As I’m looking at road bike options to complement my Cannondale Evo (the 2nd best climber in the game, according to Zwift Insider tests, the frame which keeps showing itself is the Specialized Allez Sprint.
Here’s how some top-end frames tested. They measure speed on two course, one flat, one the L’Alpe, and each takes around 3000 seconds. A good guide to what the requirements for each frame are is in this ZwiftInsider article.
- Cervelo S5: level 25, 603,500 drops: I’ll take this as the reference bike
- Felt AR: level 34, 639,000 drops: same as the Cervelo.
- Specialized Venge S-Works: 798,800 Drops: level 33, 1 second faster on flats, 3 seconds faster on L’Alpe
- Trek Madone: level 20, 887,500 drops: +1 second on flats, +4 seconds on L’Alpe.
- Cannondale System Six: level 27, 497,000: +1 second on flats, +15 seconds on L’Alpe
- Specialized Venge: level 18, 461,500 Drops: +1 second on flats, +14 seconds on L’Alpe
- Cannondale Evo (my bike): level 9, 213,000 Drops: +14 seconds on flats, 13 seconds faster on L’Alpe.
- The Specialized Tarmac Pro: level 11, 408,300 Drops: +14 seconds on flats, 18 seconds faster on L’Alpe.
- Specialized Allez Sprint: level 14, 127,800 Drops: +5 seconds on flats, +4 seconds on climbs
The obvious anomaly here is the Specialized Allez Sprint, highly competitive with the Madone, yet with an aluminum frame with only minor aerodynamic enhancements.
I do wonder about what sort of sponsorship deal Specialized locked in with Zwift to make their bikes that much better than the competition.
As an aside, the Tarmac Pro seems a popular choice, but I went with the Evo because it looks good with its parallel top tube, and I saved 195300 drops which I used to get good wheels, then eventually a nice time trial frame (Cervelo P5). I’ll probably get the Tarmac Pro eventually, but not yet.