Fuji, one of world's oldest bicycle brands have been constantly evolving with technology on their bicycles along with competitive pricing for the Indian market. We got the oppurtunity to test ride the Fuji Absolute 2.1 2016 Hybrid bicycle and here is what we thought.
The Fuji Absolute's custom butted aluminium frame is quite modest functional as much as it is elegant with bulky welds. The down tube gusset shows that care has been taken to spec the frame. This A2-SL frame, though compliant, feels stiff and responsive and the excellent power transfer through the bottom bracket makes it geometrically perfect for longer rides. Overall, this frame is beautifully constructed, with a gently curving top tube and a massive bottom bracket junction for responsive pedaling.
The Oval Concepts saddle on the Absolute 2.1 isn't completely ergonomical as the breadth towards the front of the saddle has been compromised a little too much giving way for slight discomfort on the longer run.
The running gears on the Fuji Absolute 2.1 is good with not much room for complaints. The equipment is fully Shimano Altus at the front and the rear, although the rear derailleur could have been upgraded to Acera, which has become a common occurrence on hybrid bicycles at this price range. While the cassette is a wide ranged 11-32, the chainset is a 28-38-48 that's geared for the faster speeds on road. Shifting is undertaken by Shimano's EF51 Altus eight-speed units, but crucially there is plenty of space on the wide grips to keep your thumbs away from the paddles.
Stopping on this Fuji bicycle is trouble-free too. The Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes and Shimnao Altus 4-finger levers offer plenty of well-modulated power, enough to have full control over the bicycle on packed city roads. I was a bit concerned with the rate of wear of the cartridge pads, though on long, wet rides you might find yourself twiddling the barrel adjusters more than once to bring the brake pads in.
It is very difficult to isolate the contribution made to comfort by the big 700 x 32c Vera City Wide specific road tires. These tires surprisingly are not heavy enough to add those unwanted load on the overall bicycle weight. If you are wondering what would be the major contributor to the zipping speed on the Absolute, these tires are your answer.
Riding the Absolute is a mixed bag: its light weight is welcome, yet the combination of a rigid frameset and straight bladed aluminium fork makes it a teeth-rattling ride over rougher surfaces. This is fine for smooth roads, but as a lot of our streets are rough and potholed this can soon become wearing.
Around town the Absolute 2.1 is well-behaved and goes exactly where you point it, but this bicycle really shines when you start racking up the miles. One of our test ride routeÈs was on a 20km point to point road I know fairly well, and it was by some margin the most comfortable hybrid bicycle I've ever taken on that route. At the other end of the scale it will comfortably handle short commuting, towpath riding and bumpy country lanes. In this price range, if it were my money I would go head-rules-heart for the Fuji Absolute 2.1 2016. We would like to thank Pro-Bikers, Chennai for providing us with this bicycle for the review.