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Old 08-07-10, 06:22 PM   #1
bikemanbob
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Is It a Fuji? Double Check My Serial Number Findings. If It Is, What Model?

(I had this posted in another spot, but rather than continue with the old, I began a new one. I attempted to change the title on the other post in light of my recent findings, but I was unsuccessful. I began a new post in hopes of finding the right help. Thanks.)

I recently purchased a vintage bicycle and need help determining its identity. The bike has no markings or badge other than a serial number (M4J00615). I believe that the bike is a Fuji. Using a dating system I found on BikeForums.net (the formula that I used can be found below), I have arrived on a date of 1969. According to bikeforums.net, the bike was manufactured at plant M, in the year 1969 (4 = Showa 44 = 1969), in the month of October, and being the 00615 model made that year.

Using this serial number formula creates problems. The author knows of no bikes outside of 1971-1974 that use this formula. However, he does allow for the possibility of an earlier or later date than mentioned (please see section in red letters below). The bike is clearly Japanese and other dating systems for other bikes don't make sense (I've explored Miyata, Nishiski, Centurion, etc.).

The bike has some interesting features. The brakes and derailleurs are Shimano 600. The cranks are Sugino Pro Dynamic s. The Chain rings are made in France. The seat is Italian. The headset is Falcon. The shift levers are Campy. Under the paint near the dropouts, the frame is layered in chrome. Also, the fork appears to be layered in chrome under the paint. The bike may have been repainted and the components upgraded.

I have made contact with br. from classicfuji.com and he has been helpful. But given the components, he is uncertain that it is a Fuji. Fuji did not enter the US market until 1971. If my findings are right, the bike was likely brought over by a serviceman or businessman.

If you have any insight into bike, I would appreciate your input. Help me confirm my findings or show me my errors. I work as a bicycle mechanic, but I'm new to vintage bikes. I have found this process enjoyable.

Also, please give me some feedback on the cranks (Sugino Pro Dynamic s). I only found limited information on them. There appears to be unusual amount of interest in them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! Also, I have photos of the bike below.

1971-1974
Serial number format WXYZZZZZ where;

W = a letter, all cases to date being F, K or M, with F presumibly indicating Fuji.
X = a number, indicating the last digit of the Japanese Imperial calendar year, Showa reign (6 = Showa 46 = 1971, 7 = Showa 47 = 1972, etc.)
Y = a letter, indicating the calendar month of manufacturer (A = January, B = February, C = March, etc.)
ZZZZZ = four or five digit number sequence, probably indicating frame number during month

Example: F7C10256 indicates the 10,256th frame manufactured during March 1972.

* The serial number format may extend beyond 1971-1974, in either direction, but to date, data samples lie within this range.














http://s941.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=DSCN4722.jpg
http://s941.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=DSCN4719.jpg








Last edited by bikemanbob; 08-07-10 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:42 PM   #2
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I don't think that bike is a Fuji. I also don't think it was made in 1969.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:53 PM   #3
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braze on top tube cable guides!!! No way that is a 1969 Fuji. Even the mid-70's pro didn't have that. I don't believe that they showed up until 1981. Your fork crown doesn't look like an early Fuji either.

Are those braze on downtube shifters and recessed brakes?

Sorry, but I believe that you bike is something else and not nearly as old as you think.

Still, it looks like a fine ride.

Last edited by beech333; 08-07-10 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:56 PM   #4
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Any markings on the dropouts? Seatpost size? I think you can pretty much disregard identifying it by the components - I suspect very little, if anything is original. I also have doubts about it being a 1969 Fuji.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:59 PM   #5
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Fuji does have it's share of weird serial numbers ... the top tube cable guides points to a frame that was built much later. I like to see more photos of the seat tube cluster, the head tube and an actual photo of the serial number, fork crown and the bottom bracket area. Chances are, if it's a Fuji, those drop outs in the rear would be marked .. are the shifters levers braze on? The bottle cage has braze ons as well Might, might be a Fuji, but not a '69-'70 as far as I can see.


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Old 08-07-10, 07:00 PM   #6
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wow, you guys are fast!

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Old 08-07-10, 07:02 PM   #7
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Do you have any other possible leads (other brands)? I'm less interested in trying to prove it is a Fuji in as much as I am trying to determine its identity. Is there another brand that I should examine? Based on its features, what years should I be looking at? As I stated, I'm new to this. Any help is appreciated.

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Old 08-07-10, 07:20 PM   #8
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Given the braze-ons, (shifters and single bottle boss mount) I think this is an 80's bicycle. If there is a manufacturer stamped on the dropouts, or if you can see if there are numbers stamped on your seat post, those would give clues.
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Old 08-07-10, 09:57 PM   #9
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I've included more photographs. Hopefully I took everything needed to narrow it down. Unfortunately, the seat post is frozen at this time. The measurement of the seatpost was 26 (or in that neighborhood). Unless I'm missing it, the bike is comletely void of any identifying marks except a serial number. The bike at pictured weights under 24 lbs. Once again, thanks for any help.

Last edited by bikemanbob; 08-07-10 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 08-08-10, 08:50 AM   #10
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Old 08-08-10, 09:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikemanbob View Post
I've included more photographs. Hopefully I took everything needed to narrow it down. Unfortunately, the seat post is frozen at this time. The measurement of the seatpost was 26 (or in that neighborhood). Unless I'm missing it, the bike is comletely void of any identifying marks except a serial number. The bike at pictured weights under 24 lbs. Once again, thanks for any help.
Put a micrometer on that seat post to get an exact size. The 26 neighborhood is a big neighborhood. The larger the post, the better the bike (in general, it doesn't always go that way).

Weight is a good indicator that it is about mid grade. The top end bikes from that era got down to the low 20s. Lower end bikes were around 28 pounds or more. So you are between these two.

Not a Fuji IMHO. I've had about a dozen Fujis in the last year.


Pull the fork, there usually is a date code on the steerer tube.

Bike could be any of a number of Japanese bikes from the 1980s. They were pretty interchangeable back then. Most of the serial numbers back then were useless. Part of what differentiated the bikes was the head badge, and decals.

+1 Good value in those cranks.

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Old 08-08-10, 02:04 PM   #12
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Other than the recessed brakes, I have a mid '80's Univega that's almost a dead ringer for this .. Any Univega experts out there?


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Old 08-08-10, 03:42 PM   #13
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Thanks so much for everyone's input. I have found this process exciting, educating, and frustrating. As I have examined Univega and Miyata (Miyata made Univega) frames, I do see the similiarities, but I've also learned that it is very difficult to determine bike's identity based on serial number alone. As a result, I've decided to move the bike to ebay. I have several projects going and I need to eliminate something. I suspect that this bike will make a good fixie for someone. My bike knowlegde has increased greatly because of this process. Thanks.

Bob

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Old 08-08-10, 04:25 PM   #14
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Bikemanbob, wasn't the last time you were asking for advice solely for the purpose of pricing something for eBay sale? I detect a pattern!

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Old 08-08-10, 04:45 PM   #15
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Bikemanbob, wasn't the last time you were asking for advice solely for the purpose of pricing something for eBay sale? I detect a pattern!

Neal
Perhaps a minimum of 50 posts before giving advice on stuff like this.
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Old 08-08-10, 04:55 PM   #16
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I don't see it bringing much on ebay. But good luck with the auction.
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Old 08-08-10, 05:38 PM   #17
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I'm sorry if I given the wrong impression, but at no time have I asked about a price or value (please check my posts). As most people have already stated, there is nothing particularly special about the frame. If there is nothing special, I don't see the point to restoring. Also, what I am suppose to restore it to. At this point, the bike has no identity (nor is it likely that it will).

Once again, thanks to everyone that help me in this process. I apologize to any who misunderstood my intentions.
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