For the record, I'm a fan of the thinkng behind and execution of the Specialized Allez Sprint. With everything getting more and more... well... specialized around niche purposes ("oh, that bike's all wrong for you, you're going to be racing on loose gravel, and that bike is for hardpack gravel - I'm afraid you've got no chance on that sled*"), and with people talking about "I'm building up a crit bike" since forever, why not actually make an out-of-the-box crit bike. I know that there are some crits out there that demand a front shift, but I for one have never raced one - I've never front shifted in a crit. There are about 1000 people I know in DC who could leave this bike in the office and just use it at Hains Point all week and then race it on a bunch of weekends.
Maybe I'm just responding to the fact that, once again, it seems pretty cool to poo-poo road racing on actual roads, when it's a freaking super fun thing to do. Yeah, you might get sick of it after you've done it too many weeks in a row, but it's m-f'ing fun - better recognize. This is funny coming from me, who hasn't actually raced on the road this year - that fear of cat food thing. But I do love me riding some road bike, and I think this is a really cool and interesting curve ball. It needs some better wheels though. May I make a few suggestions?
I'm also responding to the fact that everyone rushes into these corners of the market, and what was once a good idea for a few becomes the absolute-must-have-let's-split-hairs-until-there's-nothing-left-to-split thing. When differentiation between an 18.75mm inside width and 20.12 inside width becomes "meaningful," I don't know, maybe I've just got my cynical pants on?
I'm also speaking nearly entirely in the passive voice, which Germans love but English professors hate. As an English major with deep German roots, this is very conflicting for me (see what I did there?).
Our disc-hub-to-road-hub ratio has lately become just about 1:1. That's pretty crazy. Most of it's of course because of the impending start of cx season, but still, it's notable.
The must-have accessory (William Safire is going to show up at the shop and whip me for my overuse of hyphens today, but I'm on a roll so I'll stick with it) for the early cx season this year is an ungodly case of poison ivy. I started mine while doing trail work at Riverpoint CX Park (go and do the race that's there), and then doubled down on it while doing a Pete Rose slide through a bush of it after endo'ing on this sketch-o-matic downhill at my local practice venue. I blame the awesomeness of our tubeless cx wheel setups, as previously I would no way have charged this sucker hard enough to have wiped out with this level of elan. And taking a note from a recent tweet that I took to heart, I subsequently went beyond the amateur protocol of practicing it until I got it right, to the pro protocol of practicing it until I couldn't get it wrong. Then went home and broke out in a rash.
*add that one to the list