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1972(73) Fuji Newest

Bike tags: Road bike | newest fuji
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Fuji Newest / 24" /1972

Nitto Olympiad / Nitto Pearl G Milled

Fuji Cro-MO / ?

Sunshine 5345 High Flange / Ukai Tubular / Yellow Jersey Servizio Corse

Sunshine 5345 High Flange / Ukai Tubular / Yellow Jersey Servizio Corse

Sugino Mighty Comp / Sugino

Fujita YFC Seamless / Hupelrider

Mikashima Unique Road / Sedis

Suntour Power Shifters / Suntour V-Luxe RD / Suntour SL FD

Dia-Compe Gran-Compe Centerpull / Dia-Compe carved

Suntour 14-24 5 speed / 52/42 Sugino drilled chainrings

Why 1972(73)? Well, because the frame serial number indicates a 1972 manufacture date but I've dressed the bike more as a 1973 model.

This was an eBay buy pointed out late one night by fellow Fuji friend Matt. It took about 20 minutes to decide to pull the trigger on the buy-it-now. Below are the pictures from the eBay auction, and all I had to go on to make the decision.

The seller was the original owner of the bike. Several components weren't stock: RD, calipers, brake levers, inner chainring. Missing parts included the seatpost, saddle, and wheelset. Obviously getting this bike back to stock was going to take some doing. As usual good Fuji friend Scott Ryder came to the rescue with some parts and a few leads.
The calipers and brake levers that came with the bike were Suntour Superbe. Oddly, Scott needed the exact set for one of his builds so we traded...my stuff for a NOS Dia-Compe Gran-Compe center pull set and levers. Scott gifted me a seat post that needed some refinishing work and a nice Fujita Seamless saddle. The Nitto Pearl G stem was a partial trade with Scott for a headset from a early 70's Finest I found at a local used shop.

Scott remembered a bikeforums post about someone looking for period correct clincher wheels to replace the tubular wheels from his early 70's Finest. Scott contacted that party, found he didn't want the tubular wheels, and facilitated the sale and within short order I had a proper wheelset! I found set of Mikashima pedals at the same used shop as the headset and a Sugino 42T drilled inner ring of the right vintage at another co-op. I found a Suntour V-Luxe RD on bikeforums and a Suntour SL FD at another used shop.

The chrome and paint are in fantastic condition for a nearly 40 year old bike. The hardest thing I had to do with the frame is remove the adhesive on the cloth tape that was used to pad the frame under the bottle cage mounts. It took nearly two hours with GooGone and my fingernail (I was unwilling to use anything harder) to get it all off. I did my usual work on the frame, cleaning with WD-40 and a toothbrush in crevices, a light application of Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0, then NuFinish car polish.

Many decals were missing from the frame, down tube, seat tube being the glaring ones. Once again, JR at VeloCals.com came through with a decals set. I left the "the newest" and "ever onward" decals as suggested by Fuji friend Matt as those decals were in nice shape and as an homage to the bike's originality and vintage.

Once the frame was cleaned and polished and decals applied I assembled the bike as normal. Gluing tubulars for the first time was an adventure. I used Newbaums cloth tape for the first time...what an improvement over the Tressostar I tried previously! Just lovely. Cateye red bar end plugs finish up the cockpit.

One fun find was the proper Primus frame pump at Sunrise Cyclery in Minneapolis. The same store that provided the traded headset and pedals also had the right pump peg was well. Amazing.

The bike is exceedingly light for 40 years old. I haven't yet ridden it much but the short time I have it feels like a very responsive frame. I'm anxious to get it out for more of a shakedown that I've been able to.

Some interesting things from the original owner:

"I rode it in some crits, didn't win. I rode it for a long time. Once I took it to Mexico with 3 other bikes for vacation. We hauled them in boxes on a flat trailer to and from the airport. On the way home, somehow the Fuji box jumped out of the trailer and was beside the road. Several days later, I got a call from someone 2 hours from home and they had it, undamaged, and I got it back."

"I worked at a small bike shop in Topeka, KS called Gran Sport. I bought it there."

People who friended this bike the fumingator, Aaron C, latron, williamblakeetc, nikon13, achtundzwanzig, Velogarden, phillyc71, DesertRider, cannonhugodale, campystamp, Brannigan, GGB

Fuji

Great looking bike and a fantastic post. Love to hear the story behind bikes and builds. Those NOS Dia-Compe brakes are gorgeous.

Hey buddy...

I love your bike!

Lovely Fuji

Just a lovely combination of the early 70s Japanese take on style and grace.

Salt in the wound

I had one of those back around 77 and stupidly sold it for reasons that now escape me. Thanks for pointing out my mistake. It's absolutely beautiful!

Saw this on Bike Forums CV

Super awesome bike, great story! Nice to see another Minnesotan on here.

Posted By: Joshua A. C. Newman: "I think it had some sort of duck rabies or something. That duck wasn't right."

extreme envy

That is beauty. A bicycle of dreams. I can't wait to read the story behind it.



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