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Thinning the herd :( Which bike to keep - Ross or Fuji

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Thinning the herd :( Which bike to keep - Ross or Fuji

Old 08-05-15, 03:53 PM
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88prelude
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Thinning the herd :( Which bike to keep - Ross or Fuji

So I've got to thin out the herd and I'd thought I'd reach out to all CVers to see which you'd keep and which you'd get rid of between the two:

1) 1983 Ross Utopian 54cm: All original (I believe these took over the Gran Tourer Models in 83? when T. Kellog started designing for Ross)
Full Shimano Golden Arrow Groupset

2) 1984 Club Fuji 54cm: All original except wheels where switched out with Campy Record Small Flange Hubs and Mavic Montherly Route Tubular Wheels
(http://classicfuji.com/1984_10_ClubFuji_Page.htm)

Both fit and ride excellently for me and if I could I'd keep both. Which one would you keep and why? Which one will hold it's value longer?
I'll try to get some pics up later to help with the decision.

Last edited by 88prelude; 08-06-15 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Ross Utopian not Utopia
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Old 08-05-15, 04:02 PM
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keep: '84 club fuji ... from fuji, one of the great names of japanese cycling.

shop: ross* "dress for less."

* great deals on really ugly men's ties
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Old 08-05-15, 04:04 PM
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Ross made some good bikes but they are clearly the Rodney Dangerfield of the bike world.
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Old 08-05-15, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
keep: '84 club fuji ... from fuji, one of the great names of japanese cycling.

shop: ross* "dress for less."

* great deals on really ugly men's ties
Is the club really that desirable? Will it still be the bike to have held onto 5 more years down the road?

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Ross made some good bikes but they are clearly the Rodney Dangerfield of the bike world.
Yeah, that's what a lot of people of the forums say, but even Rodney had his Caddy Shack. This isn't one of the 290 Specials but it's been a good touring/relaxed ride bike. It does however have the safety forks patented by Ross which I found oddly intriguing and a pain in the ass a the same time.
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Old 08-05-15, 07:37 PM
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Triple Lindy




Which ever you enjoy riding more is the one to keep. You won't retire off of either of them.
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Old 08-05-15, 07:59 PM
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Keep the one you like to ride the most. Neither are so exotic your'e going to make a big sum off them, even if you keep them for a few more years. Better to have those years filled with whichever one gets you in the saddle more I say =)
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Old 08-05-15, 10:21 PM
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"Is the club really that desirable?"

not in my opinion. but, then again, it depends on finding the right buyer. i sold this one (with a new brooks and rebuilt wheelset) for $520:



the '86 version seems a lot nicer, with all the suntour cyclone on it.



trade up!
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Old 08-05-15, 10:24 PM
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I still can't wrap my head around Ross being anything more than a Murray special. I'm slowly learning from this forum that may not be the case but I'd be hard pressed to have one in my garage. Sort of like the 1998 Ford Contour SVT I have collecting dust. Lots of fancy trimmings and the best V6 exhaust note ever... But it's still a Contour.

Keep the Fuji.
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Old 08-06-15, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
I still can't wrap my head around Ross being anything more than a Murray special. I'm slowly learning from this forum that may not be the case but I'd be hard pressed to have one in my garage. Sort of like the 1998 Ford Contour SVT I have collecting dust. Lots of fancy trimmings and the best V6 exhaust note ever... But it's still a Contour.

Keep the Fuji.
Yeah most of them are. But the Ross Utopian is made of double butted Ishiwata 024 steel- and made really well. It rides as nice as the Fuji Club, and if it had a nicer fork would weigh the same.

Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
"Is the club really that desirable?"

not in my opinion. but, then again, it depends on finding the right buyer. i sold this one (with a new brooks and rebuilt wheelset) for $520:

the '86 version seems a lot nicer, with all the suntour cyclone on it.

trade up!
That 86 does look nice. Stop giving me ideas. I need to get rid of one not buy another
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Old 08-06-15, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 88prelude View Post
Yeah most of them are. But the Ross Utopian is made of double butted Ishiwata 024 steel- and made really well. It rides as nice as the Fuji Club, and if it had a nicer fork would weigh the same.
The Ross sounds roughly equivalent to a Schwinn LeTour of that vintage, not a great bike, but certainly a decent one. I guess it all depend on how much you like riding it. When I'm looking to cull the heard, its the ones I don't ride that go out the door first, regardless of perceived quality.

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Old 08-06-15, 12:43 PM
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This all depends upon what you want to do with your bikes down the road. Both of them are good bikes, but there are many more Fuji Clubs than Ross Utopias. Your best sale right now would be the Fuji - 10 years from now, maybe the Ross (who knows - my crystal ball is cloudy). I would toss a coin.
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Old 08-06-15, 03:09 PM
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This is kind of my thinking. The I almost never see a Ross (other than the low quality kind) on the West coast for sale, but I trip over Fujis non-stop. I'd feel worse about getting rid of the Ross merely for that fact because if I do regret letting it go, who knows when I'll see the next one for sale. Both are both daily/weekly commuters and I know the Fuji is an eye catcher and more prey to thievery.
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Old 08-06-15, 04:05 PM
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You might get twice as many $ for the Fuji, and it may be an easier sell.
Got your pics ready yet? Never seen "Utopia" , sounds nice
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Old 08-06-15, 04:14 PM
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Why not sell both and get a bike better than both. I saw a team fuji for 200 on eBay last week.
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Old 08-09-15, 10:42 AM
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Two bikes does not make a herd. What are our other choices?!
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Old 08-12-15, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jp42 View Post
You might get twice as many $ for the Fuji, and it may be an easier sell.
Got your pics ready yet? Never seen "Utopia" , sounds nice
Here are the pics - sorry it took me a while to get to them. Too many projects going on - including trying out 700c wheels and getting new pedals for the Ross.

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Old 08-12-15, 11:38 PM
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A couple more:

@loky1179 - The others are all keepers - an Eddy Merckx, a Sintesi, a Miyata, a Peugeot etc..
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Old 08-13-15, 08:54 AM
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Great looking bike, thanks for the pics!
I'd hold onto the Ross, it looks like a quality bike and is very unusual.
But - does it fit you? Your OP said 54cm, that looks smaller to me.

Edit: The more I look at this bike the more I like it. Details like the long pointed seat lug, the cojoined head lugs, neat forged dropouts, very clean brazing and thin, even paint really stand out. It looks to be mostly original and in very good condition. I think it's earlier than '83, you should be able to date it by the serial number or maybe date codes on the components.

Last edited by Jp42; 08-13-15 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Edit
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Old 08-13-15, 09:01 AM
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I would keep the Ross. It can always be a "sleeper" that people dismiss, especially if you lock it up to a bike rack.
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Old 08-13-15, 11:44 AM
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I'd keep the club fuji any day of the week. they're quality mass produced workhorses.

but +1 to what everyone else said. whatever you ride the most is the keeper.

Originally Posted by 88prelude View Post
Yeah most of them are. But the Ross Utopian is made of double butted Ishiwata 024 steel- and made really well. It rides as nice as the Fuji Club, and if it had a nicer fork would weigh the same.

That 86 does look nice. Stop giving me ideas. I need to get rid of one not buy another
022 was equivalent to SL and 531. Ishiwata 024 was lower grade....maybe a Reynolds 520 equivalent? not that special. The club's quad butted valite is higher grade than that I would think.
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Old 08-13-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jp42 View Post
Great looking bike, thanks for the pics!
I'd hold onto the Ross, it looks like a quality bike and is very unusual.
But - does it fit you? Your OP said 54cm, that looks smaller to me.

Edit: The more I look at this bike the more I like it. Details like the long pointed seat lug, the cojoined head lugs, neat forged dropouts, very clean brazing and thin, even paint really stand out. It looks to be mostly original and in very good condition. I think it's earlier than '83, you should be able to date it by the serial number or maybe date codes on the components.
It's actually a 50cm (I must've been thinking about the Fuji in the OP) - I float between 50s and 54s (short legs, long torso and short arms) depending on the bike. I find I like the rides of the smaller frames a bit more as they seemed to be more rigid.

I was told it was an 83 from the guy I bought it from. The serial starts 0184- so perhaps actually made in Jan of '84? It's all original as far as I know. I have the 27 wheels that came with it too (Maillard Normandy Luxe Competition hubs on Araya rims). It's always been a 12 speed for me but I'm not sure it was when it was built - the rear spacing is a bit too tight for the 27" and the 700c wheels that I use- I always have to pull the rear drops out a bit to slide the wheel on/off.

EDIT: The only thing I know that didn't come with the bike at the moment are the pedals - I gave them away by accident.

Last edited by 88prelude; 08-14-15 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 08-13-15, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by zazenzach View Post
022 was equivalent to SL and 531. Ishiwata 024 was lower grade....maybe a Reynolds 520 equivalent? not that special. The club's quad butted valite is higher grade than that I would think.
Here's a cool catalog for Ishiwata tubing from the early 80s (Ishiwata Tubing Catalog circa early 1980's). I didn't know they made a 15, 17, and 19 steel as well. The difference in weight between the 22 and 24 is .2 kg or about .4 lbs for an entire double butted frame and fork - not sure how that calculates with Reynolds 531 but I'm guessing the 24 is about half a pound heavier?

I read somewhere that Ishiwata actually made the Valite tubing for Fuji. Anyone know if that's true?
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Old 08-13-15, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 88prelude View Post
Here's a cool catalog for Ishiwata tubing from the early 80s (Ishiwata Tubing Catalog circa early 1980's). I didn't know they made a 15, 17, and 19 steel as well. The difference in weight between the 22 and 24 is .2 kg or about .4 lbs for an entire double butted frame and fork - not sure how that calculates with Reynolds 531 but I'm guessing the 24 is about half a pound heavier?

I read somewhere that Ishiwata actually made the Valite tubing for Fuji. Anyone know if that's true?
Valite is indeed rebranded Ishiwata. I forget the exact tubeset name.....maybe ELO or something or other? Valite was specifically designed for use with robot brazing.

the difference between .022 and .024 sounds very similar to 531 and 520. honestly, dropping half a pound on a steel frameset is/was quite a feat.
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Old 08-17-15, 08:38 PM
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Well, I rode them both a few more times and found that I just like riding the Ross a little bit more at the moment so I sold the Fuji on CL. I'll miss that bike but I'm sure I'll come across another rather easily if I need to find it again. Thanks everyone for your input - and my apologies to those rooting for the Fuji (it is being ridden though which is better than just sitting on a rack IMO).
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