Learning about road bikes and seeing the changes to the Allez line over the years has raised some questions. I know that in 2011 they changed the frame design to mimic the Tarmac, is there agreement that this is superior, and if so, by how much?
It seems like a sweet spot is the 2012 Allez Elite because it comes with the newer frame design and a 10 speed Tiagra setup which leaves room for upgrades.
But how does that compare to a 2009 Allez Elite in the same condition which comes with the E5 frame, carbon seat stays and seat post and a 10 speed 105 setup? (which is pretty much identical in specs to the 2010 Allez Comp Compact)
Are old 105's still better than newer Tiagras? Are old E5 frames, better than new A1 frames?
It is hard to say. The Allez has always been a great bike, and the 09-10 bikes are pretty sweet. I love my 2010 sport. My only issue with the change in geometry (which seemed pretty subtle, it was already fairly similar to the Tarmac) is the shorter head tube. I have a pretty good size drop from seat to bars, and I still need that big top cone on the headset. It seems like most riders on an Allez are going to need to use spacers to make up that difference.
As for an older E5 vs a newer A1, I'm not sure. I would probably come down on the side of the E5 making more of a difference than the newer geometry.
I started with a new '12 Allez Elite. The tiagra 4600 10spd group is very capable-it's quite heavy and a bit too plasticy, but otherwise seriously good. Essentially the same functionality as 105 5600/DA 7800 in a less polished, heavier package. I ended up with this-however, I'll probably end up throwing all the left over 4600 components on the next project in the pipeline
I'm pretty happy with my '13 Allez Comp M2, a little on the heavy side from the factory, but an overall solid bike. I'm not sure what level my bike was compared to the other variations of the Allez for that year though. I was really on the look out for the Shimano 105 Components rather than the rather clunky feeling Tiagras.
Yeah, I was really only speaking for the frame. The Allez is a great platform to upgrade. I went from sora to Tiagra/ultegra mix to mostly Ultegra. Nothing wrong with the tiagra, but I wanted 10sp with lower gearing, which the newer tiagra has. To be honest, if a friend was buying a bike today to get into cycling more seriously, I would find the cheapest Allez from '08 or newer, get a decent set of wheels (like $200-$250 Titans or Vueltas) plus a tune-up, and have them ride until they feel like the bike is actually holding them back.