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2018 Specialized Allez Sprint Red Hook Crit LTD Review

By Bruce Lin

The Specialized Allez Sprint is one of the best bikes on the market for the fast and furious world of criterium racing. The Red Hook Crit is one of the most intense and unique criterium race series in the world. Combine these two and you get the Allez Sprint Red Hook Crit LTD, a truly impressive frame that looks amazing and thrives when ridden at full-gas.

Specialized Allez Sprint Red Hook Crit LTD Highlights

  • E5 Premium Aluminum Frame with Allez D'Aluisio Smartweld Sprint Technology
  • S-Works Tarmac FACT Carbon Fork
  • Venge FACT Carbon Seatpost
  • Limited Edition Red Hook Crit Paint

Specialized Allez Sprint Red Hook Crit LTD Details

The Allez Sprint is a bike built to maximize the qualities of aluminum as a frame material. Drawing from years of experience developing innovative hydroforming and welding technology, Specialized has created the Allez Sprint using what they call DSW, or D’Aluisio Smartweld technology. This refocuses the weld locations, most notably around the bottom bracket, so more material can be placed around specific areas to increase stiffness and power transfer. The tubes are additionally hydroformed into a shape that actually makes the frame more aerodynamic than Specialized’s first generation Venge aero road frame. The seatpost is a carbon aero post from the Venge, and the fork is from the S-Works Tarmac and used their highest-end carbon construction. The geometry is aggressive and gives the bike quick and responsive handling. The end result is a frameset that is not only incredibly stiff, aero, and fast, but also affordable compared to its carbon siblings.

Thanks to its race focused qualities and reasonable price, the Allez Sprint has become a favorite of crit racers. Three-time world champion and of the best racers in the world, Peter Sagan, even chose to race the Allez Sprint in the Down Under Classic criterium earlier this year. The track version of the Allez Sprint is also a popular choice at the biggest fixed-gear criterium series in the world: Red Hook Crit. Red Hook is famous for its high intensity, adrenaline-fueled racing, where riders need every advantage possible to compete on the fast circuits. Crashes are common, and a stiff and precise alloy bike like the Allez is perfect when it comes time to roll the dice. The Allez Sprint Red Hook Crit LTD frameset features a limited edition paint job that captures the manic and daredevil spirit of the race. It’s a frame that’s unquestionably fast but eye-catching as well.

Rider Type

  • Crit Racers
  • Sprinters
  • Performance Focused Road Riders

There's simply no denying that the Allez Sprint is a very stiff frame. If you’re looking for a frame that will mute road imperfections and deliver a comfortable long-distance ride, you’re looking in the wrong place. This isn’t to say that the Allez Sprint is uncomfortable. Ride it enough, and you’ll come to appreciate the incredibly direct and raw feeling it gives you. It responds instantly to every pedal stroke and steering input. If you’re seeking to set new Strava PRs, KOMs, or push the pace on fast group rides, then the Allez Sprint is an impressive option. In some instances, a more compliant and forgiving bike like the carbon Specialized Tarmac or Roubaix may be the better choice, especially if your intent is to ride some rougher roads or light gravel, or if you simply don’t have an interest in getting a bit more beat up in the name of absolute speed. But for those seeking performance and speed, especially crit racers, the Allez Sprint is hard to beat.  

 

Bruce is a writer who loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time. 


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