Upgrading from a Specialized Allez Comp


New Member
Oct 29, 2014
I have been really happy with my current Allez Comp (both performance and quality wise) and have knocked up many thousands of km's on it over past year. Been thinking about staying with the Specialized range and going either to a Roubaix or Tarmac, maybe up to the Expert level or perhaps dropping back a notch. Riding is more recreational than racing but enjoying the longer rides (90km plus). Trying to improve my riding all of the time and starting to work on specific training programs to improve my performance, particularly on hills.

I'm trying to get a feel for what I am going to experience if I make this upgrade and specifically, what the difference will be like between the two. Have now been to three Specialized shops - none of them have models I can try out (riding 61 cm) and did not know whether they might be able to get one and only one of them was close to being helpful about the questions I have had, and had a reasonable knowledge of the bikes and their specs. Really surprised me that when looking at spending up to $4k and asking "please sell me" there is a general level of almost indifference? In each case, they got me to look at the website and walked me through the specs, and sometimes could not even answer basic questions like "what are those wheels like". I go along to the LBS to find out the information that the website does NOT tell me, but frankly, this did not prove to be the case.

Would really be grateful for any thoughts first on the differences in taking a step up (am I better to just keep pushing out the k's on the Allez) and if so, thoughts about whether to go the Roubaix or Tarmac? Thanks
I just upgraded from an Allez Comp to a Tarmac Comp. Less than 100 miles on the Tarmac, but a few things I noticed.

• Its a much smoother ride and dampens out the road better
• It rides through a turn much easier with much less effort
• The Ultegra group set is really nice.
• It responds much faster when accelerating
• It is quiet

I would have ridden the Allez forever if its weren't for a crash. I really liked the geometry and the way it handled. So moving to the Tarmac was pretty obvious for me. The Tarmac brings the ride to another level and I am looking forward to getting more miles on it and really seeing what it can do. I suggest a test ride and convincing one of the LBS to bring one in for you. Spend your money where people are willing to help you.
I use an Allez and have test-ridden a Tarmac.

Similar to the other poster the bike seemed to:

1. Climb bettter, even with a lower gear. (28 on the Tarmac, 32 on the Allez).
2. Accelerated faster.
3. The brakes were better, much better.
4. The Ultegra shifters were shifting kinda smoother, just a bit though.

I am also thinking of a Tarmac or even a Roubaix.

Btw they have both a Tarmac and a Roubaix for Test Ride in the LBS, but haven't checked the Roubaix yet.


1. I dropped the Allez once, resulting in a scratch in the really thin seat stays. That similar drop would maybe destroy a carbon frame. I look after the Allez but I don't stress too much about it. I would stress much more about a carbon bike.

2. After test riding the Tarmac, I did think it was nicer, but it costed 3,500 euro instead of 800 euro for the Allez, and no it wasn't -that- nicer.

3. I checked this brand "Guru" bikes. They do custom too and they have a few models on carbon bikes. They have some really good price discounts in the end of each year. They are also part of Cannondale so they might be cool with warranty claims.

4. The Tarmac costed 3500euro new, but... The actual Test Ride bike I tested, only had about 200km of use and it was on offer for 1700 euro. That might be a more convincing price.

If you manage to test ride one of these models, asking if you can buy the Test Ride bike for a discount might make a nicer deal.
Thanks Charlie, appreciate the response. Exactly the sort of thing that I was looking for. I keep hearing a comparison between Tarmac and Roubaix but the question for me is what is it going to mean for me compared to what I am on at present. I recently stuck a pair of Shimano Ultegra wheels on and it made a big difference. That did not cost me much money but doing the same thing with a carbon bike is another matter - an expensive experiment. And yes, you are certainly right about spending my money where they want to help. I remain surprised about the lack of real interest at shops in helping spend not an inconsiderable amount of money.
Thanks Volnix. Some good advice. I was wondering whether spending four times the amount meant four times improved ride and you are pretty much validating this (that it is not). I do lavish a lot of care on my Allez and only one drop in that time, but taken on board your comments re the relative fragility of the carbon.
The idea of buying the test bike is a good one. The problem I am facing is twofold - most of the shop bikes are 54 cm or 56 cm and I am after a 61 cm, and there are very few of that size actually in stock in the country. Specialized do not bring in a great deal of the larger sizes. Keep wondering whether I should be looking further afield at other brands - it is just that most people I know who have the Specialized are really happy as I have been, and resisted so far the temptation to look further afield.......
Jester... From what I remember the Cannondale Super6 geometry is almost identical to the Tarmac/Allez. The BMC TM's are pretty damn close as well. Lots of options out there, keep your eyes open.

I also just got a pretty good deal on 2014, I would call around and see if any shops have the 2014's on sale as they make way for 2015's
Originally Posted by Jester45
Thanks Volnix. Some good advice. I was wondering whether spending four times the amount meant four times improved ride and you are pretty much validating this (that it is not).

I have been, and resisted so far the temptation to look further afield.......

I think a test-ride is gonna answer all these questions.

I am a 56 and the test - ride Tarmac was a 58... The test - ride Roubaix they have is a 56, might try that one too.

If you look further, some nice? carbon brands:

1. BMC - They build in Switzerland I think and they have some kind of lugged construction method which they of course say that is better - faster - sexier and it cooks and makes coffee in the morning.

2. Guru - They build in Canada, they do custom bikes and have 3 "types" of their "climbing" bike. (Like what the Tarmac is in Spec. The "Endurance" one is the Roubaix.) They have a "Super light", "Hyper light" and "Rigid" one. Internet rumor: Apparently their construction method doesn't leave any bladders - molds inside the frame after construction.

3. Specialized have the Tarmac and the Roubaix. The tarmac being a bit more "aggressive" then the higher handlebar Roubaix? and lacking the Zertz inserts (which look like a crack-start magnet to me.
) is a bit less "comfortable"?

4. Cannondale is doing alot of their "road buzz" dampening with shaping the seat-tubes. Just like some of the Aluminium Secteurs (The aluminium Roubaix).

5. Look - French. Everything is "integrated"
. The crank, the handlebar, the stem, everything!
Good luck Franken-modding that one.
595 Super Rigid seems like a nice bike.

6. Ridley - Belgian brand. Apparently they make lots of cyclocross bikes.

Btw you can also check this thread:

Bestes-est Carbon Frames: