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2022 Specialized Allez Sprint: What I Love & What I Hate

Bruce might be the world's biggest Specialized Allez Sprint fan. So what does he think about the new 2022 model? He breaks down the pros and cons of this redesigned aluminum road bike.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Bikes

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with the Specialized Allez Sprint. I post glamor shots of my 2020 Allez all over my Instagram and I consider it my “forever bike.” But now, I’m not so sure. What has made my eyes wander? A new Allez Sprint, of course! 

For 2022, the Allez Sprint received a massive update. In fact, it’s a completely new bike. According to Specialized, this version of the Allez Sprint is the fastest alloy road bike ever made. But is it perfect? Not quite. Today, I’m going over what I love about the 2022 Allez Sprint, a few things I don’t, and whether I’ll be trading in my old bike for a new model. 

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What I love about the 2022 Specialized Allez Sprint

More aero

2022 Specialized Allez SprintLook at them side-by-side, and it’s clear that the latest Allez Sprint is modeled after Specialized’s flagship road racing bike, the Tarmac SL7. The current Tarmac is so aerodynamic that Specialized actually discontinued its Venge aero bike. Obviously, the new Allez Sprint benefits from these slippery new tube shapes. Based on wind tunnel testing, Specialized claims that the 2022 Allez Sprint is 41 seconds faster over 40km than the previous Allez Sprint Disc. I’m not quite sure what speed they tested this at (30mph is common), but at any speed, that’s a significant improvement. 

Smarter Smartweld

Specialized Allez Sprint Smartweld HeadtubeNew vs. old Smartweld head tubes. Note the position of the welds.

Specialized’s D’Alusio Smartweld technology was a major feature of the original Allez Sprint. This moves the weld locations away from high-load junctions like the head tube and bottom bracket to increase stiffness and strength. The new Allez Sprint still uses Smartweld but turns the dial up to 11. Supposedly, it has the most complicated and advanced alloy head tube ever produced. It starts off as a single stamped piece of aluminum that is then mechanically formed into the head tube shape and internally welded together into the complete head tube junction. The main welds can be positioned even further along on the down tube and top tube, making it stiffer, stronger, and lighter than before. The bottom bracket is new too. Instead of the original welded clamshell design, it’s now hydroformed as a single piece along with the down tube. I’m a huge sucker for innovative aluminum manufacturing and the new Allez Sprint is truly next level. 

A new seatpost

2022 Specialized Allez Sprint seatpostThe new seatpost is the same carbon S-Works post as found on the Tarmac SL7. It’s impressively light (173 grams) and since it has more flex than the original Venge/Allez Sprint post, it makes the super-stiff Allez Sprint much more comfortable. For riders who have short legs like me, there’s a zero-offset version too. One of my biggest issues with the original was the lack of a zero-offset seatpost. Best of all, it’s secured using a classic external clamp instead of an internal wedge, so it’s easier to adjust and less likely to creak.

Threaded bottom bracket

One of the best things to happen to bikes in recent years is the return to threaded bottom brackets. They’re less prone to creaking and way easier to service, especially for home mechanics. The 2022 Allez Sprint stays on trend by using the 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket standard. 

More amazing paint

2022 Specialized Allez Sprint colorsChameleon Oil Tint, Sand-White Mountains, Water Effect.

The Allez Sprint has always had amazing paint, and the vibrant and sometimes wacky paint jobs help hype up the bike’s cult following. The 2022 Allez Sprint colorways are just as stunning. New framesets are offered with six different eye-catching paint schemes, and personally, I’m drooling over the Water Effect colorway. 

Removable front derailleur tab

This won’t matter to most riders, but it’s a small detail I’m absolutely giddy over. The new Allez Sprint features a removable front derailleur tab (not a common feature on road bikes). This means if you have the desire to run a 1x drivetrain you can clean up the lines of your frame by removing the tab. I’ve said before that 1x drivetrains are the future, and this little feature might signal the beginning of the end for 2x. 

What I don’t love about the 2022 Specialized Allez Sprint

It looks less aero 

Specialized Allez Sprint aero frameNew vs. old aero frames. I miss the deeper seat tube. 

Yes, the new Allez Sprint is 41 seconds faster than the outgoing version. But I’m a bit sad because it doesn’t actually look more aero. In my opinion, aero bikes look best with deep-section frame tubes. The original Allez Sprint looked like the first-generation Venge, with a deep airfoil-shaped seat tube and seatpost. Now that those deep tubes are gone, I realize how much they contributed to my love of the bike. 

Cable routing through the headset

Specialized Allez Sprint cable routingThe new Allez Sprint uses a special headset assembly that feeds all of the cables through the oversized upper headset bearing. The design is borrowed from the Tarmac SL7, but the Tarmac has a stem cover that keeps these cables hidden. The Allez Sprint’s design is simpler. It uses a standard stem and allows the cables to just hang out underneath. To me, it looks pretty goofy. Maybe I’ll get used to it, but I prefer the old version that routed cables directly into the down tube. Fortunately, changing or adjusting the stem is no different from a bike with fully exposed cables. It only gets annoying if you need to replace the headset bearings.

More expensive

Once upon a time, the Allez Sprint was the ultimate budget racer. Now, I’m not so sure. Framesets retail for $1,700, $500 more than the original. And an Allez Sprint Comp with Shimano 105 and alloy wheels will run $3,000, $700 more than a similarly fast Cannondale CAAD13. Is it worth the extra skrill? Well, that’s up to you. But based on the pricing I wouldn’t call the new Allez Sprint an entry-level bike. The original really wasn’t either, but I was much more eager to recommend it to new riders

Final thoughts

My 2020 Allez Sprint. Do I keep it or sell it for a 2022 model?

So here I am, sitting on a beautiful, but now “outdated” 2020 Specialized Allez Sprint. Am I going to dump my beloved bike for the new version? As of right now, the answer is no. I like the improved aerodynamics and the threaded bottom bracket, but I think my older “Meet Your Match” bike just looks too pretty to give up.  

Still, I can’t say I haven’t been tempted. At some point, Specialized is probably going to release a new paint scheme that absolutely floors me. When that happens, I won’t be able to resist scooping it up. Maybe I’ll just own two Allez Sprints. I think that will make everyone happy. 

What do you think about the new Specialized Allez Sprint? Let me know in the comments!

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