black accents.

I personally thought it was a superb looking finish. The matte grey looks super stealthy and neat. Since this is one of Specialized’s more premium offerings the brand value is maintained by keeping the Specialized branding subtle. From a distance, you probably won’t notice any branding on the bike. I think it’s cool.

Coming from an MTB I found the bike to be super light – weighing around 8.8kgs it is fairly light for a road bike in this price segment (56cm frame).

The show-stopping feature about this frame is definitely the DSW (D’Aluisio Smartweld) technology employed by Specialized. It’s an incredible welding technology, in a nutshell – Specialized has managed to shift welds on the frame away from the areas of high stress such as the headtube-top tube junction and the downtube-headtube junction.

Component wise, this bike is pretty well specced out. A 10-speed Shimano Tiagra groupset was more than sufficient for my requirements. Yes, I did plan on getting into some amateur racing with the bike, but a majority of its usage would be the office to work commutes. A 60km per day commute – a groupset any more sophisticated would end up being too expensive for me to maintain.

The way this bike handles is way beyond anything I’ve ridden before – and I’ve ridden a bunch of road bikes now. In comparison, I haven’t found anything as nimble or as fun to ride as this bike.

I can’t really explain as to how zippy this bike feels in city conditions. I am often considerably faster than other motorists and it’s effortless. Due to its stiff nature, the Allez isn’t the most comfortable but I can say that it can handle anything our dreaded Indian roads have to throw at it. I’ve actually even done some “accidental off-roading” with this race machine.

SHORTCOMINGS

There’s not a lot to put here but I did encounter a few minor niggles with the bike. Apart from a few normal punctures, my initial ownership experience was flawless. A few months later, however, my bike started making this kind of a “tik-tik” noise from up front. Initially, I ignored it but it seemed to persist even after a few weeks. I got the mechs at my local bike shop to have a look at it. The fork was pulled out, the headset bearings were regreased and voila! It was probably some water that had gotten in but I’m not sure.

The second issue was relating to the wheels. Now I used to wash my bike fairly often and would often leave the wheels on while doing so (don’t do that anymore). I’m guessing the pressure of the water from the hosepipe probably got to the bearings and later caused some very slight grinding noises from the wheel bearings. It’s a simple fix though. They just need regreasing.

MODIFICATIONS

I haven’t really done much on this bike apart from getting the issi Carbon clipless pedals clip-less pedals. These pedals are super smooth and offer a good feel on the bike. I like the flashy colors that they come in too. I primarily chose these pedals because of the super competitive price that they come in at. They’re probably the cheapest carbon pedals anywhere in the market.

My next upgrade will be some lighter wheels. I plan to upgrade to the Fulcrum Racing 5’s very soon. They’re “light” when compared to the stock wheels and have sealed bearings which is something I’d like to have.

VERDICT

After having owned this bike for nearly 6 months I’d like to state that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’d recommend this bike to anyone looking to get into some racing or simply enjoys the joy of road riding. It’s great value for money and always puts a smile on my face when I’m out riding.

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