Sep 26, 2023

'It’s not a superbike. It’s, simply, a superb bike'

Made in Bentonville, Arkansas, the updated Allied Alfa promises to deliver a balanced ride 'without shortcomings' and a lot of other bold claims

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Arkansas-based carbon bike manufacturer Allied Cycle Works has updated its Alfa road racing bike, and is proudly reintroducing its flagship competition steed with some bold promises.

"It’s not a 'superbike'. It’s, simply, a superb bike — one that excels at every aspect of cycling, defies categorization, and disproves the logic of n+1. No weaknesses. No shortcomings," the marketing copy states.

Merging the latest technology with classic design elements, the Alfa is meant to redefine what a top-tier racing bike is. When asked if it's a climbing bike or an aero bike? The answer is simply: yes.

With the redesigned Alfa, Allied set out to build a bike that is equal parts aerodynamic, lightweight (820g for a 56cm frame, 320g for the fork) and efficient. Balance is at the heart of the frame design, which pairs a modest tubing diameter and classic lines with flat-top tubing and a wind-defying cockpit with internal cable routing.

These small aerodynamic tweaks were designed around "real conditions at real speeds," Allied says, pointing to the flat-top tube design as "increasing aerodynamics in the wind and yaw angles of the road, not the lab."

The redesigned Alfa also features a new carbon lay-up with strategically placed reinforcements for a stiffer and lighter frame that's still forgiving enough to soak up the road's vibrations. And, it being a modern road racer, the Alfa has clearance for 700 x 32mm tires and will play nice with both 1x and 2x drivetrains.

“Everything about this bike is balanced, and for us, that’s most important in how it handles," says Allied's CEO, Drew Medlock. “The Alfa reacts intuitively to rider input, and fans of the original Alfa will recognize similar sensations and feedback...reactive, but not twitchy; fluid, but not sloppy."

For those unfamiliar with the American brand, Allied is a relatively young carbon manufacturer perhaps best known for being on the cutting edge of the mixed-surface riding trend. However, its expertise and innovations far precedes its 2017 founding date.

Allied was born out of Guru Bicycles unfortunate demise. The Canadian road and triathlon brand was a major innovator of the North American bicycle industry in the 1990s, building acclaimed custom frames out of all four frame materials —steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon. But as the industry adopted overseas production and the demand for high-end, custom bike declined, Guru ran into difficulties and eventually filed for bankruptcy. At the same time, a group of U.S. investors were looking for new avenues for domestic bicycle manufacturing and acquired a cache of Guru’s assets and equipment. They set up shop in Arkansas and started producing high-end carbon bikes under the Allied name.

The new Alfa, along with all Allied frames, forks, stems, seatposts, and even the saddle-mount hardware, are made at the Allied Technology Center in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The Alfa framesets are made to order, directly from the brand's website, starting at $5,500 USD. Various complete bike builds are also on offer, starting at $8,225.00 USD.

Cycling Weekly reviewed its gravel racer, the Echo, earlier in the year and we'll look forward to put this new road racer, and all its claims, to test once available.

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Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.

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