Allied Alpha All Road
Every wonder what carbon is all about? Me to and that’s exactly how this build started.
ALLIED ALFA ALL ROAD SPRINKLER HUNTER ™️
Hey, I love bikes, all bikes. It’s not a problem. But im curious, every-time I see something new and different. I wonder “how does that ride? how does that feel?” The only reason this build came about was I was “carbon curious.” Having never owned a modern carbon bike, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Expectations where pretty high to start, the standard claims of lighter, stiffer, and stronger.
Lets get the paint out of the way. Living in Portland I ride in the rain… a lot. It is just a fact of life here. With that said it really bums me out every time. So much so that I wanted to design something to bring me a bit of joy during the wet months. Inspired by Hot Wheels Color Racers from the late 80s you know the ones that change colors in hot or cold water.
The way this thermo-cromatic paint works is pretty simple anytime the surface temperature of the bike is below 72º the bike is solid reddish/pink. When the temperatures go up that red layer turns transparent and shows a separate holographic white paint job underneath. Really the potential of this stuff is you can have a bike with two completely different paint jobs. I tried to stay pretty basic here with just a unique color shift. The second reason this paint is fun is the summer heatwaves we get in Portland. This bike makes any sprinkler thats running a must hit.
Now, the obvious question left is why Allied? Well if you have been paying attention to cycling you have undoubtedly heard the story of where they came from. Having multiple handmade American steel frames I thought a made in America carbon frame would be the only real way to compare.
What I realized very quickly is there is no comparison between steel and carbon. They are just different beasts. This thing is a rocket. Its stiff as hell, fast and light, 17lbs on the nose. The Alfa All road is billed as being able to clear a 700x35 tire, but with an Sram Red eTap you lose even more of that tire clearance. Really pushing this bike out of the realm of a gravel bike. To me this rides closer to a road bike than any other gravel bike ive ever been on. This is my only complaint about the Alfa All Road a proper gravel bike must clear 40s especially for larger riders like myself. Other then that I have zero complaints about this bike, even snagging my first Portland KOM on a sprint with it. Literally its a rocket and begs to be pushed to the limits.
Something Allied did that ive not seen any other brands do is release a model in 12 sizes. Each bike is also available in a + model. This adds 2 cm to the head tube, which is great for those who are less flexible or also those who don’t like the look of spacers.
On each model the eagle medallion on the down tube isn’t just decorative. It’s actually where the internal cable routing goes through the frame. Since i’m running eTap and don’t have cables, they even made a version without the holes. Giving a super clean look and with the medallion giving it a bit of vintage industrial feel. The fork perfectly aligns with the head tube reinforcing the designed and made under one roof idea. The fork crown is thinner than most forks ive seen before and it gives the bike a really sleek and fast look. On other killer design detail is the hidden seat post binding bolt.
The ride feel on Alfa All Road is honestly more lively than expected, not far from steel but, by no means is it as forgiving. Its a stable great riding bike ive commuted, done serious ride, and a ton of lunch rides on this thing, and on none of those has it ever disappointed me. Here’s my one note, as a gravel bike the Alfa All Road is made to race. What I mean by that is its best suited for those at the front of the pack. If you are the type who does gravel races with the goal of surviving, the limited tire size and stiffness might be too much for an 18 hr ride.
Frame: 58+cm Allied Alfa All Road
Groupset: Sram Red eTap Wifli
Saddle: Fabric ALM
Stem: Zipp Service Course SL OS Carbon.
Seat Post: Zipp Speed SL Carbon
Bars: Zipp Service Course SL 70 Carbon
Wheels: Shown below with Enve AR 4.5 w
Hubs: Chris King R45