Fuji Bikes are they a thing of the past? They used to be the main stream back in the late ’90s but got overwhelmed by the departmental store level bikes flooded into the market. I do personally have a thing for hard core bicycles built for performance with a history behind it.
Building a successful business is tricky. It’s even trickier if you’re starting from scratch. That’s why businesses that are the powerhouses on the industries where they operate are the epitome of success.
In the bicycle industry, a great example is Fuji. Fuji bikes are one of the most popular bikes in the market today. They might go toe to toe with more popular bike brands at present. Nevertheless, Fuji bicycles are very affordable even though they’re pretty high end. So why are they great?
Founded in 1899 in Japan they are among the oldest bike bike company in the world. Over the years the company had created cutting-edge, high-performance bikes that can ride over any challenge.
Thus making them come out on top of their competition be it in terms of comfort, performance, durability or the looks. However they are not cheaply made and are somewhat expensive.
This article will explain why it is so for the most of its lifetime. Let’s talk about the history of Fuji bicycles first. After this, we’ll have a short discussion about the general qualities that make Fuji bikes impressive. Lastly, I’ll be giving a review of the top 3 best Fuji bicycles that you might want to get your hands on.
History of Fuji Bikes – How legend Are Born
Fuji has been making bikes for about 120 years. Okazaki Kyujiro established Fuji in 1900. Fuji’s first name was Nichibei Shōkai which directly translates to Japanese-American Trading Company.
Kyujiro’s new company first operated by distributing motorcycles from the U.S. Nevertheless, it eventually managed to produce its bicycles.
By the end of World War II, bikes by Nichibei Shōkai are the top sellers in Japan. During this period, it went with the brand Nichibei Fuji Cycle company.
The success of Fuji bicycles during World War II might be due to the rapid growth of Japan’s economy. As the economy grew, more Japanese we’re employed. And with a high employment rate, comes a higher demand for other means of transportation.
The 1930s and 1950s saw the very first Fuji bicycles to enter competitive sports. Fuji spearheaded cycling as a sport in Japan. Thank Fuji because you wouldn’t be enjoying the prestigious Tour De Japan without it.
Fuji continued success up to the 1970s and 1980s. It produced 12-speed bicycles and touring bicycles.
A notable development for Fuji in the 1970s is the introduction of the legendary Shimano Dura-Ace on the bikes that it produced. However, the 1990s were unwelcoming for Fuji.
During this period, competing companies distributed mountain bikes. Fuji couldn’t keep up with them. Sales and popularity declined as a result.
Fuji tried to address this issue by moving production lines to Taiwan. However, this proved ineffective. Eventually, Fuji bellied up and its assets were swallowed by Advanced Sports International (ASI).
At present, Fuji is now owned by ASI. Nevertheless, the craftsmanship and expertise of making bicycles are the same as that of the original Fuji Company.
In summary, you shouldn’t hesitate to buy a Fuji bicycle because a single unit embodies the story of the numerous success and failures that Fuji underwent.
General Qualities That Make Fuji Bikes Great
1. Compact Build
I’ll be lying if I say that Fuji bikes are great because they’re the lightest and speediest. However, Fuji bicycles are indeed great because they have a compact build. Bikes that Fuji has parts that engineers designed for function and not merely for ornamental purposes.
Fuji bicycles will always fit the budget of consumers. There are Fuji bicycles that are sold for as low as $1000. Though cheap, these bikes already got what it takes for recreational or competitive cycling.
However, they might not work as well as more expensive brands such as Trek, Trucker, Merida, or Cannondale. Nevertheless, rest assured that Fuji bicycles got your cycling needs covered.
3. Allows for Modifications
Fuji bicycles aren’t very picky about additional accessories. If you have one, you can always opt to give it a modified drivetrain. Some owners upgrade their drivetrains with Shimano, SRAM, or Campagnolo. Other parts that can be upgraded are the seat, the fork, the handlebar, saddle post, wheels, and brakes.
4. Non-Exclusive Design
The color and design of Fuji bicycles usually cater to the preference of the majority of consumers. Furthermore, they ensure that riders of different ages and gender experience comfortable riding. Thus, getting a Fuji bike is a great option if you’re new to cycling or confused about which bikes to pick.
Fuji Models, Bike Types And Assembly
Fuji offers a wide range of varieties be it in models, size, features, or types when it comes to bicycles. They include road, mountain, city, gravel, hybrid, electric, cruiser, and comfort bikes.
Going by their standards Fuji bikes are quite popular among the professional bikers who want a better deal than most entry level cheap departmental stroke bikes has to offer.
Although the company also features some great entry level bikes with tons of features at much competitive price. They are easy to assemble and repair and remain intact for almost its lifetime.
Fuji Mountain Bikes
Fuji offers both full-suspension and hardtail mountain bikes in three outstanding bikes models; Bighorn, Outland, and Rakan with different subversions.
When buying a decent bike for trails you should buy something that feels confident to ride downhill and does not fight against yourself when climbing up. When you look Fuji mountain bikes it offers exactly that but with a much stylish look and better specs for the price tag.
They come in durable frames, modern geometry, 20mm MLink rear suspension, large 180mm rotors, and clean aesthetics to protect against dirt and debris.
When it comes to a personal experience I tried on Rakan 29 1.1 and it’s fun to ride. Quite seriously, it performed very well on trails building my confidence setting new limits.
Overall I liked this bike with its pretty looks and solid features. It didn’t feel as it was trying to buck me off on descents or requires additional effort at corners. The 29-inch tires roll smoothly over the rocks and branches and its Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.3â€ tubeless-ready tires grip well on a variety of trails.
Fuji Road Bikes
When it comes to fuji road bikes there are 16 basic models to choose from. Then there are different sub-types for each of these models but the frame geometry and construction remain the same.
Made from top-notch components using only modern design and components it stands out of the rest. These are fast, comfortable light, and powerful with 2 x 12-speed speed sifters.
Divided into five subtypes each cater to the specific needs for adventure, touring, cyclocross, women, and competition. The Fuji Brevet aero race bike is among the best road bikes for women.
For just $2,199 you get the High-modulus carbon frame with VRTech vibration reduction technology, Shimano 50/34T crankset, flat mount disc brakes, chain stray protector, internal cable routing, wave seat stay for increased comfort and women’s specific endurance geometry.
Overall, there is a lot to like about the Fuji road bikes. It really excels on flat roads and downhill, the frame is solid and modern, handling is pretty much spot on with gearing components working well together.
Fuji Gravel Bikes
Fuji has two gravel bikes to choose from, the Altamira CX and the Cross. The Altamira CX is the race-ready version of the cyclocross bike while the Fuji cross is made for beginner Cyclocross riders.
If you’re looking to dip your feet into the muddy world of the cross, it’s an excellent value-for-money for entry-level gravel bikes. Made for beginners it’s pretty responsive, lightweight, and super powerful. Featured with ultra-reliable components and modern frame design it’s a truly impressive machine.
The Fuji cross includes SRAM Force CX-1 1×11-speed drivetrain for reliable and precision gear changes. The CX-1 hydraulic disc brakes give excellent stopping power from avoiding accidents.
The 700x32c Challenge Grifo tires perform well for every train under most conditions. Its DoubleTap drivetrain system makes shifting easier and emerges better than what others have to offer.
I personally like the handlebars as it is wider than normal and helped me feel in control at all times. Overall its best bang for your buck with extremely durable parts, nice geometry, and great riding experience.
Fuji City Bikes
There is no singular type of commuter bike that fit’s all. Fuji has a range of three city bikes consisting of three urban, one commuter, one comfort bike types.
Generally, basic hybrids are thought to be the best for city rides for beginners. But most people prefer to have a dedicated commuter that is most comfortable and efficient.
Fuji with its five different city bike models it easily fills this need. These bikes feature a more upright geometry, slimmer tires, better brakes, more comfortable seats, and minimal gearing. The frame used here is light but durable to withstand the daily abuse of ups and down in an urban environment.
I personally like the Fuji Feather, an urban utility bike that is super durable, fast, and looks great. For a low price tag of $599.99 I had to say; it comes with great components using most modern technology.
Overall, it’s a decent commuter with a single-speed flip flop hub to switch between fixed and freewheel cycling. With old school design and leather finish seats, you can get around in style.
Fuji Hybrid Bikes
The Fuji offers a wide range of hybrid bikes from the cross trainer, fitness, urban to the cruiser. Together they have to offer six different bikes for men and women.
For the price ranging from $350-$1200 these are generally quite affordable with a ton of features. Even at the lowest price, these bikes feel very comfortable for short and mid-range rides.
These lightweight bikes are quite compact and speedy idle for daily commute to your workplace; recreational activities, enjoying weekends traveling, or reaching out for the nearest grocery store.
The best part is you can enjoy these bikes at any stage of your life and with skinnier tires, these go faster than most bikes on pavement and streets.
Built with comfort in mind these are equipped with endurance geometry features that increase the stability and comfort of the hybrid bike by putting the rider in a more upright riding position.
Overall Fuji hybrids are a good choice utilizing a wide saddle, thick 700x35c tires, and Shimano 24-speed drivetrain offering a comfortable ride around town or on streets and easy trails.
Fuji Electric Bikes
Fuji has five electric bikes to choose from, E-Traverse, E-Crosstown, Ambient Evo, Blackhill Evo, E-Nevada of which the first two are of hybrid cross trainer types while the last three are electric mountain bikes.
Across the different range of bicycles, these have real growth potential. Their sales have shot through the roof over the last 5 years. With more power and speed these are great for both trails and street.
The Fuji E-Crosstown is most affordable with a price tag of just $1399. Equipped with a rear rack it features low step-through frame design, comfy seats, powerful hydraulic disc brakes, comfortable seats and a front suspension fork that helps minimize jerks and vibration.
One of the high-end mountain e-bike bikes by Fuji is the Blackhill Evo LT 27.5 electric bike.
It comes with Powertube 500w battery, computer-controlled 250W Bosch Performance CX motor, 27.5″ wheel size, TRP hydraulic disc brakes, and Shimano 10-speed drivetrain.
My Personal Pick For The Best Bike From Fuji
I personally like Fuji Transonic for its great quality and tons of features at a great price. The Transonic features the signature compact design that most Fuji bikes have.
The down tube is pretty large and is very efficient at providing support for the upper components of the frame such as the saddle post and top tube. In connection, the top tube becomes a bit narrow in the middle.
However, this is fine because it helps you mount or dismount Fuji Transonic easily in a car.
I can’t say anything bad about the drivetrain. The drivetrain of Fuji Transonic is made out of SRAM components. It has a 12-speed gear that shifts without any awkward clicks and delays. The crankset has a very ergonomic design and allows maximum utilization of each of your strides.
For a lower price range, I would have been chosen the Fuji Sportif as it is a more straightforward version of Fuji Transonic. It ditched the fancy top tube and used a plain-looking one instead.
Nevertheless, Fuji Sportif’s color is better than Fuji Transonic. It uses black and blue color tones. As a result, Fuji Transonic has a very sporty look. Fuji Sportif uses a Shimano drivetrain.
It’s not as speedy as Fuji Transonic. However, it has a softer feel. I recommend that you get Fuji Sportif instead of Fuji Transonic for biking on harsh terrains.
If you’re planning to get your first bike for recreational or competitive cycling, getting a Fuji bike is a good decision. They have the features that will help you get the hang of cycling.
Such features are efficient drivetrain, light and durable frame, ergonomic seat and handlebar, shock resistant fork, responsive brakes, etc. Don’t hesitate to trust Fuji when it comes to finding quality bikes. Surely, its 120 years in the cycling industry won’t disappoint you.