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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: North of the border, just
Bikes: Fuji Absolut '04 / Fuji 'Marlboro' Folder
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I have an Absolute 2004 (think that's the right year -- they've just started giving them revision numbers). I saw an Absolute 3.0 in the LBS and it was a completely different animal. So I don't know what really stays the same between model years. I found that I had to get just about the largest size they could order (23" ??) to get it to fit right -- original was a little too small. Plus had a raised stem put in. From a discussion re the Absolute in the tandem forum, it sounds like maybe all the absolutes are a little small. The important thing is to be sure whatever you get actually fits you. This may be tricky since even the LBS guys don't seem to know how to judge sizing.
Mine has almost 10,000 miles on it. However, the kenda tires gave out in only 700 miles. The wheels had to be replaced in 7000 miles (spokes were breaking). Replaced the rear cassette around 8000 miles and the middle front sprocket about the same time. Apparently this is pretty normal for lower-end bikes which I guess is bikes that sell for less than $1200.
Replaced the original pedals with clip-ins and the seat with a Brooks. So not too much of the original bike remains. Still the bike looks pretty good -- went 40 miles with it today. Hmm. So maybe mostly what I like is the burgundy frame ...
Like I said, I don't know how much changes between models, but here's some things to check. On mine, there are no braze-ons for fenders. So it may not be the best bike if you think you're going to be commuting in the rain. BTW I'm in "SoCal" too -- but the part where it almost never rains. Mine had the mini-vbrakes. After the first set of brake pads were swapped out, the front brakes started to squeal and I've never been able to get rid of it though switching brake pad manufacturer has helped some. The frame is aluminum with no suspension and it does ride pretty hard so it may not be the right bike for someone with back or wrist problems or with lots of pot holes.
The bike is really a road bike with a flat bar. Its not really a "hybrid" -- the main physical difference is the flat bar. I liked the look of the flat bar because it didn't look so much like a jock bike. But in retrospect, it would probably be more comfortable and faster if I could go into the "drops" from time to time.
Its been a good bike, but I'm thinking my next bike might be something more like a touring bike with drop handles, more steel than aluminum (if possible), a slightly longer body and the option to add fenders.
Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.