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Fuji Suncrest (1990ish) - Replace or restore?

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Fuji Suncrest (1990ish) - Replace or restore?

Old 04-20-20, 01:59 AM
  #1  
Karmatoo
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Fuji Suncrest (1990ish) - Replace or restore?

Dear community,
I just purchased my first “vintage” bike; a Fuji Suncrest, after my beloved Scott Navajo got stolen (I almost rode her for 20 years). I found the Fuji on ebay and just fell in love with the paint job.

Fuji SunCrest

Now I start my quest to get her in shape as I hope to tackle the German Green Belt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Green_Belt) this autumn. My goal is a well-functioning reliable friend for a long time to come (as such I am open to buy new components to replace the old).

I am very interested to her your opinions on this project on things like:

- where I should start

- what to think about

- what should I replace (buy used or new or upgrade)

- what should I restore



Replace or restore that is the question!?



My first two weeks have been spent figuring out what the bike is all about and what components is on her. I have been biking some 10 hours in total to get a feel of the bike and find out if something is not right.
By taking the bike apart I have discovered a gap between the back wheel and the frame (when gear side fit perfect). Do anyone have a suggestion on why? Is the modern wheelbase shorter or have something happened to the frame? ATM the back when is held on place by the Quick Releases. I am not so sure if this is safe!? And what can be done?




My understanding is that it is an entry level bike, steel frame and dated around 1990-1992. After some reviewing (and hours on the Internet); it seems that most of the components currently on is the original as they fit the “Exage 300 LX”-series package (produced 1990-1992). All the components works well for the age and I have not been able to see much wear and tear. My idea to replace or restore would be:



Drive Train

Chain – Replace with a new “Shimano 6/7/8-speed Chain CN-HG71C”

Cassette Hyper glide bike – Replace with a new “Shimano Cassette 7-speed CS-HG41 11-28”

Crank arms Shimano FC-M300, Exage 300LX - Restore

*** Chainrings – Replace (any suggestion for a good fit / quality)

*** Square Taper bottom bracket – Suggestion if I should replace or restore?



Shifting System (replace with Alivio?)

Shifter “SL-M300-C”

Rear Derailleur “Exage 500 LX rd-m500”

Front Derailleur “Exage 300 LX”



Brakes (replace with Alivio?)

Cantilever Brake “BR-M250”



*** I bought an around 7Y old bike (for taking parts) with Alivio 3x7 shifting system and brakes (I think it is V-Brake BR-T4000). Should I keep the old still functioning “Exage 300 LX” or is the Alivio an upgrade for the shifting system and the brakes (do they even fit…)?



Last two

Wheels – would you recommend to buy good used ones or a new set (new wheels are so expensive though)

Headset – Restore or buy new?




Thank you very much and I hope to keep you updated on my project
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Old 04-20-20, 03:55 AM
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That gap is not a big deal and will close up just right with the tightening of the skewer. Actually, the part of the axle sticking out is perfect, in my opinion. But why is the gap there..?

Perhaps someone swapped wheels, installing a set that had a narrower hub. Perhaps the stays have been bent a wee bit apart (should be 120mm drop face to drop face), or 125mm, or 130mm or, and not sure about this, but 135mm might also be present. You can remove the gap by bending and centering the stays but I would advise that only after I had seen the situation in more detail.
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Old 04-20-20, 07:05 AM
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Don't get too far ahead of yourself. I'd keep riding it around, you might find everything works just fine and doesn't need to be replaced. And before I worried about the chain and freewheel/cassette and that kind of stuff, the very first thing I'd do is bearings. Headset, wheel, bottom bracket. Everything else can wait, but riding around on a bottom bracket and wheels that need bearing service can make things worse. Also, keep an eye on the tires for cracking sidewalls, etc.

Once you get that done, then just figure out what you like/don't like. It's a nice old MTB, Fujis are great and will take most any modern replacement part or upgrade. Invest in a chain-checker, replace chain and freewheel if necessary. If not, you're good to go. Enjoy!
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Old 04-20-20, 10:24 AM
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Thanks for posting the pictures and the link to the German Green Belt Karmatoo . This trail system looks interesting on so many levels. It looks like a nice bike. Fuji, even the low end stuff is really good. I like these older, rigid frame mountain bikes, they are really versatile. They can do almost anything.

Anyway, I think PugRider advice is good. If you didn't do this already. Get it all freshened up see what you like and what you don't like.

If you are worried about the rear drop out spacing, measure the distance between the two drop out faces as randyjawa suggested. If that is not right, then run a string or thread from the rear drop out, up and around the head tube the other dropout and measure the distance from the seat tube to the string. It should be the same on both sides.

I like the paint job too. This should be a fun bike. When you get the German Green Belt trail, you may want to post some pictures for us.
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Old 04-20-20, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
That gap is not a big deal and will close up just right with the tightening of the skewer. Actually, the part of the axle sticking out is perfect, in my opinion. But why is the gap there..?

Perhaps someone swapped wheels, installing a set that had a narrower hub. Perhaps the stays have been bent a wee bit apart (should be 120mm drop face to drop face), or 125mm, or 130mm or, and not sure about this, but 135mm might also be present. You can remove the gap by bending and centering the stays but I would advise that only after I had seen the situation in more detail.
Dear Randy, thanks for the feedback. I will look for a set of wheels with broader hub and . I assume that the wheels are not the orginal ones after all.
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Old 04-20-20, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Karmatoo View Post
Dear Randy, thanks for the feedback. I will look for a set of wheels with broader hub and . I assume that the wheels are not the orginal ones after all.
No need for new wheels. What I would do is replace the axle with one that is about 5 mm longer and add a 2 mm spacer on each side, a very inexpensive and easy repair as you probably should overhaul the hub anyway. From what I can see, it doesn't look as if that bike has seen much use at all so the components might be in better shape than the Alivio parts from the other bike you bought. Those 300 LX components work quite well, I had a road bike with the road version of them and they lasted for many years. In those days I was doing close to 9000 km per year, so they probably had at least 50,000 km on them before I had to replace anything other than chains and cassettes
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Old 04-20-20, 12:44 PM
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Great feedback PugRider! Noted; Headset, wheel and bottom bracket will be done.
I have ordered the tools that I need (I hope) and will get to it ASAP.
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Old 04-20-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
No need for new wheels. What I would do is replace the axle with one that is about 5 mm longer and add a 2 mm spacer on each side, a very inexpensive and easy repair as you probably should overhaul the hub anyway. From what I can see, it doesn't look as if that bike has seen much use at all so the components might be in better shape than the Alivio parts from the other bike you bought. Those 300 LX components work quite well, I had a road bike with the road version of them and they lasted for many years. In those days I was doing close to 9000 km per year, so they probably had at least 50,000 km on them before I had to replace anything other than chains and cassettes
Great information about the components. I'll also look into the fix for fixing the bike. Thanks
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Old 04-20-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
When you get the German Green Belt trail, you may want to post some pictures for us.
I will do. Here is some more info if you are interested: https://www.komoot.com/collection/62...the-green-belt
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Old 07-13-20, 12:45 PM
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Update

Tools took longer to arrive than I anticipated. However am back working on the bike now!
Headset - bearings looked good so I gave everything a good clean and new grease.
Bottom bracket - the bottom bracket was somewhat off when I bought the bike. It all worked but you could tell that it was not symmetric. My best guess is that the bike have fallen to one side or someone was not able to install the bottom bracket correctly (old bikes are like Cluedo / Clue). So once I bought the crank puller tool I realized that the treading on the cranks was complete gone! In the end I had to hammer the crank out (I hope that I did not damage the bottom bracket)!





One Bearing in the bottom bracket was damaged and I will ask my local bike shop if they can help me.
However now I need a new crank set!
On the bike was: Shimano Exage LX 500 FC-M500 175mm 46/36/24 3x7 speed (and not the FC-M300, Exage 300LX as earlier written). Perhaps somebody swapped out and was not able to mount it correctly.

To find a vintage one to a decent price seems to be impossible in the area where I live so I am ready to buy a new one. Can anyone tell me if this candidate will fit or (feel free to suggest other crankset as well)?! ACERA 7/8 FC-M361 175mm 48/38/28


Thanks for the help and stay healthy and safe

Last edited by Karmatoo; 07-13-20 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 07-13-20, 03:19 PM
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One bearing? As in literally a single ball? Or do you mean one of the bottom bracket cups is pitted?

For an old bike, I think it's best to get new ball bearings when overhauling components. You have no idea when the last time it was serviced, if ever, and what condition it was ridden in. Grade 25, 1/4" ball bearings.
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Old 07-14-20, 12:31 AM
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The ball bearing cages

Hi Piff, a single ball was damaged the rest looked fine. Also not too much dirt. I think that somebody have changed this while the crank set was changed!
You write that i should get "new ball bearings". Should I change all balls or the balls and ball bearing cages as well?
Have a great day!



Single ball bearing ball damaged
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Old 07-14-20, 06:54 AM
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You shouldn't have a problem sourcing a new or used replacement crankset, but a few things can be tricky. One, is that front derailleur is meant to shift that 48t big ring. If you got, say, a 42t big-ring crankset, it's not going to work right. So unless you're replacing the front derailleur, too, try to look for a crankset with a 48t big ring. You could luck out and find a parts bike that has both, so you can just swap them in and you're good.

The bottom bracket measurement is also tied to whatever crankset you choose. The bottom bracket size is dictated by the crankset design, and it varies. Sheldon Brown's site has a bottom bracket size database you can use, and/or search this forum or google, somebody has had this problem before! 110mm, 113, 122.5, all common sizes, but again, there are more out there. Sometimes you luck out, though, and some combination just works.

If I was really impatient with a build I would just throw an old bearing from a rear wheel or other project in that cage and call it a day, but since you have it all apart and it's a nice bike, it's just a few bucks for a brand new set of bearing cages. Or you can be fancy and get loose bearings. But again, wait until you have the crankset situation sorted, so you don't end up refurbishing a bottom bracket you can't use.
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Old 07-26-20, 05:24 AM
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slowly getting all together

Hi again,
I was lucky and a used but in good condition Exage 400LX (same size of rings & length of arms) went up on Ebay 2 days after my last post. The seller had removed it from an older Japanese MTB so I figured out that there was a good chance that it would fit (even if it was not an 500LX).
Crank arrived and was in good condition!

Originally Posted by PugRider View Post
You shouldn't have a problem sourcing a new or used replacement crankset, but a few things can be tricky. One, is that front derailleur is meant to shift that 48t big ring.
I also bought 2 new complete set of caged ball bearings. And it all fitted smoothly. I have been riding with the bike for a week now after almost 2 months having it apart.

What is left to do:
I want to give it a new bar and perhaps and some small details. But we are up and running and I am very happy of the status I have now with it.



Ebay crank set. And it fits!
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Old 07-26-20, 05:26 AM
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2 videos that helped me:

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Old 07-26-20, 07:01 AM
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Glad to see it coming along, be sure to post pics when you have it all sorted!
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