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  1. #1
    Groupetto Dragon-Ass Chuckk's Avatar
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    Specialized Allez Epic

    A couple of weeks ago I found one of those "Bikes I've Always Wanted" and made it mine.
    I've been trying to get more of a feel for the history of the Epic since, and have been stymied like no other "modernish vintage" bike before. Hope that the forum can add something.

    What's the date range for the lugged and glued Epics? I think mine is a '91 (though the previous owner swore it was a '99). Components are mid 1990.

    Where did they fit into the Specialized line? What was the MSRP?

    Did they define sub-models with the various Shimano groups? Mine is 105, but I know I've seen 600 Epics.

    I read they were Taiwanese built. My serial number begins with a G, does that imply Giant?

    Tapping on the tubes sounds a lot more metallic than most CF bikes. Is this one of the CF wrapped around an aluminum tube bikes?

    My take on the ride is that it's super stable for a fairly tight bike, but SO smooth riding that it's fooled me into thinking the tires were under-inflated!

    Last edited by Chuckk; 05-26-08 at 02:30 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member dudeona3V's Avatar
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    I have one of the show bikes from 1990. It was later owned (and ridden a lot) by a Specialized staffer until I bought it a couple years ago. Mine's full Dura-Ace and branded Epic Pro. They didn't have a very long run. Specialized went to M2 around 1992 and abandoned lugged carbon. I don't believe it's carbon over aluminum, but I could be wrong. In any case, no way it's a '99. Specialized did return with carbon in the late 90s, but it was monocoque. Giant was a client of mine at around that time and they—or more accurately their manufacturer was making the frames for several marques including Specialized. I don't know if the 'G' denotes that or is pure coincidence, but it does have some logic to it. In any case, they're really interesting bikes and if you haven't already done so, wax it up and get it out in bright sunlight. Looking through that snakeskin carbon is really cool.


  3. #3
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    Tubes are carbon. The lugs are extremely long internally. The outer bit looks "normal" but the inner lug extends a few inches in each tube. This allegedly helped stiffen up the bike. One of their major marketing/selling points.

    The tubes were also a bit oversized compared to its contemporaries. Nowadays it looks skinny but it was beefier than the Vitus/Giant/etc of those days.

    I was under the impression Giant made them but that may have been urban myth etc.

    I had the later "red" ones, where they candy-red coated the whole frame. Comfy bike but not one I'd race. I got it as a "road race" bike to complement my M2 race bike. I figured I could be kinda like a pro - two frames with the same geometry, one for rough/long rides, the other for short crit type things.

    I ended up selling the carbon bike when it was virtually brand new. Pretty bike.

    cdr

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Mine is newer than that, and doesn't say Allez on the downtube. I believe mine is 94-ish, and I think the '93 had the same paint but with yellow lettering like yours.



    Incidentally, I think I'm going to put mine on Craigslist soon. I'm just not a fan of the ride.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dudeona3V's Avatar
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    ^^^ I dig the look with the SS/chain tensioner

  6. #6
    Groupetto Dragon-Ass Chuckk's Avatar
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    Here's what I found on the Specialized web site on the Allez Epic:

    The Allez Epic frame began production around '88-89 and continued every model year until 1995. Though different cosmetically, structurally the frames were basically unchanged. Barring abuse/neglect, these frames will deliver many, many years of high performance.

    As complete bikes, Allez Epics were available in many configurations, appearing with the full range of Shimano component groups, some Campagnolo spec's, and in 6-, 7- and 8-speed formats, depending on model and year. Consequently, prices varied dramatically.
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  7. #7
    Panasonic Nut ZeRinger's Avatar
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    The 1991 Allez Epic Ultegra had an MSRP of $1,355 and the Allez Epic Dura Ace $2,169 according to the 1991 Bicycling magazine buyer's guide issue. The 105 SC equipped bike for 1991 was the Allez Transition at $922 but it was not carbon... Direct Drive CroMo whatever that is.

    Perhaps someone swapped groups on your bike? Looks like '91 would be 600 Ultegra or Dura Ace only.
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    I have this Bike

    I bought this bike new, I thought in '92, but from reading these posts, it sounds like it may have been earlier. It is configured exactly as in the picture. I only paid $799 for it (which was alot for me at that time). I have loved this bike, but just this weekend, I found that I need a new crank. A 105 crank is going to run me close to $300, and I'm thinking it is time for a new bike. I've been looking at current Allez, but they are all aluminum, I've also ridden orbea onix, scattante comp and a Fuji cr4 (??). They are sure alot lighter than they were in the 90's, but I still feel better on the allez!!

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    Btw...What did you pay for this bike, is it worth trying to sell to defer the cost of a new one?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Almost bought a real nice 80s/early 90s(?) Epic CF frameset about a month ago, but I dreaded trying to collect the DA7400 group I would want for it. I also can't fiure out the confusing "pedigree" of these early Specialized CF framesets....Taiwan??..Japan??..whatever.. just kinda loses focus for me as a C&V bike....
    I might still consider geting one in the future.
    BTW, upon reading about the Epics in the internet, it was mentioned by some out there that Specialized really just predicted a 10 year maximum service life for these CF/AL lugged framesets?? I think it's BS, but you never know these days........

    Chombi

  11. #11
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchfun View Post
    I bought this bike new, I thought in '92, but from reading these posts, it sounds like it may have been earlier. It is configured exactly as in the picture. I only paid $799 for it (which was alot for me at that time). I have loved this bike, but just this weekend, I found that I need a new crank. A 105 crank is going to run me close to $300, and I'm thinking it is time for a new bike. I've been looking at current Allez, but they are all aluminum, I've also ridden orbea onix, scattante comp and a Fuji cr4 (??). They are sure alot lighter than they were in the 90's, but I still feel better on the allez!!
    Not sure why a crank would run you $300? 105 10-speed maybe? A new 105 9-sp crank is about $50 from a Taiwan supplier; I've bought 2 from him, along with other new 9-sp 105 stuff..

    I, too covet a Allez or Epic in CF. The last two around here sold for $300 with DT shifting, and one sold for $400 with STI's, both 600 tricolor. Both had the polished lugs. A painted one came up for sale and it was cracked around the lugs, and another painted one came up, burgundy, and it was also cracked.

    Doesn't matter, I still want one. And the Cadex.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

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    ...or maybe you did, and that's why you're so mad.


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  12. #12
    Я люблю суп abarth's Avatar
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    What is wrong with your cranks? Are the teeth wore off, if so just replace the chainrings. You can get a good condition used crankset from ebay or craigslist for $10-$50. I have a 93 Specialized Epic Carbon, same as Allez Epic, I love mine and very comfortable to ride. The Epic goes for about $300-$400 in the Seattle area.

  13. #13
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    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
    I'm still riding the one I started this string with. Slowly swapping from the 105 it came with up to 600 as the stuff falls into my hands.

    When it came time to choose a bike for my 62miles@62 birthday ride last November, it's the one I chose.
    Super comfortable AND efficient - can't beat that.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by abarth View Post
    What is wrong with your cranks? Are the teeth wore off, if so just replace the chainrings. You can get a good condition used crankset from ebay or craigslist for $10-$50. I have a 93 Specialized Epic Carbon, same as Allez Epic, I love mine and very comfortable to ride. The Epic goes for about $300-$400 in the Seattle area.
    No, it's not the teeth, surprisingly, the teeth on both front and back have held up very well. I had a problem on the road with my pedals and in a hurry I got the left one started crooked and ruined the threads. I will look into a different source for the crank. The 300 was parts and labor, I suppose I could attempt to put it on myself and save a few extra $$$. But now that I've been test riding 2009 bikes, I think I might be hooked. They are sure lighter than this one.

  15. #15
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchfun View Post
    and in a hurry I got the left one started crooked and ruined the threads.
    http://sporting-goods.shop.ebay.com/...=p3286.c0.m282

    http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=Par...sacat=0&bkBtn=

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchfun View Post
    But now that I've been test riding 2009 bikes, I think I might be hooked. They are sure lighter than this one.
    Nice stuff to say in C&V.

    Troll.

    -Kurt

  16. #16
    Groupetto Dragon-Ass Chuckk's Avatar
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    I like my '91 Epic so much that when a partial '94 appeared on CL I couldn't pass it up. It had been a tri-bike project which the owner lost interest in FOURTEEN YEARS ago. Last year the owner sold the drive train and brifters off it, but what was left was a lightly used frame (missing the rear cable stop) and a partial set of replacement parts. I went for a retro look with non-aero levers, friction shifters, and shed parts.



    Last edited by Chuckk; 09-19-11 at 09:20 AM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I still like those, I think I see the same ones around here for sale every once in a while.
    One of the sellers simply likes to test the market, I think.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

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    ...or maybe you did, and that's why you're so mad.


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    I have the Specialized 1991 bike catalog, the ALLEZ came in five models, Allez Epic Dura-Ace, Allez Epic Ultegra, Allez Epic 105, Allez Transition Pro (Ultegra) and the Allez Transition (105). I have the Allez Epic 105 which sold for $900.

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    bumpiong an old post

    Teh bike in the original post looks to be a 91.

    89 was the first production year with glossy finish yellow and purple graphics, polishes lugs and fork. Specialized had problems with the epoxy used on the lugs and had quite a few separate (I got a free replacement in 92)
    90 had outlined red graphics with satin finished lugs and forks
    91 had yellow only graphics with satin lugs and fork
    92 on is difficult to tell because they began painting the forks and frames, but they had teh Eipc (105), Epic Comp (600/Ultegra), and Epic Pro (Dura-Ace)

    My replacement frame lasted 14 years before I finally moved on to an E-5 S-Works. It was still structurally sound and as many said--absolutely a comfortable ride for long distances. If I wer building a century only bike--this might be an option. Hard to believe I raced it, but at the time, it was an industry standard.

    BTW--I am still hooked on Specialized because of that bike. I now have a 2008 S-Works Tarmac SL2 w/ SRAM Red, Mavic Cosmic Cabone SLR wheels and Zero Gravity N.E.R.D.Brakes...but there are days I wish I still had my old Epic.

  20. #20
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    I saw this thread and thought I would post some pics of my epic that I am working onepic01.jpgepic02.jpgepic03.jpgepic04.jpg

  21. #21
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    squachie - that bike looks incredible. awesome work

  22. #22
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    Squachie, that one with the "square-pattern" carbon finish and red lettering is from 1989 I believe.

    I bought the same bike but from 1990, it had yellow lettering, the same square-pattern carbon finish and same 7-sp 105 gruppo. It was being closed out at I. Martin in Los Angeles for $599 in January 1992.

    The "diamond-pattern" carbon finish came next, around 1991 or 1992 I think. After that, they added tinted clearcoats and paint fades to the diamond-pattern carbon.

    These frames are a steep 74 degrees, and are on the stiff side for sure. They are a good go-fast bike.

    I would expect the bike shown above (with the 3-speed style handlebars) to be rather twitchy with the grips so close to being inline with the steering axis.

    These bikes do seem to handle better (more calm, more neutral) with a longer stem and a lower handlebar position. They are race bikes after all.

    I traded my yellow-letter, 58cm Epic for a used, red-letter, 56cm Epic, which allowed me to use a 1cm-longer stem and which changed the handling much for the better.
    It is calmer, and I no longer found myself drifting to the inside of turns too early. I still have it!

  23. #23
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    Hey Chuck-

    Congratulations on nabbing the elusive prize!
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  24. #24
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    Cudak888, thanks for the shopping tips! Such a deal!



    And Chuckk, what a sleeper that those non-aero levers created. Great barn-build!

  25. #25
    Super Moderator cb400bill's Avatar
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    I attended a local bike race back in 2012 and I spied this Epic as the rider was warming up for his race. He let me get a quick pic of it before he lined up for the start.

    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

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