Review: Fuji SL 1.3 road bike

Lightweight hill climber delivers stiff, but compliant ride

Road Bike
The author on his way to a new hill climb PR.

The author on his way to a new hill climb PR (click to enlarge).

Lowdown: Fuji SL 1.3

Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Fuji bikes. I think they offer amazing quality and value at a very good price. In fact, the first Fuji I bought was a scandium Fuji Team Issue road bike in 1999 — and I rode the snot out of it until 2004. In fact, It’s still being ridden by a friend’s 14-year-old son, who is using it to race triathlon. In 2010, when I worked at Yahoo!, the company cycling team was issued Fuji SL-1 Pro bikes, another great ride. Even years after the team was disbanded, some of my old team members continue to ride it. I also rode a 2012 D6 triathlon bike, which helped me set a PR on the Wildflower 1/2 ironman bike course, shaving 2 minutes off my previous best. Needless to say, I was looking forward to testing the new lightweight Fuji SL 1.3. Find out how it worked out in the full review below.

Stat Box
Weight: 14.17 pounds Wheelset: Oval 724 clincher
Claimed frame weight: 695 grams Wheelset weight: 1360 grams
Size tested: 56cm Tires: Vittoria Open Corsa 320 tpi
Parts: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 MSRP: $6320
Crankset: 52×36 Rating: 4.5 4.5 out of 5 stars
Cassette: 11-25

  • Lightweight frame
  • Loud graphics
  • Best-in-class drivetrain
  • Uncomfortable saddle
  • Wide gearing range
  • Uncomfortable handlebars
  • Light wheelset with alloy braking surface
  • May need negative rise stem
  • Comfortable ride
  • Immediate acceleration
  • Not flimsy like some weight weenie bikes

Review: 2015 Fuji SL 1.3

The Fuji SL 1.3 has a claimed sub-700 gram frame weight and is equipped with a Dura Ace Di2 electronic shifting drivetrain, Oval 724 alloy clinchers, Oval seatpost, Oval saddle, and Oval cockpit. The best-in-class Dura Ace Di2 gruppo works flawlessly, and the Oval wheelset is remarkably light, yet offers the confident braking you expect from an alloy brake track.

So light you can hang it on a clothesline.

So light you can hang it on a clothesline (click to enlarge).

The house-brand cockpit was easy to adjust, and reasonably comfortable. The only thing I’d likely upgrade was the saddle, which I found uncomfortable on rides of more than 2 hours.

The frame has a massive down tube, top tube, and chain stays. But the seat stays are truly pencil thin, which likely gives it an amazingly compliant and comfortable ride.

Continue to page 2 to find out how the Fuji SL 1.3 performed »
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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