Well, this is a little premature as the bike isn’t yet complete but the story is classic C&V and I want to share!
The Opus series of bikes are arguably one of Fuji’s finest efforts. Looking at Scottryder’s examples and examples of other members tell me they are just stunning bikes. It has always been a goal to have one.
Most of what you see is the Opus III models, made from 83-86. These were more classicly styled bikes with Suntour drivetrains, non-aero levers, friction shifting. Fuji skipped a year in 87 and introduced a one year model called the Ecco which featured oversize tubing and “lugless” construction.
Skip now to 88, and the Opus returned for a single year as the Opus IV. The Opus’ last hurrah would be the Opus V in 89. Here is the Opus IV as pictured in the 88 catalog:
Personally I think this is a stunning bike. Most of you know how I feel about white components and there we are, white frame, Sante’ group, yum.
Back in late September an unassuming CL ad in Portland popped up with a single picture attached:
Yep, the Opus IV has been single speeded with flat bars. BY THE GRACE OF GOD NOTHING HAD BEEN CUT OFF!! Scott suggested contacting the seller and asking if he’d consider just selling the frameset. He was looking for $250 for the bike as it sat. I wanted to offer enough to incent him to sell without thinking about it so I offered $200 and he accepted. Fourtunately PDXAero stepped up for the facilitation, he met the seller, made the purchase, and shipped me the frameset. Here’s what I got when I got it out of the box (minus some ugly stickers which came off immediately):
The paint and decals were in ok shape. Several paint touch ups had been done and time hadn’t been good to the factory white pearl paint. Areas of grease contact (headset and BB) has yellowed a lot and the paint did not fade with age evenly. I decided that a repaint would be in the frame’s future.
I decided pretty quickly that it would NOT get Sante’ components. Finding Sante’ in nice condition is hard enough, and when you do it’s quite pricey. About the time I was languishing over what components I might want to put on it my good friend Collin2424 was selling a frame on which was hanging a MINT condition DA7700 9-speed group. It seemed like a match made in heaven and I procured the group back in mid-October. I’ve waffled on a wheelset but eventually decided on Ultegra 6500 hubs (over the FAR costlier DA7700 hubs) and I have a 32H hubset in hand but am still waffling on rims. And by the way, no brifters on this bike, this will be 9-speed downtube shifting baby!
Now, fast forward to mid-November. I missed a Fuji Design Series that was advertised here on local CL. So distraught was I that I posted an ad the day later asking if the new owner would be willing to sell the bike. Three weeks later I get a response. I arrange to go see the Design Series which ended up having issues but talked to the seller, who was an ex-LBS owner and Fuji dealer. I was describing my bikes and the fact that I have this Opus IV frameset that I was going to get repainted as soon as I could get VeloCals to produce the decals for me. He says, “Opus IV decals? Be right back.” Guy comes down with decal sets for several models, Club and Team Fujis….and 5 whole decal sets for the Opus IV!! Real, actual factory decal sets, 20 miles from my house. Obviously I buy one from him. So although I didn’t get what I went for which was quite disappointing I got something, in the end, much more valuable to me:
Scottryder hooked me up with a frame painter by him and on January 21 I sent the frame. As of today it’s been blasted, prepped, painted, and the pearl coat is on. I hope to have a couple of pics of the frame in this state before the decals and final clear coat go on.
Thanks for reading. As soon as I get the frame back I’ll post pics and certainly as soon as the bike is complete, which shouldn’t be long if I can decide on a pair of rims.