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Thread: Fuji touring ?

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    Fuji touring ?

    Hi Everyone,

    I've been looking to buy a touring bike and looked at the Trek 520, Cannondale T800 and the Fuji touring. I've also looked at some LBS shop here that design and built there own touring bike (G.M Bertrand in Hull)...but that's another cathegory by itself and is way more expensive...They seem to have a very good reputation however and I only got good feedback about them.

    I'm rather new to bike touring and if possible want to get something that's not too expensive...

    It will probably be more light touring initially but will probably do a few longer trips here and there with more stuff to carry. I do not expect to do several weeks trips....unless I end up really loving it

    I've looked at several of the posts in bike forum and it seems like the Fuji touring may be a good choice to start. I wonder however if you can comment about the components on the bike and which limitations I might be facing with those. Would the Deore and Tiagra components be good enough for the type of use I described ? The gearing of all the bikes I looked at was similar. I have a preference for STI shifting (probably could carry a spare downtube shifter if I wanted to)....I am wondering however if an upgrade to the 105 component from Tiagra would be worth it (and if that would be the case then would'nt the 520 be better ?)...

    Anyway. I welcome any comments, good or bad, about the Fuji touring bike....and for any of you that have one...any comments on how good the bike has been for you and type us use/limitations/positives you might have face with it...

    THanks

    Wheely

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheely
    Hi Everyone,

    I've been looking to buy a touring bike and looked at the Trek 520, Cannondale T800 and the Fuji touring. I've also looked at some LBS shop here that design and built there own touring bike (G.M Bertrand in Hull)...but that's another cathegory by itself and is way more expensive...They seem to have a very good reputation however and I only got good feedback about them.

    I'm rather new to bike touring and if possible want to get something that's not too expensive...

    It will probably be more light touring initially but will probably do a few longer trips here and there with more stuff to carry. I do not expect to do several weeks trips....unless I end up really loving it

    I've looked at several of the posts in bike forum and it seems like the Fuji touring may be a good choice to start. I wonder however if you can comment about the components on the bike and which limitations I might be facing with those. Would the Deore and Tiagra components be good enough for the type of use I described ? The gearing of all the bikes I looked at was similar. I have a preference for STI shifting (probably could carry a spare downtube shifter if I wanted to)....I am wondering however if an upgrade to the 105 component from Tiagra would be worth it (and if that would be the case then would'nt the 520 be better ?)...

    Anyway. I welcome any comments, good or bad, about the Fuji touring bike....and for any of you that have one...any comments on how good the bike has been for you and type us use/limitations/positives you might have face with it...

    THanks

    Wheely
    I have used Tiagra for 2 1/2 years on my Cannondale and have no complaints with it. It shifts as crisply as the 105's on another bike. The Deore derailuer is a good solid performer also, so I would'nt change that out either.

    You could probably get lots of good use out of the Fuji and it is cheaper than the other bike you mentioned. Touring bikes tend to last forever (my first touring bike lasted me for 20 years and I still use it for foul weather.) Any of the three bikes mentioned are good touring bikes. I have the T800 and have been very pleased with it. My daughter has the Fuji but, having just bought it, I can't comment on it durability yet. However, looking at the bike, it doesn't have any obvious flaws and they are dirt cheap!
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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    I did 2500 miles on my Fuji last fall... My only complaint would be with the durability of the rear rack, but I'm not a light packer. Other than that - which is a cheap fix - I was very happy with the bike.

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    I've put almost 35,000km on my Fuji. Framewise, good value, or at least the one I've got, which is a 2000-01 model. I noticed Fuji seems to have gone the more compact style of frame. You need to pay attention to how you pack your loads on the rear rack -- I have a largish frame that tends to get squirrely when climbing, if the load's not right. The forks have braze-ons for low-rider racks, and they work fine.

    Rack? I agree, it will break, so get a better quality one.

    Tiagra and Deore are fine. I find the jockey wheels get noisy quite quickly, and I have BBB sealed bearing ones to go in.

    Note that I swapped out the chainrings/cranks/BB for a 22-32-44 set-up because of the terrain I ride. The Tiagra front derailleur remained and does quite well. The shifters are fine even after all those km. I must be getting up three-quarters of a million shifts on the right one by now! I swapped out the seat for a Brooks Pro initially, and now a B17. The wheels were the weakness for my year/model. They were Alex rims and I had all sorts of problems with broken spokes on the rear one. I have replaced then with Velocity Aeroheads since.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    I've put almost 35,000km on my Fuji. Framewise, good value, or at least the one I've got, which is a 2000-01 model. I noticed Fuji seems to have gone the more compact style of frame. You need to pay attention to how you pack your loads on the rear rack -- I have a largish frame that tends to get squirrely when climbing, if the load's not right. The forks have braze-ons for low-rider racks, and they work fine.

    Rack? I agree, it will break, so get a better quality one.

    Tiagra and Deore are fine. I find the jockey wheels get noisy quite quickly, and I have BBB sealed bearing ones to go in.

    Note that I swapped out the chainrings/cranks/BB for a 22-32-44 set-up because of the terrain I ride. The Tiagra front derailleur remained and does quite well. The shifters are fine even after all those km. I must be getting up three-quarters of a million shifts on the right one by now! I swapped out the seat for a Brooks Pro initially, and now a B17. The wheels were the weakness for my year/model. They were Alex rims and I had all sorts of problems with broken spokes on the rear one. I have replaced then with Velocity Aeroheads since.
    Broken spokes are probably more of a problem due to improperly or poorly tensioned wheels than due to the rims, spokes or hubs. Overloading the rear wheel will also lead to more broken spokes. Either recheck the tension yourself (I build all of my own wheels) or have a shop check them when you buy the bike.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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    Thanks Rowan, for your input, particularly on the front derailluer with 44,32,22 chain rings. I've been reading that STI would work only with 10teeth difference between large and middle ring, and only one particular front derailluer will go down to 46 min large ring. Being bred on road bike, I only have experience with frame shifters and STI. I missed the bar end shifters when I was pursuing my career. The STI really spoiled me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Broken spokes are probably more of a problem due to improperly or poorly tensioned wheels than due to the rims, spokes or hubs. Overloading the rear wheel will also lead to more broken spokes. Either recheck the tension yourself (I build all of my own wheels) or have a shop check them when you buy the bike.
    This is true, but no matter how I rebuilt the wheel, the spoke breakages continued. The wheels are on my fixed gear, tensioned up really well, and guess what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    This is true, but no matter how I rebuilt the wheel, the spoke breakages continued. The wheels are on my fixed gear, tensioned up really well, and guess what?
    I know this is kind of hard to check but does the break occur on only one spoke? And where does it break? Maybe it's a hub problem. If one of the spoke holes has a burr (unlikely) or is too large (more likely) it might lead to the breakage. If the hole is too large it would allow the spoke to move around on the hub as the spoke is weighted and unweighted which will cause the spoke to fail.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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    You probably are right there, too. At one stage, the rear der overshifted the big cog, and wiped nine spokes in one revolution. There is some burring of the hub. However, having said that, I rebuilt the wheel on to a pristine steel hub for the fixie. It should be noted that when delivered, the wheels were not at all well finished around the join, which led me to suspect they were "lemons" from the start. Anyway, they did their 28,000km of service on the tour/randon/commute bike.

    Thanks for the interest and suggestions, cyccommute...

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    Hi everyone. Thanks for the response.

    I've been at the bike shop tonight to try out the Fuji...They took some measurements to come up with a bike size that would be best for me. However, when I tryed out the bike it seemed like the handlebar felt a little low.

    My inseam was 85cm and torso 62cm and my height is 5"'9" (178cm). They determined that the proper size bike should be a 55cm seattube and 55cm top tube. That being said, they said the 54cm fuji would likely be better for me then the 58cm. When trying the 54cm bike, even when setting the handle bar to maximum height, it seemed a little low to me (I know this might have to do a little with preference of the rider ... The Fuji web site suggest that the standover height for a 58cm frame is 83.33cm...so based on my inseam of 85cm...wouldn't you think the 58cm frame would be better ?

    Anyway...sadly...they did not have a 58cm in stock so I couldn't really try out that one.

    I'll probably try the Trek 520 21" (which might be closer to the Fuji 54) and the 520 53" (which would be closer to the Fuji 58) to give me a better idea as to if the larger frame feels better...and I'll see if the bike shop can get a 58cm Fuji so I can try it out.

    Anyway, any advise on frame sizing would be really appreciated.

    Thanks

    Wheely

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    Mmm...of course...I meant Trek 520 23" in my previous post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheely
    Hi everyone. Thanks for the response.

    My inseam was 85cm and torso 62cm and my height is 5"'9" (178cm). They determined that the proper size bike should be a 55cm seattube and 55cm top tube. That being said, they said the 54cm fuji would likely be better for me then the 58cm. When trying the 54cm bike, even when setting the handle bar to maximum height, it seemed a little low to me (I know this might have to do a little with preference of the rider ... The Fuji web site suggest that the standover height for a 58cm frame is 83.33cm...so based on my inseam of 85cm...wouldn't you think the 58cm frame would be better ?

    Anyway...sadly...they did not have a 58cm in stock so I couldn't really try out that one.

    Wheely
    A 58cm bike might be too big. You would have less than 2cm of clearance when you are standing over it, which is on the short side. 5cm would be better. One thing you could do is try a 58 cm in another Fuji model that has a similar top tube length (look at the Fuji website and test it.

    As for the stem height, you can get a stem adapter and a, or several, cheap stems to try and find one with the right reach and rise. I'd suggest going to this kind of stem anyway because they are easier to change then a standard quill stem.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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    I'm sort of standing back on this a bit because the frame geometry appears to have changed, but as a reference point, I am 5' 11-3/4" tall and have the 58cm frame (measured to top tube). I have minimal standover clearance (about 1cm). But I've never hurt myself on the top tube! The premise is that the bike will be used almost exclusively on sealed surfaces and minimal standover clearance is acceptable to get the larger frame.

    In your case the next size down might be a better option.

    As to stem, if it is aheadset, get the bikeshop to order in a bike without the steerer tube being cut, and arrange for them to fit it to the bars are at seat level. If it is an aheadset, it sounds as though the LBS guys have taken the road racing route with the bars and cut the steer tube too low.

    If it is a standard quill stem, as it is on my bike, there is enough to lift it to seat height without trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    I'm sort of standing back on this a bit because the frame geometry appears to have changed, but as a reference point, I am 5' 11-3/4" tall and have the 58cm frame (measured to top tube). I have minimal standover clearance (about 1cm). But I've never hurt myself on the top tube! The premise is that the bike will be used almost exclusively on sealed surfaces and minimal standover clearance is acceptable to get the larger frame.

    In your case the next size down might be a better option.

    As to stem, if it is aheadset, get the bikeshop to order in a bike without the steerer tube being cut, and arrange for them to fit it to the bars are at seat level. If it is an aheadset, it sounds as though the LBS guys have taken the road racing route with the bars and cut the steer tube too low.

    If it is a standard quill stem, as it is on my bike, there is enough to lift it to seat height without trouble.
    Fuji still uses a standard quill but it has a very short shaft. It does have a 2 bolt face so it's easy to change. That's why I suggested a threadless adapter and a threadless stem. More bolts but it also allows for a bit more adjustment. A 10 degree stem would move the handlebars up a lot.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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    The new Fuji Touring bike has an adjustable height stem It pivots. You can move it all over the place.

    Or maybe that is last years bike ? Even if it is you can get an adjustable stem. Make sure you know what model year you are purchasing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    The new Fuji Touring bike has an adjustable height stem It pivots. You can move it all over the place.

    Or maybe that is last years bike ? Even if it is you can get an adjustable stem. Make sure you know what model year you are purchasing.
    The 2005 I saw in a local shop and the one on the website has a standard nonadjusting quill. The World Tour has a threadless fork but it's carbon and about $800 more than the Touring.

    Soapbox time: Sometimes you just want to smack these people! What idiot puts a carbon fork without eyelets or braze-ons on a bike built for touring? Do they want a rugged, go anywhere, carry all you need, adventure bike or do they want to appeal to the weight weinies? Who is this bike built for?

    They got the Touring model right. How could they go so wrong with the World Tour?
    Stuart Black
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    The 2005 I saw in a local shop and the one on the website has a standard nonadjusting quill. The World Tour has a threadless fork but it's carbon and about $800 more than the Touring.

    Soapbox time: Sometimes you just want to smack these people! What idiot puts a carbon fork without eyelets or braze-ons on a bike built for touring? Do they want a rugged, go anywhere, carry all you need, adventure bike or do they want to appeal to the weight weinies? Who is this bike built for?

    They got the Touring model right. How could they go so wrong with the World Tour?
    You are right about the stem, I'm wrong. I asked about it this morning. Thanks cyccommute.

    It turns out that the new ones I saw at the shop still with the price tags on, were modified at the bike shop. They were sold before they were ordered, so the new stems went on when they were assembled.

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    Thanks everyone.

    I'll ask the bike shop about trying out the threadless adapter and another . Any drawback for using such an adaptor ?

    BTW. the model I was looking at is a 2005 model. I'll make sure I try out a 58cm (thanks for suggesting the other fuji models to try) before I make my decision.

    Now, maybe this will sound like a stupid question....but here we go...if my inseam is 85cm (without shoes on)...wouldn't that make for something closer to 87cm or so with the shoes on....then giving me about 4 cm over the toip tube ? Or should I not take the shoes into consideration here ?

    Mmm Food for thoughts...BTW...I asked the bike shop about upgrade cost of the shifters to 105, and upgrade of the front and back derailleurs to 105 and LX....150CAD$. A little more expensive then I thought it'd be...and it would bring me to 1350CAD$ (hopefully I can get the cost down a little) which is now starting to be closer to the price of the Trek 520 which is 1550CAD (which bar ends but has XT and deore derailleurs now)....decisons...decisions...

    Thanks

    wheely

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    Hey Wheely, keep us informed about your choices and possible bargains... I am also looking for a new touring bike in the Ottawa-Gatineau area (my old Cannondale just can't take it anymore without major repairs). For various reasons (proximity, friendliness etc...), I am thinking about getting my bike at GM Bertrand if they can offer me a good price on either the Trek 520 or the Giant OCR touring (two very different touring bikes I admit... I'll roadtest them before making a final decision...)...

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheely
    Thanks everyone.

    I'll ask the bike shop about trying out the threadless adapter and another . Any drawback for using such an adaptor ?

    BTW. the model I was looking at is a 2005 model. I'll make sure I try out a 58cm (thanks for suggesting the other fuji models to try) before I make my decision.

    Now, maybe this will sound like a stupid question....but here we go...if my inseam is 85cm (without shoes on)...wouldn't that make for something closer to 87cm or so with the shoes on....then giving me about 4 cm over the toip tube ? Or should I not take the shoes into consideration here ?

    Mmm Food for thoughts...BTW...I asked the bike shop about upgrade cost of the shifters to 105, and upgrade of the front and back derailleurs to 105 and LX....150CAD$. A little more expensive then I thought it'd be...and it would bring me to 1350CAD$ (hopefully I can get the cost down a little) which is now starting to be closer to the price of the Trek 520 which is 1550CAD (which bar ends but has XT and deore derailleurs now)....decisons...decisions...

    Thanks

    wheely
    The adaptors are just a stem without ... a stem. It fits in just like a regular quill and you put a threadless stem on it. I have them on several bikes and they work great.

    Certainly, try a larger bike with you shoes on. The fit might be better that way. I understand what you are going through with fit. I kind of fit an inbetween size also but I usually go with the smaller size because I can adjust it more to fit than a larger size. However, if you just don't feel right on the smaller one - too cramped, it feels too small, etc. - go with the one that feels best. As long as you have 2 to 4 cm of clearance when you stand over the bike you should be okay.

    And, finally, upgrades. That's a lot of upgrades. If you buy the Fuji, you could ride it for a couple of years before any of the stuff on it would start to wear out. Even using it for touring, the components are good. I'd stick with the original stuff and then start swapping it out later as you find deals and sales. It provides endless hours of fun - working on your own bike - and does almost as good a job draining you bank account as a boat would On the other hand, if you don't like to tinker with stuff or you just like the color better, go with the Trek
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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    Thanks for the advice cyccommute. I'll let you know what I end up choosing.

    BTW....sold the boat last year...but hey...there's always a good way to drain the bank account

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheely
    Thanks for the advice cyccommute. I'll let you know what I end up choosing.

    BTW....sold the boat last year...but hey...there's always a good way to drain the bank account

    Cheers
    The evil combination of flyfishing and bicycling can do a real number any excess funds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    The 2005 I saw in a local shop and the one on the website has a standard nonadjusting quill. The World Tour has a threadless fork but it's carbon and about $800 more than the Touring.

    Soapbox time: Sometimes you just want to smack these people! What idiot puts a carbon fork without eyelets or braze-ons on a bike built for touring? Do they want a rugged, go anywhere, carry all you need, adventure bike or do they want to appeal to the weight weinies? Who is this bike built for?

    They got the Touring model right. How could they go so wrong with the World Tour?
    Before you start smacking people, I had pondered the same question until I saw a very solid looking one-piece low-rider rack which had upper connections to the brake mounts and a "replacement" quick-release and spindle at the bottom for the the other mounting point. This type seemed to remove the need for the low-rider mounts. I haven't bought it as my version of the Fuji World (2004 version) did come with the mounts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad
    Before you start smacking people, I had pondered the same question until I saw a very solid looking one-piece low-rider rack which had upper connections to the brake mounts and a "replacement" quick-release and spindle at the bottom for the the other mounting point. This type seemed to remove the need for the low-rider mounts. I haven't bought it as my version of the Fuji World (2004 version) did come with the mounts.
    The only problem I have with the Old Man Mountain rack (which is what you are talking about) is the fork still. I don't know that I would trust a carbon fork with a touring load. The carbon fork is used to save weight and to make the bike "sexy" but what would happen if you were to hit a hole in the middle of a dirt trail carrying 20 or 30 pounds in on that rack? I don't know that I quite trust carbon that much yet.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    And, finally, upgrades. That's a lot of upgrades. If you buy the Fuji, you could ride it for a couple of years before any of the stuff on it would start to wear out. Even using it for touring, the components are good. I'd stick with the original stuff and then start swapping it out later as you find deals and sales. It provides endless hours of fun - working on your own bike - and does almost as good a job draining you bank account as a boat would On the other hand, if you don't like to tinker with stuff or you just like the color better, go with the Trek
    I am with cyccommute on the upgrades. Why bother. You will find the bike satisfactory from the get-go if it is adjusted and tuned properly by the LBS prior to delivery. Don't even worry about the chainrings -- your plan to do light touring initially fits with the gearing as it is.

    Keep your money for touring itself, or for other neato touring equipment, or upgrade to Conti TT2000s or something like that. As I say, the Tiagra shifters on mine have done almost 35,000km, and I replaced the rear der with another Deore only because the original was hurt in crash. You're touring, not competing for the fastest drag out of the last corner on a crit.

    I think if you go to the www.cyclingplus.co.uk site and do a search on Fuji Touring, you will probably turn up a review that was published in the magazine less than 12 months ago. It came highly recommended as a value for money tourer. CyclingPlus is renowned for its empathy with touring interests.
    Last edited by Rowan; 04-07-05 at 10:03 PM.

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