Fuji's Sportif is its aluminium endurance bike range. It's got the typical endurance bike high ride position - but what else does it have up its sleeve?

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Fuji Sportif 1.1D

Pros:

  • High front end for upright ride position
  • 28mm tyres add comfort
  • Good spec hydraulic brake levers
  • Mudguard and rack mounts
  • Good gear range

Cons:

  • Quite heavy

Product:

Fuji Sportif 1.1D

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,299.00

Fuji’s roots go back to 1899 in Japan, although despite its name the modern company is actually US-based. It’s got a wide range of road, mountain and leisure bikes and recently launched a new version of its carbon Gran Fondo endurance bike. The Sportif range sits below this, with the 1.1D being its top model.

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Frame

The Fuji’s frame is aluminium alloy with a carbon fork with alloy steerer, a wide bottom bracket shell and lots of clearance for wider tyres. It’s got a shortish wheelbase and top tube and a longer head tube for a more upright riding position.

External cables help with maintenance if not aesthetics

External cables help with maintenance if not aesthetics

Cabling is external – a boon for maintenance, although not as clean looking as the internal route which is currently more popular. There are rack and mudguard mounts, which are a benefit for commuting or load lugging.

Specification

The Fuji uses Shiamno’s 105 shifting and hydraulic disc brakes, although the levers are the higher spec 685s, which look neater and are also more comfortable to rest on and grip from the hoods than Shimano’s lower spec 505 model which is often used with 105 shifting. There’s a non-series Shimano RS500 compact chainset, which along with the 11-32 cassette gives a wide gear range.

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RS500 chin set is a common swap-out even on much more expensive bikes

RS500 chin set is a common swap-out even on much more expensive bikes

Finishing kit is from the Oval Concepts brand – the company has the same owner as Fuji – while the wheels and 28mm tyres bear the Vera logo.

Ride

With its short reach and high stack, the Fuji rides quite upright. This is great if you are not that flexible and makes for a comfortable ride, with more of your weight resting on the well-padded, well-shaped saddle. It does mean that you catch quite a lot of wind though and I could feel this when heading into a stiffish headwind.

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Shimano's > levers look nice, are comfortable and work well

Shimano’s 685 levers look nice, are comfortable and work well

The 28mm tyres provide a lot of cushioning from road imperfections and allow you to run lower pressures. The good frame clearances mean that you can go even wider and I was able to fit 32mm cyclocross tyres and head up some bridlepaths too, with mud build-up never being an issue.

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Bike comes with quick release hubs rather than the thru-axles which are becoming prevalent

Bike comes with quick release hubs rather than the thru-axles which are becoming prevalent

The bike’s weight is noticeable when heading up hills though. It’s got enough gear range to cope with steep and long, but I found I was more inclined to sit in and spin up gradients than to make out of saddle efforts. I was able to descend confidently though, helped by the grip and shock absorption of the wide tyres.

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Value

For £1300, the Fuji’s mix of 105 and hydraulic braking provide versatility to cope with most riding conditions. It’s a package which you can find on quite a few bikes at this price point and the Fuji is definitely up there with them.

The specing of Shimano’s more comfortable and more comely 685 levers is definitely an attraction too.

Verdict

A good quality bike for commuting or load lugging duties with hydraulic braking and mudguard and rack mounts

Details

Frameset :A2-SL alloy, carbon forks with tapered alloy steerer
Gears :Shimano 105 11-32t
Chainset :Shimano RS500 50/34t
Brakes :Shimano 785 hydraulic discs
Wheels :Vera Corsa DPD22 on Formula hubs
Tyres :Vera Helios 28mm
Bars :Oval Concepts 310, alloy
Stem :Oval Concepts 313, alloy
Saddle :Oval Concepts R300
Seatpost :Oval Concepts 300 alloy
Weight :10.29kg/22.69lb
Size range:49-61cm
Size tested :54cm
Contact:www.evanscycles.com