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Fuji launches new SL range including sub-5kg 1.1 model

Jordan Gibbons
20 Aug 2015

Five model range boasts increased comfort and stiffness under the umbrella of ‘every gram matters’.

There is a story that when it came time for Mazda to update its legendary MX-5, the chief engineer has an idea that if it was to shave 1g off each component part it would add up to huge weight saving off the whole car. As it happens, due to various increases in safety concerns, the car put on 150kg but the theory still stands strong enough that Fuji gave it a try on the new SL.

Fuji actually call the process ‘Fuji High Compaction [HC] Molding’, which eliminates the wrinkles that are usually common in high stress areas with tight bend, such as the head tube or bottom bracket. All those wrinkles end up full of resin, which all adds to the weight – or not if removed - the SL frame comes in at a claimed 695g.

Fuji has been using HC on its Altamira since 2013 but it has extended this to the seat tube and fork crown on the SL. The SL also eliminates half of the bonded joints on the Altamira (four down from eight). The seatstays and chainstays are moulded from two hollow pieces, which adds up to a claimed saving of 237g over an equivalent Altamira.

It’s not all just gram shaving though; Fuji claim the new SL is 9% stiffer that the Altamira in the head tube, 11% stiffer in the BB30 bottom bracket and 18% stiffer in the fork. The frame stiffness is down to the octagonal down tube and the fork stiffness is thanks to a Reinforced I-Beam (RIB) that runs down the length of the fork blades. There are other neat touches too such as stops that switch from mechanical to Di2 routing, an integrated chain catcher and chainstay protectors.

It’s not all stiffness, stiffness, stiffness either. The SL has ovalised chainstays in an attempt to increase comfort and each frame size benefits from different tube diameters and fibre layups to keep the ride quality the same between different sized tubes. People who ride smaller frames aren’t stuck with poor handling either as Fuji has invested in two fork offsets (52 and 43) to keep the trail consistent across the range (~58mm).

The SL has seen some early action at the USA Pro Challenge under Kyle Murphy but it will officially debut with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at the 2015 Vuelta a Espana. Stephanie Genuardi said “We chose the Vuelta to launch this bike not only to show what our new bike can do on a world stage… but also it was at the Vuelta four years ago that our Altamira frame won us our first Grand Tour.”

The Fuji SL range comes to the UK with five models available that are expected to be available from October:

Fuji SL 1.1 - £8,499.99 – SRAM Red - 4.96kg

Fuji SL 1.5 - £3,399.99 – Shimano Dura Ace 9000 - 6.58kg

Fuji SL 2.1 - £2,599.99 – Shimano Ultegra Di2 - 7.50kg

Fuji SL 2.3 - £1,599.99 – Shimano Ultegra - 8.12kg

Fuji SL 2.5 - £1,499.99 – Shimano 105 - 8.10kg

Contact: evanscycles.com

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