Altamira 3.0 Compact Road (11)
The Altamira is the flagship of the Fuji range, with the Ltd version being used by pro team Geox-TMC. The 3.0 model tested here shares the same frame design, albeit with a lesser carbon fibre (the limited edition gets a high modulus fibre). On the plus side it has a much more conventional build to keep the price competitive.
The frame design is a mix of big, stiff down tube and chainstays, and svelte seatstays and top tube. Up front the head tube tapers from 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in, and the bottom bracket uses Shimano’s press-fit bearing system. The oversize down tube, big bottom bracket junction, stout head tube and excellent fork make the Fuji a bike that handles beautifully and pushes plenty of power through the pedals without drama.
This combined with the softer nature of the seatstays, top tube and seat tube creates a chassis that balances sprinter stiffness and long ride cushioning remarkably well. It’s beautifully finished too. The 160mm head tube marks the Altamira as more of a racer’s machine than a sportive comfort option, but its ability to smooth out rougher rides negates the need for a more upright riding position.
While the frame and fork are real triumphs and we have no complaints about the Shimano 105 groupset (the compact 50/34T up front gives smooth changes and a decent range) there’s one aspect of the Fuji that didn’t perform as well as we’d have liked – the tyres, which are basic model Vittoria Zaffiros.
The slick version is acceptable but not exceptional, but this entry-level model has a slightly treaded pattern and feels squirmy under hard cornering. More importantly, grip is dramatically absent when the roads are wet and greasy.
The Oval wheels are nicely put together and have worked perfectly well, but shod with these heavy tyres they take more effort than we’d like to get up to speed, especially on the climbs. Change the tyres for something the Altamira is more worthy of and you’ll have a great bike that will revel in long rides, road racing and even fast-moving crits.