The new Fuji SL The new SL made its official debut at the ongoing Vuelta a España where it's being ridden by four members of the Caja Rural-Suguros RGA team.
With a raw frame weight of 695 grams, the new Fuji SL is nearly 20 percent lighter than any bike the company has ever produced.
The new SL, which made its official debut at the ongoing Vuelta a España, is an improved version of the Fuji Altamira. Carryover highlights to the new frame include high compaction molding and RIB technology, plus new innovations such as an octagonal downtube of high-tensile strength carbon, injection-molded cable stops, and a frame with only four bonded joints. Check out this video for more details.
The cornerstone of the SL's strength-to-weight ratio is the high compaction molding, a manufacturing technique that utilizes a series of internal molds to eliminate wrinkles and excess resin buildup in high-stress, complex radius bend areas, such as the head tube and bottom bracket . The is claimed to yield greater compaction in the carbon layers. You can see an example in the photo below, which shows a non-HC frame versus an HC frame.
Fuji introduced a limited amount of HC on the Altamira in 2013, but the SL adds the seat tube and fork crown as beneficiaries of the technology. This is designed to ensure that the interior is as smooth and finished as the exterior, which is claimed to net a lighter, stiffer, more durable frame with a livelier ride quality.
While the Altamira featured eight bonded joints, the SL uses only four; the more bonding joints you eliminate, the stronger and lighter the frame becomes because redundant material is removed and you're utilizing carbon's strongest properties of continuity.
The SL's seatstays and chainstays are molded into just two, hollowed pieces, including the dropouts, which shaves grams and increases strength. These reductions play a big role in why the SL is 237 grams lighter than the Altamira.
Continue to page 2 to find out how much stiffer the new Fuji SL is than its predecessor »
The series features eight models - including a Team Replica and frameset - ranging from the SRAM Red 22-equipped 1.1 to the Shimano 105-eqiupped 2.5.
Fuji also claims the new SL is stiffer than its predecessor by 9 percent in the head tube, 11 percent in the bottom bracket, and 18 percent in the fork.
The SL's downtube is octagonal in shape, featuring flattened sections of high-tensile strength carbon. The seat tube, top tube, and fork also feature flattened sections of high-tensile strength carbon, which is said to increase lateral stiffness.
The fork has a reinforcing rib - a patented technology from Fuji's carbon manufacturer called Reinforced I-Beam or RIB technology - that runs the length of the fork blades, amplifying stiffness for improved steering precision.
RIB technology runs the length of the fork blades, amplifying stiffness for improved steering precision.
Lastly, the SL was designed to ensure good ride quality for every sized cyclist. Fuji invested in two different fork offsets to ensure optimal range of trail throughout the size range for stable steering and handling. And each frame size uses unique carbon layups and tube diameters, as a 46cm rider does not require the same stiffness as a 61cm rider.
The SL will be available to consumers in a variety of builds starting October 2015. The series features eight models - including a Team Replica and frameset - ranging from the SRAM Red 22-equipped 1.1 to the Shimano 105-eqiupped 2.5.
For more information visit www.fujibikes.com