Review: 2015 Fuji Transonic 2.1 aero road bike

Wind cheating machine with superb Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifting

Road Bike
The Fuji Transonic 2.1 is a great value for riders who enjoy sprinting for the town line.

The Fuji Transonic 2.1 is a great value for riders who enjoy sprinting for the town line (click to enlarge).

The Lowdown: 2015 Fuji Transonic 2.1

Fuji has a history of offering great bikes at a great value, but the Transonic line broke new ground. Could Fuji’s interpretation of the aero road bike continue that heritage? The answer, for the most part, is yes. During testing, the Transonic 2.1 was noticeably fast while sprinting and descending, had wonderful ride quality, and an excellent component group at a reasonable price. The lone detractor was climbing ability. This is not the bike to chase mountaintop KOMs. Bottom line, the Fuji Transonic 2.1 is a great value for cyclists who like go after the town line sprint, but not as attractive for weight-weenie climbing specialists.

Stat Box
Material: C5 high-modulus carbon frame and fork Wheel weight: 1485 grams
Frame weight: 1100 grams (size 56cm) Tires: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 700×23
Fork weight: 410 grams Chain: KMC X11L
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2 BB: Praxis conversion kit
Gearing: 52/36T cranks, 11-28 cassette Head tube: FSA 1 1/8-1½ tapered
Brakes: Direct mount Shimano Ultegra Bike weight: 17.05 pounds (size 56cm)
Parts: Oval Concepts bars, saddle, tape, seat post MSRP: $3550
Wheels: Oval Concepts alloy clinchers Rating: 3.5 Stars 3.5 out of 5 stars
Spokes: 20 aero spoke front, 27 aero spoke rear

Pluses
Minuses
  • Quick acceleration
  • Not a great bike for climbing
  • Versatile semi-compact 52/36, 11-28 gearing
  • Front end rattle on non-smooth roads
  • Great handling, confident and secure descending
  • Orange and black graphics wont appeal to all
  • Aero carbon frame and Shimano Ultegra Di2 for
  • Heavy alloy components
    reasonable price
  • Seatpost difficult to adjust
  • Comfortable seat and handlebars, integrated chain catcher
  • Stiff front end — but smooth ride that won’t beat you up

Full Review: 2015 Fuji Transonic 2.1

I’ve been a fan of Fuji bikes for years. I owned and enjoyed a 1999 Fuji Team and a Fuji D6 triathlon bike. I’ve also ridden the Yahoo! Cycling team Fuji SL-1 and a 2012 Fuji Altimira. In every case, I was always impressed by the bike’s value-oriented parts kit and pleasing ride quality. As a triathlete and road rider, I’m also a fan of aero bikes. I own a 2011 Cervélo S3, which by many accounts was the benchmark for the first generation of aero road bikes.

The Transonic in its element.

The Transonic in its element (click to enlarge).

So how did it ride?

I was immediately impressed with the ride quality of the Transonic 2.1. Though over 17 pounds, the bike felt lighter. Steering response was excellent, both light and immediate. This was also the first time I’d ridden Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting. It’s a game changer. Shifts are instantaneous and without drama. In the past I’d sometimes push a bigger cog longer than necessary because I was too lazy to downshift. But with Di2 I found myself shifting more frequently. It’s so easy and quick, which encourages gearing optimization. However, the up/down shifting of the Shimano levers is the opposite from the front chain rings to the rear cluster so there is a learning curve.

Ultegra Di2 levers have both outboard and inboard shifters, and comfy brake hoods.

Ultegra Di2 levers have both outboard and inboard shifters, and comfy brake hoods (click to enlarge).

I also appreciated the semi-compact gearing consisting of 52/36 chainrings and an 11-28 cassette, which allow for a tremendous range of gearing options. Braking was also very good, with Shimano’s new direct mount brakes that feature two mounting bolts instead of one. This adds structural rigidity and improves braking feel. On smooth roads, the silent hubs of the Oval Concepts alloy clinchers combined with the Shimano drivetrain make for a remarkably quiet ride.

Continue to page 2 for more on the Fuji Transonic 2.1 and an extended photo gallery »
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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  • Eddie Griffiths says:

    Twain, another great review. I have a question for you since you have riden the D6 (with drop bars) and the Transonic. I am Raleigh half IM which has alot of rolling hills, with a couple of longer climbs…on a couse like this would you prefer the transonic or D6 with clip on aero bars. Thanks Eddie

    • twain says:

      Sorry, didn’t see this. For the tri, the D6 for sure. It climbs well and flies when it’s flatter. It is an extremely fast bike.

  • Anthony says:

    Hi:
    I really liked your review but have a question. Could the slugish feeling on the climbs come from the wheelset quality?

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