I've spent much time reviewing posts on WW about these bikes and am ready to pull the trigger on one or the other and would love opinions.
I'm 5'11" (180cm) and 165lbs (75kg) or 155lbs in shape and have been racing for a couple years on a Neuvation FC100 outfitted with Rival. I'm looking for a new bike that is not too expensive, is good for crits but also comfortable enough to do road races or 4 hours on the weekends.
I've settled on either the new Specialized Allez Race http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/road/allez/allezracerivalmidcompact or a 2012 CAAD 10. 2012 CAADs since I don't like the graphics on any of the 2013s.
I've test ridden both briefly and the rides seemed pretty similar. So the decision comes down to:
1. Looks: I prefer the CAAD (last year's black ano or team colors)
2. Which would be comfier on long rides?
3. The Specialized would be purchased new and have a lifetime warranty, 2012 CAAD would be from ebay
4. The Specialized as a complete bike with Rival comes in at $2300, a bit steep for an alloy bike with Rival in my opinion. Also the wheels are ~2000g I've been told. So I'm considering building up from the frameset, but am wary of blowing my budget ($3000ish USD)
I rode an Allez for a while and test rode a new one- they feel identical (2012 and 2013). The CAAD 10 is a better bike BY FAR than the Allez. The Allez is only getting hype on here recently because it dropped a slight bit of weight and now comes in the ever boring matte black on black colorway.
Where do you race?
Speci's warranty dept can be dodgy and depends entirely on your LBS and rep. You're right that the wheels are junkers. How bad is the rival from your old build? If the group is still in OK condition I would try to just get a CAAD frame and transfer the groupset/parts you want to keep. Save the rest of the cash or get some nice race or training wheels to round it off and maybe a used Hollowgram crankset or other decent bb30 crank.
My old Rival stuff is in ok shape, not great, but ok. I've got probably 18k miles on it and lots of sweaty hours on the trainer.
I'm very tempted to do the frame build up with with the new Red, 3T bars/stem/post and maybe a set of Hed Belgiums.
The geometry was tough to tease out in the test rides. Even with a longer ride I think it'd be hard to tell since, for me at least, I notice those things most in hard races and long rides.
My memory is that the CAAD felt stiffer, but that perception could be flawed.
Cielo by Chris King Cross Racer
btompkins0112 wrote:KWalker is right.....CAAD is a far superior bike. Test road an Allez and was not at all impressed as my CAAD feels like a much more advanced frame.
Did you test ride the 2013 Allez? In theory it should ride differently than previous years. Though that might just be marketing hype.
Truth be told I'd like the CAAD more as a frame, but am thrown by having to buy via ebay and not having a warranty.
The CAAD feels stiffer to me and I feel that the front end tracks better. Also, it has a more refined/smoother ride quality to it that I appreciate a bit. Lastly, in the same size the CAAD has a lower BB drop and longer wheelbase, which I really like. For me, a 6 foot 1 rider riding a 56, this makes the front feel much more planted. The wheelbase on the Allez is shorter as is the front center, which to me made the weighting weird.
I also think that the build quality is still lower and for some reason the Allez just doesn't ride as nice as the CAAD. I used my same daily training wheels and swapped in my post/saddle directly. Lets put it this way- I'm on my 3rd CAAD frame and I've had an Allez and almost every Tarmac and I'd take the CAAD over any of them (even the SL4) any day.
As far as Alu Bikes I haven't ridden, I'd wager the Giant high-flootin alu bike, as well as felt's, and trek's new Alu Madone are all top quality alloy frames with little separating them.
From a warranty perspective, it's very hard to beat Specialized. I've seen only one or two instances where a warranty claim was rejected (very obviously not covered. I.e. water froze in headtubes). They've taken care of all my bikes, all my customers' bikes, and to me is the largest selling point of that company.
If you're riding short/hard rides or racing crits then the C-dale is your bike. Stiff is the key word here.
If you go out for longer rides, then the Allez is gonna be a little smoother and beat you up less.
Oh, and if you need the crotch clearance (:wave) the Allez is going to be longer for the height
YMMV and all that jazz
Just built up the 2013 Allez Race E5 OSBB Frameset with SRAM Force. Came in at exactly 16lbs with a 58cm frame.
Stiff, very responsive, corners on a dime and extremely comfortable. Can't wait to race it.
Here's the complete build with weights from my home scale:
2013 Specialized Allez 58cm-w/headset, hang & BB
Tarmac SL4 full monocoque FACT carbon fork with tapered steerer 1879grams
Seatpost - Thompson Masterpiece 27.2x350 192
Stem - Easton EA90 - 120mm, 10degree 144
Bars - Easton EA70 - 42cm 270
Saddle - Fizik Antares K:ium 199
Crankset - SRAM Force 53/39 175mm - 654
Rear Derailleur - SRAM Force - 172
Front Derailleur - SRAM Force - 88
Braze-on Adapter - K-Edge 14
Cassette - SRAM PG1070 - 11-26 230
Chain - SRAM PC1091R 238
Chain Catcher - K-Edge 12
Shifter/Brake - SRAM Force - 321
Brakes - SRAM Force 284
Wheelset - SRAM S30 AL Sprint - w/rim tape 1573
Tubes - 154
Tires - S-Works Turbo Pro 700x23 364
Cables - Jaguar Race 144
Pedals - Speedplay Zero Stainless 208
Total Weight 7257
Total Weight 16.00
KWalker wrote:Speci's warranty dept can be dodgy and depends entirely on your LBS and rep. You're right that the wheels are junkers. How bad is the rival from your old build? If the group is still in OK condition I would try to just get a CAAD frame and transfer the groupset/parts you want to keep. Save the rest of the cash or get some nice race or training wheels to round it off and maybe a used Hollowgram crankset or other decent bb30 crank.
The same can be said for Cannondale's warranty department.
KWalker wrote:The Allez Race is not much different from the 2012. In either case both are more harsh than the CAAD and IMO, not as stiff. People are just trying to look for ways to love a new ano matte frame IMO. I've yet to meet someone that has spent significant time on both that thinks that the Allez compares.
The thing is the CAAD has been known as a great frame for years and now suddenly Specialized wants a chunk of the market. But historically the Allez is a beginner frame, so I'm not sure I'm comfy paying the same rate for a newcomer.
I know the '13 Allez is lighter and apparently can be welded more easily than the '12, but I've yet to hear why it's a more competitive race frame aside from the weight savings.
Don't get me wrong the CAAD10 is an awesome frame and has definitely been on top for a while. Although, the 2013 color schemes are quite possibly the most hideous I have ever seen.
Unlike others on here I actually OWN the 2013 Allez frameset and built up my "beginner" bike with SRAM Force group.
http://m.bikeradar.com/road/gear/catego ... 46401#next
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