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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am finding information on early Specialized roadbikes is hard to find. Here is what I have found, and hopefully others will share what they know. According to Bryant Bainbridge, Director of R&D at Specialized from 1983-1990, Tim Neenan ( Lighthouse Frames) was their first frame designer. Tim Neenan designed the Expedition after a custom touring frame he made for Mike Sinyard ( Specialized owner) . I believe Neenan was also responsible for the Sequoia model. Next frame designer was Jim Merz. The mid eighties Allez bear his name. Was there an earlier Allez that was designed by someone else? The final designer of the lugged steel era was Mark Dinucci ( associated with Strawberry cycles). I believe he was responsible for the Allez Pro and Allez Comp. According the Bryant Bainbridge, 1984 production Allez were made by Miyata, later some smaller factories. From Tim Neenan: the Expedition was made of Tange tubing, the same gauge as Columbus SP- 1mm/.7mm. I find the Specialized lugged steel frames interesting because they combine the designs of talented frame designers with the craftmanship of the Japanese and later Taiwanese builders. Can anyone add to this.
 

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I designed the Sequoia, Allez, Expedition and Stumpjumper frames. Mike Sinyard and I spent 4 weeks in Japan setting up production. Yes Yoshi Konno built some of the Allezs and Sequoias and they were beautiful frames. I built the Sequoia we sent to Bicycling Magazine for the first road test.
Tim View attachment 191996
 

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Lighthouse Cycles said:
I designed the Sequoia, Allez, Expedition and Stumpjumper frames. Mike Sinyard and I spent 4 weeks in Japan setting up production. Yes Yoshi Konno built some of the Allezs and Sequoias and they were beautiful frames. I built the Sequoia we sent to Bicycling Magazine for the first road test.
Tim View attachment 191996
You should be proud! Those are 4 great bikes. And with you, eRichie and Dave Kirk sometimes posting I'm too intimidated to say much more.
 

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Lighthouse Cycles said:
I designed the Sequoia, Allez, Expedition and Stumpjumper frames. Mike Sinyard and I spent 4 weeks in Japan setting up production. Yes Yoshi Konno built some of the Allezs and Sequoias and they were beautiful frames. I built the Sequoia we sent to Bicycling Magazine for the first road test.
Tim View attachment 191996
Thanks for the information on Specialized history. I am very surprised that they do not archive this kind of material and information. I wrote them asking about my Dave Tecsh built 1987 Team Allez and they never even heard of it. If it was older than 1995, they don't have much information. Here is a photo of the catalog and also photos of my bike when I first picked it up...






It now has white handlebar tape, a black Turbo (1987) saddle and a Dura Ace stem. Did Tecsh build these bikes to specs that you provided? If so, they are very similar to those that Dave himself built his own branded frames to. It has a very tight geometry and is a very quick handling bike. Do you know how many he built for Specialized?

Thanks,

James
 

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Quattro_Assi_07 said:
Thanks for the information on Specialized history. I am very surprised that they do not archive this kind of material and information. I wrote them asking about my Dave Tecsh built 1987 Team Allez and they never even heard of it. If it was older than 1995, they don't have much information. Here is a photo of the catalog and also photos of my bike when I first picked it up...






It now has white handlebar tape, a black Turbo (1987) saddle and a Dura Ace stem. Did Tecsh build these bikes to specs that you provided? If so, they are very similar to those that Dave himself built his own branded frames to. It has a very tight geometry and is a very quick handling bike. Do you know how many he built for Specialized?

Thanks,

James
That has to be the best looking Allez that I've ever seen. I'm jealous. I've always been a fan of the vintage Allez. They are getting harder to find. The oldest that I've been able to find in my size is my current 2000 model with the A1 frame. Great bike, but the frame build is pathetic compared to the craftsmanship that went into the earlier models. In fact, that could be said about most modern production bikes. The old skool detail can be had but you have to go to a custom- builder and even then you not all of them build with that kind of detail in mind. Your bike is a bike worth hanging on the wall. It's not better than a vintage Colnago or Pinarello, but those bikes aren't really better than your Allez either.
 

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Lighthouse Cycles said:
I designed the Sequoia, Allez, Expedition and Stumpjumper frames. Mike Sinyard and I spent 4 weeks in Japan setting up production. Yes Yoshi Konno built some of the Allezs and Sequoias and they were beautiful frames. I built the Sequoia we sent to Bicycling Magazine for the first road test.
Tim View attachment 191996
I tip my hat to you on the design of these frames. I recently purchased a beautiful time capsule quality 1983 Stumpjumper Sport. I don't know if you had a hand in this model, but it is outstanding.

In addition, I have been looking for a top quality Expedition or Sequoia to no avail. I have seen some on line from time to time, but nothing available. One of these days!!!

By the bye, very nice work with Lighthouse Cycles.
 

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To answer your question, Tecsh was contracted to build 100 Allez's and 100 Stumpjumpers but he was never able to successfully bridge the gap from custom builder to production builder and his delivery faltered. We eventually got something like 65 of those Allez and to date yours is only the 3rd I have seen. Geos and materials were all provided by us, Dave did all the frame assembly. The bikes were then assembled in Calif one at a time. If you have any further questions, I would be happy to oblige.

Regards, Bryant Bainbridge
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Specialized history

My favorite bike is my Jim Merz Allez SE- can you tell me who made it? I have read bits and pieces you have written elsewhere, and much appreciate the information you share. Please continue to enlighten us. Thank You, Kelly
 

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Your original post is correct. The SE was originally made at Miyata and very nicely executed. Lack of flexibility on the makers part (unlike most at the time, we wanted to specify all the details) led to moving the bikes to several smaller Japanese builders while it remained in Japan. In '86, the dollar tanked against the yen and I was faced with starting my development season with only one model in Taiwan but rapidly moved all but two bikes there within the follow few months simply because of the crash of the dollar. I don't remember the exact numbers, but the dollar lost close to half it's value in very little time. This one moment virtually wiped out the Japanese bike industry and forced everyone to help show the Taiwanese what 'good' looked like. We later made Allez & the Sirrus at Giant, where Mark DiNucci literally spent a month living in the factory, showing them how to braze and produce decent bikes.

-BB
 

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Giant did make the early 90's steel Allez with slightly oversized tubes. (Dinucci designed lugs, BB shell, DO's & Tubeset) & the 1st carbon Allez. We worked with them for 2 years to develop that bike. At the time, the Taiwanese government had determined that Taiwan would become a global leader in Carbon fiber and made huge investments in those that would pursue it. Giant was perhaps the first recipient in the bike biz. I remember when we hired a bike developer from Trek, he mentioned that they had put one of those Epic's on a testing machine expecting it to fail in short order and were shocked by the fact that they couldn't break it. Despite looking crude by today's measure, those were really nice riding bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Allez Epic

I have one that I have ridden sparingly for several years. I`m no lite weight, and it hasn`t come apart on me. I did add an early TIME carbon fork to it- the carbon fork complimented the carbon frame nicely, for a further enhanced ride. I`ve been told the one that were going to come apart did so early on, those that survived should not be a worry. JKP
 

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My is a 93 Epic. Love the ride, very compliance over bumps, yet still has decent power transfer, great for long ride. I ride it every chance I get, and I am 215lbs. I don't think weight is the cause of separation on those frame. I think it is galvanic corrosion between the aluminum and carbon. On my, I noticed Specialized wrapped something over the carbon tubes, me think fiber glass, probably to prevent the aluminum lugs to have direct contact with the carbon. I was just wondering if the early one was constructed the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Allez Epic

I believe the later ( and safer) models used a darker material in the bottom bracket lug. I am in the same weight range, though I have to admit, I choose my rides with this bike to be on flatter terrain because of the reputation. That said, I recall one post of much heavier, ex college football player riding one, without bad results. Other companies used similar carbon tube, metal lug construction, and I think they all had occasional separation issues. JKP
 

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Don't know anything about the 93. I was out during that period. The 80's bikes are pure carbon. Sometimes an outerlayer is put on to protect the unidirectional fibers. Not sure if that was going on in 93.

BTW-the comment that 'I think they all had occasional separation issues' is not correct. In fact the only separation issues were limited to the first shipment of bikes. That thing was over engineered to beat the band. In fact, it could have been significantly lighter, but at the time we wanted to be multiples over the safety factor since there was simply not a lot of experience in the market yet. BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Allez Epic

I have watched these fairly closely, since purchasing mine a couple years ago- there do seem to be quite a few around still- which must speak well of the structural integrity. A friend has several Specialized mountain bikes of the same construction ( one with titanium lugs) - which I would think is a tougher test. I am glad to hear they were so over built- I`ll stop babying mine. JKP
 
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