The Chainlink

I am trying to make a decision on a 2009 Specialized Allez bike, and wanted to get input from those who are informed on the quality of this bike.

I want to get into 50-100 mile tours more frequently than in the past, to help build my riding skills and also keep connected with other bikers in the area, but I am not sure I am ready for the big league(1000-dollar bikes). My current bike is a 1989 Schwinn suburban and only this weekend, I was on it for the Four Star tour(62 miles). I love my bike but I know it is not the best machine for long distance rides and so I am looking to getting me a new/fairly used road bike for the long rides.

I saw someone riding this particular bike(2009 Specialized Allez) when I was out on a tour with the CCC some weeks ago and wanted to get input from other riders on my decision to go for this bike. Do you think it will be a good bike for someone who wants to ride seriously on chicago roads? 

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The other option for a bike is Trek 1000 Le Tour De France

Generally speaking, and without knowing what kind of components are on the Allez you're thinking about, these are very nice bikes.  The Allez frame has more of a racing geometry (rather than a touring or endurance geometry), so the bike will definitely be fine for serious riding on Chicago roads.  It just might not be as comfortable on long rides as, say, a Specialized Roubaix or a Specialized Secteur or a similar "plush" bike from other manufacturers.

I gotta believe, however, that you will find it a massive improvement over your current Schwinn Suburban.  Particularly on a long ride.

I am thinking of supported rides like the Four star ride when I say tours, and don't see myself carrying a lot of gear on it anytime in the future. 

Cameron Puetz said:

When you say tours, are you talking about supported rides like the Four Star where you're carrying minimal if any gear, or are you thinking of trying loaded touring? The geometry on the Allez isn't really suited for carrying much gear, since as others are noted it has a more aggressive road geometry.

I feel quite comfortable on my schwinn though. I have a padded seat so long rides are not as bad. Does adding a padded seat help improve comfort on the touring bikes?

Joe Studer said:

Generally speaking, and without knowing what kind of components are on the Allez you're thinking about, these are very nice bikes.  The Allez frame has more of a racing geometry (rather than a touring or endurance geometry), so the bike will definitely be fine for serious riding on Chicago roads.  It just might not be as comfortable on long rides as, say, a Specialized Roubaix or a Specialized Secteur or a similar "plush" bike from other manufacturers.

I gotta believe, however, that you will find it a massive improvement over your current Schwinn Suburban.  Particularly on a long ride.

Another good entry level road bike is from Scattante (A performance bike house brand)

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1116255_-1...

For $600 they are a good entry road bike

Saddle comfort is a highly personal and subjective determination. There are 7780 chainlink members at present. There are probably that many different saddle opinions. That having been said, for longer rides or for people who are fast recreational riders or racers, a saddle which supports you on your "sit bones" as opposed to trying to pad your ass, tends to be more comfortable for longer rides. More padding is more likely to cause chafing, and during a longer ride will actually be less comfortable then a firmer, narrower saddle. Counterintuitive, I know. 

Here's a link to what Sheldon Brown had to say about saddles.

kobojunkie said:

I feel quite comfortable on my schwinn though. I have a padded seat so long rides are not as bad. Does adding a padded seat help improve comfort on the touring bikes?

Joe Studer said:

[snip]

sounds like you should also decide between steel & aluminum..

This may be more bike than you want, but I would say a Canondale Synapse would make for great high performance, but comfortable distance riding.  

I'm considering selling mine to the right person.... it's a 58cm with Shimano 105 cranks, brakes, and front Derailleur, with Ultegra shifters and rear deraileur, full carbon frame, and LOOK pedals.

It has taken me around Lake Washington (60+ miles with a lot of hills) a bunch of times, and it's extremely comfortable, yet high performance.



kobojunkie said:

The other option for a bike is Trek 1000 Le Tour De France

Stop by workingbikes.org before you make a big purchase.... Test  all the bikes that you can!  

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