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Specialized Allez, another grail bike acquired

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Specialized Allez, another grail bike acquired

Old 05-13-12, 08:08 PM
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Specialized Allez, another grail bike acquired

i've been on the look out for a Yoshi Konno built Specialized Allez or a less wild, less aero inspired 3Rensho for a while now.

a few YK built bikes/frame sets popped up during my search but either sold immediately (a Super Record equipped bike on CL for $500), sold for far more than i was ready to spend (a nice purple 3Rensho frame sold on eBay for over $2000), or the most common issue, they were too small.

i spotted this one on eBay some time in March of this year, the few crappy photos from the auction weren't terribly inspiring so i contacted the seller. i never received a response to my email so i called the seller a few weeks after the auction ended. he still had the bike, said the components were in excellent condition, said the frame had paint chips but absolutely no dents or dings, and told me he was the original owner. so last weekend i hauled my brother on a 10 hour round trip car ride from Orange County to Fresno, ~260 miles one way.

the components were mostly Shimano 600 Tri-color, an "upgrade" from the Super Record. they aren't in bad condition but far from excellent.

the paint was as described or better and the decals are 99.9% intact!

in the end, i paid the asking price. perhaps a bit more than it's worth on the market, but worth every penny to me. when would i see another one in my size?


upon getting home, i rode it around the Newport Back Bay loop, a nice 11 mile paved bike path by my house. everything worked, the frame fit well, it was time to tear it down.

the bike was filthy! i gave it a quick wipe down and checked for any rust issues. there's a bit of paint bubbling under a brake cable guide and the shifter cable guide was bent but easily realigned.
























it has all the common paint chips and a few extras for good measure. it was near impossible to capture but the red paint has a fine sparkle to it, gorgeous! some final cleaning and a good wax and she'll be ready to build up.

the lug work is sublime.


can anyone tell me what these bikes originally came equipped with? i've seen plenty with Campagnolo Super Record, and that's what the original owner remembers. also, the Record brake calipers were still present.


i have a Super Record group ready to go, but i kind of wanted to do a Japanese build. also, i've been tempted to do a modern build. i have a Shimano Dura Ace 7700 group standing by as well as a 9 speed Record group.

i think the Super Record will win out though. i'm not terribly impressed with the 9 speed Record and i have a custom Bill Holland that i was planning on putting the 7700 on.

piecing together an all Japanese group sounds like loads of fun but i'm not well versed in such things and after checking ScottRyder's blog for inspiration, then eBay, i'm not sure the parts i'd like are readily available.


oh, and does anyone have a 26.8mm Super Record seat post they'd like to trade for a 2-bolt Record seat post?

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Old 05-13-12, 08:48 PM
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The specialized Allez in Ameican Flyers had Sun Tour Superbe if I recall correctly.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:08 PM
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Congrats on your find. I'm not jealous, not at all, even a little bit, nope.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:13 PM
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Do all the Specializes Allezs of that vintage come with Campy dropouts? I saw an Allez a few months ago for like $100 but upon doing some research people said it was an average bike. Hmm.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:18 PM
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nice lookin bike

i confess i don't really know anything of specialized. no clue that the allez's were worth anything.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Yeller View Post
The specialized Allez in Ameican Flyers had Sun Tour Superbe if I recall correctly.
This would be really hot, though not as fancy as SR.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:32 PM
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just wondering if it has a cinelli BB cage ? i am trying to identify a bike that was used for competition racing but repainted. it had several specialized stickers but no "S" stampings/engravings. tubing appears to be columbus SL, campy DOs and cinelli BB. came with DA-7400. wondering if it's a tesch-built allez...

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Old 05-13-12, 09:35 PM
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Nice find Alex. The Back Bay loop would be fun on that. Good luck with the build whatever you decide to put on it. Just let me know when it's done so I can help you test it.
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Old 05-13-12, 10:14 PM
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not all Specialized Allez's are created equal. the Yoshi Konno build models are the only ones with Campi drop outs (some may have had forged Shimano and Suntour drops), offset fork crown and the ultra fine lug work. my understanding is these were available in the early 80's only, '80-'83 or so. Specialized contracted with Yoshi to build a small run of these frames, original owner claimed that roughly 80 were built.

the original owner also seemed to think they were build for the Specialized professional cycling team, a theory i'd never heard before, but never used by them. that's not to say they were all built for the team, but part of his contract was to build team frames. this is just what he remembers being told some 20 years ago so i can't confirm any of this.

there were two generations of YK built frames, the first having "allez" and the second having the Specialized stylized "S" on the seat stay cap.

the forward offset fork crown was used to reduce the amount of rake applied to the fork blades. the idea was that a straighter fork blade would flex less while still providing the desired rake.

nuron-chances are very good that the $100 model you saw for sale was not a YK built Allez, but if it were, you missed out

Old Yeller, MrEss- a Suntour Superbe Pro build would be sexy, a damn shame i've sold 2 complete, near mint groupos in the last year

tmh657-
we need to do a "vintage ride"

zazenzach- most aren't worth half as much as the YK built models

bloom87-
the BB shell is stamped "<EO> (in a diamond) MEDALIST", not sure who makes this shell. a terrible pic can be seen on this 3Rensho blog in the most recent post. also, the tubing on these is Ishiwata i believe.


anyone have any experience with the Specialized head set seen in the pics? it looks and feels very nice, seems to be well built and is probably the most "sealed" headset i've ever seen. the rubber seals fit so snuggly between the crown race and lower cup that the fork is held in place and won't fall out haha.


edit: found this on Flickr:

1981: "allez" on the top tube, one set of bottle braze-ons, shimano chrome dropouts. Nothing on seatstay caps.
mid-1982-1983: "allez" on down tube, 2 sets of bottle braze-ons, Shimano chrome dropouts
1984: Campy Dropouts

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Old 05-13-12, 10:33 PM
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Fix your sig....

Congrats!

Can't wait to hear a ride report and see a full build.
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Old 05-14-12, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by shnibop View Post
not all Specialized Allez's are created equal. the Yoshi Konno build models are the only ones with Campi drop outs (some may have had forged Shimano and Suntour drops), offset fork crown and the ultra fine lug work.
I've seen at least one very convincing example with Shimano dropouts.
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Old 05-14-12, 06:44 AM
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Congrats! Great looking frame!
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Old 05-14-12, 07:22 AM
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Congratulations! Your YK Allez is quite a catch, at the end of a long hunt.

I'm pretty sure that I would build up that Allez with SR components, if it was me! And yes, they did come with Shimano SE dropouts, with chrome faces, also. I have a Sequoia with the same headset, BTW, and it has been trouble free. My old Allez (not YK) came with a Shimano 600 headset. Many interesting variations in the graphics over the short production run.

Jim
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Old 05-14-12, 07:29 AM
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Sweeeet find! I had one of the early 80's 3Rensho built frames. If I ever run across another one in my size, I'm getting it.
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Old 05-14-12, 07:42 AM
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Nice frame Schnibop. I know 'nuffin about these, but Super Record would be my first choice, since you don't have the Superbe group sets anymore. Superbe would be great, though, and compliment that frame very well.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:29 AM
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So awesome! Looks to be in great shape. Looking forward to seeing it built up.
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Old 05-14-12, 09:41 AM
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Yow, just look at those lug tips...I own a San Rensho Cyclone Export and the quality of lugwork on this Allez looks every bit as good. Despite what I read (somewhere) that the Allez frames were based on San Rensho "Athlete" frames, a semi mass-produced effort by Konno and shop to increase volume with a lower priced offering. If true, he sure didn't scrimp on the labor of prepping those lugs...like a knife!
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Old 05-14-12, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Yow, just look at those lug tips...I own a San Rensho Cyclone Export and the quality of lugwork on this Allez looks every bit as good. Despite what I read (somewhere) that the Allez frames were based on San Rensho "Athlete" frames, a semi mass-produced effort by Konno and shop to increase volume with a lower priced offering. If true, he sure didn't scrimp on the labor of prepping those lugs...like a knife!
And not just the prepping - brazing those skinny 'lil suckers up would have taken consummate skill as well.
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Old 05-14-12, 03:47 PM
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I watched American Flyers with my girlfriend perhaps 2 or 3 weeks ago and was telling her that red allez were collectable because both the movie and the fact that some were built in japan by the make of san rensho. and she wondered how I could know this.

beautiful bike! I vote for the Dura-Ace but it should go on which ever bike you are going to ride more.
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Old 05-14-12, 04:07 PM
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I vote for Suntour Superbe if you can still get a nice group together. It's just everything is now Shimano while Suntour as we knew it is just slowly fading away from existence. It will be nice to use this frame as a sort of period "zenith" milestone and historic reference bike for the Suntour Superbe and Specialized Allez frames.
I tried to do that with my full mid 80's Mavic SSC/Vitus Plus Carbone 7 "Tout French" build and it was a great experience.

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Old 05-14-12, 04:30 PM
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I'm curious, does anyone know how the Yoshi Konno-built Allez's were sold/marketed as compared to the standard models? I remember seriously considering an Allez when I was first getting into cycling (I'm sure American Flyers had something to do with this, as well as the fact a LBS had these early Allez bikes on display). Is there any chance that customers would have chanced into a Yoshi Konno-built Allez, or would one have needed to seek them out even when they first appeared?
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Old 05-14-12, 04:56 PM
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back in Specialized's early days, all of their bike models were low production runs simply because Specialized was still a 'small' company
known for accessories instead of complete bicycles. I recall that there were less than 100 units per model, per year until
Specialized was able to secure a contract with a 'production' Japanese frame manufacturer around 1985 or 1986. That was when
they expanded the line immensely, adding the Streetstomper, Rockhopper, Allez SE, and Sirrus to the line.

That being said, I don't recall Specialized creating any 'special' marketing for their early bikes, other than features, geometry, and
component selection. I do remember that the Head Tube emblem was different with the earlier bikes in that the "S" was a different
shape than the 'slash' and it said "Specialized Bicycles", or something like that. When "American Flyers" came out there was a two
page photo of Marcus & David crossing the finish line at the Morgul Bismark, with the Allez in full view.

In any event... that frame is beautiful, and the lug work is exquisite! Personally, I'd go for a "Marcus Sommers Special"; find a Superbe
Pro group and stick it on there, with Saturae CR 20 rims and a SR Laprade Seatpost!

(Make sure you paint the flutes and the seat clamp red, just like in the movie!)

Alan
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Old 05-14-12, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
Sweeeet find! I had one of the early 80's 3Rensho built frames. If I ever run across another one in my size, I'm getting it.
Ditto. My first "real" bike bought with my summer lifeguarding money in 1985 (it was a leftover '84 or maybe 83?) was a 3Rensho Allez. It was all Suntour Superbe Pro and I seem to recall that it mentioned 3Rensho somewhere in one of the decals -maybe the tubing decal? I could be wrong about that tho. If I ever see one for sale in my size, it will be mine.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by oldskoolwrench View Post
back in Specialized's early days, all of their bike models were low production runs simply because Specialized was still a 'small' company known for accessories instead of complete bicycles.In any event... that frame is beautiful, and the lug work is exquisite! Personally, I'd go for a "Marcus Sommers Special"; find a Superbe
Pro group and stick it on there, with Saturae CR 20 rims and a SR Laprade Seatpost!

(Make sure you paint the flutes and the seat clamp red, just like in the movie!)

Alan
That's right! The earliest Allez's were sold mail-order as frame sets only. I suppose the YK Allez's were mixed in but I am not sure. I know that there were YK Allez's with all the various decal types, even some with the "Special Series Racing Tubing" sticker with a tiny "3 Rensho" in place of the "Tange" in an oval on those early stickers. I am sure that there was not anything "special" about the YK frames at the time - 3 Rensho was just a contract builder that did a fantastic job with both innovation and craftsmanship.

The American Flyer bikes I believe came after the 3Rensho deal ended. One was definitely an SE model, the other was the top of the line model with the Prestige tubing. That one, with the Prestige tubing and the "Specialized" down the fork legs, is a grail bike for me!

Jim

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Old 06-25-12, 01:32 AM
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I just wanted to chime in here about the YK Allez. I have a black YK Allez with no serial number, only the number 54. Campy dropout and all other ID markers are present. I read and conclude that it must be a second generation because there is an S on the back bars not the words Allez. Campy Record Groupo except for a Suzue 36 hole front hub to an chrome rim, and shimano brakes (black 600's). I also sold the pedals and use my spd, and I put on the USA sticker on the top tube to hide a small dent. I purchased from original owner who said he purchased it from a bike store in the 80's in Fort Collins, Colorado. They put the bike together...(store out of business long ago).

This is my first road bike, and I feel very proud to own a part of something YK built. It rides like no other, fine as silk. I have done some research and emailed with Dave from Dallas who operates the vintage3Rensholove blog site, he mentioned he never saw a black YZ Allez before. SO...with all that said, does anybody know about what color Allez YK/3 rensho made? Also, an FYI...a guy here in Boulder is selling a 3 Rensho track bike on Craigslist (https://denver.craigslist.org/bik/3094304549.html) and another in Colo Springs a size 58 super export (https://cosprings.craigslist.org/bik/3056775066.html). Thanks and awesome find for you. Here is a pic of my baby...
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