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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    lost in my own thoughts
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    1978 Fuji SJ-10 - I have questions

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    First off, here she is. Entry-level 1978 (18 1/2 inch frame) About 28 inch stand-over. Fuji SJ-10, little brother to the Fuji Sports 10. She's 33 years old. Barely touched components. Minimal frame scratch from storage somewhere in Colorado. A friend gave her to me. I've never owned a bike this old, so I'm learning a lot. Such as, handlebars in the 70's were narrow. It came with unwrapped original 36 cm Nitto Olympiads, but I had to swap for cheap alloy 42 cm as I couldn't ride the 36 ers. Did everyone in the 70's have tiny-baby arms? LOL. Everyone keeps telling me she's in great shape, but should I invest anymore money in a 70's entry-level bike?



    "Stardust" (named for Ziggy Stardust and that Neil Gaiman novel) has non-aero original dia-compe levers with interrupter brakes attached to the brake lever mechanism. This bike came without hoods originally, but I wanted to put some on. Here's a close-up in the best winter light I have right now of the levers.



    My question is, can I put brake hoods on her, or am I doomed to feel cold steel or hot steel when I ride her? I can't figure out if I'd just be able to mod the hoods or if it would butcher them completely. I wanted to go with black.

    If I get entirely new levers is that expensive? Is it worth it? Should I keep her? Comments? Opinions?

    Any help is appreciated. Long time no talk, ladies. I think of you helpful gals often and I think, "They'd know just what to do."
    Last edited by moderncyclista; 01-01-2012 at 03:35 PM.
    "Things look different from the seat of a bike carrying a sleeping bag with a cold beer tucked inside." ~Jim Malusa
    2009 Trek 520-Brooks B-17 Special in Antique Brown
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker-Brooks B-17 Standard in Black
    1983 Fuji Espree Single Speed-Brooks B17 British Racing Green

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    356
    Quote Originally Posted by moderncyclista View Post
    First off, here she is. Entry-level 1978 (18 1/2 inch frame) About 28 inch stand-over. Fuji SJ-10, little brother to the Fuji Sports 10. She's 33 years old. Barely touched components.
    I see cottered cranks and steel rims. The cranks will confuse the young mechanics at bike shops! Don't ride this bike in the rain.

    Quote Originally Posted by moderncyclista View Post
    My question is, can I put brake hoods on her, or am I doomed to feel cold steel or hot steel when I ride her? I can't figure out if I'd just be able to mod the hoods or if it would butcher them completely. I wanted to go with black.

    If I get entirely new levers is that expensive? Is it worth it? Should I keep her? Comments? Opinions?
    Those brake levers were not meant to be ridden "on the hoods". It was either on top of the bars (hence the brake extensions), in the hooks, or at the very tips when sprinting. I have a vague recollection that if you try applying those brakes from the hoods, that they'll eventually pinch your skin when you release the lever.

    I'm sure you could find some cheap brake (only) levers. You'll probably need new cables and bar tape to install them.

    You could start swapping on modern parts, but you'll soon find you need all sorts of adapters and NewOldStock parts. In the end, it'll still be an entry level 1978 bike. The parts it has now are likely quite a bit beefier than anything new. I'd suggest leaving it as-is, except for any worn soft parts, and enjoying the bike for what it it.
    Last edited by laura*; 01-01-2012 at 07:21 PM.
    Laura

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    30
    Hey, that's like looking at a picture of my bike.

    I have a mid-'80s entry level Fuji Regis that looks identical to that Bike--even down to the color. It doesn't look like Fuji changed much on their entry level bikes from 1978 - ~1986 except for maybe the name. Mine still has all of the original parts, outside of some new handlebar tape. This was the first bike I bought as an adult, and my husband has an identical one.

    I hadn't ridden this bike for about 10 years and took it into the shop for a tune-up this summer, so I could use it as a back-up/trainer bike. I asked about putting brake hoods on and possibly removing the extension levers on the brakes. The guy at the bike shop said that it would end up costing me more than I wanted to spend. Since I really didn't want to spend much on it, I took his word for it. I need padded gloves to ride on the hoods--and I find that my hands often end up resting on the bars just behind the hoods.

    And yes, the handlebars are narrow! I never even thought about changing the handlebars. Is that expensive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,556
    Those brake lever extensions aren't really "interupter" levers. They were called "safety levers" at the time but were actually unsafe as the levers flexed too much for hard braking. They can be removed from your existing levers if you can find the shorter red push-through rods to replace the longer rods of the safety levers, and then you could add rubber hoods. Or you can remove just the lever extension and leave the longer rod sticking out of the brake lever. This type of lever with cable coming out the top only applies good braking force from the drops. Simpler and safer to replace the whole levers if you want to ride on the hoods and brake from there.

    The steel cottered 3-arm spider crankset is very low end. You may have trouble removing the cotter pins to replace the crankset. You'd have trouble finding a replacement rear wheel for this as it's probably got 120 mm axle spacing (if it takes a 5-speed freewheel). I agree with Laura that this bike isn't worth a big investment, but you could get some enjoyable miles out of it.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    lost in my own thoughts
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    301
    Well, crap.

    I did spend a bit of money on getting it road-ready and now I'm regretting it. I suppose it wasn't even worth that. It's rideable though. It's charming and fun. But it rains a lot here and I commute a heavy-duty way. It doesn't have a lot of gears, but short rides are fun. Now I'm freaked about pinching my hands in the brake-levers, though. *meep*

    Sometimes a gift isn't a gift, I guess. I was really grateful awhile ago. *sigh* *forehead rub* I should've just politely declined (how do you do that with a gift, anyways?) and saved up for another bike. Man, regret sucks. Oh, well.

    (Also, changing the bars wasn't expensive. It cost me 10 bucks for the bars and 15 to re-wrap to save the tape I had just put on. At least it's more comfortable to ride. I did end up paying for tubes and tires though. Ugh.)
    Last edited by moderncyclista; 01-02-2012 at 10:59 AM.
    "Things look different from the seat of a bike carrying a sleeping bag with a cold beer tucked inside." ~Jim Malusa
    2009 Trek 520-Brooks B-17 Special in Antique Brown
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker-Brooks B-17 Standard in Black
    1983 Fuji Espree Single Speed-Brooks B17 British Racing Green

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    30
    Maybe you could use it on a trainer? That's what I'm planning to do with mine--as soon as I get a trainer, that is. I think it will serve that purpose for now, and the size/shape of the handlebars shouldn't be much of an issue for that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    lost in my own thoughts
    Posts
    301
    Awww, heck.

    No point in regrets, I guess.

    It's fun and my first vintage bike. (Since I'm so short where I live, I've NEVER found one in my size.) But it reminds me of why I fell in love with bikes. Their simple understated beauty, the elegance of locomotion, their personality and fun.

    If I do spend more on it, I don't know if I'll regret it that much. It's pretty cute. Cute as a bug, actually. If it becomes unrideable or cost-prohibitive, I'll hang it on my wall. (This will send my S/O into fits.)
    "Things look different from the seat of a bike carrying a sleeping bag with a cold beer tucked inside." ~Jim Malusa
    2009 Trek 520-Brooks B-17 Special in Antique Brown
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker-Brooks B-17 Standard in Black
    1983 Fuji Espree Single Speed-Brooks B17 British Racing Green

 

 

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