Fuji Marlboro Folding Bike

I wasn’t looking for a bike but this showed up on my Facebook news feed in a Marketplace ad and caught my attention. It was different and it was cheap. I couldn’t resist.

The bike as I received it.

It’s a Fuji/Marlboro folding bike with 26″ wheels, 4130 cromoly tubing and 15 speeds. Back in 1996 if you smoked enough Marlboros you could use your “Marlboro Miles” + $110 and purchase the bike through their rewards program. View the Marlboro ad here.

It had been stored outside and was in fairly rough condition and not rideable although the tires still had air which surprised me.

It didn’t want to fold at first. A couple squirts of WD40 fixed that.

The wheels were out of true by quite a bit. The spokes, chain and cables were rusty. The rear derailleur cable was broke. The bike originally would have had a quick release on the stem but it had been replaced with a bolt and nut.

The purchase of this bike just happened to coincide with the retirement of Nova’s old MTB so I used parts from it to get the Fuji rideable. From her bike I used the wheels, chain and to lighten it up a bit, her aluminum handlebars and crank arms. The original tires, seat and pedals were ok but I went ahead and swapped them out with parts from my stash. The new rear wheel is an 8 speed but I’ve yet to figure out a way to mount the matching derailleur so I dug through my parts and found a friction shifter that allows me to use 5 of those 8 with the original derailleur. I removed the front derailleur for simplicity and can always manually move the chain between chainrings should I need to.

My first ride on the bike I didn’t like it at all. I think it was just the MTB geometry that I’m not used to. I’ve since settled in to it and it’s not bad.

This morning I added a rear rack, strapped on a bottle of coffee and rode it to a neaby lake and on some single track there.

I don’t really have a plan for the bike and only time will tell if I keep it or not. I don’t know if I will I ever make use of it’s folding capability. Regardless it’s kept me entertained for a couple of days so I feel I’ve already got my moneys worth out of it.

16 thoughts on “Fuji Marlboro Folding Bike

  1. anniebikes

    Nice to see how you’ve handled the refurbishing. I like the 1×8 gearing for simplicity. Give it a while to see it you’ll use a folding bike or the Fuji will duplicate what another one does in your quiver. By mountain bike geometry do you mean it has a longer top tube than current off road bikes? I’ve fallen in love with my Dahon, stowing it inside our vehicle recently on a rainy trip while my husband’s bike got muddy from road spray on the rear rack. Your Fuji is very unique, never heard of it until you bought one!

    Reply
  2. Randy Post author

    Not sure how to explain the fit. Kind of compact and head-over-heels/handlebar. I recall feeling the same way when I’d ride my old MTB after not riding it for months. I do think the bike is a a pretty good fit for me though. From what I researched, they only came in two sizes and this is the smaller. Not sure how it compares with today’s MTB geometry. We’ve talked for sometime about getting 20″ folders. We’ll probably wait till we decide on our next vehicle to determine if they’d be beneficial.

    Reply
  3. Joseph Francis Black

    Nice job on refurbishing this old folding bike! I have one just like it that was passed down in the family. Where can I get a rear rack for it as shown in the last pic or something comparable known to fit this fuji? TIA.

    Reply
    1. Randy Post author

      I replied to your e-mail but I’ll post it here also for future referrence. The rack I used is the Blackburn MTN Rack 1 which I had in my parts stash.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Caliper Brake Fender Brace Hack | LocoJoe Bikes

  5. Joanne Murphy

    I just found one of these bikes at the dump…it was in excellent condition and I agree the MBT is not that good…I am going to give it a go for a while and see what happens

    Reply
    1. Randy Post author

      Wow nice find. Yeah not the most practical bike but still fun nonetheless. Currently mine is broken down and stashed away. I’ll probably get it out and build it back up again in the near future.

      Reply
  6. Derek

    I don’t suppose you know the rough dimensions of the bike when folded? I’m trying to see if this may fit in a checked bag for travel.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Randy Post author

      This is a really approximate measurement of the bike folded with the wheels on… 37″ x 45 “.

      Reply
    2. Randy Post author

      This is a really approximate measurement of the bike folded with the wheels on… 37″ x 45 “. I’m not sure if there were multiple sizes of this bike but if there were this would be the smallest.

      Reply
  7. Carl

    Does anyone lnow of any accessories that were available for this bike that would make it more collectible? Like the Schwinn Montague Bi-frame. There was a carrying case available for it. With the Marlboro logo?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.