You could mistake the alloy tubes on this Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure for steel they’re so slender. The satin matt-blue finish also keeps things understated and even the fluro graphics don’t detract from a great-looking bike.
It’s very well set for fixtures and fittings with internal cable routing for 1x and 2x drivetrains, full rack and ’guard mounts, top tube bento-box style mounts and three sets of bottle bosses.
The full carbon fork has rack mounts and a drilled bridge for full-length mudguards, plus triple bosses for Anything-style cages on the legs, internal routing for the brakes and for a dynamo on the right-hand fork leg.
I was blown away with the equipment levels. The wheel package is WTB’s excellent and hardy STi23 tubeless-compatible gravel rims running on cartridge bearing hubs, which stayed tight and true giving plenty of life with their responsive spring in the rough and on the road.
They are shod with Panaracer’s excellent 38c GravelKing SK tyres, and their tight block tread excels in dry, dusty conditions, while the close block pattern rolls well on tarmac too.
Fuji’s component partners Oval provide the rest of the build with competent alloy seatpost and stem and a well-shaped saddle.
The Oval 325 bar combines a 4-degree sweep and wide 25-degree flare. This works perfectly in the shallow drops on technical sections, providing masses of wrist clearance while the back sweep shortens the reach giving you a more upright position on the hoods, enabling you to look down the trail without craning your neck.
The bar tape is a generous 4mm thick and compensates for any stiffness in the oversized alloy bar with foam-backed cushioning.
The drivetrain is SRAM’s entry-level Apex 1x 11-42 cassette combined with a 40-tooth chainring on FSA’s Omega adventure cranks. Unusually, the Apex setup is for cable disc brakes not hydraulics and these are combined with Tektro’s MD-C550s.
The actuation is dual-piston and in use they work really well. The lever response is a bit springier in feel than the progressive pressure you get from hydraulics but I never felt under-braked. A cable system is a good option when it comes to long tours because it’s easier to carry a spare brake cable than a bleed kit and hydraulic fluid.
I did get the occasional front rotor rubbing after a few prolonged dusty descents but usually a couple of sharp tugs on the brake would clear whatever was blocking the pads from fully releasing.
The 40 x 11-42 drivetrain gives the ideal spread for proper off-road excursions and 40-11 is a more than ample top gear for spinning along tarmac roads. I only found it limiting on long, rapid road descents where I’d spin out the gear before I’d got to full downhill-thrash mode.
Fuji describes the Jari as having “adventure” geometry with a longer wheelbase and slacker head and seat angles. My 58cm/XL test bike has a 72-degree head and 72.5-degree seat, around a degree or two slacker than a road bike. The 1,037mm wheelbase adds stability, but the 609mm stack is lower and sportier than I’d expect, yet the reach is quite short at 383mm.
All these numbers add up to a bike that has quite the dual personality: up on the hoods it’s a pleasant cruiser that’s happy to track along byways, towpaths and trails at a sprightly enough pace. Get into the drops and its stiff alloy frame and great wheel package make it responsive but with a very stable feel, thanks to that slack head angle and generous 64mm trail on the fork. A racy road bike will have a trail around 57mm, an endurance bike around 60mm.
Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||72.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||72|
|Seat tube (cm)||54.3|
|Top tube (cm)||57.5|
|Fork offset (cm)||4.6|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||28.9|
Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure overall
The Jari may look under-specced with cable discs but I was impressed. It’s light for the money and easy to live with. The frame has every fixture you could wish for, and it handles with superb stability off road without becoming bland on tarmac.
How we tested
Gravel bikes can open up a whole new world of routes and tracks to explore without slowing you down on the tarmac. But these popular bikes needn’t cost the earth and we put four of the best go-anywhere machines under £2,000 to the test.
Also on test:
- Marin Nicasio 2
- Merida Silex 400
- ON-One Free Ranger SRAM Force 1
- Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure
|Available sizes||46, 49. 52, 54, 56, 58, 61cm|
|Bottom bracket||FSA BB386 EVO, BSA Thread|
|Brakes||Tektro MD-C550 mechanical discs|
|Cassette||SRAM PG1130 – 11-42|
|Chain||KMC X11 EL-1|
|Cranks||FSA Omega Adventure BB386 Evo 40t|
|Fork||FC-440 Full carbon, tapered steerer|
|Handlebar||Oval concepts 323 6061 alloy|
|Headset||FSA No. 42|
|Saddle||Oval Concepts 438|
|Seatpost||Oval concepts 300 6061 alloy|
|Shifter||SRAM Apex 1|
|Stem||Oval concepts 313 alloy|
|Tyres||Panaracer Gravel King SK 700c x 38c|
|Wheels||WTB ST i23 rims on cartridge bearing alloy hubs|