Fuji Opus III Is Resurrected

I purchased this 58cm frame in early 2019 from William Bevington, Fuji expert and author of Japanese Steel: Classic Bicycle Design from Japan. It sat in a room for 2 years before I decided it might be a good idea to build it up.

I’d been searching for a red, white, and blue 70s Fuji Finest, the model with chrome under the paint, but came across the Opus III which seems to be a higher-end machine. It certainly has beautiful lug work, and from reading bits about it in Japanese Steel: Classic Bicycle Design from Japan, it was handmade in Japan in the renowned Cherubim factory.

I thought about finding the appropriate Suntour Superbe Pro bits and pieces, but decided instead to go with some of what I had on hand, a mix of new and NOS bits, and some, hopefully uncompromised, used pieces:

  • H PLUS SON TB14 wheels with White Industries T11 Hubs + SRAM 11-28 cassette
  • White Industries MR30 46-32 VBC Crankset + MKS Urban Platform pedals
  • Brooks Cambium C17 Saddle
  • Shimano MT-60 rear derailleur + Shimano front derailleur
  • Shimano Sora SL-R400 downtube 8 speed shifters

from a 1987 Trek 400T Elance:

totaled in a head on collision with another cyclist on the Hudson River Greenway, near Chelsea Piers, on September 8, 2019.

I did not reuse the brakes, stem, handlebars, seatpost, or frame:

The collision was head on but there was no obvious damage to the front of the frame. I’m guessing the point of impact was on the front brake bolt (which was bent along its axis), or somewhere on the stem or bars. I only kept the parts listed above, and the fork (as a keepsake), which appeared undamaged. It was not a complete loss, however, and that is as much as I can say.


Rear wheel can come out of alignment and hit a chainstay when under sudden heavy torque, like when going up a steep hill in too high of a gear.

Chainwheel and gearing may not be ideal, or something else needs adjusting. In the front big / rear big combination, chain does not want to stay on chainwheel. I’ll look into possible front derailleur and bottom bracket adjustments. The classic Shimano MT-60 rear derailleur should have enough capacity to handle my 46-28 (32-11) drivetrain.

Seat binder bolt is 9mm, a size very rare and seemingly unattainable, I had to use a less than ideal acorn nut, my best bet may be to grind down a 10mm hex nut.

Catalog photo:


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