Hello all, welcome to my first post. Please enjoy the complimentary cheese tray.
I went car-free about 2 years ago with a hybrid. This summer I'm trying a road bike for the first time after a family friend sold me a Fuji Touring Series V on the cheap to get a feel for them. I'm hooked, don't have the money to spend and wanna get on something a little less rickety.
I've read this is actually a pretty good frame. Its' like-new and fits me great. Could this bike be modernized on the cheap w/ newer used components? How much might it sell for? Could there be enough interest in the right vintage circles to barter it + cash for a new ride?
Say anything & everything that comes to mind... this is my first post and I'll hear all the advice I can cram into it
I like to keep old bikes as original as possible, especially when the original parts are working well. Take your "new" bike to a good shop for a tune-up and a check-up. Odds are, you can get it running like new for very little money.
I have a touring bike that was made in about 1982 that shifts as well and brakes as well as a typical 2008 bike selling for $1,000 to $2,000...and the only "new" parts are the tires and inner tubes.
As an all-purpose commuter I'd get rid of the bar-end shifters, gear it differently, get some sturdier tires, better wheels, new cables/covers and lighten it up however I can afford.
Maybe I'm missing something. Bar-ends are a great tool for touring or commuting. Touring gearing works well for commuting too. Nothing this side of a tandem wheelset is beefier than a touring wheelset. People use touring bikes for commuting because the bikes are so well-suited to the task. So now I'm really not getting what you mean by "rickety."
Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
Sheldon Brown (RIP) has a lot to say about Japanese, Fuji, and touring bikes. Check his web site. I still have a damaged Miyata 1000 from that period that rode as well as my current Bruce Gordon. Unfortunately it was not as sturdy.
Right... rickety was a poor choice of words. It rides new pavement like silk, but I need to gear it for more speed in the open (maybe gears aren't stock? it tops out too easily). Also, maybe just a comfort thing, but wider handlebars & brake shifters is worth the bit of off-road I need to do. It just seems generally heavy relative to the new, more expensive bikes... I'm not a pro, just going on my gut.
It is all original components, spare spokes and all. Hasn't been ridden much, but could probably use a good tune up and cleaning.
Aren't there better wheels available? I never thought to ask...
The Touring Series IV is a nice bike. It can be upgraded and it would be a worthwhile upgrade IMHO. That said, for commuting I would stick with friction shifting/bar ends. Wheels can be swapped for 700c which will allow you to run a wider tire for additional stability off road. If you make the wheel change, you will need to (more than likely) get a new set of brakes that allows additional room for adjustment as the 700c wheels are 4mm smaller in diameter that the current 27" wheels.
Regarding the gearing. I beleive it is a 6 speed freewheel. You should be able to add a 7 speeed free wheel and maybe add a large chainring(s) up front to increase your high gear without much trouble. If you go the brifter route, you will need new derailleurs, brifters, new rear wheel, cassette etc. (Lots of $$$) You will also need to have the rear of the bike cold set (spread) to accept the 8/9/10 speed cassete. It is 130mm and is wider than the current 126mm spaced original wheel.
The bike would probably fetch about $300 or so on ebay if it is in good shape. A new Surly Long Haul Trucker Touring bike is about a $1000 which has all of the features you are looking for.
Sage advice Fender. I spent about an hour and a half with a local bike shop owner this morning and he gave exactly the same advice.
I'm gonna run with it. Wider handlebars, gravel-worthy tires and a bigger front ring should turn this thing into a pretty awesome budget get-arounder (and classy without screaming 'steal me'). It'll be the perfect thing to tide me over until I can afford a new-fangled Cyclocross (which I fell in love with on first ride).
Any more advice on how to go about these changes on said budget wouldn't go amiss, but I'll probably throw myself at the mercy of a bike shop so I know its' done right.
Thanks so much for the help folks! I'm feeling good about this ride, can't wait to get on it when all is said and done.
If it feels rickety/unstable, make sure your headset, bottom bracket and hub bearings are all adjusted correctly. A little play in any of those can make a bike feel loose/unstable, especially headset or hub bearings.
That is a really good frame, with some cool touring features like built in spoke holder. Kind of sought after, and being well set up, should be a rock solid and stable commuter. Me, I've got a Trek 620 (this is a touring frame from 1985) which is use as a commuter.