Thursday, July 31, 2008

1987 Fuji Del Rey - Star Silver Special Edition

Found this interesting item trolling around ebay and thought I'd enshrine it here for future reference. Lots of spec info and nice detail pictures on what is called a 1987 Del Rey Star Silver Special Edition. The unusual bar tape is a particularly nice touch.

Speeds: 12
Measurements: Standover- at center of top tube- 30 1/2 inches
center of crank to centerline of top tube at seat tube- 18 1/2 inches
top tube inside measurement - 20 inches

Frame: Valite 1769 quad tubing
Fork: Valite
Derailleurs Front and rear: Suntour Lepree (not the 3 pulley rd)
Pedals: Suntour Lepree, with toe clips, leather straps
Saddle: Avocet USA touring W1
Stem: Black Nitto
Bars: Black Nitto B115 with original silver cosmic plastic tape
Rims: Ukai black 27 x 1 1/8
Hubs: Suntour Lepree
Weight: ~24#
Color: Star Silver
Crank Sugino RT 42 x 52 Black chain rings
Brakes: Dia Compe side pull. Black hoods

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Auction Watch Roundup

Auction Watch is a list of auctions and other for sale lists of bikes that would be considered for addition to the Fuji Otaku collection were funds and spousal patience unlimited. These are not bikes I'm selling or have sold unless so noted. Likewise, it is not simply an indiscriminate listing of current Fujis by other sellers - to make the list, a sales listing will usually meet one or several of the following conditions:
  • From the era when Fujis were made in Japan
  • Mostly original component configuration
  • Good cosmetic shape
  • A well done sales listing - good pictures, detail description, fair opening price. Hidden reserves are frowned upon.
  • Rare or highly desirable model
  • A model for which price data is sought
  • Good prospect for a renovator or the budget conscious
These are not hard and fast rules, but will usually be the guidelines. This will also serve as a running reference for those who ask "what is my bike worth", as the results of the auctions will be posted here as time allows.

Update: 2-8-2009

This Fuji Espree sold for $89.00 plus $85.00 shipping.

Update: 9-4-2008

This Fuji Sports 12 sold for $133.25 plus $56.95 shipping.

Update: 8-25-2008

This Fuji Royale II mixte sold for $152.50 plus $75.00 shipping.

This Fuji Sagres sold for $161.50 plus an estimated $65.00~$100.00 shipping.

This Fuji Gran Tourer mixte sold for $130.00 plus $78.00 shipping.

This Fuji Dynamic 10 mixte sold for $50.00 plus $65.00 shipping.

This Club Fuji sold for $305.00 plus $59.99 shipping.

Update: 8-15-2008

This Fuji Palisade sold for $330.00 plus $49.00 shipping. More pictures are here.

Update: 8-12-2008

This Fuji Flair Mixte sold for $177.50 plus actual shipping.

Update: 8-10-2008

This large, 24", S12-S (18 Speed) sold for $96 plus actual shipping.

Update: 8-8-2008

This Mid 80's Team Fuji sold for $425 plus $49 shipping. More pictures and info are here.

Update: 8-6-2008

This Sports 10 sold for $204.50 plus actual shipping.

This 1987 Fuji Del Rey Star Silver Edition sold for $285 plus actual shipping. More pictures are here.

Update: 8-5-2008

This mid 1980's Fuji Absolute Ladies model sold for $137.50 plus $65 shipping. More pictures are here.

This very large Fuji Allegro sold for $52 plus ~$65 shipping.

Update: 8-3-2008

This 1970's Fuji Sports 10 sold for $310 plus $50 shipping. More pictures are here.

Update: 8-2-2008

This early 80's (looks like 1981) Gran Tourer SE closed at $51 plus $60 shipping with reserve not met. Marginal pictures and sketchy description, IMO, undermined the sale of what looked like it might be a nice bike.

Update: 7-27-2008

Last week's auction for an original Fuji America closed at $401.51 plus an estimated $30 shipping.

The End Of The Line

Natalie, my intrepid beyond belief sister, rolled into town (Washington, D.C.) yesterday as the conclusion of her transcontinental, self supported bike trip. Pretty impressive feat, 4300 miles in 10 weeks, pulling all her camping gear, food, tools, in a trailer.

So I hitched up my own trailer, loaded up my son Benchan, and rode out the C&O towpath to meet and accompany her for her last 30 miles or so.

We met up around milepost 27, pretty lonely area of the C&O. Here she comes:

Benchan was eager to show off his wheels to Natalie.

Today, Benchan is helping Natalie clean up. You can see what discriminating adventure cyclists ride. Not a Fuji, but a very cool bike nonetheless. I'm trying to talk her into losing the brifters.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wrenching on the Del Rey

Having rapidly divested myself of one of my 1984 Del Reys, I'm starting on the other. First issue is to get everything lubed, cleaned, and functional. Tore apart the headset, a typical steel Hatta Vesta that graced countless bikes in the 1980's.

Thats the top locknut after a soothing oxalic acid bath. Below is the upper cup after cleaning and the same oxalic acid bath - the races are completely smooth, no scoring or pitting, so this headset is probably good to go for another 24 years.

The brake hoods had the mange pretty badly, which is unfortunate since they had a "Fuji" imprint.

Rather surprisingly, City Bikes, conveniently located on the Georgetown Branch trail whereupon I commute, stocks non-Aero Cane Creek (nee Dia Compe) brake hoods. A bargain at $9 and no ebay latency. I think the black will look good on this bike.

Been thinking about handlebar treatment. Recently, I've been into harlequin wraps. Here is one I did recently on my 1980 Fuji America.

And here is a partial harlequin wrap on my 1981 Gran Tourer.

I have 2 rolls of out of production green Velox tape and also some Velox yellow. I'm considering either a harlequin of the two, or solid green or solid yellow. Regardless of which combination, amber shellac will tone down the green towards the dark olive of the frame and similarly shift the yellow towards the gold trim on the bike.

Still undecided on this, might be having harlequin overload.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Happy New Del Rey Owner

A colleague of mine, Matt, really wanted one of the Del Reys I just acquired so he could start doing some cycl0-commuting. I didn't have any serious qualms about letting it go, since I have another identical one. However, I removed the old original brake cables so he'd have to install new ones on to make it rideable and prevent procrastination on this.

Hope you enjoy your new ride, Matt! Its a beauty.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Tale of Two Del Reys

Woke up early this morning, and at about 7 am, browsed thru craigslist. I'm certainly unable to not click on an ad titled "2 Fuji Bikes, $100". So I clicked and this (roughly) came up:

Two Fuji del Rey 27" 12-speed road bikes in very good condition. $100 for both.

Well, the pictures are kind of grainy, but you can't beat the price! Noting the time on the ad was ~5 am, 2 hours prior, I thought, "No way these are still available" along with the usual, "My wife might kill me". But, being an optimist on both points, I immediately fired off an email:

"I'll buy your bikes assuming there is no major damage. I'll come out later today."

I was a little surprised to get a response back shortly from the owner, Dave, with, "Ok, they're yours" and address and phone number. He also mentioned that he was the original owner. So I did some emergency research on Del Rey's, I couldn't really tell the year from the photos. But the 1983 ones, apparently the year introduced, had half chrome forks:

Then I found a picture of a 1984:

As you can see, the 1984 model doesn't have half-chrome forks (bummer), but it does have gold anodized rims and a derailleur hanger integrated into the rear dropout, while the 83 has silver rims and the separate derailleur claw. Plus, the 84 has lug pinstriping.

Finally, I found a picture of a 1986 Del Rey:

While it is a sharp bike, it looked nothing like the bikes for sale. So I concluded that they were probably like either the 84 or 83 models, both with their sweet points.

Late afternoon, I brave metro traffic, drive out to Dave's, nice subdivision, he sees some guy in a pickup looking around his cul de sac, waves me into his drive, where he is standing with his teenage son.

Me: Nice to meet you. You mean to sell some bikes today.
Dave: Sure do. Hey, after the deal is completed, I want to ask you a favor.
Me: Sure, what?
Dave: I don't want to ask until we close the deal.

The bikes are there, they are identical the to 1984 pictured above, a deep olive with gold highlights and rims, a dead giveaway. Very good used condition, no rust, a little grimy and dusty, but obviously all original and not abused. We chat a little bit about the bikes, I say, "They're 1984, right", to which Dave responded, "Hey, very good."

Dave bought them for himself and his wife (they are marked with stickon letters "his"/"hers", as they are otherwise identical models and sizes) when he was a Marine in North Carolina. Since I also had been a Marine in North Carolina around the same time, we schmoozed about that a little.

As for the bikes, I said I didn't need to ride them, they looked fine to me. The only visible issue were brake hoods with serious rot. That's a shame since they are imprinted "Fuji" and probably impossible to replace exactly, but I wasn't about to start being nitpicky. Other than that, Dave mentioned that he removed the reflector on one to accommodate a child seat and put foam handlebar wrap on the wife's bike. Everything else original, down to chains, etc.

So Dave, his son, and I loaded them into the truck. Shutting the tailgate, I turned to Dave:

Me: Ok, what's the favor?
Dave: Tell me how much they are really worth.
Me: Got a lot of emails, huh?
Dave: Man, you wouldn't believe.

Well, since Dave was such a good guy, very cheerful/hearty type, I took some pains to honestly explain the vagaries of vintage bicycle valuations. I didn't try to deny that I got a great deal, but I mentioned that if he had priced them substantially higher, I wouldn't have been willing to commit sight unseen and then spend an hour each way in DC traffic.

So if he wanted to clear out his garage, gotta buy them both, today and no questions asked, somebody was going to have to get a deal. But if he wanted to max out the price, clean them up, tune them, post on ebay, deal with all the noise, that would be the other end of the spectrum, he'd get a lot more money, but it would be a lot more work. And for somebody that is doing this as a one shot deal, as opposed to somebody who does it regularly and is past the steep part of the learning curve, it is comparatively a lot more work.

Dave is taking this all in, nodding his head. He mentions that, yeah, he understood where I was coming from, he even saw it in his ad, which apparently started getting responses immediately. But they were along the lines of, "Can you ship?", "Can I buy one", "I have some questions, can I come by". Dave mentioned that I was the first one who said, "I'll buy them today, tell me when to come out", which was the deal closer for him. And in my opinion, at the price he listed, that is what he deserved and for me to get these out of his driveway as fast as he wanted me out of there.

With that in mind, we bid adieu. I mentioned that I would be writing this up in a blog posting, he thought that was cool. Driving off, I give him a big Semper Fi.

So here are the bikes on arrival at home. Turns out that it is not so easy to take effective pictures of two bikes. But I'll have to master that, as there will be more as I figure out what to do with this doublemint duo.

What would you do? Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, they are my size. Too bad Velox discontinued green handlebar tape.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fuji Catalog Edition No. 13 (ca. 1983)

Update 8/13/2011:  This catalog is current for sale on ebay.  Click here to visit the auction.

I received a nice condition catalog along with the S12-S Mixte, scanned it, and included the scans at the end of this post. Click on any image for a hi-res, readable version.

This catalog was included at the time of original sale in 1983. There are some markings on some of the pages, some are prices, others are X'ed out. I don't know whether prices are retail or bike shop discounts and whether the x's are out of stock, no longer made, or just not interested by the shopper.

The models appear in the following order. The ordering should give an indication of levels. They aren't broken out into categories, but I've taken the liberty of doing so:

Fuji Track

Fuji Professional
Fuji Opus III
Team Fuji

Fuji America
Fuji Touring Series IV

Fuji S12-S LTD
Fuji S12-S (18 Speed) - mixte version available
Fuji Royale II - mixte version available
Fuji del Rey
Fuj Supreme
Fuji Espree - mixte version available
Fuji Monterey - ladies version available
Fuji Berkeley - ladies version available

Small Road:
Fuji SJ-10 - ladies version available
Fuji Junior - ladies version available

Fuji Cambridge VI - ladies version available
Fuji Cambridge III - ladies version available

Fuji Tandem

Mountain Bike:
Mount Fuji LTD

Fuji Cruiser

Fuji 750X
Fuji 500X
Fuji 250X

Is this type of info useful? Let me know.