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Thread: Fuji SST 2.0?

  1. #1
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    Fuji SST 2.0? (Need advice on my first road bike purchase!)

    Hi all,

    Today I went shopping for my first road bike. I visited two nearby stores (a Sports Basement and a Performance Bicycle). I test rode three bikes, including a Cannondale Six 5 and a Fuji SST 2.0. I liked the Fuji SST 2.0 the most and Performance Bicycle seems to be offering an unbeatable price on it. Hence, my question is should I buy this bike? Oh yeah, and I have to make my decision by tomorrow if I want to get the extras that the store is offering this weekend only.

    When I walked into the store, I noticed this bike was on sale for $2400, which was close to my price range. I also recognized the model number as one of the bikes I had considered while spending hours doing online research. The bike looks awesome and I got pretty excited when I reviewed the specs: a C-4 High Mod carbon frame and a Shimano Ultegra 6700 drive train. I know I can get a Motobecane with a comparable spec through bikesdirect.com for about $400 less (e.g., the Motobecane Immortal ICE), which was the primary option I was considering before I saw and rode the Fuji SST 2.0.

    This weekend only, the store will be taking another 15% off the sale price and is throwing in a maintenance package worth $90. I can also get approximately $200 in store credit (through a Team Performance Membership). On the advice of one my my road-biking friends, I also got the shop to agree to replace the standard crank with a compact crank so I will more easily be able to hang with my friend's group on the nearby hills.

    I took the bike for a short ride and I absolutely LOVED the feel of it (at least in comparison to the Cannondale Six 5), despite the seat having to be left in a very high position because the frame of the one bike in stock was a little small for me. If I get the bike, I will be ordering it with a bigger frame.

    One thing I'm a little bit confused about with the Fuji SST 2.0 is apparently the frame has to be physically cut at the appropriate height to match my size. A guy at the shop, who also says he owns the same bike, said he would not want to make the cut without having all of my measurements via a professional fitting of some sort. He said the fitting would cost me another $200 or so, and which I would have to get at another shop. (Apparently Performance Bicycle doesn't do the type of fitting I would need.) I don't mind paying for the fitting as I understand that having the perfect fit is critical. I was just surprised to learn that apparently this Fuji frame has to be cut. I should mention that I'm 6' 3" and that, based on my Cannondale sizing, I will need a 60 cm frame.

    And now a little more bit about me: I'm very much a beginning cyclist, having only been on a couple of rides with my friends (one of whom lent me a Motobecane bike), some of whom are regular riders. However, I want to start riding with my friends a couple of times per week, mainly to get into cycling shape for my first triathlon, which I will be competing in on 9/19. I have always been a runner (I was a former PAC-10 cross country runner about 16 years ago) and have recently started competing in masters swimming events. In other words, cycling is my weakest triathlon leg, but I'm hoping to change that. ;)

    I would greatly appreciate any comments/suggestions you have regarding whether I should purchase the Fuji SST 2.0 tomorrow or perhaps consider another option.

    Thanks,

    K_Man
    Last edited by K_Man; 08-01-2010 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Clarify subject/title

  2. #2
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Man
    I was just surprised to learn that apparently this Fuji frame has to be cut. I should mention that I'm 6' 3" and that, based on my Cannondale sizing, I will need a 60 cm frame.
    Perhaps too late with this. But you being a beginner combined with a seat mast that needs to be cut is a recipe for disaster. Your Cannondale size is no real help here—it could be completely irrelevant to the contemplated Fuji purchase. Last but not least, there are bikes out there much more suitable (in terms of a "tri-fit") for someone who wants to do well in triathlons. Just go for a ride today, but not anywhere near that Performance store.

    /w
    Last edited by wim; 08-01-2010 at 05:53 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim
    Your Cannondale size is no real help here—it could be completely irrelevant to the contemplated Fuji purchase.
    Thanks for your reply. I haven't pulled the trigger on the purchase yet. I will be inspecting the bike again later today with one of my road biking friends. With regard to sizing, couldn't I just do a fitting before returning to the store? That way I could make sure I select the appropriate frame size for the Fuji bike. As long as I get the right frame size and have the post cut at the appropriate height, can I go terribly wrong with this bike? I know there may be comparable bikes out there, but I like this one!

  4. #4
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Man
    With regard to sizing, couldn't I just do a fitting before returning to the store? That way I could make sure I select the appropriate frame size for the Fuji bike. As long as I get the right frame size and have the post cut at the appropriate height, can I go terribly wrong with this bike?
    If you can get someone competent to fit you for (meaning sitting on a) 2010 Fuji SST 2.0, chances are fairly good that the bike you get will fit for now. But consider this: as you get fitter, stronger, more flexible, more ambitious and more interested in being more than just a mid-pack rider in triathlons, that bike may no longer be able to accommodate your needs and wants.

    The Ritchey Stubby Seat Clamp on top of the Fuji seat mast gives you 3.0 cm of up-down leeway. That's a lot for someone who's been riding for years and knows his saddle height within a few millimeter. But for someone starting out, I don't think it's enough. I don't know the fore-aft adjustability range of the Ritchey Stubby Seat Clamp, but I can tell you that having enough fore-aft leeway is important for triathlon and time trial set-ups. Make sure you ask about that.

    I'm not knocking the Fuji SST 2.0 per se—just putting the bike next to what you're telling us in your original post.
    Last edited by wim; 08-01-2010 at 01:15 PM.

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    You could always get the Fuji SST 3.0 which has the same frame but without the integrated seat mast. I wouldn't be concerned with the 2.0 though. mm's of adjustment are enough for future riding on the same bike. If you start changing things on the bike, say aero bars, then your saddle position might change.

    I have a 2010 SST 2.0 now and you'll love the bike. Fast and stiff. Great bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    If common sense was common internet forums would be out of business.

  6. #6
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    Sports Basement sells Fuji, too, and the Walnut Creek store is great. Will they price match? Plus, you get 10% off everything there if you have a Costco membership. Anyway, I remember seeing good deals there last year. Did you look at the Felts? Good luck, first road bike is fun.

  7. #7
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    Take your time, I wouldn't let the deal drive the decision. The fitting is what you really need and test ride some other bikes, especially where you get your fitting done.

    The Fuji is priced about $600 lower than most Full Carbon Ultegra bikes, but for $3,000 you can get something with a better Bottom Bracket and upgraded wheels.

    Good luck
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    Hi all,

    I greatly appreciate the feedback, which gave me a lot to think about today. I went from being very excited about the bike yesterday, to becoming skeptical about whether I should go ahead with the purchase (based mainly on the sizing concerns wim and others raised with respect to the seat mast), to finally going with my instincts and ordering the bike.

    I'm feeling pretty confident that I'm getting the most bang for my buck in terms of the frame and components short of buying a Motobecane bike through bikesdirect.com. And the bottom line is I love the look and feel of the bike. I think I will look like a racer even though I know I'm not one yet!

    Before I went ahead with the purchase, I brought one of my most-trusted bike aficionado friends to the store with me today to look over the bike and to give me his thoughts, especially in terms of the sizing issues. He agreed with the general consensus on the forum that it would be risky for me as a beginning cyclist to have a seat post with such a limited range of adjustment. Perhaps in view of my general excitement over the bike, though, he reluctantly agreed it might be worth taking the risk, assuming I could at least get a proper fitting on the SST 2.0 frame as a prerequisite to completing the purchase.

    The store was very busy today, but after waiting patiently I was able to get the attention of the acting sales manager, whom I met yesterday and who knew I liked the bike. I started by telling him that I wanted to purchase the bike today, but based on the fact that I'm a new cyclist and the seat mast would have to be cut, I wanted to make absolutely sure I was sized properly on the frame before making the purchase.

    The sales manager, who is a racer himself, and one of the mechanics (who owns the SST 2.0 for racing), seemed skeptical that the bike was appropriate for me, especially given that my plan was follow my friend's advice to swap out the standard crank set with a compact crank set in order to be able to survive more easily on rides with my friend's group through the nearby hills. (I had one experience riding the hills on a Motobecane bike with the compact crank set, and it was brutal! I can't even imagine trying that ride with a bike having a standard crank set.)

    Despite their skepticism and the fact that the store was extremely busy, the sales manager took some time to check my fit on the one SST 2.0 in stock (with a 58 cm frame)--the one I took for a test ride yesterday. After some analysis, he decided that the frame was a little bit too small for me and that 60 cm would definitely be the right size. His judgment matches another fitting I received on a Cannondale Six 5 (which has a very similar geometry) yesterday and with various sizing charts on the Web, so I feel pretty confident that he is right.

    Next I asked him about how I could make sure to get the proper cut on the seat mast. He said that I would get a first fitting (in my full gear) when the bike came in and that we could look at pinning down the best possible height for the seat mast at that time. He also suggested that I bring in my current bike (I don't have one, but I did borrow 56 cm Motobecane from my friend previously) to help them determine a potential sweet spot for the seat height on the SST 2.0.

    My friend also proposed that I could ask the store to cut the seat mast conservatively (e.g., erring on the side of having the seat mast being a little bit too high at first). Then, after some time, I could get potentially get a second cut that is more precise. The sales manager said that the head mechanic might be willing to make the cut, but mentioned that the mechanic at the store who actually owns the bike had taken it to a different store for the cut. So I'm not sure who will be doing the cut, but I'm pretty sure I will be able to get one that fits me as closely as possible.

    Also, the sales manager took some time to show me that the seat post is actually a little bit more adjustable than it looks and suggested that there is more than just a 2-3 cm adjustment range, which helped ease my sizing concerns somewhat.

    So... in the end, I went ahead and bought the Fuji SST 2.0 as my first road bike. I'm a little bit worried about the remaining issue of getting the seat mast cut as precisely as possible, of course, but overall I'm very excited about my purchase.

    I spent a grand total of $2321.54, including taxes, for the complete bike and a two-year maintenance plan. I also got 10% back on my purchase as in-store credit by purchasing a Team Performance membership ($29.99) prior to the purchase. So, effectively, my bike cost about $2100. (Actually, I had hoped to spend about $500 less on my first bike, but after reading everything I could about frames and components, I decided to stretch my budget a little bit to get the full carbon frame and Shimano Ultegra components, in addition to a style of bike that fits my personality.)

    One snag I ran into is the sales manager decided he didn't want to do a straight swap of the crank sets. He said the bike was being offered at a low promotional rate on the assumption that no changes would be made to the advertised spec. Therefore, I will have to buy the compact crank set separately (for $240) and then sell my standard crank set on eBay. The shop did agree to install the compact crank set for me, at least, so I'm happy about that. Actually, I might just keep the standard crank until I grow into it.

    Thank you all for the feedback even though I didn't exactly follow anyone's advice (except maybe Mount Dora Cycles' advice. ) I'll let you all know how everything goes with the seat-mast sizing and, of course, whether I still like the bike after taking it for a few rides and competing with it in my first triathlon next month!

    K_Man
    Last edited by K_Man; 08-02-2010 at 12:35 AM.

  9. #9
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    Just a FYI... when you go for a fitting in 'full gear', make sure you have your chosen pedal system because that will play a role in setting saddle height.

  10. #10
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Man
    And the bottom line is I love the look and feel of the bike.
    Well, that's important. An unloved bike doesn't get ridden. Congrats!

    A note on the $240 crank swap: I agree with you holding off on that. While standard vs. compact crank discussions are fierce, the difference between these cranks is much out of proportion to the ferocity of the arguments. In simple terms, a difference of three teeth in front is about the same as a difference of only one (1) lousy tooth in the rear. So if you want more climbing ease, just replace the 11-25 cassette with one that gives you a 27T largest sprocket.

    /w
    Last edited by wim; 08-02-2010 at 03:47 AM.

  11. #11
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    I would not hold off on the swap... get the compact while you might be able to get a discount on it if you can negotiate it. Based on the store names you mention, I'm guessing you live in the Bay Area. If you're pretty new to riding you will want all the help you can get on the hills we have around here, and if you end up being strong enough for the regular double you'll have it sitting in your garage waiting for you.

  12. #12
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    after you get some time on the bike, get a RETUL fit. You will never regret it!

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    Hi all,

    Update:

    I got a professional bike fitting at Silicon Valley Cycling center last Wednesday. The guy I worked with (Karl Etzel) spent a lot of time with me on a FitBike to figure out the right configuration for me. Then he cut a few centimeters off of the seat mast. He also placed an order for a new stem that I will be picking up this week hopefully. As soon as I have the new stem installed, I think will have a nearly perfect fit on my bike (for now, anyway)!

    Given that I'm planning to compete in some triathlons, I decided to go with triathlon shoes as my first road shoes. I picked the Louis Garneau Carbon Tri HRS Road Shoes mainly because they were on sale at Sports Basement. I also selected the Speedplay Zero Chromoly pedal as my first pedal based on a strong recommendation from a "roadie" at my local Performance Bicyle store. I had never clipped in/out before, but was able to figure it out pretty quickly while riding the FitBike.

    One of the best things about my selection of the Speedplay pedals was that Karl was able to use a special SpeedPlay adapter (~$30) to make sure I had a perfect fit of my triathlon shoes to the pedal. I had no clue where my foot was supposed to be relative to the pedal, so I was glad Karl could help me with that. My total cost for the fitting, pedal adapter, and seat mast cut was about $200. (Well-spent money, I think).

    Even though I didn't have my new stem, I took the bike out for my first ride last Friday. I took the bike on a 15-mile rolling course with a few short, steep ascents. I ended up getting both the compact crank set and an 11-28T cassette, so I was able to handle the ascents with no problem in my lowest gear. ;)

    I accomplished my goal of not falling off my bike. I did run into a small issue with the velcro flap of my shoes rubbing against my crank occassionally. I think I might have to cut off some of the excess material (my feet are narrow, so the strap flaps around a little bit). Oh yeah, I was also pretty sore afterwards, mainly between the legs. Obviously I'm going to have to get some Chamoise Cream!

    Overall, I felt comfortable on my bike, even though I was basically in a tucked position the entire time as I have a fairly steep rise with my current stem. I can't wait to get the new stem so that I can hopefully feel comfortable enough to push myself a little bit harder on my next ride.

    I also installed a Garmin 500 on the bike. It is pretty cool to see the statistics of your ride when you upload the data to the Garmin site. Now I'm even thinking about taking the Garmin 500 with me when I run.

    I'll be riding again next Friday; and hopefully at least once per week after that!

    Here's a picture of my bike prior to the fitting and seat mast cut (yeah, I removed the reflectors! ):



    K_Man
    Last edited by K_Man; 08-25-2010 at 01:20 PM.

  14. #14
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    Congrats, nice looking bike!!

    Doing your first 15 mile ride with the only 'event' being a shoe strap flapping against the crank isn't starting off too badly at all. And I agree that the $200 was well spent. Mast cut and general fitting aside, cleat set up is very important, so it's good you had some assitance with that.

    Enjoy the new bike. Ride often, and ride safe!!

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    Update:

    I've put in a few hundred miles on my bike now and have used it in one triathlon race (sprint distance). I still absolutely love the bike and have no regrets about my purchase. I've taken the bike on a couple of 30-mile rides, including one with a 3,000 foot elevation gain. Luckily I had my compact crankset and 28T cassette installed, which helped. ;) My goal is to put in 2K miles this year.

    It turned out my first seat mast cut was a little bit too conservative, so I had a few more millimeters taken off.

    I have been watching the prices over the last few months and haven't seen anything close to the price I got. The same bike has been selling for $500 or more than what I paid for it. Also, based on another thread I was reading, it looks like the specs of the 2011 model may be inferior to the specs of the 2010 model!

    I have to admit, though, I am now dreaming of a Cervelo P4 triathlon bike to go with my Fuji SST 2.0...
    Last edited by K_Man; 12-29-2010 at 01:05 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Man
    Update:

    I've put in a few hundred miles on my bike now and have used it in one triathlon race (sprint distance). I still absolutely love the bike and have no regrets about my purchase. I've taken the bike on a couple of 30-mile rides, including one with a 3,000 foot elevation gain. Luckily I had my compact crankset and 28T cassette installed, which helped. ;) My goal is to put in 2K miles this year.

    It turned out my first seat mast cut was a little bit too conservative, so I had a few more millimeters taken off.

    I have been watching the prices over the last few months and haven't seen anything close to the price I got. The same bike has been selling for $500 or more than what I paid for it. Also, based on another thread I was reading, it looks like the specs of the 2011 model may be inferior to the specs of the 2010 model!

    I have to admit, though, I am now dreaming of a Cervelo P4 triathlon bike to go with my Fuji SST 2.0...
    That's good to know about your Fuji. However, I would advise you to not look at what they are selling for now that you have yours. Granted, you got a smokin deal but most people that do that are disappointe dwith a month after purchase. The bike is perfect for you and you own it. That's all that matters. The P4 is a sweet bike but so is your SST 2.0.

  17. #17
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    congrats with your purchase. that's a nice looking bike you got there. i was offered by my lbs that exact bike but he was asking too much for it.
    Last edited by red elvis; 01-11-2011 at 05:50 PM.

  18. #18
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    The bike retailed for $3680 in 2010. I'm curious, what was the "asking too much" price?
    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    If common sense was common internet forums would be out of business.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mount Dora Cycles
    The bike retailed for $3680 in 2010. I'm curious, what was the "asking too much" price?
    $2000 cash plus my current bike is too much for me. i could keep my bike and get a carbon bike with ultegra for $2,000. (scattante elite =$1,999.00)

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