|My new old bike. Just returned to me from Franklin Frame in Newark, Ohio. A new or freshly painted bike frame even has a great smell to it.|
The anticipation is tremendous -- opening up the box, and pulling the meticulously wrapped frame and fork out. Then bit by bit, carefully peeling back the wrapping, to reveal the glossy, freshly painted frame inside.
|Metallic Burgundy -- a favorite of mine. Next I need to put on the restoration decals, recently received from VeloCals.|
It's a 1984 Specialized Expedition. One of the nicest loaded touring bikes of its time.
|Specialized bikes of the early '80s had minimal graphics. "Expedition" on the down tube, a stylized "S" on the head tube, and a couple of tubing stickers. Nothing more.|
Through posts on one of the bike forums by both Tim Neenan and Specialized's Bryant Bainbridge, I'm surmising that the bike's frame may have been built in Japan by Miyata. That company made frames for Specialized for a year or two, but according to Bainbridge, Miyata wanted more control over the production specifications than the folks at Specialized were willing to relinquish. Frame production was later spread out to other, smaller Japanese builders (I believe Toyo was one of them, which today makes some frames for Rivendell). After the dollar crashed against the Yen in '86 they had to start sourcing bikes from Taiwan. Those were nice bikes, but the workmanship on the Japanese-built frames was second-to-none.
Some Before Pictures:
|Oddly enough, bikes never look very good in the snow.|
|Not a great picture, but you can get a sense of just how tired the paint was looking.|
Crank: Sugino AT triple
Wheels: Specialized sealed bearing hubs, Mavic rims - 36 front/40 rear
Brakes: Shimano Deore MC-70
Headset: Specialized sealed bearing, steel
Handlebars: Specialized, made by Nitto
Some parts that had certainly been changed over the years include the derailleurs, shift levers, saddle, and stem. I believe the seat post may also have been changed. It was the same model as originally specified (SR Laprade -- ubiquitous in the '80s), but the tubing dimensions and everything I can find about the Expedition tells me it should take a 26.8 mm post, and the post that the bike came with measures in at 26.4. My suspicion was raised when I loosened the seat lug binder and the seat post slipped right down to the head all on its own. That, and the binder ears appeared to be more "pinched" than what seemed to be prudent.
Another thing that was changed - questionably - was that someone installed a mountain-bike style quick-release seat post binder bolt. I say "questionably" because such a bolt is totally inappropriate on this type of bike, and it was a terribly bad fit for the type of seat lug binder ears. Between the ill-fitting bolt and the slightly-too-small post, it's lucky the seat lug wasn't irreparably damaged.
Regular readers know that I've had a number of posts in the last few months about various components that I've been gathering. If you haven't guessed, many of those will be going onto this bike in the next few days. Those include:
Specialized "flag" crank
Specialized touring pedals
Shimano MT-60 derailleur
Shimano MT-62 brakes
Brooks B-17 saddle
Upcoming posts will take a closer look at more of the components I'll be putting onto the bike, and eventually, pictures of the completed package.