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80s Fuji America Value/Good find?

Old 07-07-15, 11:03 AM
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ieatdogsforlunc
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80s Fuji America Value/Good find?

Hi everyone,

I'm freshly new to the forums. I currently own a racy Specialized Roubaix but lately, I've been hunting around for some vintage steel as a project and around-town/commuter bike. I saw this Fuji America listed in my size (54cm) here: JONY'S BIKES :: Buy :: Sell :: Trade :: Repair :: San Diego, CA. It seems like this bike has quite a cult following and would be great for what I'm looking to do with it.

Just wondering if you guys think $220 is a good value and if there are any "gotchas" I need to look out for when checking out this bike. It looks like the seat has been changed as well as the handle bars and shifters (I believe the Americas had bar-end friction shifters) as well as clip-in pedals.

I'd appreciate any guidance as this is my first vintage bike.

Thanks!
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Old 07-07-15, 11:17 AM
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Old 07-07-15, 12:02 PM
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Every picture taken from the non-drive side. What a bone head! Given the cluelessness of the shop, be sure to inspect the bike well to make sure cabling is well done and bearings are greased and properly adjusted. They probably won't be, so plan on having a competent mechanic look the bike over.

Still, I think that's a pretty good price for one of the nicer vintage Fujis.
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Old 07-07-15, 12:02 PM
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Looks like its a 78, 79, or 80 model. They had the same color of 5 or so years and mostly the same components from what ive seen, but the later models didn't have top tube clamp on cable guides like the one you are looking at has.

The downtube shifters are for sure a change from original and a downgrade in my view.
The brake levers are different from original for sure as they are now aero levers.
Make sure the crank has 3 chainrings up front. That's how it came stock and 3 is better than 2 for commuting/touring/errands.

With all that said- if you plan to ride it a lot and keep it for a few years, it sure doesn't seem like a bad deal to me. This is assuming it is in good mechanical condition. If the cables are rusted, that's an easy sign that it hasn't been maintained recently and that other moving parts are just as old/gunked.

Ask to have the stem and seat posts move up and down to ensure they aren't fused to the frame. If they are, walk away.






on a rhetorical note- whats the deal with all the bikes having pictures from the non drive side? Its a website showing bikes for sale, show the components!
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Old 07-07-15, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Looks like its a 78, 79, or 80 model. They had the same color of 5 or so years and mostly the same components from what ive seen, but the later models didn't have top tube clamp on cable guides like the one you are looking at has.

The downtube shifters are for sure a change from original and a downgrade in my view.
The brake levers are different from original for sure as they are now aero levers.
Make sure the crank has 3 chainrings up front. That's how it came stock and 3 is better than 2 for commuting/touring/errands.

With all that said- if you plan to ride it a lot and keep it for a few years, it sure doesn't seem like a bad deal to me. This is assuming it is in good mechanical condition. If the cables are rusted, that's an easy sign that it hasn't been maintained recently and that other moving parts are just as old/gunked.

Ask to have the stem and seat posts move up and down to ensure they aren't fused to the frame. If they are, walk away.






on a rhetorical note- whats the deal with all the bikes having pictures from the non drive side? Its a website showing bikes for sale, show the components!
Classic FUJI

This will prove useful, plus it's fun to look at all the cool Fuji's.
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Old 07-07-15, 12:24 PM
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That is by no means a 54cm frame. It is 52cm tops, for a rider no taller than 5'5". It looks like it has Look pedals, which need cleats, or the pedals should be swapped.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:20 PM
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Thanks for all the quick feedback everyone!

Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
That is by no means a 54cm frame. It is 52cm tops, for a rider no taller than 5'5". It looks like it has Look pedals, which need cleats, or the pedals should be swapped.
This may be a silly question: how can you tell it's 52cm? The 78 came in a 54cm but subsequent years came in a 52cm. With the cable clamps, this could be a 1978 54cm right?

The lack of better/more photos is not encouraging. I've contacted the seller to ask for more detail photos but no updates yet.
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Old 07-07-15, 01:32 PM
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He is basing that off how much distance is between the top tube and downtube when looking at the headtube(where the handlebars and fork are. When the downtube and top tube make a point, its a small frame. When there is a large gap between the tubes, its a larger frame. The gap gets incrementally larger as the frame gets bigger.

That is a small frame, the tubes almost touch at the headtube. OddJob is probably correct on size.
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Old 07-08-15, 07:19 AM
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Great Bike

Very desirable bike it it were inn its original configuration. Others have covered it. If the seller has serviced the hubs, headset and bottom bracket bearing, replaced the cables, and put new rubber on it, then $220 is fair.

The aero levers are okay - I find them out of place on that bike. The older Look pedals can be sold on eBay to pay for the pedals you can actually use. The rack is a nice touch.

I would have liked SunTour bar end shifters on that bike, it's a shame. The bars also have a very elongated reach, which doesn't fit the character of the smaller frame. You can swap those and the stem to adjust fit to your tastes.

How tall are you? Between 5'4" and 5'8", it should fit.
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Old 07-08-15, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Very desirable bike it it were inn its original configuration. Others have covered it. If the seller has serviced the hubs, headset and bottom bracket bearing, replaced the cables, and put new rubber on it, then $220 is fair.

The aero levers are okay - I find them out of place on that bike. The older Look pedals can be sold on eBay to pay for the pedals you can actually use. The rack is a nice touch.

I would have liked SunTour bar end shifters on that bike, it's a shame. The bars also have a very elongated reach, which doesn't fit the character of the smaller frame. You can swap those and the stem to adjust fit to your tastes.

How tall are you? Between 5'4" and 5'8", it should fit.
I'm with you on the aero lever comment - I'm not a fan. I'm 5'9 with a 31" leg length; I've found 54cm to be most comfortable and might be able to squeeze into a 52cm. I'm having a hell of a time getting info from the seller so that's not a good sign...
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