A road bike manufactured by the Japanese Fuji company. For the years 2000 and the latter part of 2001, the official bicycle of the Mercury-Viatel bicycle team. (For the brief period it was the Mercury-Viatel-Lemond team, they of course rode Lemond bikes).
After having seen it in catalogs, I had my buddy buy one, as he was looking into getting a higher performance road bike. Even though the specs looked good in the catalog and their website, I was amazed with the value of the bike.
The bike, which retails for around $1400, includes:
- A pretty lightweight aluminum frame. Not too exotic, but good. Big, unpretty, but workmanlike welding.
- Shimano Ultegra 9-speed. Everything is Ultegra, two chainrings up front.
- Ritchey OCR wheels. Fairly lightweight, funky set of raceable wheels. OCRs have weird, offset rim holes, which is supposed to reduce dish, resulting in a stronger wheel. Kind of sexy in it's black color.
- Very raceable Michelin Axial Pro tires.
- Reasonably light weight handlebars (I think Control Tech?)
- Very nice, affordable Speedplay X-3, which seem to work as well as the more expensive X-1 or X-2, but is made of plain old steel, instead of titanium.
- The only thing that they skimped on - the stem is a Kore, more suited to mountain bikes. Big and clunky, and could be lighter.
I was looking forward to suggesting upgrades to my friend, but I couldn't think of any reasonable upgrades to this budget-priced bike. I rode on it once, and it handled great (especially compared to my 7 year old Lemond Zurich).
Once I have some disposable money, I am going to get one. I can recommend this bike to anyone, from the beginning racer to experienced racers on a budget. The only thing this bike is missing is a sexy European name. Perhaps if they changed the name to Phugieux Team or something.
Not to be confused with the Fuji Team Issue, which is sold as just a frame set. The frame alone costs about as much as the Fuji Team, but the Fuji Team Issue is the frame that's used by the pro team, and it's made of fancy Scandium alloy (from Easton, I think).