I am often asked, “What was the standard component package on the Fuso?” or John Howard, or Recherché.
The answer: There was no standard component package. The reason, I only sold frames, not complete bikes. The frames were ordered by bicycle dealers, usually for a specific customer, who then chose the components and the bike shop ordered these in and built the bike.
Often what happened was the customer could not afford an all Campagnolo or Shimano Dura-Ace equipped bike. So the dealer built the bike with lower priced components like Sugino, Sun Tour, or Shimano 600.
The thinking was, (And I agreed.) the frame is what determines how the bike fits, handles, and feels to the rider. Wheels are the next important factor, but after that a Sugino crankset, or cheaper pedals will, for the most part, feel no different than Campagnolo. The main difference is the quality of finish and the durability of the product, not so much in the ride quality.
The theory was, get a newcomer on a quality frame, get them hooked on cycling and they would come back and upgrade to a better quality component later. This was a smart business move for the Bike Dealer, and it sold frames for me.
For about the same price as say a mid range Japanese or European import, a customer could get on one of my frames with lower priced components. And of course when the customer compared the mid range import and my bike on a test ride they could feel the difference.
That was the theory. In reality what happened in many cases, the bike purchase was an impulse thing, and after a short period, the bike ended up sitting in the garage where many still languish to this day.
From time to time such a bike comes up on eBay, often with a mish-mosh of cheap components. If you are buying such a bike, realize that you are basically buying it for the frame. If you strip the components to replace them with, say Campagnolo; these left over parts will have little or no resale value.
On the other hand, many may not want such a bike. If you can buy it at a bargain price, you can ride as originally intended and upgrade the components as they become available.
All frames I built were measured center to top which is approximately 2 cm. more that the center to center measurement. For example frame stamped 58 under the bottom bracket shell, would measure 56 cm. center to center. Also, if it is a Fuso and you ask the seller for the frame number, you canlink to my website here and get the approximate date it was built.