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Old 07-10-10, 08:28 AM
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1972 Fuji Finest

This may be construed as entirely gratuitous, posting a separate thread on my own newly acquired í72 Fuji Finest, but I felt it was appropriate in recognition of its long service and noble character.

This bike was certainly well used, but remarkably well-maintained and cared for by itís two previous owners: The first, who bought it new in 1972, and the second, who purchased it for $400 in 1983, and sold it to me only because he could no longer ride it.

As-purchased, the rear stays, forks and head tube had 3M yellow-and-red reflective tape stuck all over them. Removing all that hardened reflective tape was a real PITA, but this was the only real challenging aspect of rebuilding the bike: It was otherwise relatively clean, and both the BB and hubs did not actually need servicing! (This is the ONLY bike I have ever purchased where I could make that statement, though of course, I serviced all the bearings again anyway.)

I swapped the tires for gum walls strictly for aesthetics, and replaced the cables/housings, chain, etc. The only thing now lacking is the frame decals. - I donít know why they were removed, but (at the risk of incurring some BF purest wrath) I decided to forgo new ones given the expense, and the fact that period correct, horizontal-scripted replacements are not available anyway. Instead, Iíve ordered a white bottle cage for the down tube for some visual interest Ė but Iím still waiting for my ship to come in from Niagara, and thus it is absent from the photosí following.

The frame geometry is unusual. At 63 cm, the bike is a tad too TALL for me, but I found on my initial test ride that the 54 cm TT was too SHORT. (I am certain that it was designed in Japan decades ago using a Barbie doll as an ergonomic model). Fortunately, I had a spare stem on hand to stretch that TT another 40mm or so, and the result is a very comfortable fit.

At speed, it feels very stable, and yet the ride is very supple Ė I can only compare it to my Raleigh SCís for road manners (- a high compliment indeed). The changers are Fuji-branded Suntour Vx (my favorites) and the frame is fully chromed, double-butted chromoly. Originally, the bike would have had tubulars, but the PO had Weinmann concave clincher rims laced to the original Sunshine hubs long ago. It also has Weinmann centerpulls, which IMO, are superior to the ubiquitous DiaCompes.

-Lastly, I substituted some wide Randonneur bars for the original narrow drops. The net effect of all of this is the sense that one is riding on top of a big white Cadillac.

- Auchen
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