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Specialized Expedition

Old 10-02-23, 05:31 PM
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@bikemig Actually it was mentioned in post #4. All the more reason.
Post 14 not 4.
Never mind.

Last edited by Hobbiano; 10-02-23 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Never mind.
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Old 10-03-23, 10:42 AM
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Old 10-03-23, 01:28 PM
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I'm really enjoying the gearing changes I made... IRD 7 speed freewheel 13-32, 26 t small ring, and 36t middle ring. With the stock gearing, I felt like I didn't have a low enough first gear for some of the hills (yes, I could ride them, but wished for an easier gear). I also felt like the jump from the middle to large ring was so small that it was more like shifting a gear or two in the back than a front ring change.

Now, I can power up most of the hills I ride in the middle ring, and have a bail out option if needed.
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Old 10-03-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
I'm really enjoying the gearing changes I made... IRD 7 speed freewheel 13-32, 26 t small ring, and 36t middle ring. With the stock gearing, I felt like I didn't have a low enough first gear for some of the hills (yes, I could ride them, but wished for an easier gear). I also felt like the jump from the middle to large ring was so small that it was more like shifting a gear or two in the back than a front ring change.

Now, I can power up most of the hills I ride in the middle ring, and have a bail out option if needed.
This is what its all about and at this point for me is top priority.

If I can keep the vibe and relevance all the better but I will go straight outside the box in a heartbeat if it gets me up the hills better.

Here's a recent interesting scenario. The big silver Merz daily driver was converted to analog for Eroica, plain brake levers and SunTour barcons replaced the Campy 9 speed levers.

Its going to stay this way as it shifts better with the barcons and is easier to trim on the fly with them.



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Old 10-03-23, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
I'm really enjoying the gearing changes I made... IRD 7 speed freewheel 13-32, 26 t small ring, and 36t middle ring. With the stock gearing, I felt like I didn't have a low enough first gear for some of the hills (yes, I could ride them, but wished for an easier gear). I also felt like the jump from the middle to large ring was so small that it was more like shifting a gear or two in the back than a front ring change.

Now, I can power up most of the hills I ride in the middle ring, and have a bail out option if needed.
I can't tell if you know this- but the two relatively close big rings and the bail out gearing is referred to as "half-step and a granny."

It was originally conceived for a 5 gear rear end, so that the difference between a shift in the big and middle ring was effectively a step between each gear in the back. I vaguely understand the concept- but for the most part I just rode in whatever ring I was in, and if it was a touch too hard or too easy, I could back off or move up a half step.

But, like you, I prefer to use the middle ring as a much more usable gearing solution throughout a much fuller range.
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Old 10-03-23, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
I'm really enjoying the gearing changes I made... IRD 7 speed freewheel 13-32, 26 t small ring, and 36t middle ring. With the stock gearing, I felt like I didn't have a low enough first gear for some of the hills (yes, I could ride them, but wished for an easier gear). I also felt like the jump from the middle to large ring was so small that it was more like shifting a gear or two in the back than a front ring change.

Now, I can power up most of the hills I ride in the middle ring, and have a bail out option if needed.
^^^^^^
And it should make for interesting conversation if anybody notices whats going on here.

This setup gets me up most hills but I am finding I could use more help more and more.

The barcons did help as I seem to be able to shift into the gear that actually helps better.
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Old 10-03-23, 06:05 PM
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Congratulations hooperja on the Expedition.

They are terrific bikes and capable tourers.

I speak from experience as I also had a 1983 model in the 60cm size.

I changed up every part and had a few extra braze ons added in preparation for a couple of bike tours.

I used a XT triple crank and 34 big cog cassette to get me up the mountain passes.
The 22T granny on that crank was the only way I made up up some of the steep climbs in the Rockies and Sierras .

700 some odd miles each time on two different tours in 2008 and 2009 proved it's capability to me.

I was loaded heavy with about 65 pounds of too much gear but the Expedition did not miss a beat.

I wish I could get that bike back.

I hope yours brings you much riding joy and many great memories.

I know mine did.

I could probably dig out a pic if I searched but mine did not have decals as I had the thing nickel plated and never got around to decals.

Last edited by cooperryder; 10-23-23 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 10-03-23, 09:22 PM
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The expedition was made 1983, 1984, 1985. Some frame differences: '83 had clamp-on DT shifters, no "S" logo on fork crown. '84 has braze-on DT shifters, but no "S" logo on fork crown; '85 has braze-on DT shifters and "S" logo on fork crown.

I've got a 1985 Expedition - I bought it from original owner several years ago. It's my favorite all-round bike. Original owner swapped out some original parts way back when to 105 index shifters, XT rear derailleur. I changed out the handlebar for a nice Nitto rando bar. Toured on it in eastern Oregon several years ago. Typically have Panaracer Pasela PT 700x35 on it, but lately I'm using some 700x33 cross tires on it.

Also I've got a 60cm 1983 Expedition in amazing condition, nearly all original (including Jim Blackburn front/rear racks, Avocet Touring I saddle, a vintage Silca pump, and even a Sanyo generator and lights). The bike was ridden very low miles. I just overhauled it and put on new cables, tires/tubes, pedal straps, brake hoods and handlebar tape. I'll be taking photos of it tomorrow and listing it for sale here on BF and also in a few other places. To whet your appetite here's the "before" bike as I purchased it (drive side!)
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Old 10-03-23, 09:52 PM
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Iowhat, how do we know the Expedition wasn't made in '86? You seem to have a lot of info, so I'm wondering how you came to that conclusion. Something definitive would be nice and I'll correct one of my earlier posts.

I appreciate the difference noted between '84 and '85. I've seen catalogue scans of both years, but of course, these differences aren't specified.
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Old 10-04-23, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
Iowhat, how do we know the Expedition wasn't made in '86?
I don't know either way- but, historically, it seemed the bottom dropped out of the touring market- being supplanted by ATBs and MTBs. Trek didn't have a tourer in 1986 (with the exception of the 620 Cirrus- which was just leftover 85 620s with different paint and graphics, and wasn't in a catalog), and in fact, most of all the 1985 Trek 720s were built in 1984... meaning they didn't sell a whole lot in 84/85. Additionally, Schwinn discontinued the Voyageur SP after 1985 and just continued with the Voyageur. So it really wouldn't surprise me that an expensive bike like the Expedition would have been discontinued in that environment.
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Old 10-04-23, 10:49 AM
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Well, I don't know 100% for certain, but just have not ever seen an Expedition frame with a 1986 serial number.
My 1985 Expedition has a frame that was produced in 1984 (serial # starts with "M") and the 1983 Expedition I'll be selling has a frame produced in 1983 (serial # starts with "L").

Until we find that 1986 catalog scan or someone chimes in with definitive proof I guess we'll have to leave things as "tentative".
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Old 10-04-23, 02:29 PM
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I just posted my 1983 Specialized Expedition (60cm) in the Marketplace "For Sale". Here's the finished bike (ready for you!)
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Old 10-04-23, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Iowhat
I just posted my 1983 Specialized Expedition (60cm) in the Marketplace "For Sale". Here's the finished bike (ready for you!)
You may want to post it in the classic & vintage sales section, itíll get more traction that way.
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Old 10-04-23, 03:13 PM
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Just posted one for sale
Specialized expedition upgraded/as is size 54
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Old 10-06-23, 07:46 PM
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I don't get a chance to bike commute often these days, but fortunately for me today was one of those days. This is on a paved trail on the way home.


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Old 10-07-23, 11:21 AM
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Must be a regional thing. Until 2 weeks ago I have never noticed the Expedition before. Since then, the co-op has received 2.

And on my pub crawl last night, saw another two along the bike path, plus another outside the gallery for the 24 hours of playing Louis-Louis.

I'm part of an ad-hoc band. Kazoo and Jew's Harp.

Some local shop must have seen their design genius and ordered tonnes.
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Old 10-07-23, 12:03 PM
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I was passed on the 205 path by one going the other way.
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Old 10-07-23, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
I don't get a chance to bike commute often these days, but fortunately for me today was one of those days. This is on a paved trail on the way home
I need to start getting in the habit again so I plan on cheating; instead of attempting to commute the 43 miles from home and back I'll pick a point probably 10 miles out. Drive there, switch to the bike, then 'commute' back to the car. Not as soul inspiring as commuting all the way but at least I can put miles under the tires.
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Old 10-08-23, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
I need to start getting in the habit again so I plan on cheating; instead of attempting to commute the 43 miles from home and back I'll pick a point probably 10 miles out. Drive there, switch to the bike, then 'commute' back to the car. Not as soul inspiring as commuting all the way but at least I can put miles under the tires.
Off topic, but there is a lot of wisdom in this and I think everyone should re-read it. Give yourself permission to do what you think is reasonable for you. Not doing 'it' to 100% of someone else's idea or ideal is irrelevant to you.
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Old 10-08-23, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hopperja
Off topic, but there is a lot of wisdom in this and I think everyone should re-read it. Give yourself permission to do what you think is reasonable for you. Not doing 'it' to 100% of someone else's idea or ideal is irrelevant to you.
This is absolutely key, I have no sense of humor about getting a lift on the MAX light rail to get over or around hills I'm to tired and/or lazy to go under my own power.

This is often how I get back out the next day from not blowing out the day before and so on.

I can cover a lot more ground if I use other resources and do.
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Old 10-09-23, 01:40 AM
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I own one in 58, honestly, the Specialized Expedition is what a modern Surly Disc Trucker wished it was. The SE is as sturdy as the Trucker but also like a racing bike, so it's fast AND well built. Absolutely phenomenal to ride.

I cannot understand why Surly didn't just copy the SE's geometry. It might have come out better than what they had.
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Old 10-15-23, 06:22 PM
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I love my '85 Expedition....this morning I did a 45 mile ride, comfy with a front bag (vintage Cannondale bag) and averaged about 15 mph with 700x35 tires. I've toured on it, scrambled on gravel forest roads, and just ride it where/whenever.
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Old 10-16-23, 12:31 PM
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The best bikes for touring that were made in the 1980's were the ones targeting triathletes. After the long swim for the first event the riders wanted a stable bike that was easy to control and so the bikes had less severe head tube angles and more fork rake. A good example is the Centurion Dave Scott Ironman bike that I owned until a few years ago. Only downside for me is that it used downtube gear shift levers. It was very stable at speeds over 50 mph on pavement. But for it having 10 speeds and no brifter gear/brake levers, it is as good as any bike made today. At the current time I would look at what are termed "endurance" bikes.
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Old 10-16-23, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
The best bikes for touring that were made in the 1980's were the ones targeting triathletes. After the long swim for the first event the riders wanted a stable bike that was easy to control and so the bikes had less severe head tube angles and more fork rake. A good example is the Centurion Dave Scott Ironman bike that I owned until a few years ago. Only downside for me is that it used downtube gear shift levers. It was very stable at speeds over 50 mph on pavement. But for it having 10 speeds and no brifter gear/brake levers, it is as good as any bike made today. At the current time I would look at what are termed "endurance" bikes.
it depends what sort of touring you have in mind. They may be fantastic for light and credit card touring but fail hard for loaded touring. My trek 720 feels better with 40 pounds of gear than without.

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Old 10-16-23, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
The best bikes for touring that were made in the 1980's were the ones targeting triathletes. After the long swim for the first event the riders wanted a stable bike that was easy to control and so the bikes had less severe head tube angles and more fork rake. A good example is the Centurion Dave Scott Ironman bike that I owned until a few years ago. Only downside for me is that it used downtube gear shift levers. It was very stable at speeds over 50 mph on pavement. But for it having 10 speeds and no brifter gear/brake levers, it is as good as any bike made today. At the current time I would look at what are termed "endurance" bikes.
Thatís like saying the best pickup trucks were 1970ís station wagons! The best touring bikes were/are touring bikes. There is nothing redeeming about some old mass produced Dave Scott which other than a hipster paint job and a decal made it different from other bikes of its time including the geometry.
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