For our review Fuji Norcom Straight Time Trial/Triathlon bike, we wanted to do something more than just give our first impressions after a few rides. So during this racing season our in-house tri-expert, Kyle from our marketing team, has been training and racing on a Fuji Norcom Straight 1.3 Triathlon Road Bike (the 2015 model – we’ve linked to the 2016 model here) in order to provide a better idea of what it’s like to live with the Norcom Straight for a full year. Read on below to see what Kyle has to say about this aero super bike.
Over the last 11 year of racing on and off road triathlons I have competed on numerous mountain, road and TT bikes. This season I had the opportunity to try out the new Fuji Norcom Straight, the latest in a line of great Time Trial/Triathlon bikes from Fuji. Having raced one season on the Fuji Aloha and four on Fuji D6 I was excited to test out the latest technology form Fuji on the Norcom Straight. So this season I got to ride the 1.3 – it’s the most race ready “Super Bike” at the price point… and race ready it is.
Out of the box:
Starting with the amazingly stiff C10 carbon frame and FC-330 carbon fork the Fuji Norcom Straight 1.3 Time Trial/Triathlon Bike is race-ready out of the box, with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting for zero interruptions in the watts going to the rear wheel and TRP aero TT V-brakes for outstanding stopping power and modulation. Oval Concepts components provide the ultimate in aerodynamics, light weight, and rider adjustability with adjustable carbon aero bars, multi-position carbon seat post, and a pair of 81mm deep Oval 980 full carbon clincher wheels for excellent overall power transfer and wind cutting.
Set-up and fit:
With Fuji’s “Fit Comes First” marketing campaign around the Norcom Straight you would expect set up to be a breeze… and it was. Using the included aero spacers, 31.8mm +/- 8° stem, highly adjustable Oval Concepts bar and a seat post with enough saddle adjustment for an effective seat tube angle from 74° to 81°, it only took a few minutes for my fitter to get me in the optimal position. After many years of racing and training fit is everything to me. With all this adjustability we got it right the first time allowing for one of the most pain free seasons I have ever had. With a great fit not only was I pain free, but I was able to find some extra watts as well.
Fuji designed two unique features in to the Norcom Straight. First adjustable vertical rear dropouts allow for quick wheel changes, yet they allow you to tuck the rear wheel close to the seat tube like horizontal dropouts. This by far was my favorite feature. No more rear wheel twisting in the dropouts or fights with the rear derailleur that come with horizontal dropouts. I was able to change my wheels as quickly and easily as any of my road bikes.
Second the cable routing for the rear mounted front brake goes through a small cutout on the head tube. This clean solution was much easier to work on than the previous routing of the D6 that had the cable routing through the head set.
On the Road:
I have been riding, training and racing on this Fuji Norcom Straight 1.3 for the last few months now. This is a bike that is stable both climbing and descending, nimble in the corners and has impressive cruising speed on the flats. From the start I felt that this has to be one of the most versatile TT/Triathlon bikes I have ever ridden.