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Fatherís Day gift arrived-Fuji Opus III a poor racerís Fuji Professional (dialogue/pi

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Fatherís Day gift arrived-Fuji Opus III a poor racerís Fuji Professional (dialogue/pi

Old 06-25-19, 06:02 PM
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Fatherís Day gift arrived-Fuji Opus III a poor racerís Fuji Professional (dialogue/pi

ďItís a beautiful bike, I hope you get itÖhappy Fatherís DayĒ and so my wife gifted my Fatherís Day bike. And eighty dollars of bidding later, stunned, I had won. Why stunned? Did no one check that in April of this year after 17 bids on eBay, just an Opus III frame and fork sold for $447.00?

From its serial number: J4198, turning to T-Mars Fuji serial number system I learn that: J=October, 4=1984, 198= 198th frame made in October, 1984. Also in support of this are the Vintage Fuji website catalogs, the 1984 Fuji Opus III had a ďSlateĒ color while the 1985 Fuji Opus III had a ďWine/SilverĒ color which matches this bike, thus this Opus III was made in October 1984 to be sold as a 1985 model

How does the Opus III second down from TOL compare to the Professional TOL?

They are identical in several ways via the catalog specifications for 1985, but as we will see rider preference and use has changed catalog specifications. Starting with the most fundamental components the frame & fork they use the identical tubing for the frame, Fuji 9659 quad-butted with CrMo seat/chain stays and CrMo Fuji fork with investment cast crown, and as we will note in the pictures to follow each is a handmade bike.

Turning to the rest of the components: the handlebars are the same-Nitto Model 55, the crankset are the same- Sun Tour Superbe Pro 42x53T, the same front derailleur and shifter-Sun Tour Superbe Pro [Note: when you get to the picture of the shifter on this bike while they are Suntour these donít appear to be Superbe Pro, per Velo Base pictures, can anyone identify which Suntour Shifter they are? MY THANKS] and seat post-Sugino Mighty SP-C forged.

Even the differences are in degree, not in magnitudes:

∑ Frame: The Opus III was built in standard sizing, while the Professional was a custom made-to-measure bike.

Stem: Nitto Pearl for the Opus III [Note: a ďNitto TechnomicĒ stem is on this bike, likely to allow a necessary amount of rise for the rider and a bonus for me as it will provide all the rise I will need for my upright riding position.], Crystem for the Professional.

Brakes: Dia Compe Royal G.C. 400 for the Opus III, Sun Tour Superbe Pro CB-3000 for the Professional.

Rear Derailleur: Opus III Sun Tour Superbe [Note: this bike has a Suntour Superbe Pro rear derailleur, factory change without changing the catalog specifications? ], Professional Sun Tour Superbe Pro.

Rear Cluster: Opus III Sun Tour Ultra 6, Professional Sun Tour New Winner 7.

Rims: Opus III Mavic Argent 10 tubular, Professional Mavic GP-4 tubular.[Note: this bike has a rear Mavic GP-4 tubular rim with a Ukai (NJS) front tubular rim, perhaps a custom ordered a set of Mavic GP-4 rims and a damaged front rim replaced with the Ukai (NJS) tubular rim(?), if bikes could only talk.]

Hubs: Opus III Sansin Pro-Am small flanged, Professional Sun Tour Superbe Pro small flange.

Tires: Opus III Clement tubular, Professional Clement Criterium Seta. [Note: a set of ďHutchinson Tempo 1Ē tubulars are mounted on the rims which are still holding air decades later, again rider preference/replacement (?), if bikes could talk.]

Saddle: Opus II-Fujita Conpy Wine Ecsaine COE-80S, Professional- Fujita Professional Seamless King. [Note: again likely rider preference a vintage 80s Selle Italia ďTurboĒ saddle.

Headset: Neither catalog lists the headset for either bike, however this bike has a-Hatta Swan which from pictures Iíve found on the web looks a lot like the Suntour Superbe Pro headset. [Note: if anyone can shed additional light on the Hatta Swan headset please do, as well as my guess regarding it and the Suntour Superbe Pro headset!]



Then thereís the last, and for a racer, the most critical comparison, weight. For both bikes the catalog weight is the same, 20lbs.

So yes there are differences, but I doubt that the poor racer who showed up at a criterium race with the Opus III in 1985 didnít indeed bring a knife to a knife fight (or in the case of this bike a tri-athalon: see pictures later).

With thanks and gratitude to my wife and family, here is my Fatherís Day gift.
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Old 06-25-19, 06:05 PM
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Old 06-25-19, 06:09 PM
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Here is some beautiful handwork in the construction of the frame. Look at the lug point as it has been thinned by hand to its point. Also check out the seat stay top where it has been filled in with a recessed faucet of the filler.
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Old 06-25-19, 06:12 PM
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Superbe Pro and Superbe components with Sunshine Pro-Am hubs.





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Old 06-25-19, 06:15 PM
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You lucky duck!

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Old 06-25-19, 06:16 PM
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More examples of lovely lug work, cut outs in brake bridge lug work and long lug for the fork lug, finally bottom bracket.




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Old 06-25-19, 06:22 PM
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Things either changed at the factory or by the rider not in the Catalog specifications:




The Mavic GP4 were spec for the Professional.



The Ukai NJS front rim must have been a replacement for a damaged Mavic GP4?

Note that the Hutchins Tempo 1 tubulars are still holding air, though I stopped at 60psi.
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Old 06-25-19, 06:23 PM
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Last few beautiful things.


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Old 06-25-19, 06:29 PM
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After nearly 35 years somethings have given all, but already sourced replacement Dia Compe hoods. This bike will take time to restore, lot of work to do on the chrome and surface rust here and there where a frame pump rubbed through, but it's all there ....and it fits....

And for once I know the end of the story of this bike, as attached to the top tube, is the last race of this bike, a Jacksonville Florida tri-athalon race number, and on the seat tube there is where it all began, the Jacksonville bike shop it was sold from...priceless.




A labor of love, a father's day to remember.
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Old 06-25-19, 06:44 PM
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There is something about the looks of the upper line Fuji's that is special. They are delicate in look, but are true workhorses. Lucky you!
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Old 06-25-19, 07:02 PM
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I Love Fuji's.

But is there something "off" about the way the down tube meets the headtube in this pic?

Or is it just a digital camera lighting thing?

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Old 06-25-19, 07:31 PM
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Extra care, effort, and handiwork on the lug prep and brazing. That is a fine bicycle. Order some fine tubulars to age/stretch a bit while you get it ready.
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Old 06-25-19, 07:43 PM
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Wileyone just the picture angle as all is well no bulge, cracks, at this down tube/head tube lug joint. However there is surface rust on the frame where frame pumps, looks like a Campagnolo head where the rubber tips wore through and then took off the paint, and here and there places.Tthe chrome will need effort, do what you can and then enjoy, patina is not an enemy.

This along with my Panasonic Team America Custom and the soon to arrive Gitane Junior will keep the winter months busy as I use them to pass the dark time in the garage. All three will probably emerge like spring in the next year and will post them when they are done and set up to be ridden.

My thanks.
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Old 06-25-19, 07:49 PM
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Lovely bike and nice score. I'm looking forward to seeing the build pics. I have an early 70s Fuji Finest I need to restore and this will get me motivated!
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Old 06-26-19, 06:09 AM
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Nice score! I have one too and it's one of the bikes I won't ever give up. Keep us posted as you work on it.

I do see a few differences, like the shifters, seatpost, and the crank. I always assume mine is correct but who knows? When I got mine I thought the only thing not original was the saddle and wheels. I do still want to source some quality tubulars for this one day.

Here's how mine sits for now. The original cloth bar tape is still under the new leather wrap. The hoods are replacements too as mine were falling all apart.



Here's a photo gallery of mine in case you need something to reference as you sort it out.

https://pbase.com/jhuddle/opus_iii
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Old 06-26-19, 06:11 AM
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Nice! I bid on that but missed the end of the auction. Enjoy it, itís beautiful.
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Old 06-26-19, 06:35 AM
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looking forward to the finished photos
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Old 06-26-19, 07:00 AM
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Ah, this was the one that was at a Goodwill in Florida, right? I recognize it from the "jaxtri.com" race card. I'm glad someone here bought this bike!
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Old 06-26-19, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
Ah, this was the one that was at a Goodwill in Florida, right? I recognize it from the "jaxtri.com" race card. I'm glad someone here bought this bike!
Yep... Iím in Jacksonville and was really hoping it would fly under the radar.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:42 AM
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I will do a shout out for a LBS in Jacksonville ZenCogs, they really came through. They picked up this bike, boxed and shipped and kept me in the loop all the way and were very reasonably priced, local Bike Forum members please do give them some business. And yes this was the Jacksonville Goodwill bike.

Jamesdak what I work off of is the Vintage Fuji 1985 Catalog specifications for the Opus III both of our bikes I am sure are this bike due to the exact same two tone color as the 1985 catalog picture and in my case the serial number while in 1984 is such a late date I'm sure it was for the 1985 sales year.

As to different parts as I've noted in my discussion about this bike there are many parts that I'm sure were rider preference switch out such as the seat and stem to get a higher bar position. The wheel set is a guess on my part a special order adding the Professionals Mavic GP 4 rims to this Opus III purchase which was probably the greatest difference for a racer and well spent money to bring the Opus III into the performance realm of the Professional. It's my guess that the front rim had to be replaced and the Ukai NJS rims were added while the tire set was likely rider preference perhaps after the first set wore out?

The most striking thing about this bike in sunlight is its paint. The silver (?) is a metal flake and I wouldn't be surprised if there is pearlescence in this paint to, will have to wait for local auto paint guys opinion and when the sun hits this paint the bike just pops. The (?) is because I can't decide if there is some lavender/light purple mixed into the silver as it seems at times to be almost a light lavender/purple silver, it's probably going to drive me and my local auto paint shop crazy trying to get a match for a pint of touch up paint. Other than the surface rust areas that must be treated and painted the scruff marks and worn decals I'm going to leave as is, and just protect the frame from further damage, I hope via touch up paint, and then get out my auto clay and clay the existing paint then wax and leave it as is. As I've already said to me patina isn't an enemy.

If bikes could talk.

Last edited by since6; 06-26-19 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:51 AM
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Yes... zen cog is the best bike shop, and the only one locally Iíll give money to. Glad they treated you right.
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Old 06-26-19, 10:11 AM
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I believe that my '79 Fuji Professional is painted the exact same color you described. The paint is quite glossy and will surely respond to the clay.

My original tubular wheels used very short-lived stainless steel spokes, so I later replaced the wheelset with "tout Mavic".
I switched to 25mm tires as well, since my bike's handling (with it's 74-degree seat tube and 75-degree head tube, same as their track model) felt twitchy with the original hoops and narrow tubulars.

These frames do show a quite-decent degree of craftsmanship, and mine has a most sprightly feel during spirited riding in the hills.

If I am not mistaken, Fuji had much stronger distribution in the east, seemingly more "rare" to find one here in California.

Belatedly, happy Father's Day!

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Old 06-26-19, 12:15 PM
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What an awesome Fathers day gift very cool Fuji OP.

My, now ex, wife once gave me $10 on Fathers day and said go to goodwill and get yourself a bike. Well I had to go to Goodwill outlet which is the minor leagues of Goodwill. For the princely sum of $9.99 I got a poo brown Sears Free spirit Mixte, broken spirit might have been a better word but I did get it refurbed and sold on. I learned the lesson that I enjoy working on quality bikes more than department store stuff.
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Old 06-26-19, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by since6 View Post
Jamesdak what I work off of is the Vintage Fuji 1985 Catalog specifications for the Opus III both of our bikes I am sure are this bike due to the exact same two tone color as the 1985 catalog picture and in my case the serial number while in 1984 is such a late date I'm sure it was for the 1985 sales year.

The most striking thing about this bike in sunlight is its paint. The silver (?) is a metal flake and I wouldn't be surprised if there is pearlescence in this paint to, will have to wait for local auto paint guys opinion and when the sun hits this paint the bike just pops. The (?) is because I can't decide if there is some lavender/light purple mixed into the silver as it seems at times to be almost a light lavender/purple silver, it's probably going to drive me and my local auto paint shop crazy trying to get a match for a pint of touch up paint. Other than the surface rust areas that must be treated and painted the scruff marks and worn decals I'm going to leave as is, and just protect the frame from further damage, I hope via touch up paint, and then get out my auto clay and clay the existing paint then wax and leave it as is. As I've already said to me patina isn't an enemy.

If bikes could talk.
Yep, the classic Fuji catalogs online are a great source of info.

I totally agree with the comments on the paint. I truly do consider this my most beautiful bike and love the paint. I literally get distracted sometimes when riding it because I'm looking down at how the top tube sparkles in the sunlight. The paint is amazing and there is some kind of pink/purple tinge to the silver.

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Old 06-26-19, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by since6 View Post
If bikes could talk.
Oh, but they can -- through the text and images of threads like this....
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