July 31, 2013 4 Comments
If you were looking for the oldest bike brands, it might surprise you to know that Fuji would be among them. Fuji Bicycles has been helping riders conquer their mountains since 1899, and to this day they’ve continued to develop some of the most cutting-edge bikes on the market. The Fuji stable of products is enormous, with everything from high-end road bikes, to race-winning mountain bikes, cruisers, comfort bikes and everything in between. A blog article that dealt with all of it would probably be more like a text book, so for the moment we’ll just stick with their road bikes. Fuji makes some of the best road bikes out there, but with so many to choose from it can be difficult to figure out which model is the right one for you.
Never fear, we took a look at the whole Fuji road bike line-up, and broke it down for you to help you think about what kind of rider you are, and decide which bike is for you.
Fuji Carbon Fiber Bikes
Best for: riders who push themselves and their equipment hard, and demand the very best
This is Fuji’s flagship road model, and is designed with the racer or serious enthusiast in mind. In 2011 Juan Cobo won the Vuelta a Espana aboard an Altamira, and for the last two years the German-based NetApp team has been riding them in races from the Tour of California to Paris-Roubaix.
Every model of the Altamira features a full carbon fiber frame and fork, making this a lightweight, stiff and fast bike. The Altamira was created for long, fast days in the saddle, and can climb with the best of them. The geometry is more aggressive than the Gran Fondo, but doesn’t sacrifice comfort in the name of speed. Make no mistake though, this is a pure, unadulterated race bike.
- Altamira SL: Pro-level specialized climbing bike shaves every possible gram with SRAM Red and carbon tubular wheels
- Altamira 1.1: Pro-level bike pulls out all the stops in the name of speed with Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 and aero carbon fiber clincher wheels
- Altamira 1.3: Pro-level bike is designed to win races with a Dura-Ace 9000 drive train
- Altamira 2.1: delivers cutting-edge performance with Shimano Ultegra Di2 drive train
- Altamira 2.3: take any town-line sprint with Shimano Ultegra drivetrain
- Altamira 2.5: features Shimano 105 for riders ready to graduate to a new level of riding
Best for: the rider who has an unabashed need for speed
The Fuji SST first debuted under the riders of the Footon team (to see the notorious team kits, click here…if you dare) during the Tour de France. The swoopy, graceful carbon fiber frames looked fast and aggressive, and indeed they proved to be.
The SST is Fuji’s straight up speed machine. The arched tubes and compressed geometry are a sprinters delight, and will best serve criterium racers and enthusiasts who like to go fast. These are not bikes that will keep you comfortable during an 8 hour day in the saddle, but with the Fuji SST, the town line sprint or the top of the podium are yours for the taking.
- SST 1.3: Pro-level bike delivers all-out sprinting performance with Ultegra Di2 drive train
- SST 2.0 LE: take the top of the podium with Ultegra mechanical drivetrain
- SST 2.3: features Shimano 105 for those looking to get lots of speed at an exceptional value
- SST 3.0 LE: get ready to move on to competitive riding with this Shimano 105 equipped bike
Best for: the rider who likes to go fast, and demands performance, but doesn’t mind sacrificing some speed to be more comfortable
There are some who say that comfort and performance aren’t good bed fellows, but those people obviously haven’t seen the Fuji Gran Fondo. These bikes use the same blends of carbon fiber found in the Altamira and the SST, but with a geometry that won’t push your body to the limits. For sure, these bikes don’t have an aggressive race geometry, but when you’re spending 6-8 hours in the saddle during a Gran Fondo this is a bike that’s nice and forgiving on the back.
- Gran Fondo 1.1 C: features 11-speed Dura-Ace 9000 for the serious Gran Fondo rider
- Gran Fondo 1.0: features 10-speed Dura-Ace 7900 for those who demand the best
- Gran Fondo 1.3 C: take your ride to the cutting-edge with Ultegra Di2
- Gran Fondo 1.5 C: features mechanical Ultegra for those who desire high-end performance but prefer mechanical shifting
- Gran Fondo 2.0: cutting edge Ultegra Di2 and a beautiful Italian-themed paint job
- Gran Fondo 3.0 LE: for the rider looking for a great new road bike that won’t break the bank
Fuji Aluminum Road Bikes
Best for: the rider who wants to go fast on a budget without sacrificing performance
The Fuji Roubaix got its start in life as a specialized frame built to take pros through the murderous Spring Classics of Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde van Vlaanderen. The hellish cobblestone roads of those races have long sent pro-racers begging to their sponsors for a new kind of frame, and Fuji responded with the Roubaix—an aluminum bike that was built with enough compliance and high-tech features to tame the horrific roads of the northern Classics.
Times have changed though, and so has this venerable aluminum bike. While many riders have moved on to carbon fiber, the Fuji Roubaix continues to be one of the longest and best selling bikes in the world thanks to its impressive mix of comfort, performance and handling. The Roubaix is the perfect bike for the beginning racer, someone looking for a first road bike, or even the veteran racer who needs a durable yet fast bike for crit racing.
- Roubaix SL: this race bike is equipped with a carbon fork and Shimano Ultegra mechanical shifting
- Roubaix 1.0 LE: features a fast, durable alloy frame and dependable Shimano 105 shifting
- Roubaix LE: equipped with Shimano 105 shifting for optimized performance
- Roubaix 1.5 C: Shimano Tiagra 10-speed shifting and a pressfit bottom bracket for a high-end feel and dependable performance
- Roubaix 2.0 LE: features Shimano Tiagra 10-speed shifting
- Roubaix 3.0 LE: road bike with Shimano Sora 9-speed shifting is perfect for the beginning road cyclist
Best for: the rider who wants to stay fit and have some fun on the road
The Fuji Sportif was created to answer the needs of the everyday road cyclist. Traditionally, Sportifs are non-competitive organized rides that don’t recognize winners, but celebrate the joys of the road. In America we now know these rides as gran fondos, but the tradition is an old one, and it demands a certain kind of bike. A bike just like the Fuji Sportif.
If you’re eager to discover the joys of the road, but don’t have much interest in racing, then the Fuji Sportif is for you. These bikes are built with the same high quality standards as the Roubaix, but with a more relaxed fit and geometry to suit riders who believe road rides are more about the journey than the suffering. Think of the Sportif as an aluminum version of the Fuji Grand Fondo. If you want it to go fast, it will, but this bike is more about staying fit and having fun.
- Sportif 1.1 C: road bike with Shimano Tiagra 10-speed shifting is ideal for the long distance rider
- Sportif 1.3 C: Shimano Sora equipped bike is great for someone looking to stay fit
- Sportif 1.7 C: Shimano components make this a great value for a first road bike