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1983 Specialized Expedition

Old 11-29-23, 09:22 AM
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1983 Specialized Expedition

Picked this up yesterday for $160. Quite the history touring all over the east coast, original owner had roughly 50 touring patches to show me. Thought Iíd share with the community. Very happy with the find and it should make a fun project down the road.









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Old 11-29-23, 10:28 AM
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Nice find.
Have you seen this discussion? Sanyo Dynapower generator
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Old 11-29-23, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by joesch
Nice find.
Have you seen this discussion? Sanyo Dynapower generator
Thanks for the link. Wasn’t sure what to do with the old lighting, but was leaning towards not using it. I love the look of it, but I think the performance would be very poor.
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Old 11-29-23, 10:43 AM
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You did pretty fantastic. I spent $500 plus shipping on mine and I still have to buy a velocity dyad rim to replace a worn one. Mine did have a few nice upgrades that talked me into spending the coin.
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Old 11-29-23, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
You did pretty fantastic. I spent $500 plus shipping on mine and I still have to buy a velocity dyad rim to replace a worn one. Mine did have a few nice upgrades that talked me into spending the coin.
Thanks. I had 3 bikes in the stable and I’ve been working on a beater, but I just couldn’t pass this one up for the price. As they say… “plus one”.

Looks like they spread the rear dropouts to 130 to accommodate a 7 speed Sachs freewheel, will have to check alignment once disassembled.

They clamped a 25.4mm diameter handlebar into the original Specialized stem that was intended for 26.0mm according to mechanics on the forum. A bit disappointed but quite possibly salvageable.

The frame and fork do appear very straight and I’m hoping for the best when the time to clean and build it comes.

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Old 11-29-23, 11:10 AM
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130mm rear is ample for may good road hubs and stretching it to 135mm is trivially easy. The stem should be fine, that's not that much of a stretch even for aluminum an should get back to its normal clearance. Those Suntour thumbies are desirable, you should have no issues selling them for what bar end shifters would cost you.

I really like the mountech rear derailleur. They got a bad reputation for failing but that's because they were not well suited for what they were intended, mountain bikes. On a road (and touring) bike they don't see the same amount of mud and grit flailing around. On that application they are solid performers with a good amount of chain capacity.

If you rewire the bike, the rear derailleur casing has a metal cup to fit the bit on the chainstay, make sure you don't loose it. A casing end cup is too fat to fit there, and a shifting casing without the end cap would fail in a hurry. For lack of that metal cup, a brake casing (the coiled metal kind) would work without an end cup.
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Old 11-29-23, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
130mm rear is ample for may good road hubs and stretching it to 135mm is trivially easy. The stem should be fine, that's not that much of a stretch even for aluminum an should get back to its normal clearance. Those Suntour thumbies are desirable, you should have no issues selling them for what bar end shifters would cost you.

I really like the mountech rear derailleur. They got a bad reputation for failing but that's because they were not well suited for what they were intended, mountain bikes. On a road (and touring) bike they don't see the same amount of mud and grit flailing around. On that application they are solid performers with a good amount of chain capacity.

If you rewire the bike, the rear derailleur casing has a metal cup to fit the bit on the chainstay, make sure you don't loose it. A casing end cup is too fat to fit there, and a shifting casing without the end cap would fail in a hurry. For lack of that metal cup, a brake casing (the coiled metal kind) would work without an end cup.
I may plan on keeping the old thumb shifters.

I have no idea how I want to setup this bike and I’m planning on taking my time with it, a build to play with over the winter.

Recommendations on how to set it up are very much welcomed. I rather like the thumb shifters and I’m leaning towards selecting bars that could work with them. Maybe butterfly bars?


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Old 11-29-23, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Thanks for the link. Wasnít sure what to do with the old lighting, but was leaning towards not using it. I love the look of it, but I think the performance would be very poor.
Nice find -- and a real bargain!

You can buy LED bulbs that ill fit into those lamps -- they'll put out a lot more light. another option is sticking with the bb generator and replacing both head and taillights with modern B&M or similar German standard LED units (if you're going to use them with any frequency that's the path I'd take as the headlight in particular will be a LOT better).
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Old 11-29-23, 01:50 PM
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$160 is impressive.

Never realized until now that the 83 didn't have double eyelets in front and back. Although it does have three bottle mounts. Whereas the 83 Trek 720 has double eyelets front and back, but two bottle cage mounts (or one bottle mount and a fuel cannister mount depending how you look at it). Funny transitional year for these tourers.

Last edited by polymorphself; 11-29-23 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 11-29-23, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Thanks. I had 3 bikes in the stable and I’ve been working on a beater, but I just couldn’t pass this one up for the price. As they say… “plus one”.

Looks like they spread the rear dropouts to 130 to accommodate a 7 speed Sachs freewheel, will have to check alignment once disassembled.

They clamped a 25.4mm diameter handlebar into the original Specialized stem that was intended for 26.0mm according to mechanics on the forum. A bit disappointed but quite possibly salvageable.

The frame and fork do appear very straight and I’m hoping for the best when the time to clean and build it comes.
I would encourage you to dive into this despite it being pretty deep if you haven't already, you have just acquired the precursor to a bike designed by one of the very best in the business, Jim Merz.

History of Specialized ?

I wouldn't sweat the stem, shim it or change the bar and move on, being a Big S part from that time, it is very robust and plenty light for what it is, more consummate expertise from Mr. Merz.

Last edited by merziac; 11-29-23 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 11-29-23, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
I would encourage you to dive into this despite it being pretty deep if you haven't already, you have just acquired the precursor to a bike designed by one of the very best in the business, Jim Merz.

History of Specialized ?

I wouldn't sweat the stem, shim it or change the bar and move on, being a Big S part from that time, it is very robust and plenty light for what it is, more consummate expertise from Mr. Merz.
Sweet. This was the kind of information I was hoping for. Gaining a better understanding about the bike, builders and the history behind it. I’m not familiar with Jim Merz, but I’m very intrigued to learn about him and other information through your shared link. Thank you

So does this mean that this bike was designed by Jim Merz and manufactured by Miyata?

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Old 11-29-23, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Sweet. This was the kind of information I was hoping for. Gaining a better understanding about the bike, builders and the history behind it. Iím not familiar with Jim Metz, but Iím very intrigued to learn about him and other information through your shared link. Thank you
You're very welcome.

As you may be able to tell from my handle, I have more to share than you may be prepared for, I have drank a lot of Kool-Aid.
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Old 11-29-23, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
You're very welcome.

As you may be able to tell from my handle, I have more to share than you may be prepared for, I have drank a lot of Kool-Aid.
Oh yeah 😂Ö look at the bikes youíve got there.
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Old 11-29-23, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Oh yeah 😂Ö look at the bikes youíve got there.
And that list is sorely out of date, many too many more have joined them including 5 Merz's total, 9 Specialized but no Exped's, Sequoia's or Sirrus's, yet.

The post I referred to touches on the Miyata angle and they did do Big S, not sure of the specifics, many here would know more as we have plenty of die hard Miyata folks.

I'm a fan but don't have any as they are a pool I haven't waded into, yet, either.
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Old 11-29-23, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
I may plan on keeping the old thumb shifters.

I have no idea how I want to setup this bike and Iím planning on taking my time with it, a build to play with over the winter.

Recommendations on how to set it up are very much welcomed. I rather like the thumb shifters and Iím leaning towards selecting bars that could work with them. Maybe butterfly bars?
The PO may have toured like that for a zillion miles but I believe that frame was designed for drop bars, Jim expounded on exactly this recently I think.
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Old 11-29-23, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
The PO may have toured like that for a zillion miles but I believe that frame was designed for drop bars, Jim expounded on exactly this recently I think.
He told me he only recently switched over to these bars. He had the original drop bars installed for most of the bikes life with Suntour down tube shifters. I can understand that the bike was originally suited for drop bars and that may be best. Iíve got months to contemplate what to do and Iíd like to carefully consider my options, I really appreciate the feedback from riders on here.
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Old 11-30-23, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
He told me he only recently switched over to these bars. He had the original drop bars installed for most of the bikes life with Suntour down tube shifters. I can understand that the bike was originally suited for drop bars and that may be best. Iíve got months to contemplate what to do and Iíd like to carefully consider my options, I really appreciate the feedback from riders on here.
Well brifters or bar cons would be the right way to do it and what it was built for.

Here's another article that Jim explains the rationale pretty well.

Handlebar bag rack finished today
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Old 11-30-23, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Well brifters or bar cons would be the right way to do it and what it was built for.

Here's another article that Jim explains the rationale pretty well.

Handlebar bag rack finished today
Sounds like Jim was very serious about cycling and cycle touring. It seems as though he was very devoted to the sport and took great care in designing and building bicycles and accessories. I especially like how he wasnít just motivated to build racks for money so people could buy them and let them collect dust in their closets.
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Old 11-30-23, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
He told me he only recently switched over to these bars. He had the original drop bars installed for most of the bikes life with Suntour down tube shifters. I can understand that the bike was originally suited for drop bars and that may be best. Iíve got months to contemplate what to do and Iíd like to carefully consider my options, I really appreciate the feedback from riders on here.
You do you and I'll high five you for it but to me the bike looks sad without the proper touring bar, specially if you are not into touring it hard. But if you plan on putting thousands of miles on the bike, the bars that best suit you are the correct bars.

Although there is no point running a heavy steel bar when there are so many alloy bars at half the weight. I'm not a gram wheenie but there is no point loading weight unnecessarily.
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Old 11-30-23, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
You do you and I'll high five you for it but to me the bike looks sad without the proper touring bar, specially if you are not into touring it hard. But if you plan on putting thousands of miles on the bike, the bars that best suit you are the correct bars.

Although there is no point running a heavy steel bar when there are so many alloy bars at half the weight. I'm not a gram wheenie but there is no point loading weight unnecessarily.
Completely agree and I’m definitely not using what is on here now. I’m financially challenged and need to take my time with this project to do it some justice.

Most everything appears original except for the bars, levers, shifters, saddle and accessories. I don’t want to go nuts making it all exactly as it was, but I do want it to be a touring bike (although it will see commuter miles more) and for it to be setup as such.

Velo Orange has some interesting touring bars. I’m just tired of traditional drop bars, I rode them for years and never really took to them that much. I like the idea of using something more unique, maybe like a variation of a drop bar that is more shallow with bar-end shifters is what I was thinking.

I have a Jamis Coda with these Ergon bar ends on a flat bar I’m currently enjoying very much.
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Old 11-30-23, 12:49 PM
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Maybe something like this? Anyone have experience riding with these?

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Old 11-30-23, 01:10 PM
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If we are still talking vintage I would say those are ugly as fudge. But if you are doing a resto-custom I have no opinion.

For proper touring bars keep an eye out for a donor Gitane or Centurion bike, some of their early mid range road bikes shipped with very nice and proper touring bars. The whole bike could cost you less than that.

[EDIT]

By the way these would be the correct bars:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/30519468303...item470f054a96

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Old 11-30-23, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
If we are still talking vintage I would say those are ugly as fudge. But if you are doing a resto-custom I have no opinion.

For proper touring bars keep an eye out for a donor Gitane or Centurion bike, some of their early mid range road bikes shipped with very nice and proper touring bars. The whole bike could cost you less than that.

[EDIT]

By the way these would be the correct bars:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/30519468303...item470f054a96
Appreciate the candid response and the link. Something to seriously consider. Iíll have to talk to the bike some and see what it wants too.
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Old 11-30-23, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by boneshaker78
Sounds like Jim was very serious about cycling and cycle touring. It seems as though he was very devoted to the sport and took great care in designing and building bicycles and accessories. I especially like how he wasn’t just motivated to build racks for money so people could buy them and let them collect dust in their closets.
Serious is an understatement, he wrote the book on plenty of this and much else, he has very few equals.

Most people he built for were very much like minded, understood and leaned way in to take full advantage of what he did, the very reason they ended up at his door.

Funny you should mention the gathering dust scenario. Here's JM027 that he built for himself. It had canti's on it when he built it. He later stripped them off as the had gone out of fashion, repainted and sold the frame on.

Luckily the racks stayed with the frame despite having been built for the cantis. It was consigned at Sellwood cycles where they quickly solved the problem by putting the rear brake on the front side of the bridge instead, something nobody else had wanted to do so the racks hadn't been on for 30 years but stayed with the bike, miraculously.




TW189 that was built for Paris-Brest-Paris but didn't go for being a bit small and is in fantastic original shape. Got the original Eclipse panniers from the original owner after the fact but don't have that pic handy atmo.



And RR150 that didn't get custom racks but Blackburns instead and was ridden coast to coast solo right after being built.


It was recently returned to analog for Eroica and will stay that way for awhile since it seems to ride better like this.

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Old 11-30-23, 02:39 PM
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TW189 fully decked out.

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