Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A New Addition To Our Ranks

We get mail:

"After my father-in-law and brother-in-law both got road bikes I decided it looked like a lot of fun and wanted to be able to bike with them. So I did some basic research and discovered...

I couldnt afford anything I liked! So luckily on a Sunday afternoon after attending my nephews birthday party, my wife and I spotted some bikes for sale along the side of the road. So we stopped to look to see what they had. And right there, all shiney and sleek looking, was this Fuji Flair. I knew about the Fuji name but didnt know anything about their older bikes. I hopped on it and immediatly fell in love. It doesn't ride as nice as my brother-in-laws carbon fiber Trek 2.1...but it rides as nice or nicer than any other bike I've ridden anywhere near what I paid for this bike. I ended up paying $100.00. I have no idea if the Flair is a desirable model as far as collecting goes, but I bought it to ride and that it does well!

While trying to find information on the bike once I got it home, I found and by extention this blog! I was excited to see that these vintage Fuji bikes have a loyal following. (I didnt want to feel silly for falling in love with a road bike from the 80's and being the only one.) As far as I can tell all the components are orignal except for the seat. I would love to find an original seat to this model so if anyone knows where I could find one, please let me know.

I've looked over most of this blog and hadn't seen anyone with the Flair yet, so I thought I'd share mine with the rest of you. Any insights into this bike would be great. Anyone with previous experiences or have ridden one before. My bike knowledge is fairly limited as I've only ridden a handful of different models. Any suggestions as to what some of you might change on the bike? Some of my family think it was silly buying a 20 year old bike for $100.00 but I don't feel that I've really overpaid at all, and from what I've seen as far as some other vintage fuji bikes I think I was right in the ballpark. Certainly not an amazing garage sale dollar bargain, but still worth every penny.

Fuji Fan and Loving It,


Hi Matthew,

First, welcome aboard the Fuji bandwagon! I really like the blue with white headtube on the Flairs. It is a super sharp color scheme and yours looks like an excellent example, even having the original water bottle cage.

Looking at the catalog entry, I see that this did have an unusual saddle. All I can suggest is keeping an eye on ebay or perhaps posting a "looking for" entry on the the ISO thread in the Classic & Vintage forum on If you are persistent, one will probably eventually show up.

As for the $100 and comparison to carbon bikes - forget about it. Compare it to current production "modern classics", which are high quality lugged steel, do it all sorts of bikes with rugged components, fender clearance, and so forth - sound like your bike? As a point of reference, Grant Petersen at Rivendell is bottling and selling this for north of $2000 per bike.

Me, I'll take the fine old excellent condition Fuji for less than a tenth of the price. Currently Fujis do not have much snob value, but the interest seems to be growing as people realize what a good deal these bikes represent. As another point of reference, that bike would probably go for $200 currently on Washington D.C. Craigslist. So you didn't throw your money away or get taken by any means.

And with a modicum of care, your Flair will be around long after those carbon Treks have degenerated into greenhouse gasses, and still giving fine service. Keeping this thought in mind may even make the ride a little more enjoyable.


Fuji Otaku

p.s. You may want to lose the kickstand - this style of mounting is pretty notorious for at best scratching up the paint and at worst causing damage to the chain stay tubes.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

I will probably remove the kick stand. I noticed the last time I rode it had worked itself loose and the pedals were bumping it with each rotation. I'm just glad it did work loose the other way and end up in the spokes. Thanks for all the kind words. I get more and more excited about my new bike if I just need to find one for my wife...:-)