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Fuji America Tire/Fender Clearance

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Fuji America Tire/Fender Clearance

Old 01-22-17, 05:35 PM
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TweedleDee
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Fuji America Tire/Fender Clearance

I have a 1983 Fuji America with stock 700c wheels and caliper brakes. I like it but am debating whether to keep it or not. One of the deciding factors is whether I can fit 35c tires with fenders. Does anyone have experience with this that could give me advice. I guess the other thing is if my stock rims are wide enough for a 35c tire.

In other words, what is the largest tire/fender combination I can fit? I'm looking at something like Panaracer gravelkings.
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Old 01-22-17, 05:51 PM
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Buy the tires from a place you can return them. The rims are not likely going to limit you but the bike has caliper brakes and, in my experience, those generally top out at 700 x 32c. But there are a lot of variables here (the reach of the calipers for one and not all 35c tires measure out to 35c). Bottom line is it may not work and so you will want to do some trial and error.

If tire size is crucial to you and you want to keep riding a great old bike like that Fuji America, you could think about doing a 650b conversion. You might well be able to run 650b x 38c gravel kings on that bike:

650B Conversion Guidlines
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Old 01-22-17, 08:25 PM
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Thanks. You've now led me down the 650B rabbit hole!
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Old 01-22-17, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TweedleDee View Post
Thanks. You've now led me down the 650B rabbit hole!
The gold standard to check fit for another tire is...try with another tire!

I've offered before, and I'll offer again, if you want to make a trip into Portland, you can swing by and do a test fit with 650b wheels and tires at my place. We could also check if 700c with 35's would work, fender clearance, etc.

I did a 650b conversion on a Fuji "The Finest", not sure if the geometry on yours would work.

Welcome to the rabbit hole!
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Old 01-22-17, 08:56 PM
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If your clearances are like those on my '79 America, 700x35 with standard full-length fenders is absolutely not going to work. Even my 700x28mm tires are fairly tight with my fenders installed.

650b conversion would probably give you some extra room, though; there's a good amount of chainstay and fork blade clearance on the sides.
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Old 01-22-17, 09:19 PM
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As others have alluded to, the 80's were a bad time for tire clearance (or just tires in general). Even touring bikes with 700c wheels and cantilever brakes were maxing out at 32c+fenders.

Having just gone through this same scenario of wanting larger tires but having a frame that won't fit them, you've got 2 options: decide that you love the Fuji frame and convert it to 650b OR trade the bike for a frame that will have better clearances.

Converting an old 70's/80's frame that originally took 27 1-1/4 wheels to 700c can often yield pretty good tire clearance results. The 2 that I've done got me 35c+fenders, and often this can be cheaper than the 650b conversion route.
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Old 01-23-17, 06:31 AM
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If you're looking to go 650B, you might do okay with clearances on an '83 Fuji America.

I have a '80 Fuji S-12S LTD with similar geometry to the America and can easily clear 42mm tires with fenders. It's almost like these frames were built to use 650B wheels, with loads of chainstay clearances, and a decently high BB if you're concerned about clearances.

I use Dia Compe 750 centerpulls and they work okay. I've become spoiled with my brazed on CP mounts on my Gugie-fied 650B'd '74 Raleigh Super Tourer, though, and am probably going to be passing this on come spring time.

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Old 01-23-17, 11:50 AM
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Wow, that is a nice looking bike! I love the look with the wide tires and fenders. I'll be looking at the feasibility and cost to do the conversion and go from there. I don't want to put a lot of money into it that I'll likely not get back if I end up selling it. The frame is in *okay* condition but not great. Thank you for all the advice and I'm sure I'll have some more questions.
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Old 01-23-17, 11:52 AM
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There is a source on ebay for the wheels built up with weinman zac 19 650b rims; you can get the wheelset for around $120 or so (plus tires, tubes, rim strip, and cassette). You'll have to spread the frame to 130 but that's no big deal.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:07 AM
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@bear_a_bug I can't yet send PMs but have you already sold this bike? If not, I'd be interested.
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