Fuji CCR 1

Fuji Cycles blends transparent, see-the-weave carbon with a sharp-looking silver-metallic and fire-engine-red paint scheme to accent its CCR 1 sport-racing machine. It works, as does the seamless, curved transition from the seatstay wishbone to the Fuji’s bi-ovaled toptube. For the sport-level competitors, century riders and club-racers that the Fuji is targeted at, the CCR 1 frame’s design treatments and component choices are right on the money. Its wild-looking waist-bent seat and chainstay profiles are sure to catch attention in the peloton, and so will its Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleur and Dura-Ace look-alike crankset. Fuji knows that budget racers want to ride hardware that is as close as possible to what the pros have, and the CCR 1 facilitates this image well. The CCR 1 costs $3180 and weighs in at 18.1 pounds sans pedals.

The Fuji CCR 1 has racer looks, but is better equipped for centuries and long days in the saddle.

Fuji uses the attractive bias-woven carbon tape (’12K Basket Weave’) that was pioneered by Scott USA to cover the CCR 1’s curvaceous carbon frame. The sloping toptube and rectangular-profile downtube meet its oversized head tube, which houses an internal 1-1/8 inch headset and a semi-aero carbon fork with a bonded aluminum steerer. Fuji calls its dog-leg-bend seat and chainstay design ‘Energy-Transfer,’ and a convex bow in the seatstays suggests that the rear of the frame should mute at least some road noise. The 53-centimeter size we tested is marked as ‘medium/large’ and, with a 56-centimeter toptube and a 115-millimeter stem, it is comparable to a 55-centimeter level-top tube model. Chainstays are 41 centimeters long and its seat and head angles measure 73.5 and 72 degrees in that order. Sizes available are 44, 47, 53, 55 and 58 centimeters.

The CCR 1 drivetrain is a mix of Shimano Ultegra front derailleur and shift/brake levers, a Dura-Ace rear derailleur, and an SGX compact crankset. Brakes are Shimano Ultegra, and the wheels are Mavic’s bladed-stainless-steel-spoked Ksyrium Elite models rolling on Continental Ultra Race tires. The all-FSA cockpit features an aluminum ‘Wing Pro Aero’ anatomical handlebar, and an alloy 12-centimeter stem, with an SLA carbon fiber seatpost topped by a color-matched Fuji-logo steel-rail saddle.

The CCR 1’s oversized headtube houses an internal 1-1/8 inch headset and a semi-aero carbon fork with a bonded aluminum steerer.

‘Smooth’ is the operative word which best describes the Fuji CCR 1 experience. It accelerates smoothly without fanfare and could probably turn a nasty stretch of New York City Street into a comfortable ride. The comfort theme is echoed in its ergo-design handlebar and thick bar tape. The Fuji saddle, however, was a bait-and-switch affair. For the first three minutes it felt like a cloud, after which we could not find a sweet-spot from front to back. At 18.1 pounds (without pedals), the Fuji needs its compact gearing to ease its way up significant climbs, but its torsionally stiff frame can take as much torque as your legs can muster without yielding to the demon of flex-so once you get it moving, it keeps rolling along without requiring much energy. One would think that such a stiff frame would accelerate with a certain briskness, but this is not the case. The CCR 1 must be coaxed up to speed with a smooth outlay of leg power and it doesn’t have the ‘snap’ that aggressive-accelerating race bikes all possess. What the Fuji lacks in the zest department is countered by its comfortable ride and absolutely secure feel around fast corners. Go ahead, lay it over and listen to those Conti tires hiss.

For cyclists who dread the stiff back and sore shoulders that a rough-riding racing machine inflicts after a long day in the saddle, the CCR 1 would be a welcome choice. This is an affordable design that actually delivers on its comfort claims. Its slack-for-its-size 72-degree head angle, however, slows its steering response and, coupled with the Fuji’s subdued acceleration, eliminates it from criterium consideration. The CCR 1 has racer looks, but is better suited for century rides and long days in the saddle-but first, you should probably upgrade that saddle.

Price: $3180
Weight: 18.1 pounds
Contact: www.fujibikes.com