It seems I have a thing for abused and neglected vintage Fuji track bicycles. Two of the worst condition bicycles I have ever acquired are now both Fuji track bikes. The first was the 1975 Track Racer TF Sprint and now I have just welcomed a 1985 Fuji, Design Series, “Mark Gorksi“, track bike. That being said, this was the first, tall, Fuji Design Series track bike I had seen for-sale; I now restrict incoming bicycles in my collection to my size.
1985 Fuji Design Series “Mark Gorski” Track bicycle
I’d like to thank Darryl Glascock over at Eastside Cycles in Nashville for his excellent and friendly customer service. Eastside took possession and packed up the 85 Gorski for me. I’m not sure what I will do with the bicycle yet. Every square inch has a scratch… I will clean it up, regrease, ride and then decide what I will do. In my head I imagine a repaint to its original color with some nice pinstriping around the lugs etc. I’m usually not one to refinished bicycles in my collection; I’m more of a “preservationist”, however, there is a certain point at which I believe they deserve a refresh. This one could very well fall into that category.
I am very excited about this acquisition regardless of condition. These bicycles are not easy to find and I now own both Fuji Design Series road and track models in 63cm and 61cm respectively. I feel lucky.
In the May, 1983 edition of Bicycling magazine there is a test of the now vintage Mt. Fuji mountain bike (see page 139 of actual magazine or pg. 22 in the linked article below). The test is part of a long “Workshop” article all pertaining to Fat Tire bikes- yes, before they were referred to as (Vintage) Mountain bikes. The article also features the Japanese made Specialized StumpJumper Sport, Diamondback Ridge Runner (Prototype), Trek 850 (Prototype). Ritchey MountainBikes Annapurna and the MountainBikes Montari. For any vintage mountain bike enthusiast, this is an awesome early article! It breaks down every component, fitting etc.
I’ve recently discovered that Suntour distributed a 5 pack of postcards displaying reproductions of Hajime Kato original oil paintings. These paintings were abstract renditions of bicycle racing. I have been quite taken by Kato’s ability to capture movement in all his works.
Kato was a professional keirin cyclist in Japan in the 1940’s and 50’s. He is said to be instrumental in bringing keirin cycling to the world. He later moved to Paris where he focused entirely on his art.
I’ve got the majority of the parts laid out with a few decisions to make along the way.
One of the very distinct parts on the Fuji Feather Professional BMX bikes is the Tange Meriter headset. These are semi-sealed and were a very high-end part in the mid and late 1970’s.
When acquiring a Tange Meriter headset one of the most often damaged parts is the top-nut. I must have 10 headsets and probably 5 good top-nuts, 2 bad top-nuts, and 1 unusable. If you ever find these top-nuts at a swap, buy them!
Another very distinct part to the Feather Professional BMX is the curved Ishiwata fork.
Here’s a real blast from the past! I have recently acquired a large number of Japan Bicycle Guides from the 1960’s and 70’s. Pictured below is a 1966 Fuji Dandy. It has very nice lines and a very 60’s look. Sure would love to find one of these!