Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where have all the Fusos gone?

As well as starting this blog a year ago, it was also in November 2005 that I started tracking my bikes and frames for sale on eBay.

In the first ten months of the year there was never more that a week went by that there wasn’t one of my products up for bidding. Mostly Fusos, but a few John Howard and Recherche marques.

Only two custom ‘dave moulton’ came up; one track bike sold on the UK eBay, and a frame sold in September. Both of these were built in England in the 1970s.

Now the flow has stopped for whatever reason there hasn’t been one on eBay for two months; September, 17th was the last.

In the twelve months I tracked sales, there were only a total of 37 up for sale; a mere drop in the bucket when you consider I built close to 3,000 Fuso frames, 200 or so John Howards and just over 200 Recherche frames.

So were have they all gone? I hope a lot of them are still being ridden and enjoyed, but I suspect a lot are sitting in garages and basements, neglected, unloved, and their owners have no idea what they have.

I recently heard from a young man who bought a complete John Howard bike for $6; the components were corroded, the chain rusting, and the tires were shot, but six bucks?

I told the young buyer he could have turned it around on eBay as it was for $200-$300. I’m pleased to say he decided to keep it and ride it.

Where have all the Fusos gone?
Long time passing,
Where have all the Fusos gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the Fusos gone?
They rust in basements, one by one,
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

With apologies to Pete Seeger, (Peter, Paul and Mary.)


Shrigg said...

I have been enjoying #770 all sorts of ways: everyday transportation around town, as fixed gear, and just recently as cyclocross singlespeed. Sweetly magical at anything I try. Um, the bike, not me.

Halbo said...

I'm still riding Fuso 1811 that I bought well used nearly 10 years ago. I raced it hard for several years and then set it aside for a while. I have recently replaced the modern parts I put on it for racing with more conventional but cool older parts. I've probably put 16,000 miles on it and figure it had at least that much on it when I bought it. I particularly love how it descends and cannot see myself ever selling it. I enjoy your blog and check it frequently.

Anonymous said...

I am the original owner of #1194 which I have ridden on and off for nearly twenty years. As Dave may recall, he replaced the fork and repainted the frame after a collision won by a railroad tie. It is a 61 with SLX tubing and is still my favorite bike when I just want to ride.

Anonymous said...

I began riding bikes again about 6 years ago and a friend of mine made mention of the Fuso brand. He said that if I ever had the chance to get one, I should...and he left it at that. I stored that information in my memory banks and did nothing with it until a few months after that, in the middle of a 50 miler, I stopped for coffee and before I was off my bike, another gent arrived on a
Fuso. Well, I had to ask him about it and he said "if you have the chance to buy one, do it." So...the gents saying the same thing within two months and that was all it took to hook me. I searched the brand and it took me to here. And..lo and behold...I found a local seller who was the original owner of a Fuso purchased in Southern CA. It was a tad too tall for me, a 61 I believe (making it a true 59), but I had to have it regardless of my riding a 57. It was in ok shape, having logged many, many miles. I believe the owner said he had riden it from Canada to San Francisco many times as he had a summer home in Canada and would always ride to SF when the summer was over. I paid close to $500 for it and contacted Russ Denny for the cost of a new respray and decals, but it would have cost me just as much as I paid for the entire bike, so I had it powdercoated and rebuilt it with Campy Athena equipment. It was absolutely gorgeous and quite the headturner. Unfortunatley for me, it was too large of a frame and I subsequently sold it. I have pictures of it should you wish to see it and I know I have the serial number somewhere in my archives. If I can only find one in a 56-57cm range. It rode like a dream and handled better than anything I have in my stable now.