At the closing of this year’s Interbike Dirt Demo in Bootleg Canyon I wandered over to the Fuji Bicycles compound to pick up my three-day loaner bike, a Fuji Cross RC. Unlike most of the other bikes that were loaned to the Bicycle Times/Dirt Rag staff, mine wasn’t strictly a city bike. It didn’t fold for easy transporting, have a hard leather saddle, or color matched fenders. Instead, I opted for a do anything, go anywhere, take a beating machine, because in Las Vegas you never know where the evening will take you.
I discovered immediately by the multiple "Hey! Nice Bike!" as I made my way back to the van, that the Fuji Cross RC draws a lot of attention and people recognize it as a badass cyclocross bike. So, I decided to leave it a little on the dusty side during the test to roll incognito. Even with a layer of desert obscuring the Dead Chrome/ Orange paint the compliments kept coming over the next three days, and for good reason.
Fuji’s A-6 Quaternary custom butted aluminum frame has an eye catching flat top tube with cable routing along the topside to make shouldering the bike comfortable and easy during races. Along with the Fuji bonded Carbon Cross fork with aluminum steerer, Fuji carbon bar and seatpost, and Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset the Cross RC looks hot and rides like a rocket.
Even before the first pedal stroke I could tell that the frameset was stiff, and throwing a leg over the bar to commute to the convention center, my preconceived notion was confirmed. This bike gets up and goes with seemingly all energy transferred from my legs to the rear wheel. And when standing and cranking on the pedals I didn’t feel any flex from the frame or fork. The quick pickup and un-wasted, sustained power was much appreciated when zipping along with multiple lanes of traffic and through construction zones.
Handling felt quick and snappy up front, and the riding position is pretty aggressive due to the 110mm stem combined with the 72-degree head tube and 73-degree seat tube. The 16.9" chainstays allow the rear to track fast and the 40.77" wheelbase of the size 58cm tester, along with the solid frame, gave the Cross RC a very live and active feel. While this bike performed excellent as a commuter in my time of need, I wish I had the opportunity to get it on its home turf and push the boundaries on grass and mud.
At first glance I wasn’t crazy about the shape redesign of the new Shimano Ultegra shifter/brake levers and thought they would be more difficult to use during braking while riding with my hands on the hoods. They ended up feeling comfortable and the levers were easier to reach while operating from the drops. Shimano’s Ultegra 10-speed drivetrain functioned flawless and got along well with the FSA Gossamer Cross crankset. I would have liked more stopping power from the TRP EuroX cantilever brakes, but that has been the demon of all cantilever brakes that I’ve ridden. For those that like bar mounted brakes, the Cross RC also has a set of Tektro RL-951 brake levers mounted to the flats of the drop bar.
Any cross racers out there, or those thinking about racing, looking for a light-weight, stiff and fast cyclocross bike will be pleasantly surprised by the Fuji Cross RC. You get a lot of bike for the MSRP of $2400, so check it out.Tweet Print