Virtual Park Up: Andy’s E5 Allez

by CyclingTips


In the past we’ve featured some relatively expensive bikes as well as some rare, period-correct builds… This addition to our virtual park-up doesn’t quite fit under either of those categories.

VeloClub’s Andy Van Bergen was looking for a bike to attach his child trailer to when he stumbled across this ‘Spesialized roadbike’ [sic] advertised on Facebook’s marketplace platform for $200… It seemed too good to be true. After some subtle set-up adjustments and a whole lot of TLC Andy soon discovered he had snared one hell of a bargain!

Andy tells the story of his miracle find…

“The dual straps on the shoes showcased in the blurry classified photo should have been a giveaway, but it was still a surprise when collecting the bike that it was set up for tri. It seemed fitting that it did catch me off guard, as the reality was there was not a lot of info in the pictures (2 of the 4 were devoted to the shoes – the burry photo clearly taken with a Nokia potato). I guess part of the thrill that comes with a stab-in-the-dark purchase like this is that you never quite know what you’re getting.

Popping the bike up onto the roof of my car was the first chance I really had to have a proper look at the bike. I didn’t really feel the purchase price of $200 really allowed too much tyre-kicking (which were both flat, as mentioned in the full advert description “Spesialized roadbike with shoes. Will need bew tubes and tires” [sic]). As I wiped the grime from my hands (all I had touched was the down tube!) and jumped into the car I had the first tinge of buyers-remorse. Sure it was only $200, but it felt like this greasy rig, featuring a 2kg sprung saddle and stiffy tri-bars was destined to go straight back up for sale.

It wasn’t until I was back home that I had a better look at the bike. It wasn’t great, but it’d serve the intended purpose of lugging my two daughters in a bike trailer (perhaps with the clip-ons removed). As I flipped the stem, trimmed a bit of excess steerer, and commenced using half a bottle of tea tree oil to remove the remnants of a dozen fading decals and accessory pads the bike started to come to life. Under a half a decade of dust shone the Zebra stripes of an ’03 Acqua e Sapone Specialized Allez running amazingly un-scuffed Ultegra. While it wasn’t quite the S-Works edition that Cippo rode with That Kit, it still features E5 Columbus tear-drop tubing.

Now to source an Acqua e Sapone zebra kit to complete the look as I tow my girls on our weekly shopping trip.”

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