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  1. #1
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    Just bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105

    I'm fairly new to the forums and just purchased my first step-up bike. I started cycling about 8 months ago for health reasons. I started with a Raleigh Misceo 1.0 because I wasn't sure I would like cycling and it fit me perfect and wasn't intimidating to a new rider. Turns out cycling is for me, according to Strava/My Tracks I have put over 2000 miles on that bike in 8 months (600 in the past 28 days) and gone from 265 to 225 pounds all while riding in khaki shorts and a t-shirt.

    I will never bad mouth the Raleigh as it was dead reliable and the PERFECT entry level bike for an intimidated, fat, 38 year old guy. It is a great bike that introduced me to cycling and perhaps saved my life, but it's is time for an upgrade. My shrinking belly and confidence in the saddle now allow me to comfortably use dropbars and it would be nice to ride a bike that isn't 30 pounds. (I am keeping the Raleigh and putting a rear rack on it for town and shopping duty).

    I am still on a tight budget and want something comfortable. I checked out numerous bikes and LBS's. I rode some friends bikes and talked with many people. I decided the Fuji Gran Fondo fit me best and offered some of the best components for the money. I am lucky to live near a Performance Bike but they never had the Gran Fondo I wanted or could afford in stock or in the warehouse. Well today I found out they just released a new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE with the "new" Shimano 105 11 speed components (versus the old 10 speed 105). They had an additional 10% off so I pulled the trigger and bought it. They didn't have it in the store but it is in a local warehouse.

    I am still not sold on the colors (matte black and orange) but I have yet to see it in person. The important thing is the specs are what I want and the price was within but at the top of my tight budget. The geometry is the same as other Gran Fondo's I have been fitted on so I am not worried about that. I will post pics when I pick it up at the end of the week.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a great step up. I bought my first bike, an Altamira with 105 drivetrain and it's been a great choice. That bike has done everything from Urban rides, to typical group rides, to long distance brevťts. Performance has also been a solid dealer as far as support, service and accessories. I do also use an owner operated custom bike shop that has been helpful with detailed fittings and things like building wheels.

  3. #3
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    Photo as promised. Picked it up later today so was losing light for photos. Will take more pics tomorrow morning on her maiden voyage.
    Just bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-img_20140722_184853_273.jpg

  4. #4
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    Impressions so far:
    So far a very good overall experience at Performance in Torrance. Assembly guy Jon was very friendly and helpful.
    I am very happy with the construction and feel of the bike. Still not 100% sure about the orange.
    According to my unscientific weighing on my bathroom scale its about 19 pounds fully dressed. My old bike on the same scale was 31 pounds.
    Will update as I go.

  5. #5
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    Took it for a 35 mile shakedown ride this morning. Overall I am very happy. I was worried about the seat, as I am used to a comfort saddle, but there was no tingling or soreness during or after the ride. Its my first time using drop bars, so I am getting used to that but don't foresee any problems. Drivetrain is very smooth and I am happy with the shifting but dont know if I have found my sweet spot in the gears yet. I was riding at what I thought was a VERY casual pace, trying to get used to the bike also fielding questions along the way. I still managed to up my average mph on Strava by about 1.5 mph over my old bike and set 8 personal records. Climbing and acceleration are amazing to me but I am new and my old bike weighed more than 30 pounds so take that for what its worth.
    Just bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-img_20140723_093749_297.jpgJust bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-img_20140723_093758_012.jpgJust bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-img_20140723_093809_007.jpgJust bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-img_20140723_093818_652.jpg

  6. #6
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    Congrats on the new Fondo, 35 miles without tingling or soreness, I think it's a very positive sign the bike fits you well. I really like the matte black theme on Fuji lines lately, but if you said you're not sure about the orange, maybe trade it up a bit for the 2.0 LE Fondo? I know it's a bit extra, but you get Ultegra instead, and I dig the red. But if you can grow on the orange, the 105 is already smooth and nice.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanquiz View Post
    Congrats on the new Fondo, 35 miles without tingling or soreness, I think it's a very positive sign the bike fits you well. I really like the matte black theme on Fuji lines lately, but if you said you're not sure about the orange, maybe trade it up a bit for the 2.0 LE Fondo? I know it's a bit extra, but you get Ultegra instead, and I dig the red. But if you can grow on the orange, the 105 is already smooth and nice.
    I am very surprised how comfortable it is. Its got a very good position for this 39 year old fat guy. My old bike was a flat bar and my wrists would get tired after a while. I like the option of putting my hands in different positions on a drop bar.

    I certainly checked out the Gran Fondo 2.0, and love the colors, but I had to stretch the budget to get this one. I am very happy with the Shimano 105, although I am not an experienced rider, and this is the just released 11 speed version (supposedly that's a good thing, the old was a 10 speed). The orange is growing on me and the fit is perfect so the most important base is covered.

    The white bar tape will have to go eventually and I will be getting a new bottle cage as I am using my old cheapo.

  8. #8
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    Just a quick followup. I have just over 200 miles on the bike including a 48 mile ride today. The comfort is still great, the perfect fit for me. Zero soreness anywhere (back, hands, butt, etc) The only thing I am not 100% sure about is the brakes. They stop the bike fine, and I have had to use them in some emergency situations, but still something not perfect for me. There is a strong possibility it could be the drop handlebar setup as I am used to a flatbar and the way the brakes are setup there. Perhaps I will just need to get used to using dropbars.

  9. #9
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    It looks as though you could roll your bars down some so your hoods are lower, that would help with the way it feels to you

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by casual View Post
    Photo as promised. Picked it up later today so was losing light for photos. Will take more pics tomorrow morning on her maiden voyage.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice paint schema! I like it.

  11. #11
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    So quick update, people never seem to do this long term and I hope it helps another newbie like me. I have 6000 miles on the bike so far. For those interested in what style of riding I do, itís a 20-30 mile, 1000 ft of climb ride and I do it 4-5 days a week at an average speed of about 15-16 mph. I ride within half a mile of the ocean at all times. I am a very casual solo rider and only use Strava on my phone to measure my rides. I am only out to lose weight and be healthier and a I am complete amateur.

    I still find the bike very comfortable and it is holding up incredibly well. I clean it fairly often and generally take very good care of it (as I see it). In addition I take it in for a full tune-up every 2000 miles or so. I have had one hard crash on it but my body took 99.9% of the damage, the only scuff on the bike being the left hood. This laid me up for a month and left me shaky and nervous in the saddle for a month after. I ride in salt air 100% of the time and there has been a bit of corrosion on the Tektro brake caliper springs and hex bolt heads. I now pay special attention to those when I clean the bike. I am not sure if this would be an issue away from the coast? Braking has not been hurt and there is no other corrosion on the bike.

    That being said I have had zero issues with the bike to this point. No strange creaks, no noises, shifting is perfect, and the wheels have stayed true. On my last tune up the guy said the rear hub bearings are wearing a little. Itís not a major concern as I am going to upgrade to a set of lighter wheels when I hit 7000 miles. I have already swapped the tires for a set of slightly lighter Michelin Pro3 (I didnít buy for the weight savings, I just needed new tires and they were on sale).

    On the subject of weight loss I have personally dropped about 65 pounds total since I started cycling. I have not changed my diet at all, I possibly eat more now, itís all from cycling. I just turned 40 in June and am in better shape now than I have been for the past 10+ years.

    This has been a great bike. Some friends and some bike shops tried to talk me into so much more expensive machines. I didnít and still donít understand that, but I am also not competitive or pretentious about what kit I have. More than a year later I still love my bike and feel it suits me perfectly. Itís taken the abuse of a very heavy guy, done some small climbs, and performed reliably for 6000 miles. Best of all it has done so comfortably.

  12. #12
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    Well I'm going to take this opportunity to make my first post and say you have an awesome thread going here. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading your future updates. I dig the black and orange also by the way!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Bronco View Post
    Well I'm going to take this opportunity to make my first post and say you have an awesome thread going here. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading your future updates. I dig the black and orange also by the way!
    Thanks I think its good to see some long term reviews as there is usually a honeymoon period on a purchase that taints the experience.

    Update:
    ITS BEEN 2 YEARS
    My last update was August and I rode steadily through October but Thanksgiving and Xmas created a real lull in my riding. Between travel and family visits I only put a couple hundred miles on the bike total in November and December and with the lack of activity and all the eating I packed on about 10 pounds. It wasn't the weather because I live in Socal, just plain old schedule and laziness.

    To motivate myself to get back into the saddle I bought an Ultegra 6800 brake set I found for $88 on a post Thanksgiving sale. I installed them myself and love them. They do feel better than the Tektro brakes that came on the bike, although honestly I never had a major problem with the Tektro other than the slight corrosion I mentioned earlier. They would stop me confidently on 30+ mph downhills. Towards the end they needed a pad replacement so I cant compare new Tektros to new Ultegras back to back. The Ultegra do look much better, but I probably would have been happy with the Tektros if I just replaced the pads. I'll admit there was a little vanity and bling factor in buying the Ultegra brakes. Plus I find it incredibly fun and motivating to wrench on the bike myself.

    Another purchase was a set of wheels. Instead of rebuilding the hub I mentioned in the previous post I bought a lighter set of wheels (Vuelta Corsa Lites) from nashbar for just under $190. Yes these are "cheap" wheels but so far so good and from my novice perspective they ride very well and have stayed true (1000 miles). Spec for Spec they supposedly save about 500 grams over the stock oval wheels. I will rebuild the rear hub in the oval wheels and use them as spares.

    When I put the wheels on I bought a new 105 5800 cassette from probikekit for $31 and I bought a praxisworks forged 50/34 chainring set off ebay for $70 and a KMC chain for $40 from my LBS. Chain and cassette were wear items, chainrings were an impulse purchase.

    I hit the riding pretty hard in January and have continued into this month. So with the Sept and October normal riding and the few hundred from Nov-Feb 11 I have ridden about 1600+ miles total, which puts the bike at about 7600 miles.

    There are still no creaks or problems with the frame or stock kit. I love the shifting of the 105 5800 and continue to find the position comfortable. The brakes and wheelset and chainrings weren't really necessary purchases but they led me to an epiphany. When I bought this bike my cyclist friends gave me a hard time and were a bit condescending, saying "you will outgrow it quickly". In retrospect they couldn't have been more wrong. This may not be the case for everyone but even stock, the bike is perfect for a moderate rider like me. Also when I do upgrade something like the brakes, its an incredibly fun experience and often gives me that additional motivation to go out for a ride. If you wrench on your bike yourself and put a new part on, of course you want to get out and try it! Often this is was only reason I made it out the door. Its perfect for the lulls I experience. If I bought a much higher end bike that wouldn't need upgrades for years, or the upgrades and wrenching you would do would be to keep the bike at the same level, the push (for me) isnt as great if its not an "upgrade". As a cyclist that has problems with motivation, buying an entry level carbon bike was the perfect formula. With upgrades, maintenance costs, and kit I still have well under $2000 total in my soon to be 8000 mile bike.

    The one thing I am thinking about for the future is a gearing change. I often find myself on the smallest rear gear (11) and largest chainring (50) front and looking for more. So I am thinking about making the switch to something like 53/39.

  14. #14
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    Some updated photos showing brakes, wheels, and new chainrings. The gold chain is not for everyone and I am not sure it is even for me. I bought it just because my last 2 chains were silver and wanted something new. Will likely go back to silver when this chain is shot.
    Just bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-1.jpgJust bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-2.jpgJust bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-3.jpgJust bought the new Gran Fondo 3.0 LE from performance with 11 speed 105-4.jpg

  15. #15
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    Altamira 2.3

    I bought a leftover 2013 Altamira 2.3 in September last year and I love my bike. I recently upgraded the wheels/tires and I just want to ride it. I think the Altamira is a great overall bike for a casual rider who is on a budget. I also feel like Fuji has the best bang for the buck bikes.




  16. #16
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    The Altamira is also the main bike the Fuji equipped pro teams use, even in the last TdF where Fuji had a wildcard entry. The transonic was out but the team riders still use the Altamira more then the Transonic or D6 frames.

  17. #17
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    Hey OP how are things going with the bike?

    Love the thread, looking for more inspiration! Your weight loss is exactly what i'm shooting for (same starting weight as well). Sounds like your riding style is similar to mine as well. Good stuff and thanks for sharing!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksdad View Post
    Hey OP how are things going with the bike?

    Love the thread, looking for more inspiration! Your weight loss is exactly what i'm shooting for (same starting weight as well). Sounds like your riding style is similar to mine as well. Good stuff and thanks for sharing!
    I wish you lots of luck with your weight loss, you can do it. Really. I am not sure of your fitness level but mine was total crap. On your journey remember it took me a LOOOOOONG time to ramp up to any distance and speed so don't be discouraged. My first week of riding, I couldn't ride even 3 miles without feeling dead. A 10 mph average was fast for me. It does get easier and you will be amazed at how much better you feel. Those first few months are difficult but you can make it through them.

    The good thing is cycling is still enjoyable and the only physical activity I have managed to stick with for any length of time. I recommend it for weight loss and the weight has stayed off. If I have free time, motivation isn't too much of a problem, but it isn't a cakewalk either. I am seldom "itching" to go but neither do I dread it. A caffeine drink like strong coffee or pre-workout drink with caffeine/b vitamin/etc can really help. I am reluctant to schill for a supplement product, but Cellucor C4 Extreme I get at Costco works extremely well for me and does give me that final boost to get out the door on many days.


    As far as the bike goes there have been zero problems since last update, the bike now has 10K+ miles on it. No creaks, no breakage, no excess wear. The only change to the bike is a new set of tires as the last set actually wore to where you could start to barely see the cords on the rear tire. The previous set was Michelin Pro3, the new set are Michelin Krylion Carbon. I haven't had a single flat with the new ones which has made life easier. They are a bit heavier than the previous set but for my riding I dont notice a difference in weight, handling, braking, etc. Not having to repair flats is a truly great thing.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the update.

    a 20 mile ride for me solo sees an average speed around 13.2. i've been focused on pacing so i can really up the distance and do 40+ solo. It's just great to see someone on here who is a normal human being. thanks again for sharing.

  20. #20
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    OP, have you upped the crankset/chainrings yet? Keep in mind that in addition to 53/39, 52/36 is a popular option now and is what most bikes are coming with. 52/36 with 11-28 in the rear gives you incredible range.

    BTW the black with orange accents is great. And somewhat unique.

  21. #21
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    Love this thread
    Love the stories
    Love to hear people getting into cycling and being happy with their experience, equipment, etc...

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the updates, casual ! keep 'em coming.

  23. #23
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    Great thread! I agree with your assessment that Fuji offers the best value for a moderate cyclist. I bought a 2014 Fuji Sportif 1.1 in early 2015. I have 1k miles on it without a major issue. Its 56cm frame fits my 5'11" frame perfectly. I encourage others who are looking to get into cycling to try a Fuji.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Fuji are great bikes!

    When I got into cycling I started on a Fuji Newest. Always have a positive memory of Fuji!

  25. #25
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    3 year update. Bike still going strong, no creaks, cracks, or problems. The only notable update is that I had a wreck about 6 months ago that broke the derailleur hanger, tore off the rear derailleur, and scrapped me up a bit. Was off the bike for over a month to recover and during that time replaced the rear derailleur with an Ultegra one I found for $40 online (I bought the hanger for well under $10). I also replaced the rear cables at this time. I have ridden well over a thousand miles since the accident so the bike seems fine.

    As you can see I haven't been riding as much as I used to do to a busier personal/work life and, to be more honest, lack of motivation. I have really hit a major plateau in my weight loss so the scale isn't motivating me either. I have tried switching up my riding style and routes (climbing/sprints/etc) to no avail. I just eat too damn much rice.

    I would like to switch my crankset from the current 50/34 to a 53/39 as perhaps that will add some variety or motivation to my ride. The problem is my current parts are going strong and I am a cheapskate that cant replace what isnt broken. I keep waiting for the bottom bracket to need replacing or the crankset to have problems. I would then swtich to an Ultegra 53/39.

    That's a point I would also like to reiterate about buying a bike closer to the entry level like mine. It is not for everyone, but I personally find it fun to upgrade and add new/different/better parts when they wear out. It teaches me about bike, makes me care more about it, gives me a sense of pride, is a great motivator, and breaks the monotony or boredom. If I had bought a bike with higher end parts and merely maintained them and replaced them with the same part there would be nothing new to experience or feel. Every upgrade I have done (brakes, tires, chain, crankset) has given me a major boost in motivation because I have replaced them with better parts and want to go out and see if the bike feels different.

    So hopefully the next update will include a new crankset and a re-motivated rider!

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