As you’d expect from the name, the £1,800/US$1,949, carbon framed Gran Fondo 2.1, from Japanese bike brand Fuji, has been designed with the long distance rider in mind.
The company have been in existence since 1899, but while the Japanese heritage might well be present, with HQ now located in the US the bikes have far more in common with American models in terms of design and geometry.
On paper, the geometry looks far closer to that of a race bike than a relaxed cruiser, as it combines parallel 73-degree angles with a standard offset fork. The top and seat tubes are both effectively 58cm on the large bike.
The wheelbase is only a tad longer than that of a full-on race bike, at 1,013mm. It does differ from a racer at the head tube, though, which stretches to 210mm (of which about 15mm stands proud of the top tube).
Oval provide all the components, aside from the Shimano 105 brakes, mechs and shifters. The Oval 730 chainset is complemented by slick-shifting 50/34 Praxis chainrings, which are easily on a par with top-of-the-range models. The 11-30T cassette will be useful for climbers and demonstrates plenty of consideration from the designers.
The press-fit bb86 system should keep things nice and stiff, while not adding weight:Simon Greenacre/Future Publishing
The press-fit BB86 system should keep things nice and stiff
The Oval 327 wheels have a 27mm deep, aero profile rim that, at 22mm, is wider than standard. They also feature bladed spokes and cartridge bearing hubs. At a claimed 1,720g a pair they’re pretty light, and come wearing Vittoria’s 25c Zaffiro Pro tyres, a choice that should aid smoothness over rough surfaces.
The 2.1 is also specced with a carbon post and plush saddle. We’ll have a full review on BikeRadar soon.