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Quick! What do you think of this bike for a beginner?

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Quick! What do you think of this bike for a beginner?

Old 09-07-15, 12:37 PM
  #1  
djminnesota
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Quick! What do you think of this bike for a beginner?

I was just about to pull the trigger on a Jamis Nova Sport for $800 when I saw a deal on the Fuji Sportif 1.3 for $580 shipped. Is there any reason not to get the Fuji? I'm looking for a bike to commute to school, work, and joy ride on the weekends. I'd like to ride it occasionally in the winter, but only when the streets are plowed. Also, something I can take to college next year. Please weigh in with your options, the sale on the Fuji ends tonight!

Jamis Nova Sport- JAMIS BICYCLES

Fuji Sportif 1.3 Disk- Fuji Sportif 1.3 Disc Road Bike

If you want more information on me and my intercepted use of the bike, I have a thread open in the commuting section where I laid out the four bikes I'm looking at. I started this thread to get a quick opinion on the bike, hopefully that's alright with the mods.
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Old 09-07-15, 12:41 PM
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The Fuji certainly looks like a great deal, especially with the carbon fork.
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Old 09-07-15, 12:41 PM
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The Jamis is an awesome commuter. The Fuji will work. Not sure if you can easily mount a rear rack. How will you carry your stuff when commuting?
The Fuji will be more fun on the weekend. Have ridden either?
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Old 09-07-15, 12:48 PM
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djminnesota
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I have yet to ride either, I was going to go to my lbs to try the Jamis on Friday. I will not be able to test the Fuji, which is one of the reasons I am hesitant. I use a backpack when I commute, but the both bikes are have holes for racks should I decide to go that route.
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Old 09-07-15, 01:34 PM
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Better drivetrain on the Fuji but being able to test ride the bike may prove benificial. You would have an opportunity to ask about any concerns particularly commuting. Ordering a bike sight unseen is not necessarily a good deal just because its cheaper. You most likely will have some support buying from a shop, at least for a little while adjustments would be free depending on shop policy.
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Old 09-07-15, 01:50 PM
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Pretty much what nastystang said. However, I ordered a house brand bike from Nashbar and still am very pleased with everything, but I am OK doing my own basic maintenance.

Both Fuji and Jamis brands offer a good value for the $ in my opinion. If you're anxious because of the 20% off deal on the Fuji, just know that Nashbar does that deal every week or two (sometimes they even run 25% off one item only). I suppose there is always the chance the Fuji could sell out.
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Old 09-07-15, 02:00 PM
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Both great bikes. Recently bought a Fuji Sportif 1.1. and love it, nice and stiff and lots of fun. No problem fitting a rack on the Fuji.
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Old 09-07-15, 02:13 PM
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I just purchased the Fuji Sportif 1.3 yesterday. Got Sport Chalet to price match Nashbar.com's price. Along with military discount, I got it out the door for $582 after taxes. Hell of a deal.

I'm using it for the same reasons as you.

Test rode yesterday. Took back in today to adjust the brakes. Had a disc brake Cannondale Quick CX 4 before this. Not sure if new brakes just needs adjustment, or just lower quality. If the Promax Render R's aren't great, then I'll get a Avid BB7 soon. Also had chain rub on front derailleur.

I loved the ride of the Roubaix better as it was much snappier and quick, but didn't have disc and stock wheels only had 28 spokes in the back.

All in all, if you can get it at sub $600, then it's a no brainer.

If you have a Sport Chalet or Performance Bike in your area, you can test ride the 1.3. PB won't match, and their price is $749.00 clearance, no military discount.

Last edited by OnyxTiger; 09-07-15 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 09-07-15, 02:34 PM
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djminnesota
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Originally Posted by OnyxTiger View Post
I just purchased the Fuji Sportif 1.3 yesterday. Got Sport Chalet to price match Nashbar.com's price. Along with military discount, I got it out the door for $582 after taxes. Hell of a deal.

I'm using it for the same reasons as you.

Test rode yesterday. Took back in today to adjust the brakes. Had a disc brake Cannondale Quick CX 4 before this. Not sure if new brakes just needs adjustment, or just lower quality. If the Promax Render R's aren't great, then I'll get a Avid BB7 soon. Also had chain rub on front derailleur.

I loved the ride of the Roubaix better as it was much snappier and quick, but didn't have disc and stock wheels only had 28 spokes in the back.

All in all, if you can get it at sub $600, then it's a no brainer.

If you have a Sport Chalet or Performance Bike in your area, you can test ride the 1.3. PB won't match, and their price is $749.00 clearance, no military discount.
Good to hear you like it. I was planning on upgrading the brakes to BB7 no matter which model I went with so that's not a huge factor for me. Would you be willing to post some pics? I don't have either of those stores near me, and can't find much more than stock pictures online.
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Old 09-07-15, 02:49 PM
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No prob, I'll take pics and put em up when I get it out the shop.
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Old 09-07-15, 04:43 PM
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On paper the fuji wins hands down, but riding is the real test.
No value if the bike doesn't feel right.
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Old 09-08-15, 10:33 AM
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Here you go, shot last night






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Old 09-08-15, 10:35 AM
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Old 09-08-15, 10:53 AM
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So, here's a first impressions of sorts on the bike after putting about 20 miles on it:

The carbon fork is a welcome change from my former aluminum. There's definitely a noticeable difference in ride quality.

Brake rub is expected until it breaks in.

Something I'm not too fond about is the chain rubbing against the front derailleur cage still. I read elsewhere someone having the same problem, adjusted cable tension and some of the screws (forgot which ones), etc. Followed the Park Tools tutorial to the tee and still had issues with it. The mechanic I took it to said it may just happen like this on the big ring. Others say that upgrading to 105/Ultegra shifters should do the job.

The slicks are good, can apparently go up to 700 x 32 for more gravel, but I'm pretty confident the stock wheels can do 25s too.

The white bar tape is impractical. Looks good, but gets dirty quick.

Double bottle cage, but notice if you have a bigger bottle at the seat tube, it might hit the bottom of the top tube.

FD and RD cables run on the outside of the bottom of the bottom tube. While this makes it much easier to change out cabling, I secretly am paranoid that some troll is gonna cut my cable. Does that ever happen?

Rear brake cable runs beneath the top tube. If you're carrying your bike often (like putting it on a bus or lugging up stairs), then it may or may not be a nuisance.

Currently comfortable with highest position of stem on headset. Room to drop it more for a more aggressive geo.

I love that it has rack/fender capacity. Not sure if I'll need it soon, but it's possible.

Mechanic suggested going up to higher grade disc brakes. Apparently, because disc brakes for road bikes are fairly new technology (the integration of disc + brifters) it seems it won't offer the same power as mountain bike discs. This is the difference between having the power to launch yourself 10 feet over your bike on a dime, or coming to a rolling stop at best.

Hand positioning is different, but I'm finding it fatiguing quicker. Might be the fit (I didn't get a pro fit, but I'm sure I can find my sweet spot), or just a natural expectancy with drop bars, I don't know. But that's something I need to address soon. 6 miles in and I just caught myself changing way more than I'd like to. Suede feels different than cork... when I re-tape I'll try cork. I might also move my saddle back a tad bit... stem is already at top position with all spacers underneath, and flipped up.

Other than this, I love the difference from my hybrid. Rolling resistance is noticeably less, can pick up quicker and hit higher top end for same effort.

So far, I'd give it maybe 7.8/10. Not the absolute quickest, but makes up for it with many good commuter qualities. I think she'll be a good steed, unless I find a Giant Defy 1 Disc for maybe $800-$950.

Last edited by OnyxTiger; 09-08-15 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 09-10-15, 04:17 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by OnyxTiger View Post
So, here's a first impressions of sorts on the bike after putting about 20 miles on it:

The carbon fork is a welcome change from my former aluminum. There's definitely a noticeable difference in ride quality.

Brake rub is expected until it breaks in.

Something I'm not too fond about is the chain rubbing against the front derailleur cage still. I read elsewhere someone having the same problem, adjusted cable tension and some of the screws (forgot which ones), etc. Followed the Park Tools tutorial to the tee and still had issues with it. The mechanic I took it to said it may just happen like this on the big ring. Others say that upgrading to 105/Ultegra shifters should do the job.

The slicks are good, can apparently go up to 700 x 32 for more gravel, but I'm pretty confident the stock wheels can do 25s too.

The white bar tape is impractical. Looks good, but gets dirty quick.

Double bottle cage, but notice if you have a bigger bottle at the seat tube, it might hit the bottom of the top tube.

FD and RD cables run on the outside of the bottom of the bottom tube. While this makes it much easier to change out cabling, I secretly am paranoid that some troll is gonna cut my cable. Does that ever happen?

Rear brake cable runs beneath the top tube. If you're carrying your bike often (like putting it on a bus or lugging up stairs), then it may or may not be a nuisance.

Currently comfortable with highest position of stem on headset. Room to drop it more for a more aggressive geo.

I love that it has rack/fender capacity. Not sure if I'll need it soon, but it's possible.

Mechanic suggested going up to higher grade disc brakes. Apparently, because disc brakes for road bikes are fairly new technology (the integration of disc + brifters) it seems it won't offer the same power as mountain bike discs. This is the difference between having the power to launch yourself 10 feet over your bike on a dime, or coming to a rolling stop at best.

Hand positioning is different, but I'm finding it fatiguing quicker. Might be the fit (I didn't get a pro fit, but I'm sure I can find my sweet spot), or just a natural expectancy with drop bars, I don't know. But that's something I need to address soon. 6 miles in and I just caught myself changing way more than I'd like to. Suede feels different than cork... when I re-tape I'll try cork. I might also move my saddle back a tad bit... stem is already at top position with all spacers underneath, and flipped up.

Other than this, I love the difference from my hybrid. Rolling resistance is noticeably less, can pick up quicker and hit higher top end for same effort.

So far, I'd give it maybe 7.8/10. Not the absolute quickest, but makes up for it with many good commuter qualities. I think she'll be a good steed, unless I find a Giant Defy 1 Disc for maybe $800-$950.
I have the same bike that I got for $800 in April from Performance Bike. I have a little over 1000 miles on the bike. They no longer offer that bike, but if the OP has a PB near them, they can road test a Fuji Sportif to make sure of the size. (I wonder if Performance dumped all the 2014 bikes that they had left to Nashbar?)

I had brake squeal when I first got the bike, but if you have brake rub, then you need to adjust the brakes.

For the FD rub, are you using the trim correctly? When in the lower front crank gear, you can trim the FD, so that there is no chain rub. I'm not sure that upgrading to 105/Ultegra from Tiagra would be a good bargain on this bike until something major like the crank gears start wearing out.

Agree about the white tape. I have gloves with black leather palms and the tape is getting very dirty. I'll probably eventually replace the tape. Maybe grey or orange to match the accents or just black.

I have a 49cm, so I can only fit small bottles on the seat tube.

No problem with where the cables run. When I carry the bike, I tend to put my arm over the top tube/seat and grab the seat tube.

At some point, I may want to upgrade the brakes to hydraulic instead of mechanical. But I haven't had any issues with the mechanicals.

At my last fit, the fitter moved the bars forward just a tad. And that seemed to help some.

Don't move your saddle to improve your fit to the bars. Your saddle should be set so that your legs can pedal efficiently. If you need to stretch out some, then get a bigger stem or flip it.

The 700c x 28mm tires are bigger than racing tires, so they don't have to be inflated as much. That helps with the ride comfort.

I probably won't put fenders/rack on until I decide to use it as a commuter.

You'll probably want to change the seat/saddle, as it doesn't have a cutout. I eventually had to do that as I got a lower position on the bike and riding further miles.

I'd rate it as a 8/10. It's not as light as some other intro bikes, but part of that may be due to the disc brakes. But it's not holding me back. The problem is with the engine and the exess fuel capacity.

GH
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Old 09-10-15, 09:37 PM
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Good call.

Few people need or want a skinny tire road bike.

You're not going to race in the TdF, so who cares if you don't have that fancy lightweight carbon bike?

The Fuiji Sportif is a good beginner bike and it won't break your budget.
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