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Tuesday
Jun242014

New Fuso: Back to the future

After my last article about building up vintage Fuso frames with modern components, longtime friend and regular reader of my blog, Steve Farner sent me pictures of his brand new custom Fuso built by Russ Denny.

Russ revived the Fuso brand name two years back and customers can have one built in pretty much any configuration they wish.

Modern oversize tubing, or as Steve chose here, the traditional size tubes with brazed lugs.

Steve also went with the original Fuso seatstay caps, and a level top tube.

A classic style flat fork crown with square shoulders completes the traditional look. (Picture right.)

The steel fork has a 1 inch threadless steerer, with a Thompson 1.125 in. adaptor fitted. It has a Chris King 1" Sotto Voce threadless headset, and the English threaded Bottom Bracket is fitted with Chris King ceramic bearings.

The component group is Scram Red, and with a Mavic Ksyrium wheelset, the bike weighs in at 19 lbs. Who wouldn’t be proud to own and ride such a bike? A frame like this will easily last 50 or more years, the last bike anyone need buy. Here are some more pictures.

 

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Reader Comments (10)

Nice. But I think I'd prefer a traditional quill stem. The modern ones are fatter than the tubing!

June 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJW

A beautiful looking bicycle. I'm interested to see that Steve opted to go for horizontal rear drop-outs.

June 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartin W

Very nice! Why no setback seatpost? Seat tube angle doesn't seem slack, does the owner fit use a forward saddle?

June 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLuis

The seat tube angle is 73 degrees, and the 110mm stem with a 1.5"'longer top tube (than the seat tube) fits my longer upper body/arms well. I could not understand use of a set-back post on a road bike as when I'm "On the Rivet" I would be too far back if I used one. The current setup is close to what I've ridden since the 70's. Isn't a set-back post similar to the 40's and 50's slack set tube angle, without the slack seat tube?
I will say it is amazing what Russ created for me.
I do have a set-back on my MTB though.

Steve

June 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

An interesting conversation could happen with bicycle dropouts. I like the retro, neo-Campy flat horizontal dropouts with adjustment screws on back; they look right. But CPSC rules and Manufacturers have adopted "Tabs" on front and rear dropouts, thus requiring one to unscrew the quick release to free the wheel.
Watch the pro races and the extra time to change wheels.
Seems tabs do not "Quick Release" make. My Fuso doesn't have tabs.
I doubt the veracity of the claim that 'tabs' make a bike safer, even with vertical dropouts. Did the bicycle industry not want to fight (spend $) for the consumer?
At least custom builders can give us a choice.
Steve

June 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I found out the hard way recently the importance of rear wheel tightness with the horizontal dropouts on my Recherche. The torque applied on the drive side caused the wheel to come out of alignment just enough to cause some brake binding. I thought for several miles that I was just having "a bad day at the office"!
A little research on the Sheldon Brown website led me to change the skewer to an enclosed cam type, instead of the exposed cam type that I was using. The enclosed cam skewer allows the extra tightness that I needed. Exposed cam skewers are apparently lighter, cheaper, but not as good for this application.

June 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartin W

Beautiful, nice paint scheme. Is SRAM the first choice among discerning cyclists?
Doesn't the horizontal drops allow for a greater range of tire sizes?

Thanks for sharing!

June 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJack

I'd love to buy a frame like this from Russ. He's an incredible craftsman (and learned from the best). But as Dave says, "A frame like this will easily last 50 or more years" - and I'm still riding and racing (yep!) a FUSO Russ built in '92.

June 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat G

It seems that there should be a market for someone to make a traditional diameter handlebar and corresponding smaller diameter (less clunky) stem to maintain the "look" of traditional frames while using threadless headsets.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTimJ

What a beautiful, beautiful machine. If it rides as it looks it will be heaven on wheels. As for the stem look, one can easily get a custom stem that will have the same or similar diameter as the bike tubes (I got a Steelman that is a little work of art, and I was surprised when I got that it was machined to a much tighter tolerance than regular stems, kind of like the difference between a Chris King headset and a cheap one). Those are not cheap, though. There are also modern stems that are thinner than the one Steve went with (Syntace comes to mind). That said, I don't find this particular stem visually offensive at all, it gives an otherwise traditional looking bike a touch of modern "meanness" lest we forget that it is much more than a beautiful throwback or a nostalgia piece.

July 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterahsere

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