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Early 90ís Allez Pro Restomod Project

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Early Brifter Bikes - 7,8, and 9 Speed Not vintage, not new, but still loved!

Early 90ís Allez Pro Restomod Project

Old 11-10-21, 06:57 AM
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Allezedly
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Early 90ís Allez Pro Restomod Project

I purchased an early 90s (1991? 1992? 1993? 1994?) Allez Pro with yellow lettering on ďSilverĒ paint, advertised on OfferUp as having a 56cm frame, for $275. This model has the special ďDiNucciĒ lugs and slightly oversized CroMo tubing.

My goal is to try to one-up the Specialized 40th Anniversary Edition aesthetically, with similar or better performance. The horizontal top tube is key to this.

The paint has been scratched/peeled off in several places, and Iíll need to address that soon to avoid rust.

Before that, Iíll take it to a frame builder to have the rear brake bridge modified so 28mm tires have enough clearance; Iím thinking to go with an inverted V brake bridge like the Specialized 40th Anniversary Edition Allez.

More critically, Iíll also ask them to straighten the rear triangle; the rear wheel is very, very slightly crooked. it still rolls great, in my uninformed judgement, but I want it to be as good as it can be.

The next step after that is paint. In anything less than bright light, the silver paint just looks dull grey with metallic flakes; IMO, itís not great. In the sunlight, the paint actually looks awesome. I wavered a bit on whether to keep the current color, but I just hate the yellow lettering. Iím leaning toward repainting it the white-on-red color scheme that can be found on the original and many modern Allez. Iím planning on using the most modern version of the ďSpecializedĒ logo on the downtube and the 80ís white-and-silver Allez logo on the top tube. I am planning on replacing all the ďDirect Drive,Ē ďDirect Drive Aluminum,Ē ďDesigned in California,Ē etc. exactly as they were, but in white. Iím planning to have these all put under the clear coat. Iím planning to mask off the Cromo tubing decal and the area immediately around it, so that the original decal will remain and so people can see the original color.

For wheels, Iíve already replaced the original spec Mavic Open 4 CD as I hate the look of the partially-worn-through black brake track on the wheels. Plus they are probably the original 25+ year old wheels so theyíre likely worn out. Currently I have Campagnolo Shamal Ultra C17s on it, because I like that spoke pattern and because I want wider, lighter wheels. However, I am not sure the wheels really suit the bike aesthetically; thereís too much black on the spokes, hubs, and quick releases. Iíll try to find a way to mod these parts to silver. Failing that, Iíll get some all-silver aluminum wheels that have a cool spoke pattern. If I keep the Shamals, Iíll replace the logo decals with black reflective tape.

The bike came with a 225mm tall 100mm Nitto Technomic quill stem. Thatís too tall even at its shortest height. I have a normal-height 80mm Specialized quill stem that Iíll use in the interim; eventually I want to replace it with a polished silver quill stem and matching polished silver drop bars.

I have a NOS 8 speed Ultegra cassette on the new rear wheel, and a new chain. I have almost-new chainrings as well, but Iíve left them off. I am planning to switch to a compact crankset. Iím not sure how practical it would be, but I hope to polish the outer faces of the chainrings silver.

For now Iím planning to keep the existing components, which are Shimano 600 Ultegra tri-color. I hope to polish them to a silver color. A bike shop person told me that some parts of them might be magnesium and not aluminum, so that might not be practical. Maybe Iíll switch to the newest Campagnolo or Shimano silver group set instead, once used group set prices return to normal.

I will at least replace the STI shifters with something more modern, to get the modern, cleaner-looking, cable routing.

Hilariously, the front derailleur cage was broken and a metal piece was welded on to repair it. I find this quite endearing so Iíll keep it as long as I can. Front shifting works reliably, but sounds terrible because (I think) of this.

I have silver MKS Stream EZY Superior pedals on it now. If came with some cool Crank Brothers pedals. It I can adapt them to EZY Superior then Iíll try to swap them in for road rides. Otherwise Iíll try MKSís SPD pedals.

Iím considering drilling the frame to do internal cable routing, for aesthetic and functional reasons. I will talk to the frame builder to see if the frame would need to be reinforced at the drilled holes. The functional benefit is that the cables would be protected when the bike is hauled around in my hatchback.
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Old 11-10-21, 07:04 AM
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The brake shoes/pads were a mix of mountain bike (rear) and some kind of road shoes on the front that required a wrench. I replaced them with new Shimano 6403. Stopping isnít great but I think thatís likely because I am bad at tuning them. If I canít get them working great then Iíll probably replace the brakes with newer, silver ones.
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Old 11-10-21, 07:07 AM
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Hereís how the bike looked when I got it, except it had a quick release hacked onto the seat.
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Old 11-10-21, 07:40 AM
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Wow this is clearly a labor of love, that said I have an early 90's Allez Pro and it is absolutely one of my favorite rides although I did replace the fork. Only thing that hit me strange in your plan is drill that very light frame for housing/cable protection, you are spending a lot already with a framebuilder and I haul mine, being retired we travel a lot, and have never had a problem.
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Old 11-10-21, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Wow this is clearly a labor of love, that said I have an early 90's Allez Pro and it is absolutely one of my favorite rides although I did replace the fork.
Why did you replace the fork? Which size tires were you running? Iím hoping to keep the fork as it is one of the distinguishing characteristics of this bike. I understand as soon as it gets bent, it will have to be replaced, though.

Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Only thing that hit me strange in your plan is drill that very light frame for housing/cable protection, you are spending a lot already with a framebuilder and I haul mine, being retired we travel a lot, and have never had a problem.
I hope I wonít be spending ďa lotĒ as I understand the stuff Iím wanting done is straightforward for them. If the frame builder costs are too high Iíd probably start over with another base bike for a different project.

If the integrity of the frame will be compromised then I wonít do the internal cable routing. However, I do think the internal routing looks better and protects the paint. Notice in my pictures where the paint has been worn down to the white primer on the bottom of the top tube. It seems likely that was caused by the cable running against the frame when the bike was handled and/or hung on a bike rack. I want to be able to throw this bike on a car bike carrier without worry.

Last edited by Allezedly; 11-10-21 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 11-10-21, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Allezedly View Post
Why did you replace the fork? Which size tires were you running? I’m hoping to keep the fork as it is one of the distinguishing characteristics of this bike. I understand as soon as it gets bent, it will have to be replaced, though.


I hope I won’t be spending “a lot” as I understand the stuff I’m wanting done is straightforward for them. If the frame builder costs are too high I’d probably start over with another base bike for a different project.

If the integrity of the frame will be compromised then I won’t do the internal cable routing. However, I do think the internal routing looks better and protects the paint. Notice in my pictures where the paint has been worn down to the white primer on the bottom of the top tube. It seems likely that was caused by the cable running against the frame when the bike was handled and/or hung on a bike rack. I want to be able to throw this bike on a car bike carrier without worry.
You guessed it, was crashed and I bought it cheap for a town bike, had two small dings on the frame so had it powder coated. I run 28s.
Got it, I use those funky spacer things on my bikes with external cable and they work but I also use a cheap hanging by the TT hitch carrier but never with an exposed cable bike. Been thinking about a proper platform type hitch rack as light as I can find.

Hard to believe the someone at the factory thought the ideal color for decals on silver was yellow.
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Old 11-11-21, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Allezedly View Post
...I will at least replace the STI shifters with something more modern, to get the modern, cleaner-looking, cable routing...
When you do - if you want to sell and don't mind shipping, please keep me in mind. I need those. And that is a very nice bike - enjoy it.
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Old 11-11-21, 03:56 PM
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Hereís the state of it as I have been riding it today, with the new pedals, wheels, chain, cassette.


Let me know if you think the yellow hydrant successfully brings out the beauty of the lettering on the bike.

I think this picture, in the shade, illustrates how the bike tends to look grey and not silver when the sun isnít hitting it directly. Also, notice how light grey metallic paint doesnít go well with actual polished metal. (The original wheels had black rim brake tracks.)

While I wait for the shorter-height quill stem, I decided to try out the existing one in a configuration thatís more like what the handlebars appear to be designed for. Previously (above) the bars were rotated so that the part between the flats and the hoods was horizontal. That was pretty comfortable but pretty ugly. Now the bars are rotated forward so that the bottoms are about level with the ground. This definitely looks a lot better and provides more variety in how upright vs. forward I want to be. I rode this for a while with various tweaks but it doesnít seem to be the right configuration for me. Either I have no weight on the hoods, or a lot; thereís no way to distribute my weight between the bars and the hoods. I hope this is a matter of developing more core strength and getting better at distributing my weight on the bike.

When I am riding around town on the tops, I now need a significant lunge downward to hit the brakes. If I can sort out the weight distribution thing then I would solve the latter problem with interrupter brakes. I am going to ride some more and then decide whether/how to replace the bars.
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Old 11-11-21, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
You guessed it, was crashed and I bought it cheap for a town bike, had two small dings on the frame so had it powder coated. I run 28s.
It would be good to see a pic of how you have your bike set up. Iím trying to have this one bike be both a commuter bike and a road bike. I am unlikely to ever race, but I donít want to take away from its racy design or hurt its performance either. I especially love how this bike accelerates, which I think is an underrated quality in a commuter bike.

Last edited by Allezedly; 11-12-21 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 11-11-21, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I run 28s.
Which tires are you running on yours? I have tried Michelin Pro4 Endurance 25mm and 28mm and they both barely clear the rear brake bridge. It came with 25mm Gatorskins, which fit with plenty of space to spare. I did not like the ride on the gatorskins.
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Old 11-12-21, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post

Hard to believe the someone at the factory thought the ideal color for decals on silver was yellow.
I wouldn't be surprised if that was Marks call as well, he was/is all about the colors as much as all the rest.

And I'd bet it killed him that the lugs didn't get thinned.
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Old 11-12-21, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Allezedly View Post
Which tires are you running on yours? I have tried Michelin Pro4 Endurance 25mm and 28mm and they both barely clear the rear brake bridge. It came with 25mm Gatorskins, which fit with plenty of space to spare. I did not like the ride on the gatorskins.
That surprises me on the 25s, I like and am running on three bikes Specialized Turbo Pro 28mm which are, IIRC, 27mm wide but only 24mm or so off the rim and I have 5mm+ clearance on the stays which is plenty and over 10mm on the bridge and ST. At 71 my bars moving up not down so we are no doubt looking for different things in a build. Be careful the tubes are thin. Mine with bar end levers 2x9, not brake/ shifters, and Specialized Axis Elite wheelset is under 19#. I think mine is a '93 as it had some Shimano 600 stuff left on it when I got it.
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Old 11-14-21, 07:54 PM
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The MKS reflectors arrived from Japan. I installed them on the pedals and had a go around the block. I felt like the bike was a bit sluggish. I donít think the reflectors affected the aerodynamics so it must be the weight. Sure enough, I weighed the reflectors and they came in at 22g per pedal (including the nuts and washers)! The mounting hardware is steel, so no doubt it is contributing to make the ride more comfortable. However, the bolts are longer than needed since I donít have toe clips installed, which means some of this is dead weight. I chopped them shorter (thread nut onto bolt, hold bolt with needle-nose pliers, hold pliers in vice, cut bolt with Dremmel metal cutting wheel, file flat and smooth, unthread nut off of bolt). This saved 2.2g of weight total (1.1g per pedal). More aggressive chopping would probably save an additional gram of total weight. A must-have mod.


Pedal installed on bike.

Original weight of MKS reflectors.

Comparison of a chopped vs unchopped bolt.

Reduced weight.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:06 PM
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I got some new handlebars and a new Nitto Young 3 stem. Unfortunately, the bars are 26.0m and the stem is 25.4mm, so I need to change one or the other. Nitroís catalog says their 26.0mm stems are either difficult or impossible to install ergo bars on, depending on the stem, but it doesnít say anything like that about the Young 3 stem, so I decided to order a b105aa bar. I actually think that might be a better compromise of looks and ergonomics anyway.

Also, I picked up some Campagnolo Centaur 10 speed shifters to operate my 8-speed Shimano 600 Ultegra drivetrain. I love the skeletonized shift levers. Both the shift levers and both the brake levers are aluminum, which I think looks great even as-is. These new brifters are much more comfortable than the 600 Ultegra ones in my initial testing.

Iím having trouble locating goldenrod bar tape to match the goldenrod lettering. I ordered some yellow tape that looked like it would be close, but it is way too bright. Iíll try to darken it in some way. Iím just doing this temporarily while I have the original color scheme on the bike. Any tips for locating already-goldenrod bar tape or darkening bright yellow tape are appreciated.



Last edited by Allezedly; 11-15-21 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 11-16-21, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Allezedly View Post
Which tires are you running on yours? I have tried Michelin Pro4 Endurance 25mm and 28mm and they both barely clear the rear brake bridge. It came with 25mm Gatorskins, which fit with plenty of space to spare. I did not like the ride on the gatorskins.
The Michelins run large. I had some 25's and they were more like 27-28. I have heard others say the same, so I don't think it was my particular rims. Nice tires though.
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Old 11-18-21, 08:04 AM
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The stickers on the rims are gone. The wheels look better, with fewer ďplease steal these $1,000 wheelsĒ vibes.



The stickers weigh over 7g!
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Old 11-27-21, 06:16 PM
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This is how I rode it today, with the Nitto Young 3 100mm quill stem, Nitto 105aa drop bars, and a Fabric flat seat.



State as of Thanksgiving weekend, 2021.

I have been trying to dial in the fit, including the brifter position, so I hacked together a minimal solution for padding on the bars that doesnít require me to wrap, unwrap, and re-wrap the bars each time.

I am going to have a bike shop do the swap of the 600 Ultegra brifters to the Campagnolo Centaur brifters, replace all the cables and housings, and tune up the brakes and shifting. I did do a test fit of the Centaur brifters on the handlebars and they feel much more comfortable than the original brifters.

I feel like the bend is too tight at the drops on these 105aa bars. I also wish that my bars were perfectly parallel on the top and bottom. However, Iíll reevaluate the fit when the Centaur shifters are installed; maybe they will be comfortable with the bar rotated forward so that the bottoms are parallel with the ground, without too much of a drop from the tops to the brifters.

As Iím now deferring having this related red, I now possess some good bar tape with the right shade of golden yellow that is close to the color of the yellow lettering on the frame. I am considering going with some cable housing that is also golden yellow, but I am not sure if that will work with the Campagnolo cables I need, and I am not quite even sure which diameter Campagnolo cables I need. It will be a minor miracle if I can get the bar tape and housing to match color-wise.

I talked to a couple bike shop techs and they acted like they never heard of mixing Campy 10 speed brifters with Shimano 8 speed, though I have seen many on the internet claim this is the best configuration for 8 speed Shimano. I am reluctant to take the bike somewhere thatís never done this before. I am sure there are a bunch of bike shops in SoCal who know how to do this, but it is difficult to find one.
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Old 11-29-21, 01:12 PM
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I just purchased a near identical frame set. The paint has issues. It will need to be repainted. the primary graphics for this year/model appear to not be supported yet.
I need to weigh it, appears pretty light.
I like the oversized top tube.
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Old 11-29-21, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I just purchased a near identical frame set. The paint has issues. It will need to be repainted. the primary graphics for this year/model appear to not be supported yet.
I need to weigh it, appears pretty light.
I like the oversized top tube.
Are you finding the paint to be very delicate? It seems like it doesnít stick well to the primer.

As for the graphics, unless you are going for a full restoration, Iíd suggest doing custom graphics or using the older graphics that look much nicer. The only original graphic Iím keen to reproduce is the Direct Drive Aluminum Fork decal on the fork (Iím planning to mask the tubing decal during sandblasting to preserve the original one along with a bit of silver paint around it).
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Old 11-29-21, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Allezedly View Post
Are you finding the paint to be very delicate? It seems like it doesnít stick well to the primer.

As for the graphics, unless you are going for a full restoration, Iíd suggest doing custom graphics or using the older graphics that look much nicer. The only original graphic Iím keen to reproduce is the Direct Drive Aluminum Fork decal on the fork (Iím planning to mask the tubing decal during sandblasting to preserve the original one along with a bit of silver paint around it).
Velocals might have the seat tube graphic.
The chainstay and Direct drive fork art I will ask my graphic designer spouse for Christmas
I need to carefully consider the top and downtube.
in a quick review, the art I saw was just a bit off, on some the italic angle appears to change over the span.

but yeah, the paint did not appear to attach to the primer really well.
the drive side upper lug trouble you have is minor compared to mine.

The frame has good details, the oval chainstays, the slightly ovalized seat stays.
If I really like the bike perhaps ask DiNucci to build a steel fork with one of his crowns. $$$$

I will be going RED, as everyone knows red bikes are faster.
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Old 11-30-21, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Allezedly View Post
I talked to a couple bike shop techs and they acted like they never heard of mixing Campy 10 speed brifters with Shimano 8 speed, though I have seen many on the internet claim this is the best configuration for 8 speed Shimano. I am reluctant to take the bike somewhere thatís never done this before. I am sure there are a bunch of bike shops in SoCal who know how to do this, but it is difficult to find one.
Why dont you just upgrade it to Campy 10 speed?
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Old 12-03-21, 09:35 PM
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In SoCal, might try the Bicycle Stand in Long Beach on Broadway
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Old 12-14-21, 11:31 PM
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I glanced at mine today and noticed that the downtube is slightly bigger- a measure confirms- 28.6mm top tube and 30.4mm thereabouts down tube.
I knew DiNucci was a specifier but every little bit.
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Old 12-24-21, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Allezedly View Post
The MKS reflectors arrived from Japan. I installed them on the pedals and had a go around the block. I felt like the bike was a bit sluggish. I don’t think the reflectors affected the aerodynamics so it must be the weight. Sure enough, I weighed the reflectors and they came in at 22g per pedal (including the nuts and washers)! The mounting hardware is steel, so no doubt it is contributing to make the ride more comfortable. However, the bolts are longer than needed since I don’t have toe clips installed, which means some of this is dead weight. I chopped them shorter (thread nut onto bolt, hold bolt with needle-nose pliers, hold pliers in vice, cut bolt with Dremmel metal cutting wheel, file flat and smooth, unthread nut off of bolt). This saved 2.2g of weight total (1.1g per pedal). More aggressive chopping would probably save an additional gram of total weight. A must-have mod.
You could use nylon nuts instead of the steel. Probably find them in the specialty hardware section of the local big box home store.

Last edited by Aroyobob; 12-24-21 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 01-09-22, 04:59 PM
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Bike as of 2022-1-1 - Shimergo setup with Centaur 10 speed shifters, new B105 handlebars, new Nitto stem. Yellow water bottle cages and yellow bar tape to match yellow lettering on frame. TiGr bike lock mounted to seat post, with tail light mounted to lock. Headlight mounted to handlebars.
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