After spending a couple of months shopping around for a new touring bike, I ended up snagging a gently used 2017 Fuji Touring bike on Craigslist. During the past 6 months, I have used this bike to commute between San Diego and Tijuana and to explore both cities. Since I’ve had the bike, I’ve put a couple of thousand miles on it. In this Fuji Touring bike review, I’ll give my first impressions of the bike and let you know what I think so far.
A Bit of Info About the Fuji Touring Bike
The Fuji Touring bike is an entry-level long-distance touring bike. It is designed for those who want to travel fully loaded with front and rear racks and panniers. The bike is optimized for comfort, reliability, and durability. It comes ready to tour across a country or continent straight out of the box. The bike also makes it an excellent commuter or grocery getter.
The Fuji Touring offers a classic touring bike design. It features durable mid-range components, a high-quality steel frame, and solid touring wheels. The bike also comes with a couple of touring specific features including touring tires, bar-end shifters, and a sturdy aluminum rear rack. Below, I’ll outline some of the most important features of the Fuji Touring bike.
The Fuji Touring Frame
The Fuji Touring frame is made from double-butted and heat-treated Reynolds 520 Chromoly steel. This is a durable and lightweight chrome-molybdenum alloy. The frame tubes are TIG welded together. The fork is also made of steel.
Steel is the ideal touring bike frame material because it is incredibly durable. It can handle harder impacts than aluminum without cracking, bending, or denting. Steel is also long-lasting. It doesn’t fatigue like aluminum. The Fuji frame should last decades if you take care of it. Steel frames are also easy to repair. If the frame fails in a remote region of the world, any welder can fix it for you. No special tools are required to weld steel. Steel frames are also known for their comfortable ride characteristics. Steel offers a bit of vertical flex. This allows the frame to absorb some shocks and vibrations from the road, which makes for a smoother ride.
The Fuji Touring frame and fork feature braze-ons for mounting front and rear racks and panniers. Pretty much all standard-sized racks are compatible. There are also two mounting points for water bottle holders. The fork features internal routing for dynamo hub cables. The frame and fork also feature mounting points for fenders. One unique feature of the Fuji Touring frame is a mounting point for two spare spokes on the chainstay. This way, you always have a spare spoke if you break one while you’re riding through the middle of nowhere. The bike includes two spare spokes.
The Fuji Touring frames is designed for all-day comfort as well as stability. The frame geometry puts the rider in a more upright riding position than a standard road bike. This is achieved with a taller than average headtube. The Fuji Touring frame also features long chainstays, a long wheelbase, and a low bottom bracket. This is a typical feature of touring bikes. Long chainstays serve two purposes. First, they move your rear panniers back a couple of inches. This eliminates the possibility of your heels hitting your panniers as you pedal. The long chainstays also improve stability. Fuji calls this ‘Endurance Geometry.”
The bike is available in 7 sizes: XS (49cm), S (52cm), M (54cm), L (56cm), XL (58cm), XXL (61cm), XXXL (64cm). Every year, Fuji updates the paint color to differentiate the bike from previous models.
The Fuji Touring bike comes with flat-mount TRP Spyre C mechanical disc brakes with 160mm brake rotors. The brake levers are TRP RR linear-pull levers. Flat-mount calipers offer excellent rotor alignment and a clean look. The brake levers have a comfortable shape. The small brake hoods offer a comfortable and solid place to grip.
It’s important to note that these are cable-actuated disc brakes. They are not hydraulic. Most bicycle tourists prefer mechanical disc brakes because they are simpler to maintain and repair if something goes wrong while you’re in the middle of nowhere. For more info, check out my hydraulic vs mechanical disc brake guide.
In the past, the Fuji touring bike was available in disc and rim brake versions. As you can see in the photos, my 2017 model has rim brakes. A couple of years ago, Fuji discontinued the rim brake version. This may be a drawback for some bicycle tourists. Those who ride in undeveloped countries often prefer rim brakes due to the simplicity and parts availability. It can be hard to find mechanical disc brake components and replacement parts in some parts of the world. That said, the vast majority of bicycle tourists prefer disc brakes these days.
Disc brakes are preferable for touring for a number of reasons. First, they offer better stopping power. This is possible because brake rotors offer a larger braking surface than rims. The superior stopping power comes in handy when trying to slow your fully loaded bike down while descending a steep hill. Disc brakes also extend rim life. While touring, dust, mud, and grit from the road can contaminate your rims. Because the disc brakes never touch the rim, you don’t have to worry about contamination scratching your rims while your brake. For more info, check out my disc vs rim brake guide.
The Fuji Touring bike comes with a wide range 3×10 Shimano groupset. It features a Shimano Deore T6000 front and rear derailleur as well as a Deore crankset and cassette. The triple crankset has 48/36/26T chainrings. The 10 speed cassette features 11-36T gearing. The wide range gearing allows you to easily handle both climbs and flat sections. The 26 x 36 bailout gear allows you to tackle steep climbs, even when fully loaded.
Deore is part of Shimano’s mid-range line mountain bike groupsets. It offers an excellent combination of reliability, durability, and value, making it the perfect choice for touring. It’s not the lightest or fastest shifting groupset but it is high quality. Replacement parts are cheap and easy to come by in most of the world. Most importantly, it is reliable and durable.
One somewhat unique component is the Microshift bar-end shifters. These are uncommon on modern road bikes but are a popular option for bicycle touring. Mostly due to the simplicity and durability. The rear shifter is indexed. The front shifter is a friction shifter.
The main benefit of bar-end shifters is that they have fewer moving parts than the STI shifters that are normally found on road bikes. This simplicity makes bar-end shifters easier to work on. With some basic tools, you can take them apart and clean or repair them. Due to the simple design, they are also less likely to get gummed up with dirt and debris. Bar-end shifters are also unlikely to get damaged during an accident. They are incredibly durable. They feel very robust. If the indexing stops working or if the shifters go out of adjustment, you can use the shifters in friction mode and keep on riding. They are also easy to adjust, clean, and maintain.
The Fuji Touring bike features Alex double-wall aluminum rims with Shimano Deore centerlock disc hubs. The wheels each have 36 steel spokes. They use standard quick-release axles. There’s nothing really special about the Fuji Touring wheels. The parts are mid-range and offer decent durability and performance. They should easily last 10s of thousands of miles.
The fact that the wheels have 36 spokes is a nice feature for touring. This is 4 more spokes than standard 32 spoke wheels that are found on most road and mountain bikes. The extra spokes improve wheel strength and durability. They allow you to carry a heavier load without having to worry about breaking spokes or bending rims. Also, the bike comes with two spare spokes mounted on the chainstay. These are nice to have if you do happen to break a spoke while touring.
The Fuji Touring comes fitted with Vittoria Randonneur 700 x 35c touring tires. These are slightly below-average touring tires. They work fine for road riding. The tires offer decent grip and puncture protection but tend to wear out fairly quickly. They also feel a bit stiff and slow. They’re fairly heavy. One nice feature is the reflective strip around the edge.
Those who ride strictly on-road may find the 35 mm tires to be a bit too wide. They may create more rolling resistance than you would like.
If you plan to ride gravel roads, you might find the tires to be too narrow. The Fuji Touring rims and frame can accommodate tires up to 38mm wide with fenders and up to 40mm wide without fenders.
Contact Points: Peddles, Seat, and Handlebars
The Fuji Touring bike comes with flat pedals with toe clips and straps. Clips and straps are kind of outdated but are a nice little touring feature for those who don’t want to ride clipless. The straps help to hold your feet in the ideal pedaling position. This can improve efficiency. They also allow you to pull up on the pedals. This can help you when you tire out during a steep climb. Many riders replace the pedals with clipless pedals.
The saddle is a Selle Royale Vivo model. This is a basic saddle. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world but it works fine. It looks good and holds up well, in my experience. If you’re planning a long tour, you’ll probably want to replace the saddle with something a bit higher-end and more comfortable. You could also wear some padded shorts. The seat post is a standard 27.2mm diameter model. It’s made from 6061 alloy aluminum.
The handlebars on the Fuji Touring are Oval Concepts 310 Ergo drop bars. These are made from 6061 aluminum alloy. They have a standard 31.8mm clamp, 133mm drop, and 4° sweep. They’re pretty normal feeling drop bars. Nothing really special about them. They come wrapped with comfortable suede bar tape installed. The stem is a +/-6° model made from 6061 aluminum alloy.
Fuji Touring Bike Price
The biggest draw of this bike is the price. At $1200, the Fuji Touring is one of the cheaper mid-range touring bikes on the market. It is $400-$600 cheaper than comparable touring bikes like the Surly Disc Trucker, Trek 520, or Kona Sutra yet has almost the same components and specs.
With the money you save by purchasing the Fuji Touring instead of a more expensive bike, you can outfit the bike with fenders, racks, a new saddle, clipless pedals, some accessory bags, and any other gear that you may need for your tour. You can also put the savings toward your tour so you can travel a bit further or longer.
As mentioned earlier, the Fuji Touring bike comes out of the box pretty much ready to tour. The frame and fork include mounting points for front and rear racks. The bike includes an 8mm aluminum alloy rear rack. It’s not the most durable rack in the world but it works. As an added bonus, the rack includes a built-in bungee strap that clips to the sides. The frame also features also mounting points for fenders as well as braze-ons for mounting two water bottle cages. The bike comes with pedals with clips and straps. These help to improve pedaling efficiency. The bike also includes two spare spokes which come mounted in the spoke holder on the chainstay.
All you really need to start touring with the Fuji Touring bike is panniers, some lights, and a helmet. Fenders are optional but many tourists like them. If you plan to travel long term, you may choose to install a front rack and panniers as well.
One aspect that I really appreciate about the Fuji Touring bike is the fact that every component is standard-sized and widely available. There are no proprietary, odd-sized, or high-end parts on the bike. The benefit of this is that parts availability is excellent.
This is particularly important for touring bikes. If something fails while you’re riding in the middle of nowhere or in a developing country, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a replacement. These days, 700c wheels and tires are common all over the world. 10 speed chains and cassettes are becoming common as well. Pretty much every bike shop will carry everything you need to keep you on the road. You don’t have to worry too much about getting stranded.
Visually, the Fuji Touring is a beautiful bike. I have the 2017 model. The frame is a nice shade of dark green. The grips and bar tape are a matching shade of medium brown. One thing I appreciate about the looks of the bike is the fact that there is not a lot of decals or branding. I don’t like having advertisements all over my bike. The only sticker is the orange Fuji logo on the seat tube. The bike looks clean and sharp but not too flashy. It has a nice minimalist look. I have been complimented on it many times.
The current model features a Dark Khaki colored frame with a black seat and grip tape.
Fuji Touring Ride Quality
The Fuji Touring bike offers a smooth and stable ride thanks to the long chainstays and low bottom bracket height. The tall headtube gives the bike a comfortable upright geometry. The Shimano drivetrain and Microshift bar-end shifters shift quickly and smoothly. It’s an easy bike to ride.
The touring tires offer good puncture protection and easily handle small bumps in the road. With that being said, I would not want to take the bike off-road too much. It is more of a road touring bike. The included tires are 700 x 32c. There is room to mount thicker tires which may make the bike more off-road capable. 40c tires easily fit and there may be room for 45c tires depending on the brand.
What I Don’t Like about the Fuji Touring Bike
The only bad thing I can say about the Fuji Touring bike is that the brakes could be better. I guess that is why rim brakes are being phased out on touring bikes and disc brakes are becoming standard these days. The V-brakes on my Fuji do get the job done, just not as fast as I’d like. Particularly when fully loaded. This problem is now solved as the 2021 Fuji Touring bike is only available with mechanical disc brakes.
My only other complaint is that the Selle Royal Vivo saddle isn’t that comfortable. It’s fine for short rides or commuting but it gets uncomfortable after a couple of hours of riding. I upgraded to the Brooks B17 Standard Saddle which I bought on Amazon. You can read my full review of the saddle here.
While reading some other Fuji Touring bike reviews, I found that some riders complain about the quality of the wheels. So far, I have no complaints. The Shimano Deore hubs are of good quality. They should last thousands of miles. Each wheel is built with 36 steel spokes. I’m not sure of the quality of the rims but so far mine have held up just fine. The rims are double-wall and made from aluminum. The wheels on my bike seem well built. So far, they have stayed true and roll smooth. All spokes are secure and properly tensioned. I haven’t had to use my spare spokes yet.
Other Things to Consider Before Buying the Fuji Touring Bike
This isn’t really a complaint but it’s important to note that the Fuji Touring bike comes with drop bars, as most touring bikes do. Before buying this bike, I didn’t have much experience riding a drop bar bike. I always rode flat bar mountain bikes before. Drop bars take a bit of getting used to. Personally, I prefer flat bars. To find out why you can check out my Drop Bars Vs. Flat Bars: My Pros and Cons List.
Another thing to consider is wheel size. This bike comes with 700c wheels. Some bicycle tourists prefer 26-inch wheels. Mostly because tubes, tires, and spare parts are easier to find in rural areas and the developing world. For more info, check out my full analysis of 700c vs. 26 inch bike wheels for touring.
You’ll also want to consider the types of surfaces you plan to ride on. The Fuji Touring bike is primarily a road touring bike. It is designed to be ridden long distances on paved roads. It can also handle poorly maintained roads and a bit of gravel road riding if you install 35-40mm tires. With the stock tires, you might feel a bit unstable on rough roads. If you plan to ride off-road often, you’ll be happier with a more off-road-oriented bike such as a mountain bike or bikepacking bike.
Who is the Fuji Touring Bike For?
The Fuji Touring bike is an excellent choice for someone who is just getting into bicycle touring as well as those who are on a tight budget. It would also make an excellent commuting bike, grocery-getter, or errand-runner. It’s great for long weekend rides as well. Basically, the Fuji Touring is a do it all bicycle.
For the price, I believe this is the best touring bike available. For your money, you get a quality frame and mid-range components that will last for many thousands of miles. The bike comes pretty much ready to tour. It’s not the highest-end, fastest, most modern, most popular, or prettiest touring bike available. What it will provide is reliability, durability, and value.
Fuji Touring Bike Components
The Fuji Touring comes equipped from the factory nearly ready to tour. It includes the following components:
- Reynolds 520 Double-ButtedChromoly steel frame
- 36 spoke 700c Alex double-walled wheels
- Shimano Deore hubs with quick release axles
- Vittoria Randonneur 700×32 touring tires
- 10 speed Shimano Deore rear derailleur
- Shimano Deore front derailleur
- Shimano Deore crankset with 48/36/26T chainrings
- Microshift bar-end shifters
- Shimano Deore 11-36T 10-speed cassette
- TRP Spyre C mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors
- TRP RRL linear-pull brake levers
- Pedals with clips and straps
- KMC 10 speed chain
- Selle Royal Vivo saddle
- FSA 1 1/8″ sealed headset
- Shimano Sealed cartridge bottom bracket
These are mostly mid-range components that should give you many thousands of miles before needing any repairs or replacements. All parts are standard-sized which makes finding replacements easy when anything does break or wear out.
Final Thoughts About the Fuji Touring Bike
Overall, I highly recommend the Fuji Touring bike. Particularly for those who are looking to get into bicycle touring on a budget. For your money, you get a solid, do-it-all touring bike. The steel frame is of excellent quality and will last a lifetime if taken care of. The bike offers a comfortable and stable geometry, perfect for long days in the saddle. The components are mid-range and should last for many thousands of trouble-free miles. The bike even comes with a couple of extra touring features such as a rack and spare spokes. This is probably the best value touring bike available. Of course, it’s not perfect. The Fuji Touring bike isn’t the lightest or fastest bike available. It will get you where you need to go, whether that’s the grocery store or the other side of a continent.
Do you ride a Fuji Touring bike? Share your review in the comments below!
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