First a little about myself. 54 year old male, 5’9” 275 lb but otherwise good health - getting back in cycling for weight loss and improve my overall fitness. Started getting back into cycling in 2010, but did very little in 2011 for various reasons. This spring I am making a renewed effort, but because of my current work schedule (6 days/week, 13 hours/day, night shift) I am only doing short 30 minute rides (6.4 miles) in the afternoon before going to work. This is working well to get my fanny reacquainted with Mr. Brooks and slowly start building up my strength without wearing myself out before work each day. In a few weeks I’ll be back to a normal day shift work schedule and plan to start building up to 60 minute rides each afternoon after work and a longer ride (2-3 hours) on Saturdays. My goal for this summer is to work myself up to be able to ride a metric century this fall.
The bike I am riding is a Fuji S12-S I bought new back around 1981. In 2010, after almost 20 years of non-use, I cleaned and lubed it up, gave it a new (adjustable) stem, new 1-1/8” tires and got it running pretty good. I like the tighter freewheel I put on, but I don’t find myself using the 53 chain ring unless I have a pretty good tailwind. Right now I find myself using the 44 chain ring and the middle of the freewheel range most often. Right now I average around 13mph.
The Fuji specs are:
Triple crank (original) 53/44/36
Freewheel (not original) 14-24, 6 speed
seat tube 58cm
top tube 57cm
Seat and head tube angle 73deg
standover height 82.5 cm (32.5")
Brooks saddle (circa mid ‘70s)
My ultimate goal is a comfortable road bike that could do some light touring or handle a gravel trail – no road race sprints or cyclo-cross mud in my future.
I considered buying a new 2012 Trek 2.1 Apex. I really like the SRAM double-tap shifting and the 50/34 & 11-32 gearing. The bike rode great on the nice smooth street behind the LBS, but I am hesitant about how the aluminum ride would feel on some of the rough NW Ohio backroads, even if I could go to 28mm tires.
So I started to look at other options and ran across the Surly Cross-Check. Haven’t ridden one, but all the reviews sound great. However, I’m not wild about the built-up version because I really want to get away from the bar-ends and I’d like to get into SRAM or Shimano 105 level components if I’m going to start spending money. I even briefly considered buying a Cross-Check frame and a $899 cyclo-cross from BikesDirect as a donor bike. Build up a very sweet Surly, and sell the leftover frame.
But - reality started sinking in and I started realizing that I probably don’t have $1500 worth of dissatisfaction with the Fuji. The frame is probably a size too big by todays standards, but it seems comfortable for me the way I have it set up now. So I have come around to the approach of upgrading the Fuji a little at a time. I realize that this path will ultimately be more expensive, but I can spend the $$$ a little at a time over the course of a year or two. If I eventually want something beyond the Fuji, I could always use my new components on a new frame in a few years.
So – any thoughts for a logical progression for upgrading the Fuji? I’m not looking for a vintage restoration, I am looking for modern, efficient components on the Fuji’s comfortable steel frame.
My initial wish list is to end up with 105 or SRAM shifters/derailleurs, a 50/34 compact crank, a 9 or10 speed cassette with fairly tight gearing (for the flat NW Ohio landscape), and new brakes that could accommodate some sort of fender eventually. I would like to stick with 28mm (or 1-1/8") road tires, but have the option of putting on some 32mm mixed-surface tires and a wider range cassette if I ever decide to tackle my ultimate goal of cycling the trail from Pittsburgh to Washington DC.
Can't figure out how to post photos of my Fuji, but they can be seen here: https://picasaweb.google.com/1116721...509/MyFujiS12S
Thanks for any suggestions or ideas!