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  1. #1
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    2013 Allez Apex vs. 2013 Tarmac Mid- Compact

    Looking for my first road bike to supplant my current mountain bike. I can't always make it to the local trails, so I'd like something that I can ride on the road and be comfortable in.

    My LBS is selling an old mountain bike of mine that I upgraded from. Its already hit the $1k reserve price so I know that I'll be taking home about $800. It'll probably sell for a little higher given that the listing has 6 days left on it. I'll be using the cash from this deal to fund the purchase.

    So my LBS can give me the Apex for $1,300 and the Tarmac for $1,500. However the Allez will most likely come with the better components versus the Tarmac. Since I am new to road bikes, should I go with the better frame or go with the better components?

    Or is the Apex too much bike for me and should I stick to the Elite which I can take home for $975?

  2. #2
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    Allez and Tarmac are racing bikes...you plan on racing every weekend? If you are just looking to ride on the road/paved trails I'd look at the Roubaix and/or Secteur. These bikes have an endurance geometry (shorter top tube, higher head tube, lower bottom bracket and longer wheelbase) and are designed with more vertical compliance than a traditional race bike. For the average rider these bikes will be equally fast and efficient as the race bikes but leave you feeling much more comfortable after and during the ride.

    But if your going to be racing then a Tarmac Mid for $1500 is a great deal (cheapest Mid is $2200 MSRP).
    Last edited by RyleyinSTL; 08-28-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyleyinSTL View Post
    Allez and Tarmac are racing bikes...you plan on racing every weekend? If you are just looking to ride on the road/paved trails I'd look at the Roubaix and/or Secteur. These bikes have an endurance geometry (shorter top tube, higher head tube, lower bottom bracket and longer wheelbase) and are designed with more vertical compliance than a traditional race bike. For the average rider these bikes will be equally fast and efficient as the race bikes but leave you feeling much more comfortable after and during the ride.
    Thanks for the feedback. You're right, I'm not going to race this bike. Mainly looking for comfort over longer rides. I was way off!

    I'm glad I did my research before I placed an order with my LBS.

  4. #4
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    In that case...if your budget is ~$1500, also look at the Giant Defy Composite.

    If you want to spend more than $1500, than I (and the rest of us) will have some more ideas as well.

    But most of all, ride everything first and then decide.
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  5. #5
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    I generally agree with the advice above, but to tell another side, I don't race but I prefer Tarmac's quicker, more agile handling. It's got that get up and go feeling that I don't get with some endurance bikes - obviously my opinion based on my preferences. Yours may differ.

    Bottom line is to ride both race and relaxed geo bikes in several makes/ models. You may end up going back to one of the first you test rode, but at least then you'll have a better idea of just why.

  6. #6
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    ^^^^
    This

  7. #7
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    I rode a Roubiax and Allez. I actually find the Allez more comfortable. I got the Allez Apex and love it. Personally take compnents over carbon but that may be just me. Aluminum is sturdier than carbon, and you probably wont't notice the weight difference for the riding you do but you will notice the components. Do some research on Tiagra and see they are not designed to shift from the dtops. No problem with Apex's Double Tap. Also really easy to upgrade SRAM components bit by bit. I am very biased but don't discount the Allez

    FYI I got the Allez Apex new recently for $1100. MSRP is now $1250, so that shop isn't doing so hot on the price they are giving you. You should be abke to work them down some.
    Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
    Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gte105u View Post
    Do some research on Tiagra and see they are not designed to shift from the dtops. No problem with Apex's Double Tap. Also really easy to upgrade SRAM components bit by bit. I am very biased but don't discount the Allez
    Yeah, I'll agree with that.

    You've got Tiagra confused with 2300/ Sora. They're the groupsets that employ a thumb tab that's difficult to operate from the drops.

    IMO/E 10 speed Tiagra is functionally on a par with Shimano's previous generation 105, which was excellent. That's not to say SRAM's Apex isn't worth serious consideration, because (I think) it is.

    Consistent with my advice re: race/ relaxed geo bikes, try both (SRAM and Shimano) and decide which you prefer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Yeah, I'll agree with that.

    You've got Tiagra confused with 2300/ Sora. They're the groupsets that employ a thumb tab that's difficult to operate from the drops.

    IMO/E 10 speed Tiagra is functionally on a par with Shimano's previous generation 105, which was excellent. That's not to say SRAM's Apex isn't worth serious consideration, because (I think) it is.

    Consistent with my advice re: race/ relaxed geo bikes, try both (SRAM and Shimano) and decide which you prefer.
    Thanks for educating me. Apparently I was reading on the old version when I read that. Disregard that point. Not being able to shift from the drops woukd be bad but since you can on both it is moot.
    I found while shopping it was actually hard to find a bike shop with SRAM road components in stock. I am in the sticks so the shops are small but they say SRAM on road bikes is very niche but good quality. I was lucky one shop had a Roubiax used for sale with Apex. It was odd at first but I liked the hoods and feel. It took about 4 miles into my first real ride to get comfortable with the Double Tap. I like it a lot now. of coum rse anything Shimano above the bottom level is decent.
    Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
    Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm

  10. #10
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    When I was looking for a new road machine earlier this month I happened to ride a frame that was equipped with a full 10 speed Tiagra groupo. I can confirm the "as good as old 105" mantra that is often repeated. Anyone looking for babies-first-road bike should not over look it.

    But ya, try everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Yeah, I'll agree with that.

    You've got Tiagra confused with 2300/ Sora. They're the groupsets that employ a thumb tab that's difficult to operate from the drops.

    IMO/E 10 speed Tiagra is functionally on a par with Shimano's previous generation 105, which was excellent. That's not to say SRAM's Apex isn't worth serious consideration, because (I think) it is.

    Consistent with my advice re: race/ relaxed geo bikes, try both (SRAM and Shimano) and decide which you prefer.
    ---
    Trek Domane 5.2
    Cannondale Rush SL

  11. #11
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    Awesome comments!

    I went to the LBS last night and rode both the Allez and the Secteur. Even though the Allez's geometry lends itself to racing, I found it to be more comfortable and intuitive than the Secteur.

    However I'm not a fan of the color scheme and graphics on the 2013 Allez. My LBS says there are plenty of 2012's Apex that he can order with the Black/Orange graphics. I'm going to wait and see where the old frame sells at before I make a decision, but I am definitely leaning towards the 2012 Allez Apex.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    Awesome comments!

    ... the Allez's geometry lends itself to racing...
    You're certainly entitled to think that, but to cite an opposite example, the Specialized Roubaix's have been pretty dominant in some pro circuit races, most notably the Paris - Roubaix.

    Point is, the geo differences are fairly subtle, and both can be used in races as well as centuries. Riding the rough stuff, I'd opt for a Roubaix, but as you pointed out, it comes down to personal preferences in ride, handling and rider position (which mid-range overlaps between the two).

    Bottom line (IMO) is to not let preconceived notions sway you. Get the bike that fits/ feels the best, and judging from your comments, I think you're doing that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    Awesome comments!

    I went to the LBS last night and rode both the Allez and the Secteur. Even though the Allez's geometry lends itself to racing, I found it to be more comfortable and intuitive than the Secteur.

    However I'm not a fan of the color scheme and graphics on the 2013 Allez. My LBS says there are plenty of 2012's Apex that he can order with the Black/Orange graphics. I'm going to wait and see where the old frame sells at before I make a decision, but I am definitely leaning towards the 2012 Allez Apex.
    The Black with orange is mostly what is left in the '12 Allez Apex. When I saw it in person the first time after they ordered, I thought it looked much better than even the pictures online showed. I may have mentioned it in the other thread, but the MSRP on the Allez Apex is now $1250 down from the $1550 previously. I would use this as the starting point for negotiations. I got mine for $1100 without even having to ask the LBS. Got them to throw in 2 bottle cages as my "negotiation".
    Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
    Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gte105u View Post
    The Black with orange is mostly what is left in the '12 Allez Apex. When I saw it in person the first time after they ordered, I thought it looked much better than even the pictures online showed. I may have mentioned it in the other thread, but the MSRP on the Allez Apex is now $1250 down from the $1550 previously. I would use this as the starting point for negotiations. I got mine for $1100 without even having to ask the LBS. Got them to throw in 2 bottle cages as my "negotiation".
    That's ironic. Because I just emailed my LBS and asked for the best price he could give me on the 2012 Allez Apex. He gave me the $1,100 number as well. I'll see if he can throw in a couple of other things as well.

  15. #15
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    Sounds about right. $150 off MSRP seems reasonable for them to make a profit and me to feel like I got a decent deal. I thought about pushing for more besides the bottle cages, but they did so much to help me set it up (including install aerobars I bought online) that I feel like I still came out well. I look at it as value in service.
    Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
    Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm

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    Hello guys, im new here and im also planning to get a mid level priced roadbike!

    I just got back from Specialized store and the sales guy was persuading me to get the Allez Comp 105 which he told me has the same exact geometry as the Tarmac SL3 but without the components & frame materials of course.Also did some quick research on it most of them said its similar if not same.

    So my question is, are they really the same geometry? is it a good bike for weekend trips with some hill climbs or is it specifically for race? Ive surveyed other bikes too such as Colnago Move, BMC streetmachine, Cannondale CAAD10 and even Scott bikes but Specialized just look sooooo good.

    Please Advice and thanks in advance!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kets View Post
    So my question is, are they really the same geometry?
    Basically, yes....but check for yourself as all the numbers are in the website.

    Quote Originally Posted by kets View Post
    ..is it a good bike for weekend trips with some hill climbs or is it specifically for race?
    Technically it is not a "weekend trip" bike but built for racing and going fast all the time. That said, some people prefer this more aggressive riding geometry even for longer rides/Fondos. The Secteur is the endurance/comfort aluminum bike from Specialized.

    Ride everything and then decide.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kets View Post
    Hello guys, im new here and im also planning to get a mid level priced roadbike!

    I just got back from Specialized store and the sales guy was persuading me to get the Allez Comp 105 which he told me has the same exact geometry as the Tarmac SL3 but without the components & frame materials of course.Also did some quick research on it most of them said its similar if not same.

    So my question is, are they really the same geometry? is it a good bike for weekend trips with some hill climbs or is it specifically for race? Ive surveyed other bikes too such as Colnago Move, BMC streetmachine, Cannondale CAAD10 and even Scott bikes but Specialized just look sooooo good.

    Please Advice and thanks in advance!!
    By weekend trip do you mean paniers, backpack, touring or just going on longer rides without baggage? The Allez does not have attachment points for a rack, so it may not be best for that. I ride my bike to work, and have a backpack as my briefcase. I rind riding with the Allez with a backpack on rather uncomfortable. Of course I have mine set up for fitness/training and the occassional race. You could probably make some adjustments and get it how you want, but it still won't help with the rack mounts. As for the geometry, everything I have seen shows they are the exact same shape as the Tarmac, but I haven't looked at them side by side to compare.
    Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
    Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gte105u View Post
    The Black with orange is mostly what is left in the '12 Allez Apex. When I saw it in person the first time after they ordered, I thought it looked much better than even the pictures online showed. I may have mentioned it in the other thread, but the MSRP on the Allez Apex is now $1250 down from the $1550 previously. I would use this as the starting point for negotiations. I got mine for $1100 without even having to ask the LBS. Got them to throw in 2 bottle cages as my "negotiation".
    I have a good feeling that the Black with the Orange will look really good when I see it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kets View Post
    I just got back from Specialized store and the sales guy was persuading me to get the Allez Comp 105 which he told me has the same exact geometry as the Tarmac SL3...
    If the Allez is a 2011 model or newer, that's true. As is the case with Specs Roubaix/ Secteur model lines, the Tarmac/ Allez's now share the same geo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gte105u View Post
    By weekend trip do you mean paniers, backpack, touring or just going on longer rides without baggage? The Allez does not have attachment points for a rack, so it may not be best for that. I ride my bike to work, and have a backpack as my briefcase. I rind riding with the Allez with a backpack on rather uncomfortable. Of course I have mine set up for fitness/training and the occassional race. You could probably make some adjustments and get it how you want, but it still won't help with the rack mounts. As for the geometry, everything I have seen shows they are the exact same shape as the Tarmac, but I haven't looked at them side by side to compare.
    Okay noted!
    Well its more likely a weekend long rides without baggage.


    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    If the Allez is a 2011 model or newer, that's true. As is the case with Specs Roubaix/ Secteur model lines, the Tarmac/ Allez's now share the same geo.
    Its a 2012 model, HTC team matte black!

    Thanks guys

  22. #22
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    Btw guys, I noticed the new 2013 Allez model doesnt have tapered bottom head tube.Any reason why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    That's ironic. Because I just emailed my LBS and asked for the best price he could give me on the 2012 Allez Apex. He gave me the $1,100 number as well. I'll see if he can throw in a couple of other things as well.
    My LBS is offering me the 2012 Specialized Allez EVO Rival Mid-Compact for $1700. I am exchanging my 2012 Specialized Allez Sport.

    You guys think that's a good deal?
    Last edited by bhagi108; 08-31-2012 at 09:05 AM.

  24. #24
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    Hard to tell since the website does not list the 2012 models anymore. MSRP from a review I pulled up quickly says it was $2100, so $400 off that is decent. I love my SRAM Apex groupset. From what I read, Rival is virtually identical mechanically just lighter. I also know from reading the service manual on the brakes that Rival doesn't have the brake centering screw that Apex and Force has. Not sure if you care about that or not. Without having the side-by-side specs on hand, not sure what else you are getting for you $600 difference above Apex. The frame is probably the same, the components we know. I guess biggest possible difference would be wheels. From there it is up to you. Fine deal it seems at first glance, only you know if it has what you are looking for.
    Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
    Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm

  25. #25
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    Specialized Bicycle Components

    This is the link to the 2012 spec sheet on the Rival Mid-Compact.

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