Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

The End Of Analysis Paralysis #NewBikeDay

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Old 10-11-18, 01:34 PM
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The End Of Analysis Paralysis #NewBikeDay

I've read a lot on here (and elsewhere) and posted a few threads as I needed input on my thinking. I probably did way too much analysis, but that's over now… I bought my first gravel bike! A 2018 Fuji Jari 1.3.



Long story, but the LBS's here in NYC aren't big on gravel bikes (not sure why – they're great on urban potholes and everyone I know wants one). One Fuji dealer even said "Jari? is that a bike?" My criteria was that the bike be able to take up to a 700C x 42-45mm tires, and give me the option of multiple wheelsets – everything from 700C 25-28mm road tires to 650b x 47-53mm for roughish gravel. There weren't a lot of bikes that fit the bill. Some didn't support 650b. Some didn't go above 700x38 (though I still considered those). On some the bottom bracket would be too low if you put on road tires. It was sort of amazing how many weren't right in one way or another.

Anyway, Performance Bike had a sale on last year's Jari 1.3, which is spec'd more or less the same as the 2019 Jari 1.1. The differences being 1) the brakes on the 1.1 are the new full hydraulic 105s, vs TRP HY/RDs (hybrid mechanical/hydraulic) on the 2018 Jari 1.3, and 2) the wheels and tires are different – WTB KOM Light & Gravelking SK 700x38 on the 1.1 vs Stan's NoTubes Grail S1 & Clement X'Plor 700x35 on the 1.3. The new 105 brakes are clearly better, but the tires/wheels are just different. The Grails support down to a 25mm (tubless) tire. Don't think the KOM's can go that low. All in all the bike I got was 1.3 pounds heavier than the new model. But getting the new model would have cost 50% more. So the 2018 version is what I got. And it would have cost about 50% more for my other top choices as well – the Checkpoint ALR 5, and the Felt Breed 30. A few on my B list were closer in price – the Cannondale Topstone, the Diamondback Haanjo, and Cannondale CAADX 105, but there were reasons why they were on my B list.

Before I bought it, the closest model I could ride was the Tiagra version and the demo bike was a size too small. And while it's arrived, I still haven't had a chance to ride it. Performance Bike has a generous return policy, but (understandably) the bike has to be in like-new condition and it's raining fairly heavily here today and will keep raining through tomorrow morning, so it'll be a day before I can get out and ride it, and probably won't be until Sunday before I can take it for a nice long ride without worrying about rain, and then I'll need to keep it on pavement. Dirt and gravel are out until I'm confident it's a keeper.

That said, first impressions so far…

It's a wee bit heavier than I was hoping, but that just is what it is at this price point. When I weighed it with my hanging fish scale it was 22.2 pounds without pedals, and 23 pounds with them. Honestly, that's not all that bad. The $3K carbon Orbea Terra that I also test rode last weekend weighed 20.8 pounds using the same scale and that seemed like a decent weight. So this one's not far off.

The other thing that was a little surprising was the standover height. In bare feet and jeans it was pushing it but just adequate. But with shoes and spandex that will be less of an issue. That said, I knew it was going to be close on standover.

And the other thing that was a bit unexpected was the color. In the promo photos it seems lighter and bluer, but the frame goes from almost black to medium-dark gray depending on the light. So (IMHO) it looks better than I thought it would.

Assuming I keep it (which is a pretty safe assumption) I'll probably ride these tires until they wear out and then put 700C x 28 Schwalbe Pro One's (tubeless) on these rims and get a set of 650b rims and run ~47mm tires on those. Then I'll just swap wheels based on the type of ride I'm doing…

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Old 10-11-18, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
the other thing that was a bit unexpected was the color.


then put 700C x 28 Schwalbe Pro One's (tubeless) on these rims and get a set of 650b rims and run ~47mm tires on those. Then I'll just swap wheels based on the type of ride I'm doing…
yeah when I first opened the thread I thought you got a different bike. I actually like that better!

Standover was the biggest what-if. LOL glad it works for you.

shoes plus a 700 x 28/30mm tire will help there a bit. and well the 650-47 will also be closer to a 28/30

Congrats!
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Old 10-11-18, 02:07 PM
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Congratulations! That is a sweet ride. I mean... from what we can see in the pic... being shot from the "wrong" side and all ;-)

Seriously - nice ride. And I agree - NYC should be a Mecca for gravel and CX bikes.
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Old 10-11-18, 02:24 PM
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Congrats!

I know the Broam/Breed were in the running for you. Any reason you decided on the Jari over those (other than price, which I see was a big factor)? I imagine availability might have been an issue, since I've been discovering the same thing about actually finding shops with gravel bikes in stock. Piermont Bikes said they might only get one or two Topstones in later this year, and no Vayas.

I like the Jari quite a bit, but don't love the gold color on the 2019's, so I might need to pay Performance a visit.

Edit: If you could expand on your test-riding process a little, I would be in your debt! Like I mentioned elsewhere, I've winnowed down my options and will be shopping in NYC as well, so know if you ran into similar issues to the Fuji dealer not even knowing about the Jari, for other brands, it would be a big help!

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Old 10-11-18, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
being shot from the "wrong" side and all ;-)
Here, just to make you happy…



And more detail…



And the crazy flared handlebars… (The pic doesn't quite capture how far out they are…)



Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
Seriously - nice ride. And I agree - NYC should be a Mecca for gravel and CX bikes.
Yeah, you'd think, but it's not. There are only a few types of shops that do well here… Shops that concentrate on rentals for tourists, but they're hardly the best place to buy a bike. And then there are a few with sterling reputations for hardcore road cycling (the Cervelo dealers). When you go out on rides early in the morning you typically see the Cervelo & S-Works guys coming back from their rides. They're insanely dedicated and hardcore. And they spend a lot of money on bikes. Otherwise the average bike shop is hurting. Rents are high, they don't have much space, and customers are buying all their gear on Amazon. They typically do what's worked for them in the past and with limited space they're reluctant to try something new. That said, ebikes seem to have their attention – they cost a lot and the market for them is potentially huge. But seriously, there's so much buzz around gravel right now – gravel route options are being added to many of the big supported rides, etc. IMHO, the LBS's are dumb to ignore gravel.

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Old 10-11-18, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
Congrats!

I know the Broam/Breed were in the running for you. Any reason you decided on the Jari over those (other than price, which I see was a big factor)? I imagine availability might have been an issue, since I've been discovering the same thing about actually finding shops with gravel bikes in stock. Piermont Bikes said they might only get one or two Topstones in later this year, and no Vayas.

I like the Jari quite a bit, but don't love the gold color on the 2019's, so I might need to pay Performance a visit.

Edit: If you could expand on your test-riding process a little, I would be in your debt! Like I mentioned elsewhere, I've winnowed down my options and will be shopping in NYC as well, so know if you ran into similar issues to the Fuji dealer not even knowing about the Jari, for other brands, it would be a big help!
I started a thread on whether a gravel bike could be a decent road bike over in the road cycling section. What I learned there was to pay a lot more attention to the trail. Road bikes have lower trail numbers than gravel and yes, a gravel bike can be a road bike, but the handling will feel sluggish compared to a dedicated road bike. So I looked at which gravel bikes had lower trail numbers and it was the Jari. With 700x25s on the Jari actually has a trail (just) below 60. (The Topstone also has "good" trail numbers).

And I too initially hated the dark gold color on the new Jari 1.1, but as time passed I started to actually really like it.

Then I saw a comment on Riding Gravel by someone who bought a Topstone that it was heavy (23.5 lbs). That was a strike against it. (Though, what I bought is barely lighter).

Speaking of the Topstone, if you're in NYC Cannondale is doing a demo day out on Long Island on Saturday where you can ride a Topstone.

If you're interested in riding a Checkpoint Danny's is stocking them. One of the sales guys (Forest) at the Upper West Side store bought a Checkpoint carbon frame and built it up if you wanna talk to someone who's been riding one. And Danny's warehouse in Pelham has two carbon Orbea Terras (size 55) that they've marked down from $3K to $2K. If that's of any interest. And when I stopped into Ride Brooklyn in Park Slope (just off Flatbush) they knew exactly what a Topstone was, thought they were great, and were trying to get them in stock. Another place you might try is the Tenafly Bicycle Workshop across the bridge in NJ. They're focused on trail riding – mostly mountain bikes, but I can see them adopting gravel bikes, but can't say for sure.

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Old 10-11-18, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
IMHO, the LBS's are dumb to ignore gravel.
that and there is a vast number of road cyclist stuck on the 23c mentality. they don't do themselves justice in ignoring gravel bikes.
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Old 10-11-18, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
I started a thread on whether a gravel bike could be a decent road bike over in the road cycling section. What I learned there was to pay a lot more attention to the trail. Road bikes have lower trail numbers than gravel and yes, a gravel bike can be a road bike, but the handling will feel sluggish compared to a dedicated road bike. So I looked at which gravel bikes had lower trail numbers and it was the Jari. With 700x25s on the Jari actually has a trail (just) below 60. (The Topstone also has "good" trail numbers).
I'll have to add trail to my spreadsheet to compare, thanks! I'm curious how the rest of the geometry feels once you've had a chance to really ride it. The short reach on the Jari definitely appeals to me.
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Old 10-11-18, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
I'll have to add trail to my spreadsheet to compare, thanks!
Just realize the trail changes with wheel size. If you need the formula for your spreadsheet, let me know and I’ll get it for you tomorrow.
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Old 10-11-18, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
I like the Jari quite a bit, but don't love the gold color on the 2019's, so I might need to pay Performance a visit.
If it helps you out any.... Many bikes are showing up in real life darker than to how they are appearing online, All manufactures!

I am going to guess that the gold Jari is more of a rootbeer color in Real life. If it is like the Oold Masi rootbeer color it will look really good!
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Old 10-12-18, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
If it helps you out any.... Many bikes are showing up in real life darker than to how they are appearing online, All manufactures!

I am going to guess that the gold Jari is more of a rootbeer color in Real life. If it is like the Oold Masi rootbeer color it will look really good!
Yeah, I'm curious to see it, seeing as how different Jay's 1.3 ended up looking.

The Vaya and Diverge have pretty similar trail numbers, and the two Felts aren't far off either, if the calculator I used on some random site was correct, so I'm definitely hoping to test ride them all. And will keep an open mind about the gold Jari!

Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
Just realize the trail changes with wheel size. If you need the formula for your spreadsheet, let me know and I’ll get it for you tomorrow.
Sure! Probably a good idea to check the work on that random online calculator!
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Old 10-12-18, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
Sure! Probably a good idea to check the work on that random online calculator!
To calculate trail I use this…

=((($B44/2)+$C44)*cos(I$54*3.1416/180)-I$55)/sin(I$54*3.1416/180)

B44 is 622 (for 700C) or 584 (for 650b)
C44 the tire size in millimeters (a number between 25 and 53)
I54 is the head tube angle in degrees
I55 is the rake (aka offset) in millimeters (typically somewhere between 45 and 55)

And while I'm at it, here's how to calculate gear inches…

=(($B44+($C44* 2))/25.4)*I$14

B44 & C44 are the same as above
I14 is a calculated value – the number of teeth on the chainring / number of teeth in the cog on the cassette

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Old 10-12-18, 09:40 AM
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ride it as passionately as you shopped and you will pile on the miles in no time.
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Old 10-20-18, 03:36 PM
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Weather's been nice this last week, were you able to get out on the Jari at all? Have any ride impressions?
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Old 10-21-18, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Lava View Post
Weather's been nice this last week, were you able to get out on the Jari at all? Have any ride impressions?
Took me a while to get out on the bike. I was checking the bike over for any issues before riding it, and when I tried to get rid of a slight rub on the front brakes I turned the wrong screw and managed to sheer the pin that holds the brake pads in place. It's threaded at one end and has a pin at the other end. When I unscrewed it, not realizing it was pinned, it sheered at the narrow point where the pin is held. I couldn't find any bike store with the part, so I ordered it from TRP and they didn't ship it until 4 days later and then the post office lost the package (said it was delivered when it wasn't). Finally on Friday I gave up and even before getting the new part I figured I'd risk it – that the threaded bit would hold it in place long enough for a ride. (I did finally get the new part after the first ride was done).

I went for a ride on both Friday and Saturday. Both were pretty much all pavement. So the impressions so far are of the Jari as a road bike. But I gotta say, I'm really loving the bike.

In terms of the ride quality, it's significantly better than my old bike which is steel with 700C x 40 tires. That was a pleasant surprise.

The saddle is relatively hard, but so far that hasn't been a problem. I should have more to say about that after Tuesday when I plan on going on a ~70 mile ride.

In terms of weight, not that I have all that much experience with a lot of different bikes, but the Jari responds like the lighter bikes I've ridden – even when I've got 2 liters (2kg) of fluids in the bottles. So I'm happy in that respect as well.

In terms of handling, the Jari is slightly twitchy (IMHO). Everyone was saying that gravel bikes, with their bigger trails and longer wheelbases would be less responsive than a "proper" road bike, but I wouldn't want anything more sensitive than the Jari, so I'm absolutely fine with the Jari from that perspective.

I'm thinking part of the sensitivity of handling has to do with handlebar width. The narrower they are the twitchier the bike will feel. The Jari's flared handlebars mean that when you're on the horns your hands are pretty close together and when you're on the drops they're further apart. So that probably explains some of what I experienced (I was up on the horns most of the time).

Also related to handling – in my limited experience there are bikes where you sorta lean into a corner and the bike turns, and there are bikes where you (significantly) turn the handle bars to turn the bike. The Jari is a bit of both (or put another way – doing either felt "right" – just depended on the circumstance), which I actually liked.

And related to turning the handlebars – I almost always have a problem with toe overlap, on some bikes it's a significant issue. On the Jari it pretty slight, and could be dealt within the parameters of the float of my cleats. So that was all good as well.

The gearing is great. On my old bike gear inches ranged from 36 to 106, and getting up hills was a real problem. Gear inches on the Jari range from 24 to 116, which works far better for me. I'd say I'm now the limiting factor getting up hills, my bike is no longer the limiting factor. If the hill is long and steep enough, I still need to stop mid-way, but I can do hills I couldn't do on my old bike. And so far I haven't spun out yet, so that's probably not going to be much of an issue either.

The brakes seemed a bit sluggish initially on the first ride, but once they got a little bit of use, they're doing great – to the point where I have to be careful not to grab too hard when something unexpected happens – otherwise I can see myself flying over the handlebars.

And for the record, when the Jari is out in the sun the color looks pretty much black. So the blue tint you see in the promo photos is only visible under certain types of light.



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Old 10-22-18, 12:09 PM
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Great write up for this bike, both subject and peripheral topics.
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Old 10-22-18, 01:17 PM
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Bummer, sorry about the brake issue! That had to be frustrating for a brand new bike, even if it was solvable in the end.

I think you're right about the handlebar width affecting twitcheyness. I rode a 57cm Salsa Vaya this past weekend, and riding on the hoods (compared to the flared drops) felt pretty twitchy, despite it being a fairly heavy steel bike. The Diverge and Checkpoint I also tested felt a lot more "on rails" so to speak, despite being smaller bikes (56 & 54 respectively) and presumably having less wide bars.
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