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« The good, the bad and the clueless | Main | More on Practical Gearing »


I have seen some crazy bike set-ups in my time, but this one I think beats all.

Looking at the amount of seat post showing it must be above its limit with barely half an inch in the frame. This 52cm. First Generation Fuso was obviously too small for its owner, and WTF is that handlebar stem extension?

Luckily it has been bought by a collector who already owns a custom ‘dave moulton’ and a Recherché, and I am sure will restore this to some measure of sanity.

It is okay to dress your own children funny, but please, not mine.


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Reader Comments (13)

When the bike is in my possession, I will share the exact nature of the stem extension and seatpost height. Both should pop right out without much help! Looks like a frightening set-up to me. Presumably the previous owner was a trick cyclist or was seeing one.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartin W

You see one of your bikes, but 99.9% of the population would know not what they look upon. I wonder at what point do bikes become collector’s items, period correct, and ridden only by those who know its history?
Is it proper to modify a bike (classic or modern) in a way the rider pleases? Is it OK to spread the chainstays for modern gearing? Or put carbon forks on a steel frame?
Ultimately, what is the purpose of any bicycle, whether from 50 years ago or today? Is it practicable to keep it original or “correct”? Who decides (or cares)?
I know what it has always been for me. And the bikes I own and ride.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Dave described me as a collector, but primarily I'm a rider, and i think the most important thing about any bike is that it is ridden. In the same way that I scratch my head about collectors cars being trailered to events rather than driven, it serves little purpose for a bike to be hanging up unused. (even Dave's art forms!)
Having said that, I respect originality, and to that end my 'Dave Moulton' bike is highly "authentic' in every way and will remain so. My Recherche, and soon my Fuso, has a modern 10-speed Campy drivetrain, and consequently rear stays have been widened to 130mm. Modernization means I will ride these bikes more often in preference to my "plastic' bike, and this is a good thing.
I am in the fortunate position of being able to go both ways...........so to speak.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartin W

You shouldn't consider this monstrosity an affront. Clearly the owner loved their too-small Fuso so much that they were willing to look ridiculous just to ride it. It is more a love letter than a travesty (or maybe both). At least they didn't turn it into a fixie.

April 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTimJ

I have (a low level of) sympathy for the owner.

Some of us have a terrible time fitting on standard shaped frames.

I have a long back and short arms. Even with a low "flat back" position, I need my bars much higher and closer than most people my height would need. To get a short enough top tube on a production bike, I need to ride a very small frame; then to get the bars high enough I need a horrible looking tall stem and/or a big stack of spacers. And a whole lot of seatpost showing.

The obvious solution is a custom frame, which is where I've had to go. 54cm seat tube, 50cm top tube, 20cm head tube (I'm 178cm or 5'10"). Nobody except me is ever going to fit it. Best fitting bike I've ever had... obviously.

If I was going to fit a conventional "square" Dave Moulton frame, it wouldn't look quite as bad as this, but it would, unfortunately, be along the same theme of a very tall fitment on a small frame with a short top tube.

April 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbarefoot

It is not so much that I am annoyed, but rather it is one of those situations where I shake my head at the absurdity of this set up. Fortunately the frame has not been altered or compromised in any way, and it would only take 10 or 15 minutes to lower the saddle and remove the stem extension. Which begs me ask, why didn't the owner do that before he took the picture. It seems he has gone to certain lengths to take a half way decent photo in order to sell the bike.

The only reason I called Martin a “Collector,” is because he has three of my bikes, which in my book is a collection. It gives me far more satisfaction that bikes I built are being ridden, it is what they were built for.

I have no problem with people spreading the rear end to 130mm. and building up with modern equipment. In fact I encourage it, especially with the production frames like the Fuso and Recherche, as they are still in plentiful supply. It means someone can get on a nice riding bike for not a great deal of money.

And years down the road the frame can be passed on to someone else, who might choose to rebuild it with period correct components, and that is easily done. But please if you put a carbon fork in the frame, keep the original fork for a future owner, it breaks my heart to see a frame on eBay, minus the fork because someone just tossed it.

April 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Looks dangerous...

April 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPAuly

It makes me feel a little better about my set up. I didn't want to wait for another 27" frame to come up on Craigslist when my seat stay snapped, so I bought a 25 (the top-tube length was the same). I've got about 6" of seatpost showing (not much for a modern compact frame, I suppose, but it looks pretty silly on an old traditional frame). I was considering one of those stem extenders, but then found a used 9" stem on ebay (only 5" is exposed).

It's nice to know it could be worse :)

April 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEric

It does look like an aberration! Despite my desires for specific bikes, I will not buy one that is too small or too large. At 5’11” with a CBH of 35”, I thought a 58cm would be my minimum size and purchased one.
It was nearly all original from 1983 with the exception of the seat post, pedals, chain and freewheel. I have been replacing the items as I find them with period correct parts in the gruppo, which happens to be Campagnolo Super Record. All are replaced but the chain. What I found was a more modern low profile saddle, Flite TI, the post was not long enough. With a Brooks Pro, it was fine. The original drops and stem were lower and shorter than I like and were replaced with parts of the same manufacturer with period logos. The bike came with Mavic 501 hubs on GL330 which are very nice to ride, but I found some LF Record hubs with GP4’s that I typically use. Where I live, is fairly flat and the gearing is fine. It is a rider as it has significant “Patina” typical of Italian paint quality! It is a great ride.
I desire a Fuso, but will not pursue one that does not fit. The same is true for any bike on my bucket list, which fortunately is long providing greater opportunity to find something in my size.
Will I keep the 58cm Colnago? Decidedly yes! It will be ridden with the Brooks and displayed when not ridden, with the Flite.

(Typo edited.)

April 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSJX426

As the bikesnob would say, if you need to go to such extents (pun intended) to make a road bike fit like a crazy hybrid, you need to come to terms with the fact that you should ride a recumbent... or lease a Hyundai. Both seatpost and stem extension look outright dangerous, they seem about to snap just by looking hard at them. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I'd be terrified to ride that. The aesthetic, on the other hand, is in the eye of the beholder, but you gotta be some beholder to not find that horrible. A Grant Petersen disciple gone bananas (Grant espouses funny looking long stems, but usually recommends going one size up your current bike).

April 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterahsere

Is the extended quill going to be offered for sale? I need one for my cargo bike so I can get a little more stem inside the steer tube. I told the builder I wanted a more open cockpit with a higher handlebar, which I got, kinda. I still need about 4" higher on the handlebar to let me see where I'm going.

April 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOpus the Poet

Hello OTP,
I am the new owner of this Fuso, and can tell you that rather than an extended quill, it's in fact a standard quill lengthened by a stem extender. I would be happy to sell the extender to you, but i don't have the bike in my possession yet. Alternatively, you can find these extenders online for $20-$30 I think.

April 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartin W

Calling 'Opus the Poet'.
I will be receiving this bike with stem extension on Thursday. If you're interested in the extension, I would be happy to send it to you for $10 + shipping. They appear to go for about $25 on EBay. Let me know.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartin W
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