June 18, 2015 3 Comments
When Fuji launched their brand new Fuji Transonic road bike platform, they called it a “revolution in speed” and “aero unleashed”. It certainly looked like a fast bike, so when a Fuji Transonic 1.3 Road Bike – 2015 showed up at our home office, we couldn’t wait to take it out on the road for some real world testing to see what this bike is all about. We had the chance to meet with Fuji’s designers in person at their home office to learn more about this new super bike, and discover what went into making it a “revolution in speed.”
The Transonic is the result of 3 years of Fuji’s aerodynamic research, using lessons learned from the development of their other aero bikes, the Norcom Straight time trial bike and the Track Elite track bike, plus input from their pro riders. Fuji also optimized for stiffness and light weight. The designers eschewed standard aerofoil shapes that can compromise the rigidity of the frame and perform poorly in cross-winds. Instead, they used a wide cross-section tube shape made from C10 high modulus carbon fiber that cuts through the wind and increases your control of the bike at speed.
An aerodynamically contoured head tube-fork-downtube junction blends the frame areas together to ensure smooth, uninterrupted airflow over the front of the bike and across the downtube. The seat tube-seatstay junction is sculpted to reduce turbulent air exiting the seat tube and is contoured around the rear brake to shield it from the wind. There’s an aero seat post with an integrated seat clamp that produces cleaner airflow, plus a roughened surface on the front of the seat post to ensure the post doesn’t slip. The seat tube is also contoured around the rear wheel to minimize drag.
Of course all of this design would be for naught if the bike was no fun to ride. Since we’ve been riding this very bike for a few months now, we can definitely say that’s not the case! The Transonic is a super bike that you can ride all day. Sure, it’s an aero road bike where you can can get long and low and attack the group on the flats. But it’s also lightweight and stiff (but not harsh) so you can put the power down going uphill too. All in all, it’s clearly a very well thought out and well designed road bike, and quite the looker as well (in our humble opinion).
Some spec highlights: direct-mount front and rear brakes remove excess mounting material, allow for improved aerodynamics, and (really noticeable) improved modulation – plus the rear brake is in a standard position where it is easily accessible. No funky hidden brakes here. There’s an integrated chain watcher to ensure smooth shifts without the risk of dropping the chain to the inside of the crank. The frame is also designed with the future in mind, with electronic/mechanical internal cable routing and space for wide-rim profile wheels and up to 28mm tires.
This particular Transonic 1.3 model comes spec’d with the impeccable Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 11-speed mechanical groupset and ultra-lightweight Oval Concepts 950F carbon clinchers wrapped up in Vittoria Rubino Pro slick tires. The rest of the bike is built to be race ready with Oval Concepts R910SL carbon bars, Oval 713 stem, aerodynamic Transonic seatpost. But the same revolutionary Transonic frame design is available with a wide variety of component options, both electronic and mechanical, including the exclusive value that is our Fuji Transonic 2.8 Road Bike- 2015.
The Bike For You
So what do we think of the Fuji Transonic road bike? In a word, it really is spectacular. It looks fantastic, it’s stable at speed, but it’s not going to flex when you want to sprint, it has well thought-out components, all with the added bonus of free speed from aerodynamic efficiency without a weight penalty.