Strengths: As I've said, very comfortable. Quite light and slick compared to other hybrids.
Weaknesses: The component group is a little weak...gearing can be sloppy, and the bike tends to invent new squeals and cackles frequently - though, what can you expect for the price? The front derailleur is not functioning at the moment . . .
I bought this bike last summer for a ten mile commute. I instantly fell in love when I rode it - I found the geometry very comfortable, as was the saddle. It held up for my daily commute fairly well; it's pretty speedy, though with the shape of the fork, the road slicks and the seat post, it felt rather rough on anything but uber smooth pavement. The rims took a little while to settle in, going out of true very easily. Though, now that i've ridden it quite a bit, they're rock solid. I switched out the stock tires, which frequently went flat (perhaps more indicative of the road than the tires themselves, though I did stop having that problem upon switching). The geometry had me hankering for drop bars, so I swapped out the flat bar, and love it. All in all, its an exceptional commuting bike.
Bike Setup: stock, with the exception of the drops and STI + various bumper stickers.
a Recreational Rider
from Roselle, IL
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2003
Strengths: Value, looks, and the roadlike nature of the bike. Sure it's a hybrid, but it's different from the others we tried. For $400, we got components usually found on road bikes costing $600 to $800. I like the Kenda Kontender tires, too (125 psi). Great overall QPR.
Weaknesses: I don't feel like I can use all three front sprockets, because the chain rattles against the front derailleur. (Thankfully, around western Chicago, I don't really need all three, it's pretty flat.)
There are some rattles here and there that I can't identify, which lend some sense of fit-n-finish doubts that you'd expect in a $400 bike. I'd like clipless pedals, too.
Seat is a little harsh, but that may be a conditioning problem as much as anything.
My wife and I just got into cycling (that is, something more than just your lazy ride around the block). The quality of the roads and paths near our house isn't the best, so we decided against a pure road bike early in the buying process. We test drove some mid-level hybrids from Giant (Cypress LX), Specialized (Crossroads Deluxe) and found them too heavy and plodding. We lucked upon the Geneva cycle shop and test drove the Fujis. Found them tighter and more lively, much more what we were looking for. Basically, these bikes seem to be road bikes with thicker tires (26 mm for the 2003) and an upright (but not too upright) riding position. We've had them about 3 weeks now, and I've put about 80 miles on mine during that time.
Note in comparing the two (2002 vs. 2003). These are totally different bicycles. The 2002 is a less agressive bike, about a kg heavier, with much wider tires, a larger saddle, and plusher feel. It's still not as soft as the Giant and Specialized models we tried, but it is much less harsh than the 2003, which is happiest over perfect surfaces. At 26.4 lbs., it's not light for a road bike, but it is the lightest bicycle we rode, and the difference is noticeable. I also liked the Shimano rapid-fire shifters, a feature not seen in the other hybrids we tried.
Looking forward to commuting periodically (18 miles each way) and the MS 150 next summer.
In short, this bike compares well with the sportier hybrids from Giant (Cypress SX) and Specialized (Sirrus Sport) for a couple hundred bucks less. Based on my experience so far, I'll be looking to buy a Fuji when I get serious about this.