This Giant Prodigy dates back to 1993 and was one of the first hybrids on the market.
This actually started off as a bike-nevolent project. Against my better judgement, it was rescued from the recycling bin and, after long hours in intensive care, more than a bit of cussing, new rubber and cables, pronounced ready for the road.
But having no place else to call home, it stuck around and volunteered for commuter and winter transportation services. That was a few years ago now and I guess it kinda grew on me. Always was a sucker for anything that followed a different drummer.
So parts have gradually been replaced using NOS or second hand parts whenever something interesting made itself available. I find bikes and original equipment are a lot like women and shoes - they never seem to be happy with what they have. At least this one doesn't obsess over its weight.
Tires are studded Nokian 240's on the original Japanese Araya single wall, welded rims. The concave braking surface profile is effective but pretty unforgiving of any vertical alignment issues. I can handle 'finicky' - they do shake off winter well and it doesn't look like I'll wear them out any time soon.
Brakes were originally 400CX cantis with KoolStops, and were recently upgraded to Shimano BR-B550's when the bushings started to show excessive play. Stopping power is progressive and even fully loaded, there's lots of it!
The 20/32/42 400CX crankset was eventually upgraded to a 30/39/50 FSA Vero, the RD swapped out for a low normal XT and a wider range 7-speed cassette put on the back. None of which changes anything in the snow, but has advantages when commuting or touring during warmer weather. Pedals are sixteen64 studded BMX pedals which work with just about anything - well anything except maybe dedicated cycling shoes.
Front and back 'fenders' are actually a single Topeak front fender that was cut up. Front section is still in front, but supplemented by a frame mounted Zefal unit. The rear section of the Topeak front is now bolted onto the rear of the rear rack. May look a little trashy but it keeps most of the slush off the rider, gives more clearance than full fenders in the winter, and handles with ease the kind of snow and slush conditions that keeps girlie bikes at home.
The original threaded fork was outfitted with a threadless adapter bonded to a carbon fiber lower extension so that a second stem could be installed below the main. The original handlebar was replaced with a cutdown Bontrager 6061-T6 flat-bar on a RaceFace stem. Ergon GC3's with taped over bar-ends provide both comfort and crash bar protection for hands and the LX 7-speed integrated controls. Important cause they don't make those any more and I don't want to downgrade this thing to more gears and less chain. Twenty-one speeds is plenty thank you very much!
The secondary mounting bar accepts lights and / or a handlebar bag, and lowers the COG of the bag when used. And it keeps everything off the main bar except for a wired Cateye computer.
The slight downwards tilt to the seat may depart from accepted norms, but facilitates pedaling while wearing ski pants. I just can't get spandex to work for me in the winter and never understood girls wearing mini-skirts at bus stops in below freezing temperatures. Some things are just dumb. My wife is much smarter - she simply refuses to take the bus.
Little things make a difference. A strip of black electrical tape lengthwise along the chain stay makes for cheap, effective paint protection.
Reflective tape on the frame, forks and rear-stays supplement double wheel reflectors since the Nokians weren't available with a reflective sidewall. In an aging population I try my best to augment old-peoples failing night vision. Its a survival thing - anything that ups my chances of not being hit by 2,000lbs of moving metal piloted by someone who probably shouldn't be driving sounds like a good idea to me.
A pair of Vision X LED's, fork mounted using Manfrotto camera clamps, and powered by a twin battery pack in a Cage Rocket, provide up to 9 hours of 1,500 lumen output. Sorry. No feeble, battery saving 'Low' setting and definitely no trendy 'Flashing' mode. Functionally these are wide beam driving lights complete with a cutoff, and their only job is to generate a great 'I can see everything in front of me' light anywhere - on or off-road.
A pair of Blackburn Voyager 2's mounted on the secondary bar normally provide daytime visibility in flashing mode and more than adequate night-time lighting on bike paths and anywhere there are streetlights. Contrary to the opinions of some people, these are seriously under-rated. The specs say 30 lumens. The stop signs two blocks away say thats a typo.
There's a Knog Skink on the seat-post but it gets blocked when there's a bag on the rack so I like to clip something to the bag, keep a couple Blackburns on the seat stays and occasionally run with a Mars on the back of my helmet as well. It's a survival thing. A friend got hit from behind in broad daylight a few weeks ago. I think peoples' IQs drop when they get behind the wheel ...
The rear winter rack is an Axiom and normally holds no more than a top bag. Winter's pretty messy and I use a backpack rather than panniers. The Giant's a real trooper but the panniers resent being covered in slush and would much rather be as far away from salt as possible. So they hibernate for the winter.
Summer morph includes full- length fenders, OMM racks, Mavic wheel-set, new brake pads, a Profile Design Aqua Rack, oversize Schwalbe Marathon tires and for touring, Arkel / Voyager touring bags - which completely changes the Giant's ride and appearance. The bike just got back from a bike-spa session so thought I's shoot and post a few pics before swapping out equipment. I may post summer pics later in the season.
A FredCycle or FrakenBike - call it what you want - in the winter when things get tough it's usually the only bike on the street so despite its age, its got absolutely nothing to prove. Last year when temperatures hit a record minus 30 - we went out for a 20 km jaunt - just because it was minus 30. And during the summer, those big 2 inch Schwalbes will let it go just about anywhere my MTB will go.
I have several other machines that are more 'high tech', more 'exotic', more expensive, more recent - but this one seems to get the most use. So regardless of how it looks, its actually a pretty nice ride.
Bikes: 2004 ORBEA Mitis2 Plus Carbon, 2007 Cannondale Bad Boy Si Disc, 2012 Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin WSD 29er Aldi Big Box (Polygon) 650b
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by nrowensby
"Entry level" is usually determined by the components that come with the bike... The frame is just as capable as any other; so once you upgrade components, it's not really "entry level" anymore...
IMO, you are more likely to see upgraded components on "entry level" LBS bikes than any other...
Agreed, you just did what many of us do (usually over time) up front. If the frame is worthy, why not, unless it was cheaper to simply buy a bike with those components up front. It looks good and probably performs better than it did with the stock components.
BTW, what model / year is it? I don't know much about Fuji hybrids sorry.
I spotted this bike recently and the guy had the same idea as you up front.
1012 FUJI Sunfire. Supposed to be an off road oriented hybrid. It rides pretty smooth. I bought a Salsa non suspension corrected fork first, pedals drug in corners. weight now is 22.5 lbs, started at 31. something.
Here's a picture of my GT Tachyon 3.0 taken a couple of weeks ago- preparing it for my first ride of the year! I've already gone out twice since it has been 50+ degrees lately!
are you planning on doing Bike the Drive this year? I've done it the last 2 years. It's pretty fun, but last year was pretty rough. It was only in the upper 40s and rainy the whole time. Depending on what weekend it is, I'll be there. I have tickets to the Chili Peppers concert on the 29th of May. If it's that weekend, I won't make it.
I did my first "real" ride with the bullhorns. I love them! Definitely keeping them, but I need to get some more bar tape so I can have it on the flats. I only had one roll of tape which was enough for what you see pictured. I also need to trim down the cables because the shifters moved inward. I also want to get a non-square taper bb/crank, which I can get for relatively cheap at the bike co-op. I'd just have to get new rings because I don't think they have any hybrid (48/38/28 or the like) cranksets. I'd have to get a MTB crank with a big ring of about 32t and buy new chainrings.