Tuesday, I found my long-awaited new project. One of the librarians at the college, who happens to be an aficionado of dapper, old rides and a connoisseur of classic velo style (he commutes to work on a 1960 Schwinn Spitfire he restored, his wife cruises on a Monark Americana, and his six-year-old rides a 1976 Schwinn Stingray), tipped me off to an old Fuji ten-speed sitting in the back corner of the local Salvation Army Thrift Store.
Sure enough, I ventured down there to find a 1974 1975 Fuji “Special Tourer” in surprisingly good shape with a price tag reading $29.99. Best of all, it was the right size for me. It even had the original owner’s manual with it!
This is exactly what I’ve been in the market for. Isn’t the color magically delicious? The pictures don’t do it justice. Once I got it home, I couldn’t wait to start wrenching on it. So, regrettably, what you see here isn’t a true “before” picture. By this point, I had raised the seat, removed the chain, and switched out a set of aluminum wheels I had with new tires already installed. The wheels I put on it had a cassette with slightly different gearing and larger pie plate already in place. Hopefully, the set up will work with the derailleur, but I’ll have to wait and see.
I have on order at the local bike shop new bar tape, new brake levers, new cables and housings, and some pedals that will take toe clips. While I wait for those to arrive, I’m going to try to carve out some time to refresh the bottom bracket and headset myself. Meanwhile, I’m shopping for a new saddle, some fenders, and a rear rack.
I’ll be selling the Schwinn Suburban I rebuilt, as well as my Gary Fisher Monona to pay for it all (not to mention needing to make space in the shed). I sort of hate to see the latter go. It’s been a good bike, and the one that carried me back into the joys of cycling. But frankly, I just don’t enjoy riding it as much as I once did. It feels too slow and heavy. It’s been a terrific commuter bike. But the Fuji will be every bit as good once I’ve gotten her properly decked out.
A bike like this won’t be complete without a suitable name affixed, so I’m opening the floor for nominations. Look for new pics of the finished project in two or three weeks (fingers crossed).