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2013年8月

2013年8月23日 (金)

Fuji Feather (Part 2: Front-end)

次回、この記事の日本語版を投稿します。

In the first installment of this series "Fuji Feather Part 1 Introduction" I mentioned that this was a very rare lady's high-end model.  How high? Top of the line for a lady's bicycle, right up there with the infamous "Hao" which was the top of the line for gents as can be seen from this 1957 export catalog.
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I also mentioned in the last post that there were far too many details to cover is a single post. I've decided to break it down into three sections Front, Middle and Rear.  In this post we will examine the front-end.
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High-end handlebars are easy to identify by the brass plate with the company name and logo.  This removable brass plate was actually a cover for the casted-in housing that held the springs for the rod brakes and protected them from the elements. 
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The handlebars have celluloid grips and celluloid coated brake levers.Img_20130722_102304565


Note the revolving bell
 complete with Nichibei Fuji logo.Img_20130812_101632417

Wonderful lamp with the rare eye-lid visor.
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Here is something I have never seen.  In the 1950's nearly all bicycles bore a fender ornament either plate type (Japanese only) or figure type (Japanese only) screwed to the front of the fender.  Most Nichbei Fuji bicycles had a mountain (Fuji logo) shaped fender ornament. However, this rare model makes use of Nichibei's creased fenders and the fender ornament is actually part of the fender.
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Look at the luster on the three coat enamel paint and on the absolutely gorgeous cloisonne head badge.
Over a half century old and the luster is like it was made yesterday.

They certainly don't make them like they used to (first half)
They certainly don't make them like they used to. (second half)
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Here is a good look at the creased fender, common to Nichibei Fuji and often found on high-end models from other manufacturers.
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Also note the hand painted gold pinstriping, and "Fuji" raised letters.
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Nearly each and every part is stamped with the company name or logo   right down to the tiny bolt heads.  To me "quality goes in before the name goes on" and no company would risk putting their name on anything that wasn't quality-perfect.
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Even the fender stay bolts bear the Nichibei logo.
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One unique playful characteristic of Nichibei Fuji is that the company not only stamped each part, but as can be seen in the photo below the mountain shaped Fuji logo is actually designed-in.  Note the mountain peaks at the top of the lock, and, the mountain-shaped front fork brake brackets.  We shall see more examples in furture posts when we look at the middle and rear sections.
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The fender stays and hub are stamped with the company stamp.  The bearing covers are colored which is indeed quite rare and again, another first for me.  Later when we look at the read-end section we will see that this applies to the rear-hub as well.
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The Nichibei Fuji logo found on the chrome 1 1/4"rims. 

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Many unique characteristics went into the design of this fine Nichibei Fuji Featherweight, but there are more to come as we shall see in the next English post when we will examine the mid-section.

2013年8月 9日 (金)

日米富士フェザー号 (第1回 紹介編)

I'll be back with another English post soon until then stay trued and happy wheels.

今回ご紹介する自転車とレストアは、実に感動的です。
(写真をクリックして拡大して下さい。)
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この日米富士フェザー号は、
東京都調布市にお住まいのYさんという御婦人が、昭和33年(1958年)に結婚した際に御主人から贈られた自転車だそうです。
その御主人が亡くなり、思い出の自転車を蘇らせたいという依頼を受けた自転車屋さんからの寄稿です。

5
(写真は自転車文化センターからです。)

昭和33年頃は、自転車は非常に貴重なもので花嫁道具の一つでした。
上記の写真は手前が花嫁道具で後ろに花嫁さんがいます。

今回の自転車は細かいところが多くて、一つの投稿に収まりきれませんので、分けることにしました。
今回、レストア前と後、そして全体的に見てみたいと思います。
次回は細かい点に入り込みます。 

まず、レストア前の状態ですが、この記事のトップの写真と見比べると、同じ自転車と思えないほど見事に蘇っています。
実に素晴らしい。
当時のものは、 現代と作りが違います」。
塗装はオリジナル、パーツも大多数がオリジナル。
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このエメラルド色と白アクセント(ヘッド・チェーンケース反射板)がいい色合いです。
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瞼付きランプや 回転式ベルセルロイド製握り付き高級ハンドル
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塗装が実に上手く蘇りました。
現代の使い捨てと違って、必要以上に作られていたからこそ、蘇ります。
当時のエナメル3層エナメル塗装 が実に素晴らしいです。. 
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次回の日本語投稿は、半世紀以上前に作られた珍しいモデルの詳細を紹介します。.

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