Downgrading bike frame

I have a Tarmac SL 7 that is currently ride and the group I ride with does some pretty intense rides and I’m always nervous about being tangled with someone’s wheel or something else bad happening and damaging a very expensive frame that I can’t afford to replace. I am considering downgrading to an Allez Sprint disc frame and keeping my same Red etap components. It would be much more affordable to replace an aluminum frame and it would come in handy if I decide to start racing, which I have considered.
My question is what kind of speed difference would I notice with the possible switch to aluminum from a top of the line carbon? It is flat where I live so climbing is not an issue at all. Thanks for the input.

Yes, you should definitely downgrade, and send the SL7 to a good home…like mine. :grimacing:


But to answer your question…on the flats, not much. IIRC the Allez Sprint is one of the best aluminium frames on the market (I think Sagan even raced on one for a while.) and you’d probably not notice a massive difference on a club ride.

If you are at all concerned about the SL7, check with Specialized as I know some brands have a lifetime replacement guarantee for broken frames. Or you could look for a good bike builder (depending on where you are), as often high end bike builders can repair damaged carbon frames if the worst should happen.


Speed difference? None.

I’ve been involved in many crashes. Get ready to replace shifters, bars, derailleurs and wheels too. If you really can’t afford that carbon frame perhaps Red is too expensive as well. Not trying to be harsh. Just real.


I picked up a Caad12 a couple of years ago for pretty much the same reason. Intended to do some road racing and didn’t want to risk the frame. I absolutely love it, it’s a hoot to ride and I don’t find it slows me down. I plan on picking up a posher carbon endurance frame, in time, for long easy days.

One thing to remember is that carbon is relatively easy and cheap to repair as long as you don’t want a new paint job.

I’d keep enjoying the sl7 and if you start racing get an Allez with 105 or similar.


I had my carbon frame repaired last summer for only a couple hundred $. I think you are more likely to have expensive component repairs or replacments related to your etap than to the frame. Wheel repairs too…

Get a second hand SuperSix Evo with rim brakes. Dirt cheap and a great race bike.

You could also consider a decent bike insurance. I pay about £500 a year with Yellow Jersey for my Tarmac SL6 Pro and Domane AL5 and it includes race cover / crash replacement.


I didn’t even consider component damage or wheels but you guys are very right! I may still get the Allez as a bike to ride with the A group in the area (and maybe race) and keep the tarmac as a solo day bike.
I used to have a sprint back a couple years ago but it’s hard to compare the speed then to now. It felt like a quick bike, but after the lockdown and being able to use peloton, Sufferfest, and TR for the past 12 months and also riding outside I’m a much stronger rider now.

That sentiment makes very little sense to me. Bikes are meant to be ridden, not babied. If you have the funds to buy a second “cheap-er” bike for when things get serious, I reckon you have the cash for a crash replacement frame.

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A new frame is $5500 before tax and I can get a second hand Sprint for maybe $1500-$1800z. That’s a big difference in affordability but I get your point about bike made to be ridden and I agree with your statement.

Carbon can be repaired, alum cannot, so whereas a crash damaged alum frame is going to be a total write off, carbon can be repaired for a few hundred bucks even if you break the frame in half I’m pretty sure it can be mended

Granted with a repair the SL7 is still more money than two alum frames, but the repairs of done well are not noticeable. I know people with crash repaired bikes that are ridden for pleasure and also raced they feel confident on them

I perfectly understand your point about price, I feel the same way about my upcoming bike, which is the bike I dreamt about for four years. It is being clearcoated as we speak (yes, custom paint job, too). This is your baby, you worked hard to get it, and losing it to a crash would suck big time.

But you bought that bike so you could ride it. Not riding it, because you think you might damage or destroy the frame in an accident to me means that either you should sell your SL7 and get a cheaper bike (like that’s going to happen). Or you keep it and ride it the way it is meant to.

What about considering bike insurance? That way if you crash you can get replacement. By the time you take the depreciation hit in selling your frame and buying a new one, you may be better off purchasing insurance.