Fuji Rakan 1.3 - Review

Mar 28, 2016
by Mike Levy  




It's not all long-travel and big tires here at Pinkbike. With 120mm of suspension front and back and a sturdy aluminum frame, Fuji's 29'' wheeled Rakan has been designed to be an ultra-efficient trailbike that could pull double duty as a cross-country weapon if the need arose. And while the bike's alloy chassis may not be as lust-inducing as pricier carbon rigs, the Rakan's unique looking MLink rear suspension, with pivots smack dab in the middle of its chainstays, will certainly have many riders asking ''what's up with that Fuji?"
Rakan 1.3 Details

• Intended use: trail / cross-country
• Wheelsize: 29''
• Travel: 120mm
• Frame material: aluminum
• MLink suspension design
• Shimano XT 2 x 11 drivetrain
• RockShox Reba RL Solo Air fork
• Weight: 28lb 13oz
• MSRP: $3,149 USD

At $3,149 USD with an XT 2 x 11 drivetrain, the Rakan 1.3 that's reviewed below slots into the middle of Fuji's trailbike range, with the Rakan 1.5 kicking things off at $2,749, and the top tier 1.1 going for $4,199.


Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
The bike's internal routing doesn't feature full-length guides - think twice before you yank out the cable and housing.
Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
Entry points for internally routed cables, including one for a dropper post, are located just behind the Rakan's headtube.


Frame Details

Not using carbon for the Rakan's frame allows Fuji to keep the bike's price reasonable, but they've still incorporated a handful of details that are worth mentioning. Internal cable routing keeps things looking reasonably clean, including the option to route a dropper seat post's (which the bike doesn't come with) cable into and out of the Rakan's top tube. Rubber caps at the entry and exit points allow for slightly larger openings to aid installation when they're popped out, but a lack of full-length internal guides means that this task can still be a tricky one.


Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
  The Rakan in a stout bike, something that's no doubt helped by this one-piece rocker link.


Down below, a PressFit 30 bottom bracket shell provides the real estate required to fit Oval's 35mm-spindle crank that Fuji specs on their high-end Rakan 1.1, but an adapter allows the use of a Shimano unit for the XT crankset that comes stock on our 1.3 test bike. Fuji has also gone with both a 148mm wide Boost rear-end and a Boost'd Reba fork, though the 449mm long chainstays aren't short as I might have guessed, given the Boost hub spacing that's supposed to allow the rear wheel to be tucked up tighter to the bike's seattube.

As for hydration, a bottle can fit inside the triangle, but the shock's position only allows for a medium-sized one, and there is no provision for a cage on the underside of the downtube. I'm generally not a fan of bikes that can't accept a large water bottle (sorry, I like to stay hydrated), but I also realize that many of you are happy to wear a backpack all day long and couldn't care less if the bike even had one bottle mount location.


Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
  The Rakan's 120mm of travel is controlled by the company's unique looking MLink suspension system.

The Rakan's Suspension Explained

The Fuji's unique looking MLink rear suspension design, with pivots smack dab in the middle of the bike's chainstays, is put to use on everything from this 120mm travel Rakan to their 160mm travel Auric. The design is, in effect, a dual-link layout, but its links are much longer than we're used to seeing. The MLink name is an acronym for Mid Link, which makes sense given the chainstay pivot halfway between the rear axle and front triangle. But why place it there instead of next to the axle or close to the bottom bracket shell where we're more used to seeing it? According to Fuji, it's a matter of durability.

Fuji claims they wanted to build a more robust system and that the MLink layout allows for less binding, less flex, and reduced pivot stress than that experienced in more common suspension designs.

MLink designer, Luke Beal, sums it up this way. ''MLink’s longer links rotate slower than short link systems, creating less stress on pivot bearings," says Beale. "And unlike a long link system, MLink connects the seatstays and chainstays for better triangulation and a stiffer rear swingarm while still taking advantage of shorter rear chainstay geometry.''

Regardless of how MLink performs on the trail, the design stands out at a crowded trailhead full of more recognizable dual-link and four-bar designs.
Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
The long lower link places the pivot in the middle of the Rakan's chainstay.




3 Questions With the MLink's Designer, Luke Beale


Mike Levy: What role did you play in the development of the Rakan's MLink suspension design?

Luke Beale: I developed the MLink platform and the kinematics for the Rakan. Level One Engineering (my company) owns the MLink patent portfolio and licenses the system to Fuji.


Mike Levy: Much like the Breezer Repack that also uses MLink suspension, the Rakan pedals implausibly well. In simple terms, why does MLink feel so efficient, and did you have to compromise anything to achieve this?

Luke Beale: The pedaling performance of the Rakan comes from a careful optimization of the system. This involves controlling the variables that influence the rate of chain growth and anti-squat (among others) to get the results that you desire. There really isn’t a compromise made to other aspects of the suspension performance in doing this.
Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore


Mike Levy: Removing the shock and cycling the rear-end of the bike up and down reveals quite a small amount of rotation at the mid-chainstay pivot. What does moving the pivot out to the middle of the chainstay accomplish?

Luke Beale: Four-bar suspension system's function is a result of the placement of all of the pivots and the lengths of the links. MLink’s lower link runs from the main pivot to the pivot in the middle of the chainstay. Because it is a longer link than a typical short link system would use, it requires less rotation from the chainstay pivot. That is a simplification, but it gets the idea across. Just because it doesn’t rotate a lot doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an impact on the performance of the system.





Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2016
Price $3149
Travel 120
Rear Shock Rock Shox Monarch RT3
Fork Rock Shox Reba RL Solo Air 29 w/ remote lockout
Headset FSA NO. 9M/12B, 1 1/8″ – 1.5″, sealed cartridge bearings
Cassette Shimano Deore XT, 10-40T, 11-speed
Crankarms Shimano Deore XT, hollow Tech II w/ integrated spindle, 36/26T
Bottom Bracket Shimano sealed cartridge, PF30 adaptor included
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore XT shadow plus, 11-speed
Chain KMC X11 w/ MissingLink, 11-speed
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore XT, side swing, direct-mount
Shifter Pods Shimano Deore XT Ispec
Handlebar Oval Concepts 650, 7050 alloy, riser, 31.8mm, 9° sweep, +/- 5mm rise
Stem Oval Concepts 707
Grips Oval Concepts 600 SLO
Brakes Shimano Deore XT, hydraulic disc, 180/160mm rotors
Wheelset DT Swiss X1900 Spline wheelset, 28h, 15x110mm front, 148x12mm rear, DT Swiss Champion spokes
Tires Schwalbe Rocket Ron, 29″ x 2.25″ Snake Skin, 67tpi, folding, tubeless ready
Seat Oval Concepts 400 w/ CrMo rails
Seatpost Oval Concepts 650, 7050 alloy, 30.9mm

Fuji Rakan








Climbing

You know that feeling when you go out for a ride and have the pleasant surprise of feeling fitter and stronger than you actually are? It's not something that often happens to me, no matter how much chocolate milk I drink the night before a monster-sized ride, but I sure as hell felt like I had something extra in my legs when I first got on the Rakan. This wasn't a surprise, mind you, as I had a similar sensation when I rode Breezer's Repack Team, another MLink suspension-equipped bike.

Prior to getting aboard the 120mm travel Fuji, I had been spending quite a bit of time on a 130mm travel, 650B-wheeled bike that weighed about the same as this Rakan. I didn't really have any complaints about that bike when it came to getting up the hill. I still don't, but damn; the Fuji makes pretty much every other bike in the same travel bracket feel about as efficient as the last time-wasting staff meeting you were forced to attend. This, despite the Fuji's unimpressive but acceptable 28lb 13oz weight that's par for the course when talking about a $3,149 USD bike. And just to make sure I wasn't actually fitter than I think, a handful of other riders who put time in on the Rakan all came back with unsolicited but gushing praise about how much get-up-and-go the bike possess.


Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
  E-bike shmee-bike. The Rakan will make you feel like you have all the power you'll ever need.


Sure, you could say that any bike with 120mm of travel should move forward exceptionally well, and I'd certainly agree with you on that one, but the Rakan exceeds any expectations you might have. This makes the bike an absolute monster when it comes to covering a lot of ground quickly, especially when chugging along a gravel road climb or smooth climbing trail. I'd be surprised if anyone ever found the need to reach for the Monarch shock's pedal-assist lever. I never did.
bigquotesJust leave the bike's suspension wide open, including the odd handlebar-mounted lockout for the Reba fork, get your legs spinning, and you'll get to the top of the mountain sooner than expected.

That efficiency certainly helps your cause on technical climbs as well, but the Rakan's long legs don't offer the same kind of advantage when you get yourself into places where handling skills begin to trump your VO2 max number. The 29" wheels roll up and over steps and roughness as you'd expect from the bigger wheels. Sometimes, though, it feels like there's a lot of real estate between the bike's front and rear axles. Nimble and playful it is not. The wide-open suspension and relatively grabby Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires, however, will allow you to use muscle instead of finesse to clean pokey sections of steep singletrack with corners that seem to wind and fold in on each other. Mega-technical climbs are not the Rakan's calling, but you can get good at anything if you practice it enough.

There's a lot of fuss over electric-assist bikes right now, and while the Rakan obviously doesn't have a silly motor bolted to it, it sure feels like it does. Yes, there are better bikes in tight, technical terrain, but the Fuji's astounding efficiency will have you feeling like you've punched in the cheat codes for your legs if your local climbs are more of a test of fitness than a test of brain power.


Descending

You've probably seen a lot of 160mm travel bikes here on Pinkbike, machines with slack angles and big tires that are designed to crush descents and simply survive the climbs. The Rakan is definitely not designed to be that bike. It'd be unfair to judge the Rakan's downhill capabilities against bikes that are much more focused on descending and which can't match it on the climbs.

So the Rakan is not the next big thing in enduro bikes, but it still has to hold its own on the descents, doesn't it? That's what I kept asking myself. So, after a few rides on the bike with its stock build, I ditched the Oval Concepts seat post for a dropper, and the 80mm stem for something that better suited my terrain, two changes that, predictably, allowed the Rakan to do exactly that.

The bike's enthusiastic personality under power that makes it so great when it comes to climbing also benefits the rider when things start to point in the opposite direction. The Fuji bolts out of tight corners and gets up to speed quicker than an unemployed social justice warrior can jump on a bandwagon. This makes the Rakan a ton of fun when the ground isn't too steep or chunky, and the bike's lively-yet-stable handling does well when things err on the fun side of flow rather than the scary side of technical.


Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
  A downhill demon the Rakan is not, but it can hold its own relative to its suspension travel and angles.


The same handling traits also apply when getting the Rakan through the corners: The bike's 69-degree head angle and roomy wheelbase seem to be a good match that allows for a plenty of stability without snuffing out the liveliness that every 120mm travel bike should be blessed with. It doesn't take much effort to get the Fuji through most types of corners, but you'll need a confident attitude if things are rough, or if the bike is breaking loose and moving around under you. The line between the fun kind of loose and the scary kind of loose is pretty thin on the Fuji.
bigquotesThe bike's enthusiastic personality under power that makes it so great when it comes to climbing also benefits the rider when things start to point in the opposite direction. The Fuji bolts out of tight corners and gets up to speed quicker than an unemployed social justice warrior can jump on a bandwagon.

Get the Rakan on more serious terrain, however, and the bike's deficiencies begin to become more noticeable. Its reasonable price tag means that there's no way it can compare favorably to bikes costing thousands more when it comes to spec, but you'd be surprised how little this can matter these days - a lot of relatively inexpensive stuff works really well. The 120mm travel Reba RL Solo Air, however, is one part of the bike where it's obvious that saving money can cost a bit of performance. The top of the Reba's stroke felt stiff, even when running too soft of a spring rate, but it also tended to want to go deep into its stroke unless the fork's air spring was too stiff for optimal performance. This can make the bike feel a bit too nose-heavy for my tastes when the speeds pick up or the trail angles down sharply. Adding some Bottomless Tokens would help a lot, no doubt.


Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
  The Rakan isn't a rousing bike when things get rough and steep, but it is fun to ride on moderately challenging terrain.


It's not all bad news with things get rough, though, as the Rakan's long-ish wheelbase, laterally rigid chassis, and surprisingly competent rear suspension do help matters. The MLink suspension, in particular, was admirably invisible, which is a bit of a surprise given that I struggled with its setup on the last MLink-equipped bike (a 160mm travel Breezer Repack Team) that I spent time on. It's a different story with the Rakan, with a relatively decent amount of suppleness on top, a distinct lack of clanging bottom-out noise, and incredible efficiency.

There are a handful of short-travel bikes out there that love to get rowdy under a competent pilot, but those have all been designed by forward-thinking minds who have knowingly sacrificed performance in other areas to maximize the fun-number when the rider is looking for a payoff. That's great. The Rakan, however, takes a more traditional approach to short-travel trailbike design, one that will appease more traditional trailbike riders who don't pull on kneepads every time they head out for a lap. There are still plenty of those people out there.



Technical Report

• Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tires: The Rakan is a 120mm travel trail and/or cross-country bike with 2.25'' wide Rocket Ron tires mounted a set of skinny-ish DT Swiss rims, a setup that perfectly match the bike's intentions. But, and this might only be a "but" if you like to get a bit saucy on the descents, you'll need to run a good amount of tire pressure to keep those things together. I managed to burp both the front and rear tires a number of times, something that didn't stop until I was running 30 PSI. This isn't a knock against the bike, but just a head's up that the Rakan could use some beefier rubber if you plan on pushing your luck on the descents.


Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
The bike's 2 x 11 Shimano XT drivetrain worked extremely well, as you'd expect.
Fuji Rakan Photo by James Lissimore
The XT brakes definitely needed a bleed to stop them from pumping up on descents lasting for more than just a few minutes.


• More Fun: Fuji spec's the Rakan with a standard seat post and 80mm stem, which are both pretty reasonable choices given the bike's price and intentions. I like to have fun, though, and I bet you do as well, so I'd factor in the cost of a decent dropper seat post and get your local shop to swap the stem for something a bit stubbier. Or not, and just ride the bike the way it comes from Fuji and have your own kind of fun. Whatever floats your boat.


• Shimano 2 x11 XT: I'm a big fan of dedicated single chainring drivetrains, but the Rakan's 2 x 11 Shimano XT setup gave me absolutely nothing to complain about. Part of the reason for this is because the Fuji pedals so well that I spent a lot of time in the bike's 36-tooth chainring without feeling the need to drop down to the 26-tooth ring, but it was also faultless when talking about shift action and reliability. And on those days when my legs didn't show up for the ride, or when I just needed to recover, the 26 x 40 easiest gear combo was much appreciated.




Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Rakan is not a new-school, short-travel trail bike that's made for you to chase your friends who are on all-mountain machines. No, the 120mm travel Fuji is designed to cover a lot of ground quickly, and all of it stuck to the ground rather than in the air, so it's going to better suit a rider who values efficiency and fitness over someone who might push their luck on the downhills. - Mike Levy




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About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedaled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



92 Comments

  • + 89
 I loved the review. Sweet to see a good bike being produced at a reasonable price. People will hate because it doesn't have a ridiculous 12x1 gears. Or enve wheels, but I think it's cool to see how a "mid range bike" would be top end only a few years ago.


Also like the SJW bandwagon burn hahahaha
  • - 15
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 28, 2016 at 0:43) (Below Threshold)
 Haha yea @TFreeman People will also hate because it's not a Specialized.

@mikelevy - chocolate milk the night before the ride is merely a homeopathic solution to fitness issues. Big Grin
  • + 54
 I ride with some guys who have $1200 wheels xt or xtr all the suspension adjustment under the sun etc and they are no faster than me riding a standard stock set of alot wheels, a deore groupset and basic but well functioning suspension. You can spend thousands extra and get a bike that is one-2 seconds faster, if you aren't racing at a serious level you might as well chuck your money down the drain. Usually it is more about parking lot bling than any significant gains in performance.
  • + 4
 or there is a fracture in the space-time continuum
  • + 1
 To give an example I know a guy who was top 40 in pro at mega on a bike worth 3k usd new. So you really don't need a top end bike for weekend blasting around your local trails
  • + 34
 For 3k more he could have top 10'd.
  • - 2
 Exactly unless you are a top pro, those 10ths of seconds you can spend 100s 1000s of dollars on our that slightly better ride are no more than us getting drawn into the Mountain bike industry's ever increasing push for consumerism.
  • + 10
 We all rationalize our choices and the circumstances we find ourselves in. That spending money is good or that saving money is good, whatever suits your situation. You will hardly find an owner of second hand hardtail praising ENVE rims, just like there is little chance that a guy who bought them will say that there is anything wrong with them. We need something to believe in Wink
  • + 7
 If you are reading PB bike reviews. A entry level bike will feel great because you know you are getting the best value. And a top end bike would be great too because you can appreciate it.
  • - 11
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 28, 2016 at 4:41) (Below Threshold)
 I am unable to appreciate carbon rims, cranks, swingarms, bars or adjustment range on CCDB shock. I also do not appreciate bikes with shtty wheels, tyres, tube in the rear tyre or lack of a dropper post.
  • + 27
 I know right? Droppers are waaay too heavy, but without one I have to get of the bike every 67meters to adjust my seat height slightly, carbon rims are way to stiff to give good traction but ali rims get dents in the sidewalls when I even think about looking at a rock. Huge range rear cassettes are for pussies with matchstick legs, but real men climb vertical walls with 28 tooth front rings, although their chains fall off if they havent got a narrow wide front ring, which will wear out in under thirty seconds. So I hate all of the above mentioned things.

Perhaps I just don't like mountainbiking?
  • - 12
flag fecalmaster (Mar 28, 2016 at 6:45) (Below Threshold)
 Great price and components spec. The frame even looked great until I scroll down to that botton mid chainstay link,, that is when the explosive diarrhea started. I might have to spend a couple months in shock therapy to forget about that horrifying design.
  • - 1
 Functions better than most designs I've tried. What I don't like is the geo
  • + 2
 What's SJW?
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns while you are correct that "we all need something to believe in" when it comes to bike parts, I disagree that it's all in our heads. Most decent riders can push a bike hard enough to feel the difference between, say, a set of older Easton havocs with 28 spokes and some new Spank Spikes laced up with Sapims on some decent hubs. So Compare those Eastons to some ENVEs and if you can't feel a difference, you probably ride like a pussy.
  • + 5
 1st of all I did not mean that it's all in our heads, that Eastons are equal to ENVEs in reality, no. I meant that whatever you have you will find reasons to justify why you have it, so if you own a 3k bike for a few years you'll be very likely to say that 10k bikes are not worth it. Then if you own a 10k bike you'll be very likely to come up with reasons why is it so much better than 3k bike. Both cases will involve certain bias. Nobody buys a bike saying I should have bought something else.

And if you give me reliable hubs (Novatec floats my boat already) I will prefer average alu rim (let's say DT 533) over ENVE or any other carbon rim, because they are waaay too stiff and make the bike feel like I have 5PSI more in tyres.
  • + 4
 Social justice warrior is SJW
  • + 33
 "Rakan" is how I imagine Ricky pronouncing 'racoon' lol. f*cking rakans!
  • + 21
 God damn rakans stealing all my dope!
  • + 8
 I came to comment on this but I figured someone beat me to it.
  • + 3
 Holy fuck rakans are cute little bastards!
  • + 3
 rakan means friend in my native language
  • + 3
 Release the Rakan!!
  • + 29
 Really good review imho, and refreshing to read a positive note on a front derailleur setup.
  • + 2
 Yup, 2x drivetrains are perfect
  • + 34
 No, Davidsimmons, they aren't.
  • + 5
 Xtr 2x drivetrains are perfect.sram aren't.
  • + 5
 Wahey! Down the arrows point.dont stop till you get to x2 hellfire.BURNx2 witch.BURN.
  • + 5
 Arguing about 2x vs. 1x is kind of moot at this point since that train has already left the station, like 27.5. BUT, a Shimano front derailleur was set and forget. Set it up right the first time, and it was one of the few components that never failed, so yea, I'd say they worked pretty much perfectly. Still don't know what problem 1x fixed, since we're now in the process of negating any weight savings by putting more sprockets on the back wheel and making the hub and derailleur larger.
  • + 2
 Agreed.got both trans.on different bikes and get on very well them.just messed around with my anthem(offsets here and there)to make it less balls out racer and got to the x2 xtr trans.it got me thinking shall I go x1? Then I had a little chat with myself "this x2 works ace,weighs next to nothing and owes me nothing" let it be in the end.
  • + 21
 Free the whales. Stop mining pandas. Feed the trees. I need a job.

Seriously tho, some top reviews from pb recently of really interesting bikes!
Salute
  • + 15
 New suspension designs are always interesting. This M-link thing is basically an exact halfway house between horst-link and short link. According to the review it works very well at transferring power, although I was hoping for more than one slightly vague sentence about how good a job it does of smoothing bumps and keeping the rear tyre glued to the floor in stressful conditions. The lack of column inches devoted to this make me wonder if the answer is "not very well.

However the quotes from Luke Beal did nothing other than make it sound like a marketing gimmick.

''MLink’s longer links rotate slower than short link systems, creating less stress on pivot bearings," says Beale. This statement in particular is just rubbish. Im pretty sure the bearings can handle much higher rpm's than they will experience on this bike. The fact that they dont rotate vary FAR (not fast, durr) could well be argued to reduce their lifespan as all the wear will be focused on one small part of the bearing. The sideloading of the mid-chainstay bearing will be reduced when compared to a short link yes, but A) he makes no mention of this, and B) It only moves these loads to the main pivot bearings instead, which are small and don't look very well supported...

MLink designer, Luke Beal, sums it up this way. "And unlike a long link system, MLink connects the seatstays and chainstays for better triangulation and a stiffer rear swingarm while still taking advantage of shorter rear chainstay geometry.''

And that is just meaningless drivel. Better triangulation of what exactly? And what does this have to do with short chainstays? Which the bike does not posses I might add...
  • + 6
 It's not really a new suspension design, just a way to get around existing patents.
  • + 11
 Really enjoyed this review in particular, especially reading about the new suspension design. Would have loved to see a GIF of it in action. Keep rockin Mike.
  • + 3
 I agree, It's hard for me to imagine this hodgepodge of links in motion
  • + 2
 Below is a link to an animation of the Breezer Repack with MLink.
youtu.be/S1NUaQnc9eE
  • + 6
 If you are going to reference the performance of this bike to other bikes, then please at lease be specific and give examples of those other bikes. Not one competitor is mentioned in this article. I don't think you understand how frustrating that is for the reader, or at least me. Enjoyed reading the article. You are approaching Car & Driver for craftiness of analogies.
  • + 3
 Now if they can only do a comparison the way that Car & Driver does. They manage to do it and keep their advertisers.
  • + 3
 I just love the last paragraph. "Use any description you want - just don't use the words cross country or XC! Pinkbike will eat you alive if you do"
  • + 4
 I would like to see a company take this design and do a longer travel enduro rig with more aggressive geometry that neither the Fuji nor the Breezer possess. I wonder if the exceptional climbing ability as provided is mutually exclusive with amazing descending. I would also like to know how the bearings hold up over a season.
  • + 2
 Fuji/Breezer both have uncomfortably steep HA's. The repack climbed better and my much lighter, shorter travel remedy, but descended worse. From the looks of this year's specs they still haven't figured out how few people like that. If the rakan had a 67° head I'd put it on my short list. The mlink really is a worthy platform. It is too bad that the only company using it is Fuji.
  • + 2
 I demoed the Breezer version of this, and it climbed fine, but going downhill was a disaster. It felt like you were on the verge of going OTB every time you thought about your brakes or approached a mildly steep section. My hard tail (Fuji) 29er went downhill better. I had the same problem PB had with the longer travel breezer as well- if there was enough air in the shock to not bottom out on small bumps, there was no small or medium bump sensitivity. It felt like I had the climb switch on the hardest settings. The bike was the opposite of fun.

This Fuji, however, is supposed to have slightly different manufacturing and machining to be lighter, and maybe a different spring rate as well.
  • + 2
 I did otb the repack on a decent my remedy handled just fine. It did climb and absorb shock well though.
  • + 1
 Would you mind expanding upon your remark? What made it so? I am genuinely looking at this as my next bike. I am looking for something that is a bit more flexible than a pure XC rig for mid Atlantic (climbs, rocks, mud, ruts/ roots, etc...). The specs for money on this are pretty irresistible. What made it feel like it was going to kick you? Would a different shock have made a difference? Volume spacers?
  • + 1
 @jmhills: whats your budget? There are a lot of good 120mm bikes out there that you can make a good climber by just using the little pedal switch.

I would strongly demo one before you buy one. The Breezer version of the bike felt like a 20 pound XC hardtail with an inverted stem on the descents
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: $3500. I am trying to find pedal platform, without using as little switch as possible. That is why this bike intrigues me. I will demo one but the only distributor around me is a Performance and I am not too sure they will let me actually get it dirty. A 120mm/ 29er, or a 27.5+, is what I am looking for.

Were the angles all wrong to put too much weight on the front for where you were riding? Was the rear to stiff not allowing much transfer/ absorption?
  • + 1
 @jmhills: The rear was very stiff. It felt like the propedal was always on. Now that I think back, however, it had a really long stem (120mm) and the fox 32 on it felt like garbage. It was pressured very high so it wasn't smooth, but then it would dive through its travel when you braked. Maybe it would have been better with a shorter stem and better fork.

It just felt way to steep in the HTA and the BB was way too high. Your center of gravity was much too high and it felt like the front wheel was tucked up right in front of you.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: Thanks for the insight. A long stem would screw things up and exaggerate the already steep HA. I went through a few shops and have found some other options in that price window. Really appreciate the responses.
  • + 1
 Pretty sweet rig for the price. Not the best looking bike in the market but deffinitly not the worst.

With 120mm of travel and relatively steep headtube angle, it's no suprise it climbs really well. I'm holding out on believing that the M-link is the largest reason for its great climbing capabilities until I can actually get on one and ride it. You go through all the latest XC/ All Mountain bike reviews and you will see the same kind of comments about climbing capabilities.
  • + 3
 I have been hoping for a review on Fuji, but was really hoping it would be for the auric 1.1. I wonder how that compares? Really nice review
  • + 1
 I agree. The Auric 1.1 is a pretty killer build for the price point.
  • + 1
 My KTM came with the same tires on a similar rim setup. Ditch the tires immediately! The Rocket Rons are fast BUT that is it. Paper thin walls and not a lot of grip. They suck with or without tubes.
  • + 1
 Is it just me or does the craftsman ship if a aluminum frame seem more impressive then carbon, all the tube mitering, cnc parts and nice beads if tig welding rather then something the looks like it came from a plastic mold.
  • + 4
 That's a shedload of money for a Fuji/mid level bike.
  • + 9
 That's what I thought initially too. But it's full XT. They've put the money into parts that matter as opposed to just whacking on an XT derailleur and a fancy fork. Something to be applauded I reckon.
  • + 9
 No dropper, that's where they got the money for full XT.
  • + 0
 One thing about Fuji, their dealers seem to be able to offer discounts and have more flexibility with pricing. I would expect this bike to be 20% off MSRP 80% of the time it's on the floor, with room left for the dealer to still make money.
  • + 4
 RELEASE THE K(RAKAN?)
  • + 1
 So keep on RAKAN me baby
  • + 1
 Interesting design, I'd like to see an animation of how that suspension works and the path the wheel takes during compression.
  • + 1
 I have a fairly good mental picture of how, but I'd still like to see
  • + 3
 Not bad Fuji... the review made the Reba a bit of a turn off though Frown
  • + 1
 What I always want to know is....If you weren't paid to ride different bikes. Would you buy it? All the reviews should have this included.
  • + 2
 Who’s gonna want that with only 2x11, especially if it isn’t a gold cassette!?
  • + 2
 120mm, 13kg (including an xc fork) and without a dropper?
If sub $1,500 USD we are talking.
  • + 4
 449mm?
  • + 3
 Short chain stays are not the be all, end all if bike geometry.
  • - 1
 I don't want to be the one that says you should buy a pretty decent car instead, but the price of bikes in general borders on a non curable retardation. I don't want to ruin your next bike purchase, but damn it's getting expensive! 1500$ drive trains lololol.
  • + 16
 Brah, your justification game is weak. Instead of saying bikes are too expensive, you should be like, " $3000 to get in touch with nature? I'm in!"...

or "my chiseled quads and calves will surely pull b*tches, where do I sign?"

You're just going about it all wrong.
  • + 2
 I rakan this could be a great bike to race marathons on and have somebtrail bike fun on the downs..
  • + 1
 If it looks like a pig...most likely it's a pig. Behind the curve. Never been impressed by Fuji. This is a citybike.
  • + 2
 I raken for $3K+, there are better carbon options out in the market.
  • + 2
 XC and 28lb, not the best combo
  • + 1
 hey look an ugly version of the Breezer Supercell!
  • + 1
 Where is slideshow with suspension movement??!
  • + 1
 I'm still waiting for the punch line.
  • + 2
 Where's the dropper?
  • + 2
 They dropped it from the line up. Lol.
  • + 1
 Pink bike how the heck is the internal dropper cable routed?
  • + 1
 Seems like a good bike, would love to give it a try.
  • + 1
 Personally like the bike.really could do with a dropper tho.
  • + 0
 I rakan it looks pretty good
  • + 1
 zeropointzero
  • + 1
 Lost me a pressfit BB.
  • + 0
 Fuji makes bikes...
  • + 0
 Fuji, Simply The Best!
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