Classic & Vintage - Info on a mid-80s Fuji Berkeley?
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10-22-07, 10:40 PM
I just picked up a 25" Fuji Berkeley from a guy who claims he got it around 1983-84 and only rode it twice, and it looks it--pretty much as good as new. It's quite a nice frame:
- The sticker says Valite Butted 414 tubing, which I understand is a decent alloy, but I have no idea if it's just the three main tubes or the whole frame.
- The fork has a nice flat crown, although the dropouts are a tad thin for my liking; not quite department-store stampings, but not looking forged either.
- Head lugs are thinned and quite attractive, while the seat lug and BB shell are merely OK.
- Unusually for a mid-80s large Japanese frame, the top tube is a decent length of ~58.5cm. Otherwise the geometry is pretty standard sport-touring: ~43cm chainstays, 27" wheels, etc.
Overall it's not in the same league as my '84 Specialized Sequoia (a truly fantastic bike with amazing details), but it looks pretty good.
Anyway, I'd love to know more about this bike. Can anyone point to an old Fuji catalog somewhere so I could find out more about the frame specs, geometry, where it fit in the Fuji lineup, and so on?
It's either going to be a 650B conversion (I have the wheels off another bike), a sensible fixie, or maybe both.
Thanks for any help!
If you submit the serial number, I can narrow down the year, though the original owner's recollection sounds correct. Typically, during this period, Fuji's better models used CrMO, while Valite was used in lower mid-range and upper entry level models. If you list the major components components I should be able to ballpark the original price and position in the line-up.
There is no way to tell for sure if the stays and forks are Valite or hi-tensile steel short of finding the catalog. So far, forum members have uncovered only 4 Fuji catalogs and they are not from your timeframe. However, based on your description of the dropouts, it sounds like an upper entry level model and a candidate for some hi-tensile steel content. Can you post pics?
10-23-07, 06:00 AM
My Club Fuji has Quad butted Valite. Why would they waste the time quad butting, when it was a lower mid range bike? Although..... The Club without wheels or bars, or even saddle, feels comparable in weight to a complete Panasonic DX4000 I picked up this last weekend. Of course the DX frame is smaller, and has 105 end to end. ,,,,BD
10-23-07, 08:10 AM
Thanks for your reply!
The frame looks exactly the same as the one in the many pictures in this thread (http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=329933), EXCEPT my version has a derailleur hanger on the Suntour rear dropouts and clamp-on downtube shifters supported by a brazed nub on the top of the downtube.
Component-wise, mine is original (and quite higher-spec than in the photos in the other thread), apart from the flat bars and gel saddle the previous owner put on:
- Suntour AR derailleurs front and rear.
- Sugino VT 170mm cranks with half-step gearing (aluminum arms, steel rings).
- Wide-range 6-speed freewheel.
- Ukai 27" rims.
- MKS AP-1 alloy quill pedals.
- Sansin 36H hubs, QR front, nutted rear.
- Ukai 27" alumimum rims with galvanized spokes.
- Dia-Compe 500 sidepull brakes (a pretty basic aluminum sidepull).
- Nitto Technomic stem (probably not original, part of the flat-bar conversion)
The s/n is SI441126.
Despite the half-step gearing, it doesn't seem sturdy enough for loaded touring. It seems like a pretty typical sport-tourer of the era, notable mainly for its appropriate-length top tube and excellent condition.
Based on the serial number, the OP's bicycle was made September 1984. That's late enough in the year that it could possibly a 1985 model.
However, I specs for a 1985 Fuji Allegro which is quite similar, with the same derailleurs, crankset, brakes and wheelset. It even uses Valite 414! It would appear that the Sagres may have replaced the Berkley, so maybe yours is a late 1984 model. Regardless, it is close enough that their prices and placement should be similar. The 1985 Sagres cost $229 US and would have been considered an entry level, sports/touring model.
The 1985 Sagres used hi-tensile forks but Valite stays. It's only speculation, but maybe the difference between the berkley and Sagres was an upgrade to Valite stays?
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