First Ride Review: Fuji SL 1.3 lightweight climbing bike

Out of the box weight: a barely UCI-illegal 14.17 pounds for a 56cm

Road Bike
During initial testing, we’ve found the Fuji SL 1.3 to be extremely comfortable, though still very stiff in the bottom bracket. Available sizes are XXS (46cm), XS (49cm), S (52cm), M (54cm), L (56cm), XL (58cm), and XXL (61cm).

During initial testing, we’ve found the Fuji SL 1.3 to be extremely comfortable, though still very stiff in the bottom bracket. Available sizes are XXS (46cm), XS (49cm), S (52cm), M (54cm), L (56cm), XL (58cm), and XXL (61cm).

One of the year’s most anticipated bikes just showed up for testing, Fuji’s new lightweight SL climbing machine. Launched at this year’s Vuelta a España, the claimed weight for the SL frame is a staggering 695 grams, which is nearly 20 percent lighter than any bike the company has ever produced. Our test bike, the SL 1.3 (MSRP: $6320) is equipped with a Shimano Dura Ace Di2 drivetrain, Oval brand cockpit and wheelset, and top-of-the line Vittoria Open Corsa 320tpi tires. Out of the box weight: 14.17 pounds for a size 56cm.

A bike so light we can hang it from our clothesline. The main frame is C15 ultra high-modulus carbon with high compaction molding system, integrated head tube with 1 1/2" lower, oversized PF30 shell, and double water bottle mounts. The rear triangle is C15 ultra high-modulus carbon thin seatstays, oversized chainstays, and carbon dropout with replaceable hanger.

The main frame is C15 ultra high-modulus carbon with high compaction molding system, integrated head tube with 1 1/2″ lower, oversized PF30 shell, and double water bottle mounts. The rear triangle is C15 ultra high-modulus carbon thin seatstays, oversized chainstays, and carbon dropout with replaceable hanger.

But the bike is more than just light. During initial testing, we’ve found the Fuji SL 1.3 to be extremely comfortable, though still very stiff in the bottom bracket. On a recent effort up the legendary Page Mill road (an 8-mile climb), we logged our third fastest climb time. This was remarkable considering it is late in the season and I’ve been more focused on time trials than climbing.

We’ll continue testing over the next month or so and then report back with a full review. In the meantime, check out this video and photo gallery of this wispy climbing machine, and visit www.fujibikes.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Twain Mein

Twain Mein is fascinated with the technology and gear aspect of cycling, and is a longtime product reviewer. Twain has been doing triathlons since 1987 and has been ranked in the Top 50 U.S. National Age Group on numerous occasions.


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