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Early 1980's Specialized Sequoia

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Early 1980's Specialized Sequoia

Old 04-11-08, 04:33 PM
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Early 1980's Specialized Sequoia

Can anyone tell me about the history of this model? Was it particularly notable in any way? Were older versions better built than later versions? Is it primarily a touring bike?
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Old 04-11-08, 04:41 PM
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A very nice old touring bike.
Shimano canti's, deer head RD, Specialized hubs.
One of my friends toured for most of the 80's on one of those. I used for commuting when he needed to store it.
We both missed "the mule" when it was stolen. I'd like to have one again.
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Old 04-11-08, 04:59 PM
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The "mule" as in slow and sure-footed and for the beating it endured and the load it carried? How about the Specialized Expedition, was this their true touring bike with the Sequoia more of a sport/tourer?

Last edited by exploring; 04-11-08 at 05:00 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-11-08, 09:21 PM
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"How about the Specialized Expedition, was this their true touring bike with the Sequoia more of a sport/tourer?"
Yes, the Expedition has 40 spoke wheels front & rear. It can really carry a load. I have only seen a couple of the Sequoia models but they looked like more of a sport tour bike. Don
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84Expedition.jpg (98.9 KB, 662 views)

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Old 04-12-08, 01:33 PM
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That's a nice looking bike. Any other comments available on the older steel Sequoia's? I know the name remained popular in their product line continuing as an aluminum bike.
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Old 04-12-08, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
I have only seen a couple of the Sequoia models but they looked like more of a sport tour bike. Don

+1.

All the older steel Sequoias I've seen have been sport tourers w/calipers. If they were in fact full dedicated tourers at one point, I'd love to see some pics.
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Old 04-13-08, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalbicycle
+1.

All the older steel Sequoias I've seen have been sport tourers w/calipers. If they were in fact full dedicated tourers at one point, I'd love to see some pics.
Hmm. I'm pretty sure the one I was riding was a Sequoia but I could be wrong.
I do know that it had cantilever brakes as I adjusted them quite a few times over the years.
And the bike had the old Shimano deer head on the back RD. But it should be Suntour?
Maybe I am just getting so old that it's all starting to blend together!
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Old 12-04-09, 12:19 PM
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The first Sequoias were built in 1981, and were touring geometry with chromed Shimano dropouts and normal/long reach caliper brakes. When the Expedition came out, the Sequoia Geometry was updated to sport touring. The early Sequoias were built by 3Rensho, really, I had Tim Neenan confirm this. He designed the first Sequoia and Allez and his name is on the chainstay. Those first Sequoias are hand built beauties, and are very rare. I have seen one in recent years. They have a deeper blue paint color than the later blue Sequoias, and as mentioned, chromed dropouts. No chrome.....no 3Rensho. The decals will say Specialized on the downtube and Sequoia on the top tube.
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Old 12-21-09, 11:41 AM
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Specialized/Sequoia still out there ;-)

Originally Posted by dgilber
Those first Sequoias are hand built beauties, and are very rare. I have seen one in recent years. They have a deeper blue paint color than the later blue Sequoias, and as mentioned, chromed dropouts. No chrome.....no 3Rensho. The decals will say Specialized on the downtube and Sequoia on the top tube.
I am training for my first Ironman, on my Sequoia that I bought in the '80s. I actually took it in to get it worked on and the 20-something who worked on it was all bright-eyed to be working on 'such a great old classic' - yikes, was it really 20 years ago it was new!?

I just went out to the garage to see if I had the chrome - didn't think so and nope, don't. But suffice it to say that one '80s Specialized/Sequoia will be pumpin' it out for the Ironman in Louisville in 2010 ;-)

DSCF6194.jpg
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Old 06-09-10, 04:46 PM
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As to Tim Neenan confirming that 3Rensho made frames for Specialized, did he give any other details? Were there cable guides on the underside of the bottom bracket? On the inside of the fork crown lug of my Sequoia ( the one from the heaveBay auction a month or so ago ), the blades pointing down the fork blades have a hole drilled in the center, presumably to help when soldering the frame together: characteristic of 3Rensho?

I'm also curious to know who built the frame if it's not 3Rensho: Miyata? They built the Expeditions for Specialized according to the designs of Jim Merz, so I'm curious to know what else Miyata may have built for Mike Sinyard.

Last edited by 40spokes; 06-09-10 at 04:48 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 06-25-10, 03:00 PM
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Tim Neenan just said the early Sequoias were built by 3rensho. It would be just in 1981 and I think part of 1982 they were built. Once the Miyata made Expedition came out the geometry of the Sequoia was changed, as well as the manufacturer (probably Miyata). Allez SE's were also made by Miyata, starting in 1984. Top end Allez's from 1984 were 3rensho built and a few details from earlier ones changed (campy dropouts on 1984's). In regards to Sequoias, the 3rensho ones were a deeper blue color and had fully chromed forks underneath the paint. They also had longer wheelbases for touring, and more rake to the fork. Most likely no serial number on bottom bracket of 3rensho Sequoias, just the size in CM. Look on page 2 of this brochure to see a 3rensho Sequoia: https://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/pdf/Sequoiabro.pdf
yes, its a very small image.
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Old 06-25-10, 05:00 PM
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For reference and informational archive, here's the frameset that sold April 30, 2010 on ebay (possibly 40spokes'?) for $318 before shipping.
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Sequoia_3Rensho_0&.JPG (29.1 KB, 510 views)
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Sequoia_3Rensho_0&.JPG (30.1 KB, 488 views)
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Sequoia_3Rensho_0&.JPG (31.6 KB, 475 views)
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Sequoia_3Rensho_0&.JPG (49.8 KB, 545 views)
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Old 06-25-10, 05:03 PM
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And here's a complete (but 'upgraded') Sequoia that sold June 13, 2010 on ebay for $380 before shipping.
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Sequoia_06..JPG (26.2 KB, 519 views)
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Sequoia_05..JPG (22.8 KB, 501 views)
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Sequoia_04..JPG (22.1 KB, 505 views)
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Sequoia_01..JPG (44.1 KB, 586 views)
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Sequoia_02..JPG (20.9 KB, 489 views)
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Old 06-28-10, 06:23 PM
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My Sequoia and what it has...since I can't edit my post...

Correctamundo! I now own the Sequoia sold in April on heaveBay. It's taking up residence with the "Queen of the Fleet" Expedition and the Allez. Is it a 3Rensho? Don't know, don't care...it's simply a great bike.

But it does have chromed Shimano dropouts front and rear, a Neenan decal on the non-drivetrain chainstay, the old-style Specialized decal on the downtube and a Sequoia decal on the drivetrain side of the top tube. No serial number on the bottom bracket, but it's size, 60 ( "Yesssssssssss! " ), is stamped in off to the side of the brazed-on cable guides, and guess what? The fork is fully chromed.

What it also has is something I've never seen before. On the inside fork crown points, there are cut-outs in the shape of hearts, and in the middle of the hearts, there are holes, presumably for ventilation when the fork was soldered. I've never seen vent holes in that location. Two of my Expeditions, "K" serial numbers and No braze-ons for downtube shifter, have the hearts but not the weep holes.
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Old 06-28-10, 10:24 PM
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My mid-80s Sequoia came with Suntour Superbe components, 6-speed downtube friction shifters, and chromed dropouts, DS chainstay, and fork (but painted). It's all original except for pedals, rear derailleur (managed to mangle it with the chain), and wear items (tires, chains). One notable thing about the model is that Grant Peterson (Rivendell) once called it the best production bike ever made.

Here it is on a camping trip to Yosemite last year.


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Old 06-30-10, 06:54 PM
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And with a Kirtland handlebar bag, no less! And orange Cannondales? Didn't know they came in orange!

Post more photos ( which'll make me assemble mine faster )!
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Old 07-01-10, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 40spokes
And with a Kirtland handlebar bag, no less! And orange Cannondales? Didn't know they came in orange!
I'm pretty sure they didn't. These are a cheap Nashbar (then called Bike Warehouse) knock-off of the Cannondale design but with much thinner material. The panniers date to the mid-70s and are starting to fall apart after only 35 years.

Here's another picture, this time at McWay Falls on the California coast.
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Old 07-01-10, 02:31 PM
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Memories...ah...Bike Warehouse...wished I had held on to their old catalogs. The exploded drawings allowed me to disassemble whatever I wanted to, which started me on a lifelong path of All Things Bicycle. Now the bicycle toolboxes outnumber the automobile toolboxes.

Great shot at the fall, btw, but you should have taken a picture of the other side of the bike where your Huret Multito odometer is!

Have you stayed with the original 30-46-50 on the crankset and a 13-15-17-20-24-28 freewheel? I've become attached to the half-step and granny of the '84 Expedition ( 24-44-48 / 13-15-17-20-24-30 ), but I'm considering the o.e. chainrings.
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Old 07-01-10, 11:23 PM
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No Multito, in fact you can see a decidedly out-of-period Garmin GPS-V on top of the handlebars. (I like to use the GPS tracklog to record my rides/pictures - that trip is at:
https://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=220688 )

Still has the 30-46-50 rings and the 6-spd freewheel with maximum 28 cog, but there's a 7-spd 13-32 freewheel waiting to take its place upon the next chain replacement.
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Old 07-25-10, 10:21 AM
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It is interesting & informative to read through this thread in that we have one of these Tim Neenan Sequoia's.
If these are rare, then the 18" triangle frame is even rarer I suppose. As for the chrome, it is
not just the dropouts, but also the fork & stays. Anyhow it is nice to read about the bike.
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Old 08-20-10, 09:01 PM
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I just posted my beloved 1982/1983 vintage Specialized Sequoia on Craig's List.
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/bik/1910494375.html
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Old 11-25-10, 02:51 PM
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Here is my wife's 18" 1981 Sequoia on it's winter perch. Being so small there is no lugs on the head tube.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/56316722@N02/5207597344/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/56316722@N02/5207596742/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/56316722@N02/5207596304/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/56316722@N02/5206996881/

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Old 12-03-10, 10:47 AM
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Beautiful Sequoia. I wonder whether Grant Peterson, when rated the 83 Sequoia as one of the best production bicycles, whether he was referring to the original, like yours, or the Expedition sister ship version (like mine). I vote for yours! - Jim
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Old 07-11-11, 04:50 PM
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3Rensho Sequoia frames

The 3Rensho-built Sequoias have a distinct chainstay attachment at the seatpost. Go to post #13 and click on the last photo link and you'll that the chainstays were brazed onto the lug that connects the top and seat tubes in a unique way.

I found this info in a thread of photos of either Sequoias or Specialized bikes. I think the name was "spoke sniffer" and he identified himself as a long-time Specialized employee.

Well, pardner, seems to me that makes that there heaveBay purchase of your'n a San Rensho.

Yippee high ho hooray!
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Old 07-21-11, 11:46 AM
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Hi, I also have a Sequoia from the early 80, I believe I bought it around 1983. I rode it all over the Bay Area and along the California coast. I still have it and rode it not to long ago, could use a good tune up, but a great bike none the less. Anyone know what they might be worth I may consider selling mine. I bought a Cannondale a few years back, And I am thionking of up grading to an Orbea. Thanks for the history lesson on the Sequoia, brought back some fond memories.
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