2012 Allez EVO vs 2012 Tarmac Compact: Newbie Rider Question
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  1. #1
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    2012 Allez EVO vs 2012 Tarmacs: Newbie Rider Question

    Hi you guys,

    Forgive me if this is the wrong forum to post this thread, but I thought since you guys were Specialized junkies, you could give me some advice on a long term investment.

    I am a very green rider, in fact...I'm still looking for a bike! I am currently torn between the Allez EVO and the Tarmac Compact (I can get them for roughly the same price +100 for the tarmac).

    I rode both of them and I have to say that the Tarmac rides better, but the Allez is way more responsive and snappy because of the components. I have no idea which one to get because they are both so good for different reasons. I just don't want to have upgrade-itis to a carbon frame if I get the Allez.

    What are your thoughts? It would be great to get some insights by more experienced riders.

    I am looking into racing some, but mostly riding this for fitness (want to do a few centuries in a couple months). I can also get the Tarmac Elite Comp (both 105 or Rival) for about $400 more than the Allez, but I don't know if I want to spend that much money (have to still get pedals, shoes, helmet, kit, etc.)

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Noobos; 09-21-2011 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    This may or may not help you with your decision, but if you buy the Allez Evo, you may want to look into upgrading the bars, stem and seatpost considering your intended uses (racing and centuries). I just got an Allez Evo from my LBS and I'm immediately upgrading these three parts (got FSA Pro Wing bars, Ritchey 4-axis stem and Specialized carbon seatpost; also intend on getting lighter skewers). The stock parts are a little heavy. My LBS gave me credit for the stock parts so I can apply them toward the upgraded parts, and I presume most other LBS would do the same. As a result, I'm getting an upgraded Allez Evo for $2,050. After I do this, the bike will weigh less than 18 lbs, which I guess isn't too bad for an aluminum frame. Good luck in your decision.

  3. #3
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    I'm a big specialized fan, so I've been following this new Allez Evo pretty closely. I really wanted to get a Tarmac, but the prices are pretty steep so I opted for a Cervelo S1 on sale, which has an aluminum frame. I'll tell you that I don't regret not getting carbon at all. Personally, I'd rather have better components on an aluminum frame than crappy ones on a carbon frame. My bike has Ultegra, so I should have no problem with that for quite a while. Besides, there are a lot of guys at my local shop with CAAD10's with Red group and Zipp carbon wheels, so aluminum obviously has its place.

    I'm really thinking about ditching my S1 and getting a custom build of an Evo though. I'd love to have one with DA or maybe even Ultegra Di2... I'd definitely suggest buying the Evo, then slowly upgrading things like Bchamber said. Wheels should be a huge improvement on weight and stiffness also, so save up for those.

  4. #4
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    Since you need to buy accessories, I'd say get the Allez. Having better pedals shoes, kit, and some money to tweak the fit on the allez will make it a beter experience than stretching for the tarmac.

    You might actually get the allez to ride nicer than the tarmac just by switching out the wheels/tires.

    IMO, if you get into serious riding, and really enjoy it, either bike would be replaced as you grow and get a desire to try different things.

    You might also look at the roubaix/sectour if you are going to be riding fitness - they have a bit smoother/relaxed ride, and you may like them better.

    As for upgrade-itis, good luck. It never goes away, even with a top of the line s-works bike....there's always something else to tweak, or a new must have widget.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all your suggestions guys!

    It seems like the consensus is to get the Allez (Is it better for comps?) and upgrade it a bit more. I thought it was pretty nice already, but I guess a stem and seatpost won't hurt. My LBS won't give me credit, but they will give me 25% off an upgrade so I guess it's a bit more expensive. The breakdown of the carbon bikes would be compact - 1.6k, elite - 2k and the allez is around 1.6k as well.

    dcorn: are the DT Axis 4.0s not a very good wheel set? I think they're better than the tarmac compact or even the elite...?

    Aaric, my LBS only has deals on the Allez EVO and the Tarmac lines unfortunately, otherwise I'd look into the roubaix (but I am still using this bike for comps/races).

    Thank you for the suggestions, and I'll make a decision hopefully by the end of the week so I can get started on training. I'll post some pictures if I can!

    I'm going to test ride a cannondale systemsix (2007) with DA components. I might get that one and upgrade some parts to that instead.

  6. #6
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    Doesn't sound like you are much in the realm on short races or competition like Crits etc. I would opt for a bike designed for longer rides with comfort. In carbon it would be a roubaix..not sure what model in aluminum.

    I have a Tarmac and love it, but i don't see myself really up to riding 100 miles tour rides on it without some changes to the stem, etc.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Those are insane deals on the Tarmac. So you can get a 2012 Elite for $2k when the retail is $2750?? Please let me know where that shop is haha.

    As for the wheels, most companies will skimp on the wheelset to make the price of the bike a bit lower. Those wheels are probably $200 retail and are good for general riding, but much heavier than even an $500 aftermarket set would be.

  8. #8
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    ^^^^ agreed^^^^ those are insane deals on 2012 tarmacs. I personally would get the tarmac elite.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    Those are insane deals on the Tarmac. So you can get a 2012 Elite for $2k when the retail is $2750?? Please let me know where that shop is haha.

    As for the wheels, most companies will skimp on the wheelset to make the price of the bike a bit lower. Those wheels are probably $200 retail and are good for general riding, but much heavier than even an $500 aftermarket set would be.
    Do you know much about that particular wheelset though? They're 4.0s, one step up from the 3.0s that's on the tarmac comp ($3300) and even the roubaix sl3 expert ($3900). With that being said, and having no other knowledge of the wheels, I would assume they're a pretty darn good wheelset, and probably relatively light.

  10. #10
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    Gah, you guys are making me splurge like crazy. The Tarmac Elite might be way too expensive for my budget (Originally my budget for a bike + accessories was $1600).

    I have this new bike that I'm looking at (it's used), but it's a Cannondale, and I don't know if this is the right forum for it, but I thought I might as well ask since it's also related to a comparison with Specialized.

    This bike is a 2007 cannondale systemsix (mostly carbon frame with the seat tube being aluminum? - don't know the terminology). It has a Fulcrum 5 wheelset, 2004-2005 DA groupset, and an average saddle which I'll switch out. The rest of the parts are stock I think. It's selling for 1200 (could use the rest of the money saved for some upgrades). I think it's lighter than the Allez EVO as well, but the biker has put about ~10k miles on it. I assume he keeps it in excellent condition because there are no blemishes on the bike.

    Would that be an in-between with the Allez EVO and the Tarmac line? If not...I might just go straight for the Elite and spend like a massive amount of money. You guys would like to see that huh, haha.
    Last edited by Noobos; 09-23-2011 at 09:19 AM.

  11. #11
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    I would go for the elite, they come with the fulcrum 6 wheels, i believe, those are good wheels and will last you a long time. You don't have to upgrade that as well as the rival group (depends on who you ask, they are nicer than 105's and almost as nice as ultegra) right now and for a while, they are nice. The carbon frame with factory warranty is great, definite doesn't need to be upgrade for a while. For an extra $400, to me that would be worth while to spend. If you want to sell the fulcrum 6 wheels, brand new on ebay, i've seen they go anywhere from $300-400. But if you don't think you can manage the extra $400 then get the bike that you like the most in your price range.
    I m not crazy about getting used carbon bikes, as there are no warranty, and if you don't know enough about bikes to inspect them, you can end up wasting a lot of $$.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlmalone1 View Post
    Do you know much about that particular wheelset though? They're 4.0s, one step up from the 3.0s that's on the tarmac comp ($3300) and even the roubaix sl3 expert ($3900). With that being said, and having no other knowledge of the wheels, I would assume they're a pretty darn good wheelset, and probably relatively light.
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/spe...et-261310.html

    over 2k grams is pretty darn heavy. The aero Rolf wheels I just bought for only $500 are about a pound lighter.

  13. #13
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    Not sure this will help any either, but since you moved positions from Specialized to Cannondale, I'll put my 2 cents in.

    I have a Cannondale CADD 8 (Optimo aluminum if you aren't familiar) and have a set of Pro-Lite and Mavic Elites. The Cannondale is extremely responsive and climbs really well. It is rough as dried snot though on the less than stellar roads. Although I have a carbon fork, there is still a lot of vibration. It is a great bike that I intend to use purposefully (short, fast rides or through hilly areas).

    I test rode a Specialized Roubaix Elite (full carbon) and decided I've had enough of the rough ride. I've purchased the Pro version for upgraded carbon and other reasons and will be putting on Mavic SL's for better response on climbs and weight than the stock. This will now be my daily and long distance ride. The more comfortable you are, the longer you'll last.

    Point being, buy the type of frame for the ride you intend on doing the most and buy as much as you can. You can always upgrade components as time goes by to make it better.

  14. #14
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    SystemSix was the best, most badass crit racing frame made. Ridiculously stiff. Light. Not a century bike. I'd take that over the Allez Evo only if I knew for a fact that the components were sound. And 10k mi isn't too much abuse on that bike.

    I got my girl an Allez Evo, swapped out the wheels (K Elite), bar & stem (Zipp Service Course SL), and post (Thomson). Under 18lbs with pedals, cages, and computer. It's stiff, fast, and she loves racing it. I'm kind of jealous and I race an SWORKS Tarmac.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    over 2k grams is pretty darn heavy. The aero Rolf wheels I just bought for only $500 are about a pound lighter.
    Those are 2.0s. The mid-range tarmacs and roubaixs have 3.0s, and then the allez evo has 4.0s.

  16. #16
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    Get the Allez if you think you are going to race. I love the Tarmac but if I was about to buy my first race machine I would get the metal bike that won't blink the first time I lay it down. That said, I weighed an Allez Evo sans pedals at 17.2lbs, the Tarmac SL2 Apex weighs a solid 1.5lbs more than that.

  17. #17
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    Another vote against the C'Dale!!!
    "Those who like it, like it A LOT!"

  18. #18
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    I realy like the ride of the Roubaix. I started with a 2007 Roubaix Expert. I now have a 2010 S-Works Roubaix, a great bike for longer rides, sometime on poor roads in the upstate New York & Vermont. I think Roubaix is a very good choice if you just start out.

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