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Fuji S12-S LTD Road Bike

Submitted by on May 10, 2010 – 9:05 pm21 Comments

When I began my adult bicycling adventure several years ago, I doubted that I would ever ride a road bike. I wanted to ride an upright styled bike, with cruiser handlebars. I did not want to ride a bike that required me to hunch over some noodle-bars and stare at the ground as I attempted to…what?

Get somewhere really fast? As my Daddy used to say: leave in time, and take your time.  Of course, he was talking about automobiles. Regardless, I have changed my tune about that issue, and I have begun to be obsessed with a little more speed. As my bicycling stamina has increased and I have begun to contemplate longer rides I have begun to realize, too, that it will simply take way more time than I have available to accomplish my missions. Thus began my search for a suitable, vintage road bike. Something inexpensive, but well-made. I have purchased numerous road-bikes at garage sales, as well as on Craigslist, but none have hit the mark. Until now:

I found this Fuji at a thrift store in East Dallas for $45.00.

It is a remarkably light-weight, steel framed bike. Fuji Double-Butted Chromoly 331 steel tubing, Sachs-Huret Derailleurs, Suntour components:

The pictures that you are seeing were taken before I even cleaned it up or put tires on it. Cool “Mount Fuji” headbadge”:

So I made the decision to put some money into the bike. I went to my local LBS and had some nice (although relatively inexpensive) tires put on the bike, Continental Ultra Gatorskin tires:

Continental Ultra Gatorskin Tires

Fuji S12-S LTD

Aluminum Kinesis 6061 fork

Aluminum Kinesis 6061 fork

I’ve been really happy with the bike on the couple of long rides that I’ve taken it on. It’s an 18 speed with index shifting, and it shifts like a Swiss watch.

As far as I can tell, this bike was manufactured in approximately 1978-1980.  I love the look of it, and it rides beautifully. The only thing that is not original to the bike are the front forks, shown above. They are Kinesis 6061 Forks made of aluminum on the bottom and steel on the top part that goes into the headtube. I like the look of them, but I kind of wish that I had the original forks to contrast the two.

Here are a few more pic with the Brooks B-17 saddle that I just scored off (where else) CL for $65.00:

And a close-up:

And please take a look at the lovely Shimano brake calipers:

In my opinion, nothing completes the look of a bike like a leather saddle, which usually means a Brooks. I have to decide if I want this Fuji to be my keeper road bike. This bike fits me, it’s fast and it has the vintage look and styling that I like. If this bike doesn’t satisfy me, I’m guessing that I’m not cut out for road bikes. If it is the bike for me, then I’m going to completely dissassemble it and rebuild and regrease its’ 30 some odd years old parts. So far, with the tires and some cable tweaking, I have  a little over $200 in the bike. If I rebuild it, I’ll have to have my LBS do a bit more adjusting once I’m done. But I sure couldn’t find something new and comparable for the price. Thus the beauty of the Hunt. And I love vintage bikes. Hell, I’m getting pretty vintage myself.

I’ll keep you posted.

-Hubbard

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Michael W. Hubbard

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