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r0ckh0und's 78 Fuji America

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r0ckh0und's 78 Fuji America

Old 04-17-23, 10:15 AM
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r0ckh0und's 78 Fuji America

Picked up a fine example of the Fuji America today. Serial #78C50061 Sugino Mighty triple, Superbe Tech RD, Gyromaster hubs laced to 700c Ukai rims. Clean up will hopefully be pretty straightforward as condition looks to be very good. The only issues I noticed upon initial inspection were a loose headset and rims needing attention. Seat tube measures 57cm c-t
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Old 04-18-23, 06:22 AM
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Beautiful find, and I can’t believe there aren’t some more comments. As a recent owner of a 72 Fuji Newest, I am a fan of these earlier Fujis. Reading several posts reveals owners are very pleased with them. Perhaps the later mass market success has tarnished the desirability such as some feel here for the Trek brand. Both brands seem to be especially revered for their earlier offerings.

Looking at the America, introduced as a tourer, it just screams Sport Tourer today. Look up that Sugino Mighty Tour as a used item. 700c wheels in 1977 too when most manufacturers waited another 5 years at least, especially on touring oriented bikes. Beautiful long point lugs and chrome socks scream class. I need another bike like a hole in the head, but if that showed up nearby, I would proudly own it. People love the ride of the early Fuji frames, and I bet it will be wonderful. Nice find and good luck with the cleanup. Looking forward to some more pics.
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Old 04-18-23, 06:34 AM
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Beautiful bike. I've looked for one of these for a while with no luck. I do have a 70s Fuji Finest though and it's not that different.
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Old 04-18-23, 07:13 AM
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If an America had been available when I was looking for a project, I would have bought it, but the local shop had an S12-S LTD in need of some love, so that's what I got. The S12-S LTD and the America were very similar, the main differences being the triple crank and 700 wheels on the America. They are great for a long day in the saddle. I have always loved Fuji's Rainbow Blue on the America, so I tried to emulate it on my S12-S LTD. At some point, I would like to put a triple crank on mine, just to be able to travel to hillier areas. You can see in the picture, a triple is not needed around here.


1981 Fuji S12-S LTD
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Old 04-18-23, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782
Beautiful find, and I canít believe there arenít some more comments. As a recent owner of a 72 Fuji Newest, I am a fan of these earlier Fujis. Reading several posts reveals owners are very pleased with them. Perhaps the later mass market success has tarnished the desirability such as some feel here for the Trek brand. Both brands seem to be especially revered for their earlier offerings.

Looking at the America, introduced as a tourer, it just screams Sport Tourer today. Look up that Sugino Mighty Tour as a used item. 700c wheels in 1977 too when most manufacturers waited another 5 years at least, especially on touring oriented bikes. Beautiful long point lugs and chrome socks scream class. I need another bike like a hole in the head, but if that showed up nearby, I would proudly own it. People love the ride of the early Fuji frames, and I bet it will be wonderful. Nice find and good luck with the cleanup. Looking forward to some more pics.
Absolutely love the 70's and early 80's Fuji bikes. Recently acquired a Fuji Finest from circa 1972. Beautiful bike. I also have a Fuji Touring V which is from the early 80's.
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Old 04-18-23, 10:46 AM
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Cough, cough..... The frame doesn't fit pass-around game

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Old 04-18-23, 12:02 PM
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Thank you for the comments. Realizing that the Tech derailleurs are not original I have some Cyclone that should fit nicely. Also a Fujita Belt and brown cloth bar wrap that should match up well with the seat tube lettering. Also noting that the seat tube decal and light blue head tube don't match up with other 78 color schemes I've seen.


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Old 04-18-23, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by r0ckh0und
Thank you for the comments. Realizing that the Tech derailleurs are not original I have some Cyclone that should fit nicely. Also a Fujita Belt and brown cloth bar wrap that should match up well with the seat tube lettering. Also noting that the seat tube decal and light blue head tube don't match up with other 78 color schemes I've seen.
That's interesting. According to the catalogs on Classic Fuji the America didn't switch to Rainbow Blue until '78, but the '77 (in Burgundy) had seat tube decal style like yours. It also looks like the '77 headtube paint matched the main frame color, again like yours:



(updated post to show the '77 color choice)

I wonder if the early '78s used the new color but the older motif. Does your serial number indicate an early model year '78 build?

In any case, beautiful bike!

Tom

Last edited by bike_tom; 04-18-23 at 03:50 PM. Reason: updated image to include color choice
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Old 04-18-23, 02:23 PM
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I've got a clapped out '76 America that I just can't see fixing (lack of time and funds.)

Blue was available as early as '76 but it came with a double crank and 27" wheels.

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Old 04-18-23, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
That's interesting. According to the catalogs on Classic Fuji the America didn't switch to Rainbow Blue until '78, but the '77 (in Burgundy) had seat tube decal style like yours. It also looks like the '77 headtube paint matched the main frame color, again like yours:



(updated post to show the '77 color choice)

I wonder if the early '78s used the new color but the older motif. Does your serial number indicate an early model year '78 build?

In any case, beautiful bike!

Tom
Serial #78C50061 If I'm reading correctly this indicates 78 as the year and March as the month. Not sure how many frames they typically produced in a month but 50,061 seems high to me. Perhaps this number indicates total frames produced by the company in a given month or maybe YTD? In my defense I just had some laser treatment done on my good eye.
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Old 04-18-23, 10:19 PM
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Great find! The Fuji America was produced starting in 1975 and considered one of the top touring bikes in it’s day. The frame is cromoly steel, has Suntour drop outs, and chrome fork. Originally came with a Tange Falcon headset and Sugino bottom bracket + chain ring and Fuji branded crank. Bullet proof Suntour derailleurs and bar end shifters and Gran Compe center pull brakes shows that it was a upper tier bike for Fuji. It still holds up as a comfortable ride and is worthy of the touring bling.



I bought a Victory Blue frameset two years ago and have mostly built it to spec. The challenge that I have is the rear spacing is narrow (120mm) and I don’t wish to cold set the frame so it’s a good flat lander tourer. I installed VO hammered fenders plus a gold waxed chain to match gold in the decals. These are keepers!
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Old 04-22-23, 12:49 PM
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Making a little progress with the clean up. Appears that someone tried to remove the non drive crank arm without the proper tool. Orientation on the rings were scrambled so we have that back in order.


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Old 04-22-23, 01:54 PM
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Tange Falcon headset,........when I came up for air I had 50 loose balls. I hope that's all of them......
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Old 04-22-23, 06:10 PM
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Replaced the shift cables. Going to look for a set of Dia Compe levers before doing anything with the bar set up. I had a new set of wheels with Origin 8 hubs and Sun rims so I'm using those until I have a chance to go through the original wheels. Despite the cool temperatures I took a spin around the neighborhood and it fits me well for a 57cm
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