Fuji Altamira 2.5 review£1,600.00

Well-appointed machine flexes its Tour pedigree

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The top spec Altamira was ridden in last year’s Tour de France. Although our 2.5 model is made of more cost-effective stuff, that racy DNA is very apparent.

The carbon frameset has an attractive marbled finish that shimmers in the sun and tries to mask its businesslike persona. A stiff fork plugged in to the beefy head tube, giant rounded down tube and deep rectangular chainstays with wide bottom bracket shell ensure rigidity in all the right places.

Meanwhile flattened seatstays and a heavily tapered and flattened top tube enhancing rider comfort. All of the cabling is external, saving expense but also simplifying maintenance.

    Equipment starts with Shimano Ultegra shifters and derailleurs, offering their trademark slick changes and high quality feel, but it’s not a complete groupset, deviating with a 105 cassette and brakes, and an Oval crank. Fuji’s preferred component supplier, Oval Concepts, has in this case partnered with Turn for the 520 cranks – their inside face is scooped out to save weight, and they feature a hollow axle and Praxis Works chain rings.

    We’ve found these cold forged rings to be very hardwearing and as smooth shifting as any. In pro compact 52/36t sizes, they complement the 11-28t cassette to offer a great range of gearing for almost everyone. Together they’re stiff, efficient and only enhance performance.

    Praxis works chainrings work with hollowed-out oval cranks:
    Praxis works chainrings work with hollowed-out oval cranks:

    Praxis Works chainrings work with hollowed-out Oval cranks

    Oval also supplies the tidy alloy bar and stem, carbon wrapped seatpost and saddle. We found the perch to be a good supportive shape and extremely plush – almost too plush for the racers among us – but too much comfort is certainly better than too little. The wheelset is another Oval item, with 28mm deep and 24mm wide alloy rims, J-bend bladed spokes for simplicity, and 23mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro rubber.

    The hoops are very current in design, and really open the skinny Vittorias out to give seemingly more volume and grip than expected from 23mm rubber. Stability is increased too, and with it, confidence – although they lack a big name, the wheelset is a willing and fairly lively performer.

    Once you've assumed the position, you'll soon forget the handful of spec compromises fuji has made in the name of economy:
    Once you've assumed the position, you'll soon forget the handful of spec compromises fuji has made in the name of economy:

    Once you've assumed the position, you'll soon forget the handful of spec compromises Fuji has made in the name of economy

    The frame encourages a classic road position, with ample room to stretch out and get as low as you need to. On the flat it feels like a real all-rounder’s machine, keen to drive onwards incessantly. But when gradients arrive it also bounds upwards, climbing efficiently, and is a very capable descender too.

    When riding, it’s almost impossible to tell that the brake calipers are 105 instead of Ultegra. They offer plenty of real-world stopping power and smooth modulation from the levers.

    Ride quality is definitely on the firm side. That said, it's quite acceptable thanks to the rolling stock combination and that well padded perch, and we were never uncomfortable throughout our test period.

    The Altamira’s composure shows the frame’s refinement: able to clip along efficiently at a good lick, stiff enough to pack a mean sprint, and supple enough isolate you from poor road surfaces. Cornering is confident, thanks to more accessible grip and great poise, and although on paper the Fuji’s spec list has had a few corners cut, from the saddle, it’s a hard argument to feel, as it offers a very complementary package.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Robin Wilmott

    Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
    Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
    • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
    • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
    • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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