When we think ‘bikes’, Fuji is a household name, having built up a solid reputation making a selection of superb bikes over the years.
The popular Japanese brand was founded by Okazaki Kyujiro in 1899 as the Nichibei Fuji Cycle Company, making it one of the oldest bike manufacturers in the world and serving several generations of cyclists.
Fuji was named after the iconic Mount Fuji in its home country, to symbolise the toughest challenge for any rider, and that was the challenge of tackling mountainous terrain. It’s almost a good omen that the mountain bikes from this brand have been so successful!
Did mountain bikes catch your interest?
We take a look at some of their star players in our Fuji bike review, so stick around for the scoop!
It was thanks to Fuji that cycling became a widespread sport within Japan, later leading to the birth of the Tour de Japan. Fuji has also sponsored and been associated with big name world champion cyclists, such as Judith Arndt, Regina Schleicher and Anika Langvad.
So What Makes Fuji So Special?
Now it might come as a surprise, that a bike manufacturer that set up shop over a century ago is still alive and kicking (quite strongly might we add), in a market of dozens of ambitious competitors.
So how has Fuji managed to stand the test of time?
Fuji has a simple, yet strategic formula – to never stop learning and improving. Fuji takes tips and tricks from the most high performing athletes in the game, and translates this into functionality and versatility in the design of their bikes.
You would see not only streamlined and careful precision in their bikes, but also the incorporation of the latest technology. Fuji has been battling it out in the bike market for generations with their constant hunger for self improvement.
You may be wondering whether this seemingly elite brand would also reflect its standard in its price, in fact, this is not totally the case.
Despite priding itself on its quality, Fuji bikes are pretty affordable, so you wouldn’t have to break your bank to afford one.
Let’s take a look at some of what Fuji has to offer:
- Mountain Bikes
- Road Bikes
- Pavement Bikes
- Electric Bikes
- Kids’ Bikes
Fuji’s success began with its mountain bikes, so let’s dive into our Fuji mountain bike review!
When it comes to trail bikes and durable, high-end mountain bikes, Fuji has four main models:
These bikes start from upwards of $1000, so let’s take a closer look at each of these models individually, starting with the higher end of the scale; the Auric.
The Fuji Auric is a full suspension enduro bike built for trail riding, navigating around slopes and uphill and downhill riding.
The classic Auric 27.5 comes in two models, being the Auric 1.3 and the Auric 1.5. Both bikes feature versatile and comfortable geometry and a lightweight A6-SL alloy frame. The frame on both bikes is super-butted to make it more agile and nimble.
Each of the bikes also comes with up to 130 mm of travel on its MLink rear suspension and durable Shimano Deore components on its drivetrain. The 1.3 sports a 1×12 speed drivetrain whereas the 1.5 features 1×11 speeds.
Both bikes are also designed with a WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0 wheelset, capable of accommodating tires up to 27.5 inches.
Now for the differences between the two!
|Auric 1.5||Auric 1.3|
|Suspension||(Front) RockShox Silver RL fork, 140 mm|
(Rear) RockShox Deluxe, 130 mm
|(Front) Marzocchi Bomber, 140 mm|
(Rear) Fox Float EVOL Performance, 130 mm
|Hydraulic Disc Brakes||Shimano MT200 brakes with large 180mm rotors||TRP Trail S brakes with large 180mm rotors|
Fuji later upgraded the classic Auric and revised the design to cater to more hardcore mountain bikers, with the Auric LT. Like the classic Auric, the LT also comes in two models, the 1.1 and the 1.5.
With an A6-SL super-butted aluminium alloy frame and a 63.5 slack design, the Auric LT is the weapon of choice for tackling rough mountainsides where a lot of climbing is required.
To add to the winning equation, both bikes are equipped with RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select+ for shock absorption, with up to 160 mm of travel on their forks and up to 170 mm on the rear suspension.
Let’s compare and contrast the two models now:
|Auric LT 1.5||Auric LT 1.1|
|Drivetrain||Shimano Deore, 1×11 speeds||SRAM GX Eagle, 1×12 speeds|
|Crankset||Shimano Deore, 30T||Truvativ Descendant, 32T|
|Wheelset||WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0||DT Swiss M1900 Spline 30|
Between the two, the LT 1.1 is the higher end option, using more advanced components, and this reflects in its price as well. Interested in the Auric LT?
The next bike in the series is the Fuji Rakan, a full suspension 29 inch trail bike. Like the Auric, the Rakan 29 also comes in two distinct models, being the 1.1 and the 1.5, and is also built to withstand slopes and downhill riding with its progressive geometry.
Both bikes are built with the standard A6-SL super-butted aluminium alloy frame and are fitted with quality Rockshox components on the front and rear suspension. The bikes sport 120 mm of travel on its rear MLink suspension, and up to 140 mm on its front.
Some of the integral parts on these bikes differ though, so read on to learn more.
|Rakan 1.5||Rakan 1.1|
|Drivetrain||Shimano, 1×11 speeds||SRAM GX Eagle, 1×12 speeds|
|Hydraulic Disc Brakes||MT200||SRAM G2R|
As you may have guessed, the 1.1 is a bit on the pricier side of the spectrum due to the more advanced components used.
The Rakan LT could be considered the ‘bigger and better’ member of the Rakan family. The LT also comes in two models, the LT 1.1 and the LT 1.5.
With more tuned up features, Rakan’s LT series boasts up to 160 mm of travel on its front suspension and 150 mm on its rear, all thanks to MLink Technology.
The LT uses pretty similar parts to the Rakan 29, so the main differences lie in the suspension and in the braking systems used as well, as the LT series opts for TRP hydraulic brakes.
The Fuji Outland is yet another full suspension bike in the trail and mountain bike series, which gives you a superior riding experience whilst staying affordable. Like Fuji’s other mountain bikes, careful thought has been put into the design in order to make it compatible with slopes and uphill or downhill riding.
An easier climb and descent is thanks to the improved design’s A4 active four-bar suspension, which also helps to create an overall low stand-over height on all sizes. The A4 suspension also stiffens the frame, helping to make pedaling a lot easier and reducing the possibility of binding on the rear.
For aesthetics, all cabling is also internally routed for a cleaner finish.
The Fuji Outland is fitted with quality RockShox parts on both its front and rear suspension, giving you up to 120 mm of travel.
On its drivetrain, you will find Shimano Deore parts and a 1×11 speed cassette, with Shimano MT200 hydraulic brakes as well.
Next let’s take a look at the Bighorn; a 29 inch hardtail designed with progressive geometry to tackle the trails. The Bighorn 29 comes in two models, the 1.3 and the 1.5, so let’s take a look at some of its distinct features.
There are quite a few differences in the components between the two models:
|Bighorn 29 1.5||Bighorn 29 1.3|
|Suspension||Suntour XCR 34 LO Coil, 130 mm||RockShox 35 Silver TK 29 Solo Air, 130 mm|
|Drivetrain||Shimano Deore, 1×11 speeds||SRAM Eagle, 1×12 speeds|
|Hydraulic Disc Brakes||Shimano MT200||Tetro HD-M745|
As expected, the 1.3 is slightly more expensive than the 1.5, given the more advanced parts that have been used, so that might be something to consider if you were making a choice between the two.
That being said, if you’re really keen on quality, then it’s only a couple hundred dollars difference, so the 1.5 might be an option worth investing in.
So now that we’ve covered Fuji’s more upscale trail and mountain bikes, let’s take a look at their range of sports bikes. There are three distinct models in this category:
The Wendigo is a rigid fat bike, with tires that would be ideal for tough terrains, such as snow and sand, which are difficult to ride through with ordinary tires.
The Wendigo comes outfitted with an array of SRAM parts on its drivetrain, including SRAM SX Eagle shifters on its 1×12 speed drivetrain. It’s also equipped with SRAM on its rear derailleur, its chain, cassette, crankset and bottom bracket.
The Wendigo also uses Shimano on its brake system and its levers, and a handlebar, seat post and stem all made in house, bearing Fuji’s seal of quality.
Compared to other fat bikes, the Wendigo is actually pretty affordable and is at a lower price point than some other brands on the market, so you’re getting a good deal for your money.
The Fuji Nevada is a considerably more affordable option in the mountain bike lineup. This hardtail which comes either as a 27.5 inch frame or a 29 inch frame, is significantly more economic, with all the models in the range selling for less than $1000.
There are a total of 7 models in this series, so let’s go through the basics of what you’re getting from the Nevada:
The Nevada series comes equipped with Shimano braking systems, either being EF41 Levers or M396 disc brakes, its drivetrains are outfitted with Shimano parts too. Its aluminium rims are complemented with either Kendas or Vera Eos tires, depending on which model you buy.
The Nevada is great as a beginner bike, being both sturdy and affordable. However, it may not appeal to more advanced riders due to its weight, as it is quite heavy.
The Fuji Adventure is about the most affordable in the series, costing even less than the Nevada. The Adventure is built for easy trails, leisurely rides and commutes, and could even serve as a great bike to kick start cycling for exercise.
The Adventure is a hardtail bike, equipped with a Zoom CH-565 with up to 60 mm of travel. Like the Nevada, you will find Shimano parts of its derailleurs and shifters, and a 7 speed drivetrain.
There are two models in this series, the 27.5 and the 27.5 ST, the only difference being that the ST caters towards smaller riders, coming in frame sizes of S and XS. The prices are the same, though.
The Final Word
If you’re wondering whether Fuji is worth the investment, it is indeed, with bikes that are affordable, easy to modify and built to last.
The mountain bikes that they offer cater both to advanced and beginner riders, so there’s something there for everybody. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to check out some other brands, and see how they match up, like Fuji vs Trek, for example!
If mountain bikes aren’t for you, you can always check out their range of cruisers, hybrids, electric or comfort bikes, to see which one suits your lifestyle best.