I like riding bikes, and I like riding new bikes. This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a demo Allied Alfa Allroad for a spin up the first hill on the Natchez Trace Parkway to see how it handled. You can find more information about Allied here. All of their bikes are made (frames and all, not just assembly), in the United States, and every bike is made to order. This means you have the options of crank length, gearing, components, and wheels you get only at a premium from other brands.
I honestly thought I wouldn’t get a chance to ride on Saturday, because it had been raining off and on, but they got the bikes out and ready to go so we could test them out. My biggest hesitation with the Allied was the sizing. They are an aggressive geometry (compared to the Trek H1 geometry), and I felt like I was somewhat in between sizes. This hesitation comes from testing an Orbea 51cm frame, which felt too long to me, and I felt like I lacked control. I almost requested the 49, but because I find a 52 works in most other brands (although my Madone is a 50), I went with the 52.
The demo bike was spec’d with Shimano Ultegra components and hydraulic brakes. For the demo they had a 42 cm bar, 172.5 mm crank and 52-36 chainrings, with what I am pretty sure was an 11-28 cassette. I mention this, because the first thing I noticed, aside from being pretty comfortable position wise, was the crank length. I have only ever ridden 170 mm cranks, so my quads were killing me with the 172.5 mm.
Further into the ride I noticed a few more things. First, it climbs really well, seated and standing. I’ve also ridden a Trek Emonda SL 8, and I just felt more comfortable on the climb on the Allied. The only problem climbing was that I normally run a compact crank.
The other big difference I noticed was the sprinting capabilities of this bike. Some of the stability I found in my final standing sprint may have been the wider bar (something coming on all of my future bikes), but I found the Allied easier to move under me when standing, which has been a struggle on both my Madone and my Domane. In addition to that stability on a sprint, the weight of the bike (lighter than anything else I’ve ridden), also affected the speed I took off at from a stop, furthering my enjoyment of this bike.
My overall decision on this bike is that I will be buying one in December when I have graduated, and maybe even in the same bubblegum pink as the demo.