THE ALFA | LONG-TERM REVIEWS
10 May, 2024

THE ALFA | LONG-TERM REVIEWS

By: Allied Cycle Works

From Best US-made Racing Bike to the one you hate to lose.

Introduction

We’ve called it balanced. We’ved called it fast. We’ve said it accelerates on its own, floats up climbs, and smooths the road in ways all those self-same, cookie-cutter “aero” bikes can only dream of. But we’re not the only ones saying that.

To celebrate spring – whether you ride in the perpetual springtime of temperate climates or your local weather has you packing warmers and wind vests in May – we’ve collected some ALFA reviews to share the stoke of the road. And yes, the road can be every much as stoke-inducing as limestone gravel or techy singletrack. If you disagree, it’s probably just because you’ve never felt the tarmac the way it feels on an ALFA.

“KINDA SAD TO PACK THIS ONE BACK UP”

REVIEWED BY BEN DELANEY FOR THE RIDE WITH BEN DELANEY

In the intro to his long-term review of the new ALFA, Ben Delaney confesses that he’s only publishing the review now because we finally made him send the bike back.*

“I’ve been dragging my feet on this a bit because I really love how the bike rides,” he confesses, before going on to summarize “I like bikes that feel light and lively and quick to accelerate but don’t beat me up. And this nails that.”

That’s the general tenor of his review, which progresses through the typical touchpoints of a road bike: geo (“if you like something that’s quick and nimble, this is right up your alley”), acceleration (“this bike feels delicious in that aspect”), descending (“it’s confident and nimble at the same time … It takes very little input, but doesn’t feel like it’s skittish”), and ride quality (“It’s dialed. It’s a buttery-smooth ride without feeling sluggish”).

“In sum,” he concludes, “the ALLIED ALFA is in my humble estimation an excellent road-race bike. It’s a fun mix of some old-school thinking with a lot of new-school technology and new-school design.”

One final note that Ben cycles back to again and again is the customization available with the ALFA, which he describes as boutique-like but without the boutique tax.

“You can dial in every last piece to your liking,” he says. “Unlike the larger brands that have a very set order of good-better-best bikes, here you’ve got a whole buffet of options where you can tweak all the various components to your liking, and you can choose from a pretty nice selection of paint jobs.”

Since he was limited to riding what we sent him, Ben didn’t get to explore our full custom paint option, which opens up limitless opportunities for a bike as unique as the one-offs you’ve seen some of our factory team riding. But other than that, he’s on point – every ALLIED is as uniquely yours as you care to make it.

*No comment on whether or not we actually demanded the bike’s return – though Ben does throw our engineering lead, Sam Pickman, under the bus…

“MONUMENTAL” | BEST US-MADE RACE BIKE

REVIEWED BY MATT PHILLIPS FOR BICYCLING

Writing in support of the ALFA winning Bicycling’s Best USA-made Race Bike award, Matt Philips leads with the same sentiment of flexibility that Ben kept returning to: “ALLIED offers an extensive menu of options and upgrades that the big brands don’t.”

Well he’s right, we do, but the real point of the review – and the reason the ALFA is Bicycling’s US racing bike of the year – really has nothing to do with customization. After all, any bike can be tweaked with upgrades after the fact. The real draw is the frameset itself, and for Matt, that means – well, we’ll let him explain it:

“But more than anything, the new ALFA offers the performance modern road riders expect. It is damn fast, with precise handling and a well-damped ride. And for reasons I can’t explain, this bike feels especially efficient when pointed uphill – even more so than lighter bikes.”

Perfect balance was our design goal, and it sounds like Matt agrees that we nailed it. And we’d be content with that assessment, but he goes on.

“The new ALFA is competitive with the bikes in use by pros at the highest level,” he writes, “but the fact that ALLIED built a bike that meets race bike benchmarks [...] in the USA – a place where the infrastructure for creating such a bike had vanished – is a monumental achievement.”

Matt closes his review with that sentiment, but it does circle around nicely to where he began, so we’ll end our own recap by giving you Matt’s opening before linking to the (regrettably paywalled) review: “What makes the ALLIED ALFA special is that it exists at all.”

Special. Monumental. Yeah, we’ll take that.

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