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.

Material: C5 high-modulus carbon frame and forkWheel weight: 1485 grams
Frame weight: 1100 grams (size 56cm)Tires: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 700x23
Fork weight: 410 gramsChain: KMC X11L
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2BB: Praxis conversion kit
Gearing: 52/36T cranks, 11-28 cassetteHead tube: FSA 1 1/8-1½ tapered
Brakes: Direct mount Shimano UltegraBike weight: 17.05 pounds (size 56cm)
Parts: Oval Concepts bars, saddle, tape, seat postMSRP: $3550
Wheels: Oval Concepts alloy clinchersRating:
3.5 Stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Spokes: 20 aero spoke front, 27 aero spoke rear
Stat Box


  • 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 »

Integrated direct-mount brakes shielded from wind and out of the way.

The integrated direct-mount brakes are shielded from wind for improved aero efficiency. (click to enlarge)​

So is it faster?

Fuji reduced aero drag by integrating the fork and head tube with the recessed direct mount brakes, both front and rear. The seat tube also wraps around the rear wheel deflecting wind away from the spokes, while the aero seatpost allows wind to pass through with minimal disturbance. The massive down tube is also shaped to minimize air resistance, and internal cable routing further reduces drag. Add it all up, and Fuji claims the Transonic is 55 seconds faster over 40km than its more traditionally-shaped Altimira road bike.

From a servicing standpoint it's fast, too. Fuji's done a nice job of keeping the Transonic bike mechanic friendly. Brakes are cleverly integrated into the frame to reduce drag, but also accessible for maintenance. Same goes for the Di2 battery, which hides inside the seatpost, but is easy to charge via an easily accessible port under the stem.

The battery is hidden in seat post.

The battery is hidden in seat post (click to enlarge).​

Bottom Line

Initially, the Transonic was pure bliss. It truly felt faster at speed than a traditional "round tube" road bike. Sprinting was exhilarating, the bike accelerating quickly and holding speed. Descending was excellent as well. The stiff front end lent a degree of stability I haven't previously experienced. I'm usually a poor descender but found myself looking for downhills - and grinning a lot. On one 60-mile test ride I logged 19 Strava personal records, which included numerous flat sections and several short, steep descents. This was particularly noteworthy, as I was riding solo and not focused on setting PRs.

The seat tube shields the rear wheel from wind.

The seat tube shields the rear wheel from wind (click to enlarge).​

But while the flats and downhills were a blast, climbing was not as much fun. It seems Fuji has dialed in degrees of comfort at the seat tube to offer a more compliant and comfortable ride. And sure enough, the bike rides very smoothly and doesn't beat you up. But on slower and longer climbs, the bike performed best via higher cadence and smooth pedal stroke. Trying to push a bigger gear felt sluggish, even slow.

As a follow up, I rode the fabled Old La Honda climb, and again the bike didn't respond when I tried to push a bigger gear. In an attempt to remedy that, I came forward on the saddle and tried to spin up at a higher-than-normal cadence. Result? A climb time of 21:42. I was expecting 20 flat. It was way off my PR of 18:36. This isn't an issue if you train/race on predominantly flat roads. But if you love to climb, this bike may not be for you, which isn't a huge surprise since that's not its main function.

Di2 components and wiring.

Di2 components and wiring (click to enlarge).​

There were also some other minor issues. At speed over rougher roads, there was an annoying rattle that seemed to come from the bar-stem area. It was likely the internally routed cables banging around, though I don't know for sure. The seatpost was also difficult to adjust, though once dialed you don't need to mess with it again.

Bottom line, while not a particularly deft climber, this bike delivers on its promise of flat road (and downhill) aero performance. It was noticeably fast while sprinting and descending, had wonderful ride quality, and an excellent component group at a reasonable price.

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