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Fuji, the Japanese bicycle manufacturer is backed by a long history of creating bicycles which delivery performance for all kinds of riders. The 2018 range of Fuji bicycles are out in India and the initial feedback is impressive. From the Road range of the 2018 Fuji range we got the opportunity to test ride the Sportif 2.1 (2018) and here is what we thought.
The Fuji Sportif 2.1 is built around an A2-SL butted aluminium frame. This frame is double butted which reduces the material used in low impact areas and thus creating a lightweight frame. While being lightweight this frame is also extremely durable making it a perfect build. The endurance frame geometry with a taller headtube and longer chainstay made the riding posture upright.
The carbon integrated alloy steerer which is curved and bladed makes for a lightweight and aero front fork.
The Sportif 2.1 (2018) which I test rode came in a full blue frame with white and red graphics for the brand name and logos. The matte finish paint job was of a superior quality and made the bright blue stand out on a bright sunny day on the tarmac. The internal cable routing makes the frame look neat and aesthetic. Internal Cabling also improves the life of the cables.
The Sportif 2.1 is an entry-level road bicycle focused on comfortable rides on tarmac. While Claris was the expected gearing to feature, Fuji has stepped it up a little but installing Shimano Sora derailleurs at the front and rear. These derailleurs worked well during the test ride and quick shifts for both up and down were precise. The integrated 18-speed shifters were easy to use. For an entry-level road bicycle, this drivetrain is good a component to start your road bicycle pursuit.
The alloy dual pivot brakes in the Sportif 2.1 had long and durable brake pads which provided good braking performance during the test ride. I put the braking to test on both fast turns and downhills and it was balanced and safe to use. The integrated brake levers were also easy to use.
The Oval Concepts 310 drop handlebars with gipping bar tape gave the rider a comfortable riding posture and good control over the bicycle.
The Vittoria Zaffiro 700x28C road tires are one of the more economical tires from the house of Vittoria tires. That being said these tires last for a long time. There are better tire options for an upgrade, but for a starter these tires hit the sweet spot in terms of performance on an entry-level road bicycle.
The Oval Concepts saddle on the Sportif 2.1 was ergonomically designed with the right amount of padding. The overall ride quality was comfortable on flat tarmacs.
This is an ideal entry-level road bicycle which can handle a 100km ride comfortably. Sprinting might not be one of its traits but climbing is quite good with this lightweight frame. With an aesthetic matte finish paint job and an endurance focused frame geometry the Fuji Sportif 2.1 (2018) priced at Rs.61,990 is a value for money entry-level road bicycle.