Showing posts with label Fuji. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fuji. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fuji Nichibei Series

New for 2016, Fuji offers Sagres (top), and Cambridge (bottom)
For 2016, Fuji is offering this line of "retro-inspired steel bikes that pay tribute to Fuji's Japanese-American heritage."  Both the Sagres and Cambridge have an MSRP of $249.

Apparently, "Nichibei" translates to "Japanese-American."  Fuji actually started as the Nichibei Trading Company in 1899.  For more fun facts about Fuji's history, check out

The Sagres and Cambridge are cheap steel 7-speeds with fenders, chainguards, and wide 700 x 35C tires.  The styling is fairly elegant as well.  There is a third Nichibei model, the single-speed Sport, that's less interesting but still good basic transportation.

The Cambridge should not be confused with the Fuji Cambridge that we talked about here back in 2009.  That was a beautiful steel bike with an internal 8-speed hub. I hope Fuji will bring that one back even if they have to rename it.

Sagres specs:

SIZES17" (43cm), 19" (49cm), 21" (53cm)
COLOR(S)Forest green
FRAMEHi-ten steel city
FORKHi-ten steel
SHIFTERSRight/ Shimano Tourney Thumb shifter
CASSETTE14-28T freewheel, 7-speed
CHAINKMC 7-speed
WHEELSETAlloy rims 36H / nutted hubs
TIRES700 X 35C city
BRAKE SETAlloy caliper
HANDLEBARSteel slight rise city
STEMAlloy city
TAPE/GRIPStitched vinyl
SADDLEPadded city
EXTRASSteel fenders, kickstand

Cambridge specs:

FRAMEHi-ten steel step-through city
FORKHi-ten steel
SHIFTERSRight/ Shimano Tourney Thumb shifter
CASSETTE14-28T freewheel, 7-speed
CHAINKMC 7-speed
WHEELSETAlloy rims 36H / nutted hubs
TIRES700 X 35C city
BRAKE SETAlloy caliper
HANDLEBARSteel slight rise city
STEMAlloy city
TAPE/GRIPStitched vinyl
SADDLEPadded comfort
EXTRASSteel fenders, kickstand

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Islabikes: Real Bikes for Kids

There's been a veritable revolution since this blog was started. It used to be difficult to find a good "bike for the rest of us," suitably designed and equipped for everyday riding by regular folks. Not so, 2013. Walk into any reasonable independent bicycle dealer and you likely to find a decent practical bike for your purposes, whatever they happen to be... unless you're a kid, or shopping for one.

There are good reasons why good kids bikes are hard to come by. A decent multi-speed bike, regardless of the size, is going to cost $300-$500, and not a lot of people are willing to spend this kind of bread on a kids bike. I suspect this is because kids (1) grow like weeds, (2) won't necessarily "click" with bicycling, and (3) don't always take great care of their possessions (not a judgement, just an observation).

There are some good kids bikes available and they are getting better, but the variety is lagging the adult market by at least ten or 15 year. What does that mean? Well, you can now find good road bikes for kids, traditional and "flat-bar" style, and there are "cruiser" style bikes and decent mountain bikes for kids, but not many that meet the criteria for a "Bike For The Rest Of Us."

For example, Fuji's Ace 24" and Absolute 24" and 20" are good for fun, fitness, or even youth competition.

But these are not great for practical transportation, or just kicking around town--there's no room for wider tires or fenders. Also the stand-over height is a bit tall, limiting the potential audience. Kids are top-heavy--their heads are bigger in proportion to their bodies than grown-ups--so a scaled down adult bike doesn't fit properly. This is a pretty huge point that gets overlooked sometimes.

Here are some options from widely available brands: Giant Revel Jr. 20" and Specialized Hotrock Street 24". Both come in "Boys" and "Girls" models, and in versions with 20" and 24" wheels. Lets see...  

Lower stand-over height? Yes, good job.
Wider tires? Yes. (But the Giant Revel Jr comes with heavy knobby tires--bad choice.)
Can you mount a rack on the back? Yes.
Fenders? Giant, no. Specialized, yes.
Good upgrade on Specialized Hotrock: stainless steel spokes and quality tires.

But wait: the water bottle mounts are awkward at best, or not available, and 21 gear combinations are unnecessary and overly complicated (most adults have trouble learning good shifting habits--starting with a single shift option--rear only--is a GOOD idea).

Next: Trek. Here are the FX 24" Boys and Girls models.

Good thinking, solving problems, and a nice explanatory website (Trek Kids Bikes). I particularly like the dual position crankset/pedals (though it might be a solution looking for a problem). But... the website doesn't list the parts specification, and the steel seatpost and handlebar and high-tensile (heavy and not good at absorbing vibration) fork suggest that other part selections may cut corners.

My final complaint: what's with the differentiation between girls and boys models? It is entirely unnecessary, stigmatizing, and just a bad idea. The girls models lose water bottle mounts, the boys models lose stand-over height, and there's WAY too much focus on color (my daughter was all about pink for a while, then all of a sudden it was no pink allowed, or purple, anywhere). Besides, these are kids bikes, they're going to be outgrown in a year or two, and passed down to a sibling or neighbor--why limit the audience? I guess it's like breakfast cereal: more models = more shelf-space, boxing out competition, and giving the illusion of choice.

Solution: ISLABIKES. Smart smart smart. I don't work for them, I gain nothing by this, and, disclaimer, I've never seen their bikes in person, but they've solved all the problems I see challenging kids bike design.
Isla Beinn 24" (

I'm too tired now to write down how they solve all the problems. Check out the website and read it for yourself. Maybe I'll finish this off later, but it's a nice day to go outside and ride a bike ;-)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fuji Porteur

2012 Fuji Porteur in dark gold. Courtesy: Fuji.
Fuji is offering its new Porteur bike at an MSRP of $559.  The price is right, and so is the bike, with its fenders, chainguard, high stem with riser bars, and comfy upright ride.  But what about that front rack?

Porteurs were French newspaper deliverers, and the newspapers were stacked up high on a front rack right in front of their handlebars.  A bike needs a certain design to accomplish this - primarily a front fork that is strong enough (Fuji is using hi-tensile steel) to handle the load.  The fork also must have enough bend or "rake" to distribute the weight out over the front wheel.  Fuji's Porteur appears to have plenty of rake.  Still, if you have the opportunity to test ride it, bring along something heavy (phone books?) to see how the front weight affects your steering. 

I do have one not-so-small criticism of this bike.  It doesn't have a front brake.


SIZES XS/S (48cm), S (52cm), M/L (56cm)

COLOR(S) Dark Gold/Yellow

MAIN FRAME Elios 2 custom-butted CrMo w/ fork stablizer eyelets

REAR TRIANGLE Elios 2 custom-tapered CrMo

FORK Fuji 1 1/8" HiTen fork w/ CrMo steerer and rack/fender eyelets

CRANKSET Fuji forged alloy crank, 44T

BOTTOM BRACKET Sealed cartridge ST

PEDALS Fuji 1-piece alloy platform



SHIFTERS Shimano Nexus 3-speed

CASSETTE Shimano, 20T cog


WHEELSET Fuji sealed bearing 36H QR front hub and Shimano Nexus 36H 3-speed rear hub w/ Fuji double wall alloy 36H rims

TIRES Kenda K-193, 700x38c

BRAKE SET coaster brake


HEADSET Fuji 1 1/8" standard semi-cartridge

HANDLEBAR Fuji steel

STEM Fuji steel quill

TAPE/GRIP Fuji kraton

SADDLE Fuji padded and sprung

SEAT POST Fuji micro-adjust alloy, 300x27.2mm

WEIGHT 14.98 / 33

OTHERS kickstand, fenders

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fuji Cambridge

The Fuji Cambridge offers a steel, lugged frame with a Shimano Nexus internal 8-speed rear hub. It also includes a rack and fenders. For all this -- well, let's say the price is quite a bit steeper than the Palisade -- the MSRP is $1,250.


Sizes 52cm, 56cm, 60cm

Color(s) Black/Chrome

Main frame Fuji Double Butted Cro-Mo, Lugged

Rear triangle Fuji Cro-Mo Custom Taper, Lugged

Fork Fuji Crom-Mo Steerer, Cro-Mo Custom Taper, 1" Threaded

Crankset Fuji forged alloy, Square taper, 38T

Bottom bracket Sealed Cartridge Bearing ST

Pedals Fuji Alloy Platform

Shifters Shimano SL-8S20 for internal 8spd.

Cassette Shimano KSMGEAR16S, 16T

Chain KMC Z-410 RB

Front hub Fuji Sealed Alloy, 32H, QR

Rear hub Shimano NEXUS, KSG8R56VSA, 8spd Internal, 32H

Spokes 14G Stainless Steel

Rims Jalco DM-27 EN, Double Wall Alloy, 36H

Tires Kenda K-193, 700 X 38c

Tubes Kenda Schrader

Brake set Tektro R556, Dual Pivot

Brake levers Tektro RX 1.0

Headset Tange SE-32DX 1" Threaded

Handlebar Fuji Classic Mustache 22.2 Alloy

Stem Fuji Forged Alloy, Classic Quill

Tape/grip Fuji Classic Stitched Comfort

Saddle Fuji Classic w/Spring & Rivets

Seat post Fuji Micro-Adjust Alloy, 27.2, 250mm

Fuji Custom Rack and Fenders

Fuji Palisade 1.0

Fuji has a lot of interesting models out right now, and its Palisade caught my attention as a BFROU candidate.

Fuji deserves credit for paying attention to details on this "low-end" bike and not producing a lame hybrid with flat bars that has become the generic "city bike" offering of its competitors. Instead, Fuji outfitted this with a classic mustache handlebar that allows many more hand positions, and a front rack that has a built-in beverage holder. Just beautiful. The MSRP is $470.

Here are the specs:

SIZES: 15", 17", 19", 21", 23"

COLOR(S) Emory Blue, Gun Metal Gray, Cranberry

MAIN FRAME Fuji Altair 1 Alloy w/Tear Drop down tube, Double water bottle mounts

REAR TRIANGLE Fuji Altair 1 custom tapered Alloy, Fuji forged road dropout with replaceable derailleur hanger

FORK Fuji 1 1/8" Hi-Ten Aero w/eyelets and forged dropouts

CRANKSET Fuji Alloy Forged 28/28/48T Chainrings

BOTTOM BRACKET Sealed Cartridge Bearing ST

PEDALS Fuji, Black Plastic Platform


REAR DERAILLEUR MicroShift 7spd, RD-M35

SHIFTERS Microshift TS70-7

CASSETTE Fuji W4770D, 13-34T 7sp.

CHAIN KMC CNM54-Y, 7-speed

WHEELSET Fuji Sealed Alloy, 36H B.O. / Fuji Sealed Alloy, 36H B.O. / 14G Stainless Steel / Weinmann CN520 Alloy, 36H

TIRES Fuji, 700 x 32c
TUBES Fuji Schrader

BRAKE SET Promax-V, Forged Alloy, Linear Pull

BRAKE LEVERS Promax Alloy RA-320D

HEADSET Fuji 1 1/8" Standard Semi Cartridge

HANDLEBAR Fuji Classic Mustache, 25.4, Alloy

STEM Fuji Forged Alloy

TAPE/GRIP Fuji Comfort Rubber

SADDLE Fuji Sport Comfort

SEAT POST Fuji Micro-Adjust Alloy, 27.2, 300mm

SEAT CLAMP Fuji Alloy, 31.8mm, QR

OTHER Alloy Water bottle cage for hand bars / Front rack