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Marlboro/Fuji Folder Project

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Marlboro/Fuji Folder Project

Old 03-12-23, 10:23 PM
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It is a rider again!

The rebuild has been completed in order to make it ridable again. I changed a few things. They are:
  • Handlebars with alloy GT bars
  • Crank from a Trek 800
  • Rear Derailleur changed to a SunTour VGT
  • Two finger all aluminum brake levers
  • Friction shifter for rear derailleur of an unknown brand
  • Seat with suede leather (I believe, it's leather) branded from Ross
  • Added a derailleur hanger on the rear dropout
In the process of going through the bike the front hub, rear hub, bottom bracket and headset were cleaned and re-greased. The paint on the frame was touched up with Testors paint. I wasn't as fussy on this bike as I had been on the Schwinn Super Sport. I just dabbed it on, but didn't level out the touch-up paint. The frame was gone over with rubbing compound and then waxed. The paint was still in good shape and shined up nicely. It may not look like much of a change from earlier pictures, however, in person, it is a big change and the paint shines.




Last edited by Velo Mule; 03-12-23 at 11:09 PM. Reason: I can't spell too well
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Old 03-12-23, 11:08 PM
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Details

I decided against using the plastic cover over the chainrings. Spot welds are ok with me and it is easier to clean. It has 48 - 38 - 28 chainrings. It is the original derailleur. It is low end Shimano but it shifts great. From the picture, it looks like the derailleur cage could be a little closer to the chainwheel. The pedals are weighted so that you don't step on those "keep the pedal from folding" screws. The pedals are spinning freely, so this feature works.


The rear derailleur shifter has the look of SunTour, but I don't think it is SunTour. But I don't know who makes it. It has detents that sound like a ratcheting shifter but it is just a friction shifter. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It works good. The front derailleur shifter is the original Shimano. The plastic brake levers were replaced with these two finger levers of unknown manufacturer. They work good though. There have been comments on other sites that say the original brake levers were too flexible. But I think that had to do with the reviewers prejudice against plastic brake levers or they had a earlier version of the brake lever. There is a steel stiffener molded into the version that I had. I replaced mine because adjusting screws were too rusty to justify planning to keep them. Also the screw thread for those adjuster were a loose fit with the screw thread. I had these grips from a parts bike and thought I'd give them a try.


The original Shimano-Singapore five speed freewheel was good. I replaced it with a good no-name freewheel because the Shimano freewheel tool cannot fit over the nut on the rear axle. The new freewheel uses a 4-prong removal tool. SunTour V-GT for the rear derailleur, only the best for this application.


All the cables get run down the right side of the top tube. I replaced the original black cable housing with Jagwire Ice Grey brake housing. Since this bike folds, the cables and housings get flexed more than they would on most bikes. Brake housing fits in the cable guides far better than the dedicated derailleur housing does and it flexes better than the derailleur housing. From top to bottom it is as follows:
  • Rear Brake
  • Front Derailleur
  • Rear Derailleur


At the seat cluster, I deviated from the original routing, with a routing that seems to fold better while maintaining a good line. At least. that is my opinion of the revised cable routing.


From the front you can see the brake levers better. The GT handlebars are about an inch shorter than the original. The original handlebars were steel and these GT bars are far lighter and I think that aluminum alloy handlebars flex a bit more than steel and therefore dampening some of the sharp jolts.
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Old 03-12-23, 11:28 PM
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FYI, there is a rather extensive thread here at BF on this model. Lots of other rebuilds are shown including mine.
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Old 03-12-23, 11:32 PM
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More Details

From the left side you can see that Fuji / Redlof used a pulley to reverse the direction of the front derailleur cable. Simple since they had planned on it and brazed on a fitting for it. You also get a good look at the lower hinge point and the "V" that protects the chainring.


You must be thinking, thanks for all the details but how does it look when it's folded. It is not a small wheeled bike so, it is still pretty big, but it will fit in a trunk, back seat or on the bus rather than in the front rack.

To fold the bike, flip the pedals over and turn the retaining screw a quarter turn to fold each of the pedals. The seat post gets removed from the frame to fold the bike in half. Then the seat post gets re-inserted into the lower seat post hole to keep it together and so that the greasy seatpost doesn't transfer goo onto anything else. Then the handlebars can either be twisted to align with the frame and keep it compact or removed from the stem altogether to make it more compact. I may have to get some straps or something to keep the handlebars in place when transporting the bike this way.
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Old 03-13-23, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rickpaulos
FYI, there is a rather extensive thread here at BF on this model. Lots of other rebuilds are shown including mine.
Yes, agreed @rickpaulos , the thread that I believe that you are referencing was an excellent source of information and ideas for me. While this thread is limited to just a build thread of my bike. The thread that you are referencing had pictures of many different bikes and input from many different members. The diversity of what was done with these folding bikes ranged from a Fixie to a 3 speed coaster brake to a dropped bar road bike. Here is that thread:

Fuji Marlboro folding MTB? Or does it?

There is a ton of useful information on Fuji Folders. I learned quite a bit from this thread and referred to it often. If you are looking for information or ideas on your Fuji folder this thread is great.
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Old 03-13-23, 11:47 AM
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Ride report

I finally rode the bike yesterday. I say finally because I didn't ride it when I first got it, so this is my first ride. It feels like a mid-90's mountain bike. It feels like my Trek 800(s). There have been comments about rattling sounds from the frame. I didn't hear anything until I got up out ot the seat. Then I heard a clicking sound that sounded like the top tube sleave was hitting the seat post binder tube. It didn't sound too concerning even with my clydesdale weight on it. Just a tap or click.

I felt a bit stretched out with the long stem and my hands started tingling. I think some of that had to do with the hand grips too. As far as handling it was good. As good as a Trek 800, which I think it pretty good company.

The front and rear derailleurs shifted well and will probably benefit from some minor adjustments. The folding pedals felt small to my big feet. But they worked fine. I have gotten used to bigger platform pedals on my other bikes maybe I just have to learn to get used to these.

Replacing the crank and handlebars probably saved a pound and a half of weight. I'm not a weight weenie, however, lighter is good for this bike since I will be hoisting into things, like the trunk, back seat and carrying it onto the train. I would also like to figure out a way to strap everything together when it is folded. It looks like I could wheel the bike like a single handled wheelbarrow when it is folded. I haven't tried that out yet.

Future plans

Ride it. Everything seems to be good. I will need to add a seat bag to keep tools and patches in. Then get a pump. I'm not sure what type yet.

A seatpost with an integral seat clamp would be lighter and more elegant that the steel tube seat post with the separate seat clamp and new tires are my future improvements. Since it will be ridden on the road as much as on dirt, I am thinking of Panaracer Gravel Kings or a similar tread tire.

Beyond that would be to upgrade the wheels. At this point, even though the hubs are steel, they work fine. I will have to bring a 15mm wrench with me if I want to get the wheels off. I have a cassette hub in my parts bin that fits the 130mm distance between dropouts and I have a variety of front hubs to choose from. I would also like to swap out the pedals to something with a bigger platform. Perhaps the MKS Ezy platforms. And I would also like to shorten the reach, so a new stem adapter and stem is on my wishlist.
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Old 03-13-23, 12:12 PM
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If anyone wants to follow suit.
https://offerup.com/item/detail/6822...olding&cid=7.4 - $225 = Los Angeles, CA
"Awesome steel folding Fuji cruiser bike 3x7 drive train. Collaboration between Marlboro and Fuji back in the day, took 8800 cigarettes to get enough points to get it back in the day. Folds up in seconds with quick release folding handlebars and release at the seat tube for easy transport and storage. Upgraded cruiser handlebars and shifters. Great for all types of riding, solid steel bike that will last forever. Ready to ride fits medium-large"
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Old 03-16-23, 07:38 AM
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very cool
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Old 06-18-23, 09:55 PM
  #34  
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Update:

I picked up a Trek 830 selling for $35 for the parts. It has a Freehub with a seven speed cassette and trigger index shifting. This was my first cassette hub rebuild. It was easy to do. The problem with using the Trek's wheels on the Fuji turned out to be that the chain hit the rear derailleur hanger screw. This bike had the derailleur hanger TIG welded on. It is a stamping rather than the usual, thicker, forged dropout. As a result the screw protrudes. I could have made it work by grinding away some material from the screw, but I didn't want to alter the screw. I could also move the derailleur screw outboard by putting a washer or two between the hanger and the derailleur body. No butchery in that solution. I will have to find appropriate washers. Spark plug washers??

The five speed freewheel with friction shifting is working good for me. The better wheels will wait for when I decide I just need better wheels and index shifting on this bike and find washers that can space out the derailleur screw.

I got a nice crank with spider from the 830. It has Biopace chainwheels. This will get tried out at some point in the future. My stamped steel chainrings on a swaged crank are doing just fine, so they will stay. The one thing that I was able to bring over from the Trek was the seatpost. 26.4mm with enough length to work for this application. I took the opportunity to switch to a Avocet seat. The black seat looks better with this bike than the brown suede seat that I had on previously. I have used these Avocet seats quite a bit past and present and while I find them good for me, I also find that I slide forward on the seat until I realize that I am uncomfortable and shift back. My solution has been to put the seat slightly nose up.



I've added quick attach fenders, seat bag and a pump. I also swapped the out the SunTour Vgt for a Shimano long cage. Looking at the picture, it appears that the derailleur position needs to be rotated down a bit. I cut a slot in the "C" shaped fender attachment to clear the front derailleur cable. The bike now has a fine coating of dust/dirt on it from riding dirt trails.

I have been riding it each weekend and it is working out well. However, I am not using it as intended. I was hoping to keep it in my car ready to go, but that hasn't happened. Yet.

Future plans still include Ezy pedals, smoother XC tires and perhaps a frame pump. The rest of the bike I am happy enough with as is, including the steel hubs. It could always be better. For now, I'd rather ride it than work on it.
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Old 06-19-23, 07:58 AM
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I agree, projects are fun but riding is the ultimate goal.

Thanks for the update!
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Old 07-21-23, 11:48 AM
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Although this bike is in my rotation of bikes that I am riding regularly, I have not used the bike for its intended purpose until this week. I had a business trip. I packed the bike into the truck of the car and went. I ended up putting my tools and my luggage on top of the bike so that nothing overflowed into the back seat.


Yes, I have some "Junk-in-the-trunk". The bike takes up the whole trunk because the wheels stay on and it is 26" wheeled bike. Removing, rather than just rotating the handlebars was needed to get it to fit. The car is a 2004 Honda Accord. It did have me wondering if my Trek 800 would fit better if I removed the wheels. Often, when I transport an 80's mountain bike, I put at least one wheel in the back seat footwell. I think this Fuji/Marlboro folding bike worked out better. One issue that I have to watch out for is that I greased the seatpost pretty well. As a result and because of my focus to get riding as soon as possible, if got some grease on my pants.

Fitting the whole bike into the trunk was especially good since there was a chance of my bike getting stolen or just messed with if I had just put it on a behind the car on a bike rack or fit it into the back seat. I don't stay at the best hotels when traveling. This one was not high end, but it was right on the Power Line trail.



I did experience one issue while riding. The folding pedal is made so that the pedal flips to the correct side up. However, I didn't wait for the pedal to reach this state and put my foot on it with the wrong side up,. The pedals still worked fine. The screws that are supposed to secure the bottom plate got pulled out about a half inch. I just have to run the screws back into the holes. These pedals also seem a bit small for my big feet.

I will be ordering a pair of MKS EZY pedals. In fact, I like this pedal interchangeability for my non-folding bikes too.

It was good to get out on a bike when traveling for work. This was the purpose of buying this bike in the first place and it proved to be enjoyable to be able to get out and ride while traveling for work. I will do this again when I have the opportunity.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 07-21-23 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 07-22-23, 08:10 AM
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Great to read!

Of late, I have been riding my Brompton more then some of my regular steeds.
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Old 07-28-23, 12:31 PM
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While I had the bike in the trunk, I figured this was my opportunity to weigh it. I had done a few things to lighten the bike. I know these are just ounces or grams, but it is going in the right direction. The following components were lighter than their original or previous components:
  • Alloy GT straight handlebars to replace all steel handlebars
  • Mostly alloy crankshaft with steel chainrings to replace a crankset with steel crankarms and chainrings
  • SunTour VGT rear derailleur to replace an all steel derailleur
  • Removed steel kickstand (No kickstand on bike)
It is still a heavy bike, but I was surprised when I put it on the scale that it actually weighed just a bit over 32lbs [14.5kg]. While that is a disappointing number because of us cyclist are so aware of the weight of our bicycles, it doesn't change things for me. It still rides well, It can be transported in my trunk, it was still inexpensive to purchase and when I am riding it, it feels like an 80's mountain bike rather than a folding bike. There is no creaking or flexing.





I am having one issue with the bike that I need to address. When folding, unfolding or moving it into the trunk, I am getting grease from the seat post and stem on my cloth's and hands. My original thought was to grease these items well since they need to be removed each time I fold the bike and I don't want to have to struggle with removing them. I might have to rethink that now. I have gone from oiling our steel work surfaces (like the bandsaw and milling machine tables) at work to waxing them. I have also gone to waxing many of my tools now. This works well for hand planes and handsaws. I am thinking of trying wax instead of oil for these parts. The stem should be no problem, the concern, of course is the seat post.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 07-28-23 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 07-28-23, 01:59 PM
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https://www.foldingbikeguy.com/fuji-...g-bike-review/
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