The Ol’ Four

I just got back from a ride on one of the favorite steeds in the collection, a 1984 Fuji Touring IV. Not only does it ride smoother than creme fraische, the bike also holds a special place in my heart, a flashback to the early 1980’s when I was a bike-monk working at College Cyclery, the local Fuji dealer here in Reno. The Touring Series bikes (the III, IV and the rare V America) were the top of the heap back then. If you strolled into the shop wanting to elude society’s grasp and hit the road, you were going to get pitched on one of the  Fuji Touring Series, depending on your particular needs.

Touring Series III- Looking for a bike to handle lightly loaded day-trips or overnighters? “The Three” was just perfect.

Touring Series IV- If you were planning a trip down the Oregon Coast or were going on a multi-day unsupported trip, this was your pony.

Touring Series V- Three words. “Hello Nova Scotia!”

This Touring IV is what I’d consider the perfect combination of old and new. Whenever possible, the original parts have been left intact. The only time a component has been changed is if a modern version could help with overall comfort. Thus, the original narrow bars were mothballed for newer Albatroses; the hard plastic saddle was exchanged for a Brooks Flyer Special. Honjo fenders were added, though I admit I’d be kidding myself if I thought I’d ever take it out if it were even a chance of rain. A Schmidt dynamo hub and headlight made the bike functional any time of day, and the Surly rack could hold a king’s ransom in gear.

There are also tons of other, smaller changes, some to make the bike more diverse, and others just for the aesthetic. …And of course, triple cages with the appropriate containers to hold a ride’s worth of water plus a litte Woodford Reserve.

Paramount with strange growth

We just finished a refurbishment on a wonderful old Schwinn Paramount. The thing is, this particular Paramount had a strange growth attached to its rear section. Same color paint, with an extra saddle. Weird…

The bike now has a new front Campagnolo derailleur, rear Campagnolo Rally, new chains (3 of them, because of the length), new Michelins, new Brooks saddles, new brake levers, cork tape, cables, housing, and on an on.

Look for it on ebay soon.