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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 04-04-07, 06:14 AM   #1
mlwarriner
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Specialized Allez Elite - good "first" road bike?

OK, so I've decided that "roading-out" my MTB just isn't going to work. I posted it up for trades on craigslist, and the first offer I got was for a "nearly new" Spesh Allez Elite.

I'm a bit of a clyde, I go about 5'10" and 250 pounds. Will the Allez work? Most of my riding will be in town, on decent to good streets.

Also, I see that the Allez comes in double or triple. I know what the physical differences are (2 versus 3 chainrings in the front), but is there really a large advantage of one or the other?


Please and thanks to all who can offer insight, guidance, etc.
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Old 04-04-07, 06:20 AM   #2
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The Specialized Allez is a good entry level road bike. I can't answer if it's the right bike for you but you could do worse. To give you a idea price wise I bought a brand new 2006 52cm Allez triple for $525.00 from our local Specialized dealer for my daughter a couple weeks ago.
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Old 04-04-07, 06:40 AM   #3
GamecockTaco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlwarriner
Also, I see that the Allez comes in double or triple. I know what the physical differences are (2 versus 3 chainrings in the front), but is there really a large advantage of one or the other?
that all depends on your physical fitness and how hilly the areas you plan to ride are.

Can you make do with a double? I sure hope so since it is what I have. Will there be times you're wishing for the triple? Likely - at least I have had some of those days. Is it necessary? Not likely - unless you're really doing serious mountain roads - and even then, if you're strong enough, it's not necessary.

I don't have direct experience, but each of the 2 shops I frequent say triples are harder to keep tuned up. Not impossible, but harder.
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Old 04-04-07, 06:49 AM   #4
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I like to have the triple , I'm 5'10" 210# and I definitely use the tiple on some of the hills around here. I never like to stop on my rides, even if I have to crank up at 9 mph. I use a touring triple 46-36-26 on a racing bike

Honestly, for clyde like us it is the best thing. Fyi I ride a 54cm top tube and seat tube with a 90mm stem.

Also my opinion is high of the specialized allez, I would go with that bike and swap out its double for a triple if you have to.

However, at our weight I find steel more comfy and do not ride alu any more. PM me if you want to chat more
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Old 04-04-07, 07:28 AM   #5
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As an entry level (and very mediocre) rider, I'm real happy with mine. I have the 2005 Allez Sport Triple which looks to be about the same as the Elite Triple (Tiagra front, 105 rear).
Got it for $900 (they were trying to clear out that model year).

I have used the small ring only a few times but I'm glad to have the option. I'm not particularly good at adjusting the derailleurs but your LBS will have no problem. Usually they'll include some free tune ups when you buy anyway.

Like everyone says, test ride it though. I went in with my mind set on another bike and this one ended up feeling a lot better.
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Old 04-04-07, 07:35 AM   #6
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its my first bike, and i wouldnt have it any other way.
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Old 04-04-07, 07:54 AM   #7
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i have the allez elite triple and i love it.. well its my first bike and i dont know anybetter but i love it still.. very fun bike
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Old 04-04-07, 08:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlwarriner

I'm a bit of a clyde, I go about 5'10" and 250 pounds. Will the Allez work? Most of my riding will be in town, on decent to good streets.

Also, I see that the Allez comes in double or triple. I know what the physical differences are (2 versus 3 chainrings in the front), but is there really a large advantage of one or the other?
I have what began as a 2006 Allez Elite Triple. I also started out at around 250 when I picked up the bike, but for me the the Triple crank got annoyingly old really fast. I was just never in the Granny enough to warrant the triple, and with my winter trainer regimine, became confident enough that I didn't need it.

I started picking up bits and pieces to make her an ultegra 10s compact double. It started innocently enough with the, heck of a deal, ultegra brakes in place of the crappy tektros. Then came the PBK R700, and the 10 fd and rd. The 10s double brifters were finally installed last night, after throwing the chain a second time with the old Triple 105 brifters.

I guess I'm saying if I had it to do over again.. I'd go with the Elite Double, if you're not strong enough for it, or the area is too hilly, throw a compact on it, and keep the Double Crank as a backup.

If you're riding in mountainous or very hilly terrain, go for the Triple outright, its a lot more of a pain to upgrade to a double later, but it can be done economically.

There are many double vs triple threads out there, and the Clyde forum is another great source for your answer.
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Old 04-04-07, 08:12 AM   #9
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I started with an Allez Sport triple, a step down from the Elite.. And I can't commend it enough. It's plenty of bike to get you started and yet wont be too bad even if you get really serious about biking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GamecockTaco
I don't have direct experience, but each of the 2 shops I frequent say triples are harder to keep tuned up. Not impossible, but harder.
That's a myth, triple aren't any harder to tune up (it's not like you do it often anyway), it's not even different than double. As long as you have the upper and lower limits set right and the cable have a tiny slack whilst in the smallest ring, you're good to go.
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Old 04-04-07, 08:20 AM   #10
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At the low end, bikes are nearly commodities... you can get the Tiagra road bike from Brand S, Brand G, or Brand T, and they will all pretty much be fine, and really not all that different. They will probably have 60-100% (by value) of the parts coming from the same factory. The only difference is whether you pick a raceworthy bike (like the Allez) or a road bike with a tad more relaxed geometry, more tire clearance, rack and fender eyelets (like the Sequoia).


If you've got hills, the triple will be a good idea.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:13 AM   #11
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My first and current bike is the Allez Elite Double (paid about $1200 for it on Feb '06) It has a 105 9spd group and I like it alot. I'm not a clyde but it's been pretty sturdy after a year and several rides and being on my trainer. The ALX 298 rims may not win any best wheel contests but they have remained true even after the many potholes I haven't been able to miss.

I don't race and I use it for mainly charity rides and fitness so this bike has been perfect for my intended uses.

Sure I'd like to get the full carbon Cervelo Team CSC bike but the pocket book only allowed the Allez Elite and I am still very happy with it.

My only recommendation (for any bike) is to get a decent set of clipless pedals and cleats to be able to spin the crank more efficiently. If you have a few extra I'd invest in a good trainer (Cycleops, etc) and some Carmichael or Spinerval videos. Some of those vids teach you how to pedal more efficiently and correctly. And they are good when the weather sucks or to supplement your fitness workouts.

Good luck!
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Old 04-04-07, 10:34 AM   #12
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OK, in talking more with the person interested in the trade, it turns out that it's an older Allez elite, with a CroMo frame. This shouldn't be a problem, should it???
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Old 04-04-07, 10:54 AM   #13
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Another postitive vote from yet another Allez Elite owner. It is my first road bike as well, I got the triple. I'm not a clyde but my area is fairly hilly.That's my excuse but in reality I'm just a wuss and like to spin up some of the local hills. At least until I get better at climbing. Mine has been flawless but is due for a thorough cleaning and some tuning.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:23 AM   #14
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Some will disagree, but for my purposes CroMo frame is even better!
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Old 04-05-07, 08:36 AM   #15
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If I were looking to get into road cycling and I could do it with an even trade for a respectable beginner bike in good condition , I'd do it and never look back. The thing is, just how even is the trade? You don't mention what bike you would be giving up. Is the cost somewhat even?
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Old 04-05-07, 08:55 AM   #16
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I love my Allez Triple which is a step down from the Elite...I've been nothing but happy with the bike...it's a blast to ride, and functions flawlessly
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