Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Japan Musings & Frankenfinest Concept

Well, amidst the whole mayhem of our family moving to Japan - packing, appointments, hail & farewells, you name it - I've given a lot of thought to the most important issue in all this; i.e, which bike(s) should I take.

As an aside, it looks like we will be settling in the Esaka section of Osaka. No, not making that one up. Furthemore, it cracks me up listening to some of the Aussies with whom my wife will be working forever referring to "Osaker".

Anyhow, it occured to me, especially after some geometry measurements, that Fuji Finest, we hardly knew ye. I rode this a little after acquisition, then stripped it down to the frame, gave it a soothing Oxalic acid bath (in the bathtub when Mrs. Otaku was conveniently in London), admired the lovely results, installed a NOS Suntour Sprint headset (JIS), and hung it up for further development.

This bike really hasn't had a chance yet - of my general purpose road bikes, Fuji ones anyhow, this and the Del Rey has had the minimum amount of riding. Plus it has lovely chrome, dropouts to die for, and heritage galore, being in the first wave of Fujis to hit the shores here back in the early Seventies.

And then I discovered that I had a 26.6 Sugino Mighty Seatpost, which got me really stoked. So I'm going to build this up rather quickly as a frankenbike from the spare parts bin and try living with this bike for a month. My thought is that the ride should be somewhere between the plush cush of my humble yet beloved Gran Tourer and my rather nimble Fuji America.

In short, possibly a two for oner. This is a dire prospect against which I do have to backstop - living space in Japan is cramped, Mrs. Otaku's patience is not infinite, and so forth. So some of my thought is that I may only be able to take one bike. And the Gran Tourer, while a comfortable daily ride, just ain't got that schwing sometimes. Likewise, I don't see myself bumping down trails on fat tires on the America. That leaves the Del Rey and the Finest, and between those, the choice is pretty clear that it would be the Finest.

I'll have an update soon on the build. It won't be anything esoteric or droolworthy, just well used, but functional, parts that are overflowing from the shelves around here.

And thats another issue - it is going to be Craigslist/Ebay city for a while cleaning off those shelves.

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