How much am I about to pay for the name?

paulorg Posts: 168
edited May 2009 in Road buying advice
Hello all, I'm seriously considering parting with just shy of £600 for the Specialized Allez 18, should I do it or should I look for something with a less famous name, I'm aware that I will be paying for the privilege of having Spec stickers on the bike but is there an similarly kitted out alternative that will save me some cash, I've seen a few bikes at a similar price with Shimano 2200 series gearing, is that better than the Sora/Tiagra mix on the Allez 18, I've also got my eye on the Bianchi Nirone at a £150 higher price (as well as the Allez Sport)which has campag gearing, what should I be looking at for a similar level to the tiagra gears, I've only ever had Shimano 105's and Altus so I'm a bit unsure about whether I'm being skinned for the sake of a shinier bit of kit. Help me out boys and girls!!! Please.

If you buy it, they will come...

...up to you and say, you didn't want to buy one of them!!!


  • arankapila
    arankapila Posts: 39

    Unlike many (smaller) and more exotic brands, Specialized actually represent very good value for money because of the buying power they possess as a large company, and it is unlikely that you are paying a premium for the brand.

    As for the gearing, Sora/Tiagra is indeed better than 2200, but you say you have previously owned Shimano 105, which is actually a level above Tiagra.

    I'd say definitely stick with your choice of specialized, rather than Bianchi because it will represent better value for oney, although both companies do make very good, comfortable entry level road bikes.

    If you can, try and upgrade your model to the Sport as the gears and components will be of a better quality and more durable - so it should work out cheaper in the long run!

    Hope that helps.
  • paulorg
    paulorg Posts: 168
    Thanks Arankapila, you have pretty much confirmed my thoughts on the whole thing re going for the Allez sport, I just have to justify it to "the boss", or at least not tell her how much it cost :wink:

    What are your thoughts on Giants SCR3 which appears to be fairly similarly kitted out but is quite a bit cheaper than the Allez 18's that I've found
    If you buy it, they will come...

    ...up to you and say, you didn't want to buy one of them!!!
  • Mister W
    Mister W Posts: 791
    The entry level bikes from the big comanies (Specialized, Giant, Trek etc) are all good bikes and you won't go wrong with any of them, assuming you buy one that fits properly. I suggest you try them and see which you prefer.
  • arankapila
    arankapila Posts: 39
    Again, I would go for the Allez beacuse it seems to have the better components where it matters, as in the Chainset/Crankset and wheels. These are the parts that will make the biggest difference to the ride (along with the frame, obviously), and as such are worth spending the extra £40 or whatever it is, on.

    Good luck and enjoy the 'discussion' (are they ever?!)
  • PeteinSQ
    PeteinSQ Posts: 2,292
    Just to confuse things there is always the option of getting something from Wiggle or Ribble as they tend to offer even better value than Specialized whilst being of more or less equivalent quality.

    Roughly in your budget there is the Focus Variado compact which is all Tiagra (a step up from Sora) it does come with a compact chainset which you may or may not want?

    Alternatively Ribble have a bikebuilder which you can choose your components and they will build the bike for you. You can get a fully Tiagra equipped bike much the same as the Allez for £600.

    The only obvious drawback with Ribble or Wiggle is that you can't try the bike out before you buy it so you would have to be careful to get the right size.
  • sheffsimon
    sheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    What's wrong with being skinned for a shinier bit of new kit? :wink:
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    At this price point, you're pretty well talking about a mass-produced frame from Taiwan made in one of 4 factories - the name on the sticker has very little to do with the difference in quality. I'd go for the one that represents best value for money assuming it's the right size / fit - so the better wheels and groupset means it should last longer and you'll spend less on replacements / upgrades in the short term. Don't believe that 'big brands' equals quality - it usually just means they have a more efficient warranty department to manage their reputation.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..