The Fuji Design Series is the pinnacle of classic Fuji bicycles. I was able to acquire this DS in my size; which to my understanding is quite rare. More photos and story to come soon.
I had heard about oxalic acid and its power to remove rust from bicycle as well as many metal parts. In my research I also found out the active ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid. It just so happens that I had just received a rather rusty Fuji Feather Professional Ishiwata BMX fork and have a bottle of Bar Keepers Friend under the kitchen sink.
So, here’s what I did. I got a large plastic bin I had purchased at Costco some time ago. I put one cup of Bar Keepers Friend in the bin and then filled it with hot water until the fork was completely covered. I carried the bin outside to let it sit for a few hours. Before walking away, I couldn’t help but pull the fork out to see if any thing was happening. Sure enough, with the wipe of my finger rust was already coming off! I was looking forward to the result!
3 hours later I began to lightly scrub away the rust with a Scotch Brite blue non-scratch sponge. Below are the results.
Spent a couple hours this morning on the 83 Fuji Cruiser. First challenge was the seat tube and chain guard decals. These were both removed from the bicycle at some point. I am trying to get the color as close as possible to the current decals, and this has proven to be a real pain and ink waister but, I’m very close now. I used Photoshop and Microsoft Word to create the decals and then manually cut them out with scissors.
I got the sticker paper from Onlinelabels.com; quality stuff. I am finding the OL177WI weatherproof gloss white paper to work the best. The OL177CK (or clear back) seems ok too. Either way, do not touch the printed part with your fingers regardless how long you let it dry; otherwise you will leave finger prints.
The decals I got from Velocals, while a quality print job, were way off in regards to color and the spread between the two vertical “Fuji” texts on the seat-tube decal is too narrow. So, when you wrap them on the seat-tube you can never line them up on each side. Keep in mind I’m trying not strip the current surviving decals even though the frame has many chips and scratches. A survivor is only a survivor once, right? If I did strip them, then I would repaint the frame and likely use the Velocals after requesting a re-size for the seat-tube decal. Then all the decals would match, but not be their original color.
Next, I got to work mounting the chain guard. I forgot I had yet to find a 40t chain wheel and the 44t on there made the chain guard a tad too small. Thankfully I had a 42t and I can make it work with a little tweaking of the mounting hardware. Once I find a 40t gold Sugino chain wheel it should be a perfect fit.
I recently acquired the 1980 Japan’s Bicycle Guide catalog and low and behold there was the Fuji Feather Professional BMX Ishiwata fork. Listed as Ishiwata Model 79-4 on page 87. You can find my original post regarding this fork here
It’s taken years to finally find an official picture of the Nitto B702 bars listed as the stock part on the Feather Professionals from 1980 on. But finally, here they are! I found these in the 1980 Japan’s Bicycle Guide catalog which is a goldmine of vintage Japanese bicycle parts.
The B702 handlebars, with the distinct concave crossbar, look very similar if not identical to the aluminum WIN branded handlebars that seem to be more common to find. Next task is to pick up a set of the WIN handlebars and see if the stated measurements match.
One of the missing parts on my 1983 Fuji Cruiser was the chain-guard. After a few trial and error purchases, I found a perfect fit it. Pictured below is a chain guard and mounting kit available on ebay for $17 plus shipping.
The chain guard on the 1983 cruiser was painted white on the front face. I taped off the face with some blue painters tape and used an exacto knife to cut around the curve. With a primer base and then a couple coats of gloss white you can create yourself a very nice replica. I also worked on recreating the “Cruiser” decal that would have been on there.
I then discovered that VeloCals had created an 83 Fuji Cruiser decal set. I’m a bit confused however regarding the standard and mixte option, as there was no mixte version of the cruiser. I have ordered but not yet received a set, so I’m yet to see how accurate the recreation is.
The 1983 Fuji Cruiser was offered only in the 1983 and only in a 19″ frame. You had a choice of white or black. It was equipped with largely BMX related components, except for the seat and handles bars. In the BMX world this would be referred to as a 26″ cruiser however, in the BMX world cruisers typically had straight-back drop-outs and not the road style as seen on the Fuji Cruiser.
The Fuji Cruiser pictured above was acquired a couple years and so far is the only one I have ever seen come up for sale. I’m guessing in relative terms, few of these were sold and even fewer remain. The bike had most of the original parts minus the cranks, pedals, chain wheel, front tire and chain-guard (you gotta have the chain-guard right!?). Also the seat-tube decal is missing.
*UPDATE* You can now see photos of the completed 83 Fuji Cruiser in the bicycle gallery here
One of the most distinguishing features of the Fuji Feather Professional is the Ishiwata fork. They are so unique there is no mistaking the fork if you happen to discover one. However, most the forks I have been able to acquire are too worn at the dropouts and the “Ishiwata” text engraving is gone.
It seems many people replaced the original forks with something after-market. I’m not sure if this is due to breakage or the unusual geometry. Both the frame and fork tubing of the Fuji Feather Professional were stamped and manufactured by Ishiwata Seisakusho Co. LTD. in Japan.
About 1 year ago I picked up this 16” all original survivor down to the tubes and tires. The serial number has a manufacturing year of 1983; however based on the plastic MX seat and type of stem, I’m quite certain it is a 1984 model.
It was quite the rust bucket; likely left outside in the rain, and a little one had decided to take a nice black permanent marker and trace around almost the entire bike. I disassembled and cleaned everything and was able to remove almost all the rust with some still remaining on the chain, yes that’s OG too. I was also able to get the 25+ year old black marker off.