Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Philippine Fuji = Phuji?

I recently received the pictures above along with this email below....  Enjoy!

"Hi Matteo,
 Sorry for the late email.  We had such a busy month at the office. 
 I am Lester Dizon and I am the Publisher and the Editor-in-Chief of two Philippine publications - MotorCycle Magazine and Power Wheels Magazine.  We were putting both magazines to the printers after I found your blog "Fuji Crazy" and I got so busy with work that I nearly forgot about it.
Anyway, I recently acquired a well-preserved and well-documented 1961 Fuji Youth rod brake roadster from BZKLETA, a local antique bicycle shop here in the Philippines.  It is a single-speed men's bicycle with 26-inch wheels, stainless steel Araya woodward rims, stainless steel spokes and hubs, stainless steel chain case and stainless steel fenders that are stamped with a neat pattern near its sides.  The frame is steel and it's quite heavy but it feels really solid.  There's some scratches on the paint and some rusty spots but the bike still looks good.  The handlebar, rod brake levers and linkages, front stirrup brake and rear drum brake are all made of stainless steel and works very well.  The saddle and the hand grips are all original Fuji items and are still in good condition.  Overall, I can say that my 1961 Fuji Youth is quite a robust and youthful ride for a 50-year-old bicycle. 
What endeared it to me more are the intact Japanese stickers that authenticate its age.  There's the requisite yellow Japanese bicycle license sticker at the rear fender (096080) and a yellow middle school tag with number 026 that has the year "61" indicated.  But the best sticker is the silver-and-blue one at the seat tube where the date 61-3-31 was written in the date box and the number 53109102 was written above it.  I'm trying to get all the Japanese words on the stickers translated so I can know more about my Fuji bicycle.
After I got it from the antique bicycle shop, I found an NOS Saiko wheel lock with two keys while our Managing Editor Steven Edward Yu helped me find a vintage Fuji bell in good condition and a Diamond twin bulb headlamp in nearly new condition.  I recently had the wheels trued and I mounted a pair of Duro 26x1-3/8 white wall tires as well as a pair of vintage Cateye reflectors that mount on the wheel spokes.  I hope these pictures of the Fuji bike before I mounted the white wall tires and the reflectors will suffice for now.  I will send new photos and update you on any new work done on the bicycle.
Thanks and keep up the good work!"   

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Healthy Hubs

I recently went to rebuild the wheels on my Fuji Royale II, and I discovered a bent rear axle.  The rim was also a bit warped.  I ended up rebuilding them with a set of Superbe hubs I have had for over 2 years now, maybe 3, and a beautiful new Ukai gold rim I luckily found on ebay for a good price.  These hubs were top of the line of their day, and are super smooth.  With the bike in the repair stand, I would spin the wheels after lacing them up with these Superbe hubs, and it seems they would roll forever.  They just keep going and going.  They are fast too.  That difference translates to the road, and in turn to energy output.  Do not underestimate how important it is to have your hubs running in top order.  It makes your job of pedaling the bike easier, and in turn gives you a more enjoyable riding experience.