MLink Rear Suspension
Fuji has expanded their Rakan range for 2021, with a big bump up to 150mm of coil-sprung rear-wheel-travel, a 160mm fork, and a 63.7-degree head angle that puts it in a different category than the 120mm version. The short-travel Raken is still in their catalog if you don't need that much bike, but it's the Rakan LT that's ready for more speed and more sending.
The Rakan LT comes in two flavors; $2,799 USD gets you a RockShox Yari RC fork and Super Deluxe Coil Select shock, and a Deore 11-speed drivetrain, while $3,999 USD will get you a ZEB Select+, Super Deluxe Coil Select+, and GX Eagle 12-speed gearing on the same aluminum frame.
Rakan LT Details
• Travel: 150mm rear / 160mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• MLink suspension
• Aluminum frame
• Threaded bottom bracket
• Metric shock sizing
• MSRP: $2,799 / $3,999 USD
The Rakan LT's press release is full of words telling us how efficient the bike's rear-suspension layout is and, having ridden a few different variations of their MLink system, I don't doubt those claims. Okay, cool, but why is there a pivot in the middle of the chainstays? MLink is short for Mid Link, and Fuji has said in the past that it provides less binding, less flex, and reduced pivot stress than experienced in more common suspension designs.
''Because it is a longer link than a typical short link system would use, it requires less rotation from the chainstay pivot,"
Luke Beal (the MLink's designer) explained of the original Rakan's MLink system that the new version evolved from. ''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.
You'll find the Rakan name on two bikes in Fuji's catalog, one being a 120mm trail rig and the other being the 150mm Rakan LT shown here. As you can imagine, they have very dissimilar geometry. Upfront, the LT gets a 63.7-degree head angle and a roomy 490mm reach on a large-sized bike. That drops down to 470mm on a medium and 450mm on a small, while the seat tube angle is as steep as 77.5-degrees on the small. The medium and large sizes sit a bit slacker at 76.5-degrees.
It's worth mentioning that the new Rakan LT seems to sit awfully close to Fuji's other big-hitter, the Auric LT that sports a 170mm fork and 160mm of rear-wheel-travel. It has a 63.5-degree head angle, and the reach numbers match those used for the Rakan LT. The frame looks quite similar, too.
The Rakan 29 LT 1.1 (left) costs $3,999 USD, while the LT 1.5 goes for $2,799 USD. Both are built around the same 150mm-travel aluminum frame.