Monday, October 21, 2013

Fuji Finished and Fun!

I've been meaning to post about this for a while now, but time seems to slip away faster these days.

A few days after my last post about my old Fuji, it was finished, ready to ride, and on its way with us to the Outer Banks, where we spent a week relaxing, walking, swimming, flying kites and biking.  It was a wonderful time, and I plan to write a bit more about that and post some photos soon.  No, really... soon!  :-)

For now though, I wanted to bring the Fuji tale up to date.   Here's a photo of it on the Outer Banks:

Finished and on vacation on the Outer Banks!

Turned our pretty sharp-looking, better than I had expected for a 36 year old bike that had sat neglected in a shed for many years.  Of course, it took some work to get her looking this good, but under the grime and dust the paint and chrome were in surprisingly good shape.

So, how is she set up? What are the parts?

First, you have a 1977, 25" Fuji S-10S frameset, lugged and brazed from double butted high tensile steel tubing. For the true geeks out there, it's got seat and head tube angles of 73 degrees, long chain stays, and a healthy amount of fork rake. I haven't measured everything, so I can't nail down truly accurate numbers, but it's got a front end geometry known as "low trail", which should make it handle front loads better than many bikes.

The other original bits and pieces are the crankset (with rings changed to 34x46 to better match a modern rear sprocket cluster and the more mellow riding I plan to do on it), both derailleurs, and the brake calipers. They all took some work to clean up and get working smoothly, but they're certainly good enough parts to use.  Crankset is a Sugino Maxy, which was an entry level alloy crank with "swaged" spider instead of a once piece forging, and I might swap it out for something fancier at some point. The derailleurs are typical SunTour of the era... VxGT rear, and SL front (with SunTour's "backwards" spring action, which takes some getting used to again), and the brakes are the classic DiaCompe centerpulls, which have always worked great, and have even been re-introduced in the last few years.

I was originally planning to keep the original 27" wheels, figuring they were good quality wheels, but the amount of corrosion on the spokes and nipples made me leery. So we went with a 700c set I had around with a 7 speed cassette hub, with a 13 - 30 tooth cassette to give me plenty of range. Tires are my favorite Panaracer Paselas in 32mm width (might put 35s on there eventually). At the front end I've got Velo Orange Porteur handlebars, Nitto Technomic stem, Dia Compe Guidonnet brake levers, and SunTour Power Ratchet Bar Con shifters, long a favorite of mine. For a saddle, I decided to try out a Brooks Champion Flyer that a customer graciously gave me when he found it didn't work for him.  It's sitting on a basic Kalloy Laprade seat post... inexpensive and reliable.  Oh, and the pedals are MKS Touring pedals, a nice wide pedal that works well with or without toe clips.

Accessories are minimal at this point.  SKS Chromoplastic fenders...again, inexpensive and reliable, and they look good too.  A Carradice Nelson Longflap saddlebag to carry my "stuff"... it's amazing how much you can cram in those.  I've hooked a couple of Planet Bike blinky lights on the bag, and mounted a CygoLite Expilion 700 on an Origin8 light mount that screws into the dropout eye and provides a short tube to take the light's handlebar mounting clamp.

All in all, I'm very happy with how the bike has turned out.  Thoughts about changes or additions?  Sure, but isn't that true with most bikes? I'm planning to add a Velo Orange Porteur rack to the front for hauling groceries, etc, and maybe a rear rack or saddlebag support of some kind.  Maybe a kickstand, as they can be handy sometimes, though I generally don't use them. I'd like to put something other than black bar tape on at some point, but it's not pressing. I MIGHT try swapping the wheels out for 650B size (smaller diameter rim, which would allow a fatter, cushier tire), but that would also mean changing the brakes and the fenders, and I'm not sure I want to do that.  We'll see... it's partly a matter of curiosity to try that wheel size on one of my bikes.  For now, it rides great as it is.
Here it is again, parked next to Christy's Velo Orange Mixte. Note the similar setup!