Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Fuji Gran Fondo 2.5 review

13 Dec 2016
Verdict:

A vibe-reducing smoothie that still delivers plenty of thrills thanks to the aggressive ride position

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£1,700
For 
Comfortable; good-quality wheelset; performance-friendly geometry
Against 
Heavier than we might like

With the Gran Fondo 2.5, Fuji has gone all out to tame vibrations.

Its high-modulus carbon-fibre frame contains polyurethane-treated natural fibres in strategic positions, which Fuji claims will dispel high-frequency vibrations to give you a smoother, more comfortable ride.

The seatstays have an exaggerated curve to them, for the same reason, and the Fuji comes with 28c tyres as standard rather than the more commonplace 25c for an even smoother passage over any rough tarmac that the road might throw at you.

Frameset

The Fuji Gran Fondo frame’s is constructed from high-modulus carbon-fibre, with the judicious addition of polyurethane-treated natural fibres to add the frame’s compliance.

The Fuji’s frame lay-up is visible through its lacquer, giving it an attractive, almost ‘unfinished’ appearance.

A sloping top tube descends to its junction with the seat tube, exposing a serious length of carbon/alloy mix seatpost, which further enhances the vibe-killing ability of this bike, while bowed seatstays act as mini shock absorbers.

But the frame isn’t all comfort over excitement – deep, box-section chainstays extend from a chunky expanse of frame at the bottom bracket ensure this big old smoothie also has the capacity to transfer your watts efficiently.

Cabling is routed internally and although our test bike had 28c tyres, the frame has clearance allows for 30c.

A head angle of 73.5° ensures dynamic handling, while an even sharper angle of 74° at the seatpost positions you over the front end, ready for beast mode.

Groupset

The Fuji packs a full complement of Shimano 105 kit – including 50/34 compact chainset, shifters, front and rear mechs, plus the 11-28 cassette, with its 11-speed set-up easily upgradable should you wish to shave bulk from the bike’s 8.78kg weight.

Braking is dealt with by TRP’s mechanical Spyre disc arrangement, with 160mm discs running both front and rear.

Finishing kit

It’s Oval Concepts kit all round for the Fuji, with a firm set of 420mm-diameter, compact-drop alloy bars. The carbon/alloy 27.2mm seatpost (alloy at the tip, carbon along its lower length) is topped by a deeply padded Oval 300 saddle.

It’s all-day comfortable, and a decent last line of defence against vibration.

Wheels

The bike’s Vera Corsa DPD22 rims are double-walled, and run a 24/28-spoke arrangement, both front and rear.

The 28c Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick tyres wrapped around them are super grippy, providing huge confidence in cornering thanks to their fat contact patch.

They’ve a maximum inflation of 100psi, but we found that 80psi is near-perfect for most conditions.

The ride

From the off the Fuji delivers on its magic carpet ride promise.

Its wider tyres are clearly helping to keep our hands and derriere from anything but the harshest potholes that we aim for (all in the name of science!).

Pinch flats thankfully non-existent, we aim the Gran Fondo downhill, select the 50-tooth chainring and fire up the block…

The beauty of the Fuji’s riding position is that its steep seat angle positions your body weight further over the handlebars, whether on the drops or the hoods.

This in itself helps to minimise weight-bearing on the saddle and lessens the amount of vibration you’re feeling from the road.

What contribution the frame make-up is making to the overall sensation of rear-end comfort is hard to quantify, given that the saddle is so forgiving, the seatstays so inherently springy, and the tyres running moderately low pressures.

What we can say, however, is that covering serious distance in comfort on the Gran Fondo 2.5 is easy.

Balanced package

What you’re looking at is a balanced package that provides long-distance ride comfort, while allowing you to get some serious watts to the ground, with a taut feeling at the rear when you stamp on the pedals.

Although not the lightest bike around, the Fuji is an adept ascender, with not a slip from the slick rear tyre on the steeper ramps peppering our route.

As ever, the now-common 11-28 cassette provides ample ratios for uphill, downhill and flat-out rolling roads.

The very fact that you’re automatically positioned over the front of the bike gives you good leverage over the 420mm bars, and the acute head angle makes easy work of direction changes.

Quick but predictable

Don’t be fooled into thinking the agility of the bike translates into a filling-jarring riding experience, though – the trick the Fuji pulls off is that it provides quick steering but predictable performance.

Although it can be cranked over with impunity, it’s not going to catch you out. TRP’s Spyre braking set-up is what we reckon to be the pinnacle of what you can achieve with a mechanical disc system.

Not only is braking force easily metered, but the brakes are also simple tweaked by way of an inline adjuster, making routine twiddling a doddle, and ensuring you’re gett ing consistent performance. The opposing twin-pad set-up also eradicates uneven wear.

RATINGS

Frame: Looks cool and cancels out plenty of road buzz. 8/10 
Components: It's got Shimano 105 in all the right places. 8/10 
Wheels: The double-walled rims are a quality touch. 8/10 
The ride: Plenty comfortable but not short on excitement either. 8/10 

Verdict: A vibe-reducing smoothie that still delivers plenty of thrills thanks to the aggressive ride position.  

Geometry

Claimed Measured
Top Tube (TT) 545mm 544mm
Seat Tube (ST) 540mm 500mm
Down Tube (DT) N/A 620mm
Fork Length (FL) N/A 386mm
Head Tube (HT) 170mm 170mm
Head Angle (HA) 73.5 degrees 73.5 degrees
Seat Angle (SA) 73 degrees 74 degrees
Wheelbase (WB) 984mm 985mm
BB drop (BB) 69mm 70mm

Spec

Fuji Gran Fondo 2.5
Frame C5 high-modulus carbon frame, 
FC-440 carbon monocoque fork,
both with VRTech
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes TRP Spyre twin-piston mechanical discs, 160mm
Chainset Shimano 105, 50/34
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-28
Bars Oval Concepts 310 Ergo, 6061 alloy
Stem Oval Concepts 313 Ergo, 6061 alloy
Seatpost Oval Concepts 905, carbon/alloy, 27.2mm
Wheels Shimano RS010-CL, Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 25mm
Saddle Oval Concepts 300
Weight 8.78kg (54cm)
Contact evanscycles.com

Read more about: