Sunday, August 5, 2007

2006 Fuji Crosstown 2.0 Review

Pros: Plush comfortable ride. Fenders. Yes, suspension fork.
Cons: twist shifters take up handlebar space

Ok, I was prepared to dislike this bike because of the front suspension fork. After all, everyone pans front suspension forks because they slow you down, are heavy, and are prone to early replacement. It turns out I really like this bicycle. What gives? I'm either getting too old or going super fast is not what I'm all about anymore.

First, the suspension fork is really great to take those undulations and grooves of the road. It has a 40mm travel, which could be better, like 50mm but it's ok. All of us commuters know that urban asphalt has all kinds of obstructions like mini hole covers, warped grooves and other assorted hazards that a rider must get ready to absorb or even avoid. The suspension fork nullifies a lot of those hazards. Oh, here comes mini asphalt wave…No worries, just take it; you probably won't feel it. The suspension seat post also absorbs those hazards in your seat area.

I do admit that the suspension fork does add weight, but nothing too dramatic maybe 2-3 pounds vs. a standard front fork. I guess it does slow you down some, but for the city riding that you do with this Fuji, it should be minimal. I don't like to "peel out" from a stoplight, for example. I like to let cars make all the first moves. This fork is also "lockable" which means that you can make it a stiff standard fork by turning 2 screws in the fork.

One thing that was weird about the front suspension fork was braking. I brake by pulling both the front and rear brakes simultaneously. When braking, the front fork pulls you down, which takes some getting used to, at least when braking hard. It feels like going down a curb. As you know, the front brake does most of the work when braking in a bicycle. As for durability of the front fork, I won't be doing a long-term test since I borrowed this bike, but I will post an update if this front fork ever needs to be replaced.

Second, this bike makes you take a great upright riding position. This is excellent for city riding. Riding it feels like using a unicycle, but with handlebars. The handlebars are also adjustable to make them higher or lower depending on your preference. For a lot of bikes, you have to buy a high-rise stem if you wanted to make handlebars higher.

A positive aspect of this bike is the fenders. I love fenders. They are great for the rain and those post-rain surfaces. I dress up (usually polo shirt and khakis) when commuting and nothing ruins your day like a skunk stripe in the back of your shirt or mud stains on the front. The fenders on this bike never clinked or clanged. Anyone who has ever put aftermarket fenders on a bike, esp. one with suspension, can tell you how hard it is. Good job, Fuji. Fenders should be standard equipment on all commuter bikes.

The thin 700 tires also mean that this bike can go fast. It takes effort to push those wide 26" tires. With these thin Kendas you can really pick up speed.

The twist shifters (SRAM MRX) are very responsive. The only gripe I have is that they take real estate from your grips. With the shifters being so responsive, I’m always wary that having my hands too close to the rear derailleur shifter. I may drop a gear. Come on, Fuji, give us some longer handlebar grips.

In sum, this is an excellent bike if you will be doing short commutes, less that 7 miles round trip, or short rides around town. This bike gives you a sweet, comfortable ride. If you want the Donald Trump-mega comfort ride, give both tires the minimum recommended PSI (I think it's 60). You'll think you're on a light beach cruiser:).

Sizes: 15", 17", 19", 21", 23"
Color(s): Forest Green
Main frame: Fuji Altair 1 aluminum with double water bottle mounts
Rear triangle: Fuji Altair 1 aluminum, rack mounts, replaceable derailleur hanger
Fork: Fuji Comfort Suspension 40mm travel w/Preload, Made by Zoom
Crankset: SR/Suntour XCC-100 forged aluminum crank, 28/38/48T with chainguard
Bottom bracket: Cup and ball w/replaceable bearings
Pedals: Wellgo Hybrid w/Kraton no slip inserts
Front derailleur: SR Suntour XR-05, 31.8mm
Rear derailleur: Shimano Altus MegaRange
Shifters: SRAM MRX, 24 speed twist shift
Cassette/freewheel: SRAM PG-830, 11/32T 8-speed
Chain: KMC Z-72
Front hub: Formula sealed forged aluminum, Silver, 36H, Q/R
Rear hub: Formula sealed forged aluminum, Silver, 36H, Q/R
Spokes: Stainless Steel, 14g
Rims: Alex aluminum, Z-1000, 36H
Tires: Kenda, K-934 Hybrid, 700 x 35c
Tubes: Kenda
Tape/grip Kraton rubber to match shifter
Saddle Fuji Comfort Hybrid, Men's/Ladies specific
Seat post: Fuji alloy suspension, 300mm
Seat clamp: Fuji aluminum 31.8mm Quick Release
Complete Bike Weight, lb./kg.: 30.6 lbs / 13.88 kg
Brake set: ProMax aluminum linear pull with front modulator
Brake levers: ProMax comfort alloy with Kraton grip insert
Headset: Fuji Trekking, 1 1/8", Sealed
Handlebar: Fuji aluminum riser
Stem: Fuji Trekking Alloy, Adjustable angle, removable clamp


paul_h said...

Thanks for this review. I'm thinking of buying one of these

helenasan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
helenasan said...

Hi ciclist!
I´m Elena from Spain.
Fuji is a little known bike brand in Spain, that´s why I need your opinion and advice.
My current bike is for mountain. I´m thinking of buying one for long distances (hundreds miles) with baggage (aprox 25 pounds). Do you know if Fuji crosstown turns out well?
Thanks a lot

pedaling fool said...

Fuji is a very good/reputable bike company. However, I would not recommend the Crosstown for long distances. I think you would need a road bike with road drop handlebars. These handlebars allow you to switch hand positions for those long rides. With the Crosstown, you have a flat bar and your hands tend to get numb after riding many miles. Happy cycling!

CarpenterGirl said...

Thank you for the thorough review. I need to know why it is great for "less than 7 miles roundtrip". This is my first bike, and I'm hoping to ride comfortably for 40+ miles. I'm not interested in speed. I need/want to be comfortable while out on bike paths, streets, rails to trails. Thanks again!

pedaling fool said...

I have an issue with riding long distances with a flat bar. My arms tend to go numb after 5 miles or so. To overcome this, you can add some bar ends to allow you to shift hand positions during riding. That usually works for me. Of course, you may not have that issue.

Thanks for visiting!

thepoetsjacket said...

I've owned this bike since 2007 and have rode consistently with only brake adjustments and one new derailer after a stick got stuck, and some new tires. I've kept it inside of my apartment too. Still looks like new. As far as distances I have gone farther than any bike I've ever owned, but mainly around all of D.C., MD, and VA. It must be true that the front suspension will slow you down. I've noticed this on hills that I get passed on all the time. I simply accept that this is how my bike operates, and that one of the big attractions for me was to have a sturdy bike I could cruise around with. Downhill speed is not an issue, it does great, and handles well. Hopefully I'm not wasting my breath, seeing as how the bike is nine years old, but I say Kudos to Fuji Crosstown 2.0!