You know that 40-year-old dentist riding a $15,000 Specialized Venge on your local weekend route? The one who constantly espouses the values of carbon fiber — its unequaled strength to weight ratio, its ability to be formed into aerodynamic shapes, its vertical compliance? Well, 21-year-old Jonny Brown just won the U.S. Pro Road National Championships (the biggest single-day road race held on American soil) on an aluminum Specialized Allez.
Without meaning to discount Brown’s fairly heroic ride, it’s pretty cool that at the upper echelons of such a gear-intensive sport, value can win out. The specific Allez frame supplied by Brown’s Hagens Berman Axeon team is the Allez Sprint DSW, which costs just $1,200 — or about a quarter the price of the Specialized Tarmac that Peter Sagan is racing this year.
All that is to say what we’ve said before: Aluminum road bikes are seriously rad, and still have their place at the high-end despite carbon fiber’s stranglehold on the market. Modern alloys and tube-forming paired with a bonkers amount of R&D from both small and large companies alike means that bikes like the Allez or Cannondale’s CAAD 12 or even boutique framesets from companies like Spooky or Gaulzetti are not only an insane value, but are generally just incredibly good bikes. Just ask the guy in the stars and stripes jersey.