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Fuji releases new Gran Fondo line in Taiwan

Published March 1, 2016

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Advanced Sports' Fuji brand updated its Gran Fondo line of comfort/performance road bikes with a new frame material technology that damps vibrations.

Fuji uses VRTech (Vibration Reduction Technology) uses layers of a natural fiber treated with polyurethane, strategically placed within the frame and fork's carbon layup. The extra fiber is placed in the seat- and chainstays and fork blades, and adds less than an ounce to the total weight of the frameset, said Fuji's road product manager, Steven Fairchild. The company spent several years finding the right material supplier and then deciding where and how to use it most effectively in the frame. 

Fuji introduced the Gran Fondo to members of the international cycling media in Taiwan on Tuesday, taking them on a 30 kilometer ride in the mountains east of Taipei. Journalists rode the new bikes for the ride, then hopped on identical bikes that lacked the VRTech material to feel the difference. Fuji's testing shows the feature reduced frame vibrations by about 26 percent.

Besides the VRTech feature, the new Gran Fondo line features disc brakes and front and rear 12mm thru axles. The rear dropouts are convertible to 135 OLD quick release for riders who already have wheels for that standard. Fairchild said Fuji has pushed for development of the 12mm front axle because it's lighter than the more common 15mm size borrowed from mountain bikes.

The Gran Fondo bikes have taller headtubes and slightly longer chainstays than Fuji's road race bikes, but have identical front end geometry. The frames also have internal routing for disc brake hydraulic lines, Di2 wires or mechanical drivetrains. Fuji also has smooth cable stops available for use with SRAM's eTap wireless drivetrain. Fuji is initially launching the line with all Shimano drivetrains but Fairchild said the company will offer an eTap-equipped bike soon. The frames have hidden fender mounts and BB30 pressfit bottom brackets.

The bikes come with 28mm tires. Fairchild said they will accept up to 32mm tires, depending on the tire brand, and will fit 30mm tires with fenders.

The line includes five models, ranging from the Dura-Ace-equipped Gran Fondo 1.1, retailing for $4,110, to the Gran Fondo 2.5, which retails for $1,940. The three 2.x models use a less expensive grade of carbon fiber to hit lower price points than the two 1.x models.

Fuji also plans to release a very similar line of women's bikes, called Brevet, this summer. The Brevet line will use the same VRTech feature with geometry and tube shapes optimized for women's bodies. 

 

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