Jamis Earth Cruiser question

Apr 21, 2020
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Picked up an older bike recently at a tag sale for a $10 as I really liked the style and thought it would be fun to mess around with my first rebuild/refurb. Needs a lot of work and a ton of rust. This has been a great resource for the process of disassembling and the rebuild process. My initial question is the original year of what seems to be original components of a Jamis Earth Cruiser. I have gone through some of the posts here and also on other sites but have yet to determine if the bike is indeed original and when it was made. Hopefully I'm following all the correct procedures here and posting some photos with hopes some of the community might have suggestions or a point in the right direction.

All the best and stay safe!

- Mike Smith (newbie rad rod member and fan)
Charleston, SC
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Jan 21, 2009
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Welcome aboard!

If that is foam padding on the handlebars, then it was probably in a garage or somewhere indoors, other wise it would have deteriorated years ago. By the looks of it, it could be 1979 when Jamis first came out to late 80's. I would have liked to see it when you first got it. It may have the original tires because there are a lot of older bikes that were ridden for a short while then abandoned in the garage for years. I would guess you have all the original parts but I would need to take a closer look.
 
Apr 21, 2020
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Welcome aboard!

If that is foam padding on the handlebars, then it was probably in a garage or somewhere indoors, other wise it would have deteriorated years ago. By the looks of it, it could be 1979 when Jamis first came out to late 80's. I would have liked to see it when you first got it. It may have the original tires because there are a lot of older bikes that were ridden for a short while then abandoned in the garage for years. I would guess you have all the original parts but I would need to take a closer look.
Yes, the handlebars have foam padding and it seems like it was in the back of the garage for years when I bought it. The family was selling everything for a move and I saw it in the back and made an offer. It has what seems to be original rims and tires. The tires appear to have been ridden, albeit many moons ago but now they are definitely deteriorating. I am at the office now but can take some closeups of the wheels later today and believe that I do have some photos of the complete bike just out of the car when I got home.
 
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Jan 21, 2009
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Yes, the handlebars have foam padding and it seems like it was in the back of the garage for years when I bought it. The family was selling everything for a move and I saw it in the back and made an offer. It has what seems to be original rims and tires. The tires appear to have been ridden, albeit many moons ago but now they are definitely deteriorating. I am at the office now but can take some closeups of the wheels later today and believe that I do have some photos of the complete bike just out of the car when I got home.
You're working? Everyone else has been on a long vacation.

I would say you have the whole bike as it was sold new. The tires and inner tubes may be the only things that need replacing. They are probably dry and cracked. You can pick up the same style and size tires fairly cheap, 26 x 2.125 with the close to the same tread pattern. Of course everything will get taken apart, cleaned and lubed. The old grease will probably be hardened and need to be removed. All the bearings are probably useable. So it shouldn't need much money, just labor.
I looked to see if it could be IDed by the serial number. I can't find anything on Jamis bikes as to the numbers.
 
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You're working? Everyone else has been on a long vacation.

I would say you have the whole bike as it was sold new. The tires and inner tubes may be the only things that need replacing. They are probably dry and cracked. You can pick up the same style and size tires fairly cheap, 26 x 2.125 with the close to the same tread pattern. Of course everything will get taken apart, cleaned and lubed. The old grease will probably be hardened and need to be removed. All the bearings are probably useable. So it shouldn't need much money, just labor.
I looked to see if it could be IDed by the serial number. I can't find anything on Jamis bikes as to the numbers.
Thanks @Wildcat. Yes, the tires and tubes definitely need to be replaced and I appreciate the confirmation on the size. I did take a few additional photos of the tires for you but I think you are right in that all does look original. Everything does look useable so I have begun the process of soaking and some 'elbow' grease. I had seen someone suggest doing clear coat on the rims after cleaning. Agreed? I planned to sand it all down and give it my own touch and had read Rust-Oleum was a good choice. Primer and then paint adding gloss if that was my preference.

I also spent some time looking for the serial number and could not find much of anything. The one thing I did cross was what @RustyGold mentioned with F for Fairly and probably 85 based on the number. Appreciate that! Honestly it's for me so really wasn't a big deal, just always cool to know what you have.

Thanks for all the responses and the info. Much appreciated.

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Once the rims are shiny, I wouldn't clear coat them. They will just need a shining every now and then with a little car wax. The clear may get adull look which can't be shined up, you would have to strip the paint.
As for paint, I seem to only find old bikes that have been stripped of any original paint. So, I've used rustoleum enamel a lot. It covers well and holds up a long time. Like this one:
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I would try to save the original paint by scrubbing and waxing a few times, and have it be ratty, but it's your choice. It would look good with a fresh coat of paint too, especially with those chrome forks.
 
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Once the rims are shiny, I wouldn't clear coat them. They will just need a shining every now and then with a little car wax. The clear may get adull look which can't be shined up, you would have to strip the paint.
As for paint, I seem to only find old bikes that have been stripped of any original paint. So, I've used rustoleum enamel a lot. It covers well and holds up a long time. Like this one:
View attachment 117274

I would try to save the original paint by scrubbing and waxing a few times, and have it be ratty, but it's your choice. It would look good with a fresh coat of paint too, especially with those chrome forks.
She's a beauty!
 
Jul 16, 2019
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Agree with the hive on saving the original paint if possible, it's why I was asking about fork stickers: they look so cool! Here's a tip I found online once, can't even remember where...
"
Cleaning: Been using the same thing forever...learned it back in my motorcycle shop days, wash with dishsoap and a soft brush, dry, and then coat it in lemon Pledge and wipe with a clean rag.

Pledge does miracles on scratched, dry paint. Used to buy it by the case to clean the used motorcycles we traded in...works great on faded MX plastics too"
 
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Agree with the hive on saving the original paint if possible, it's why I was asking about fork stickers: they look so cool! Here's a tip I found online once, can't even remember where...
"
Cleaning: Been using the same thing forever...learned it back in my motorcycle shop days, wash with dishsoap and a soft brush, dry, and then coat it in lemon Pledge and wipe with a clean rag.

Pledge does miracles on scratched, dry paint. Used to buy it by the case to clean the used motorcycles we traded in...works great on faded MX plastics too"
Great info! Thanks!
 
Jan 21, 2009
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Looks to be '85...The 'F' is probably for Fairly (a Taiwan manufacturer) and 5 is for the year. By '95, Jamis would have been using Hodaka (also Taiwanese) and the SN would have started with an 'H'.
I think that's exactly right. Jamis responded to my inquiry today:

"Thanks for reaching out. We appreciate your interest in the Earth Cruiser!

Unfortunately, we do not currently have any dealers on the Hawaiian Islands.

As far as your early Earth Cruiser, the serial number will provide a production timeline. The “5” would refer to 1995 and the next number should correspond to the month of production (1=January, 2=February, etc.). If you’re bike was produced later in the year, it was probably considered a 1996 model.

Hope this helps and let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks, Team Jamis"


The five would be the year, and since they began in 1979, 1985 aligns with the features best too. As for month, that might need some more looking into, yours has 0. I suspect that is part of the sequence number, not the month. We will need other Jamis owners to show their numbers to get a good idea.

Maybe this color if you repaint?
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I'm not sure how important the year would be but if we determined the bike was a 85' Earth Cruiser, anyone know the material that the seat was made of? I'm at the office and hoping to stop at the hardware store on the way home otherwise I'd have a better pic. The seat has the Earth Cruiser logo across the back. Leather? Suede? The seat needs a little love and I like to clean and condition. Hoping maybe a product suggestion from a member?? There is also a small tear at the rear but otherwise looks comfy and in really good shape.

Also, the rims are really taking some work to get shiny which I'm fine with but thoughts on using a rust dissolver? I'd seen someone on another site suggest a product from Rust-Oleum. Rust-Oleum 32 oz. Rust Dissolver Spray

As always, thanks for the time and responses! Stay safe and Take care!
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Aug 17, 2020
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I'm from Maine and I just picked up an Earth Cruiser from a friend and I found your post here. Our serial numbers look very similar! This bike appears to have originally been pink.
 

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