Transonic Long Term Road Test
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  1. #1
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    Transonic Long Term Road Test

    I've had my Transonic (2.3 with mechanial Ultegra) for almost a full year now, and with over 10,000 miles I thought I would share my experience so far:

    Overall I like the bike, and at $2400 it is a great value. Performance wise, it is the fastest bike I've ever owned. It rides great, very responsive, handles sharply, and is comfortable with my favorite saddle.

    The aero advantage to my other bikes I've already discussed in this thread: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/fuj...st-346878.html

    That being said, the bike is not without its flaws:
    1. The biggest problem I had from day 1 was that front shifting from the small chainring to the big was difficult. I determined that the problem was that the way the cable was routed to the deraileur, it didn't provide sufficient leverage. Essentially the cable lined up with the pivot point. I notified Fuji of this problem, they said they were aware of it, and they had an adapter that they sent to my LBS to resolve the issue. Fortunately, the owner of the shop (The BEST bike mechanic in NJ, Gardner at Clinton Bike Shop, Clinton NJ) understood the problem and came up with a good solution - he replaced the Ultegra deraileur with a 105. The pivot arm on the 105 has somewhat of a dogleg, while the pivot arm of the Ultegra was straight, so the 105 was able to produce more leverage with the given cable line. Problem solved.

    2. The second biggest issue I've had with the bike is the seatpost. Let me be clear - I HATE THE SEAT POST. It takes 3 separate tools to adjust the saddle: a 4mm Allen to adjust the seat post height, a 5mm Allen to tighten the clamp to the saddle, and an open 8mm crescent wrench to adjust the seat angle. Also, the bolt that adjusts the seat angle broke on me on one ride, and I had to finish the ride out of the saddle for about 5 miles. Also, the seatpost height is secured with a wedge that bears against a sandpaper-like surface on the seatpost, and it has slipped down on me a few times. I have had to apply maximum allowable torqueage to prevent the seatpost from slipping.

    3. The Oval Concept wheels are OK, but I've broken 2 spokes on the front already. I'm thinking about a new wheelset sometime soon - maybe Mavic Krsyriums. Basically I have low confidence in the Oval wheels.

    4. I didn't care for the saddle that came with the bike, so I swapped it out with the Fizik saddle from my N-minus-1. No biggie, I've replaced the original saddle on pretty much every bike I've ever owned. But that being said, I took the N-minus-1 for a ride the other day and thought that the Fuji saddle wasn't all that bad.

    5. I had a minor issue with the crankset. There's a small peg on the big chainring that lines up with the crankarm and is supposed to prevent the chain from falling down to the bottom bracket. It doesn't. There is a big enough gap. It's a poor marriage between the Oval Concepts crankset and the Praxis chainring. I solved this problem by slipping a sleeve over the peg to close the gap.

    6. I didn't like how the in-line shifter cable adjusters were placed. Basically the shifter cables and brake cables all cross each other right in front of the headset, and it's not easy or intuitive to reach down and make minor adjustments while riding. Fortunately this hasn't been much of a concern, since my bike mechanic (did I mention that he's the best in NJ?) has my adjustments spot on.

    7. Finally, and now I'm really nitpicking, but the graphics could use some improvement. For example, the top tube is labelled "Transonic 2.3", starting from the narrow end to the wide end. So the emphasis is on the "2.3" rather than on the "Transonic".
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  2. #2
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    2. Sounds like you're not using enough carbon friction paste.

    3. Stay away from Mavic wheels. Buy something with parts you can take care of easier.
    use a torque wrench

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    3. Stay away from Mavic wheels. Buy something with parts you can take care of easier.
    I don't know about that - I have a set of Mavic Open Pros on my N-minus-1 with over 22,000 miles and i haven't even twisted a nipple so far. I'm not exaggerating on that - I have yet to so much as adjust a single spoke and they are as true as new. Also have a set of Mavic Cosmos with almost as many miles that I run on my cross bike and have only had one broken spoke - pretty good considering the abuse they've seen.

    Another gripe I forgot to mention about the Oval Concepts wheels is that the spokes are not easy to replace. Thay are not the old fashion J-hook type, and require yoou to open the hub to replace the spoke, so for me it's not a DIY job.
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  4. #4
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    I'm loving my Transonic SL. I got it as a XL frameset a few weeks ago and have been riding it almost every day. It feels a little more "aero" and "faster" than my 2008 Kestrel Talon SL but I haven't ridden that bike since for a back-to-back test. At 14.6lb it's a pound and a half lighter than the Kestrel and stiffer in the BB so I'd say it climbs better. I have no complaints with the seatpost and like the angle-adjust front derailleur mount (I don't run the included chain watcher). My only issue was that the headtube is a little tall (remember, size 61cm) and the cone shaped headset bearing cover is excessive so I had to order a flat one. This criticism is in the context that an aero bike will be ridden in a low aero position, but I might be in the minority as an XL rider who wants his bar low. The Direct Mount Dura-ace brakes are great and the PF30 Sram crankset has stayed quiet. I'll post a photo later.
    Last edited by Lelandjt; 03-26-2016 at 10:18 AM.

  5. #5
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    Here it is in 14.6lb guise:


    And ready to ride with bottle, flat kit, and Garmin:


    And with aero bar for the TT days:

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    Here it is in 14.6lb guise:


    And ready to ride with bottle, flat kit, and Garmin:


    And with aero bar for the TT days:
    Wow, you must be tall! I have the about the same amount of seat tube showing (I'm 6'2" and have a 58cm Transonic 2.5. The XL top tube was just a tad too long for my taste). There is nothing wrong with my Oval cranks but I do prefer 180mm cranks. Would you happen to know what cranks are a direct replacement for the Transonic?
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  7. #7
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    I'm actually 6'1.5" but have really long legs (I like 175mm cranks). The Transonic has a standard PF30 bottom bracket shell so any crank will fit it. A BB30 crank with PF30 bottom bracket will be lightest but if you want to use a Shimano crank a Praxis BB will let you do it (which it looks like you already have). I highly recommend the Sram Red BB30 crank with Sram's PF30 bottom bracket. The weight to dollar ratio can't be beat. I installed my BB dry with a headset press, set the bearing preload, and it's been perfect since. There is no difference between the 10spd crankset and the newer "Red 22" 11spd one that looks the same, except for the "22" added to the graphic. On Ebay you can save a couple bucks with the 10spd year. The even older one that looks different is heavier though.
    Last edited by Lelandjt; 04-03-2016 at 01:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    I'm actually 6'1.5" but have really long legs (I like 175mm cranks). The Transonic has a standard PF30 bottom bracket shell so any crank will fit it. A BB30 crank with PF30 bottom bracket will be lightest but if you want to use a Shimano crank a Praxis BB will let you do it (which it looks like you already have).
    I got a great deal on a used Dura Ace FC-7800 crankset. Sadly it was not a direct fit for my Transonic. While it does have a Praxis BB the Fuji crankset is GXP. The drive side bearing is 24mm while the non-drive side is 22mm. In order to use my Dura Ace crank can I just replace the 22mm bearing with a 24mm bearling? Or could I just replace the non-drive bearing & cup with the appropriate bearing and cup for a hollowtech crank? Or should I just go to my local bike shop and have them install my new Dura Ace crank on my Transonic?
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaeP View Post
    I got a great deal on a used Dura Ace FC-7800 crankset. Sadly it was not a direct fit for my Transonic. While it does have a Praxis BB the Fuji crankset is GXP. The drive side bearing is 24mm while the non-drive side is 22mm. In order to use my Dura Ace crank can I just replace the 22mm bearing with a 24mm bearling? Or could I just replace the non-drive bearing & cup with the appropriate bearing and cup for a hollowtech crank? Or should I just go to my local bike shop and have them install my new Dura Ace crank on my Transonic?
    That's a question for Praxis. Since Sram GXP and Shimano use slightly different BBs Praxis makes a BB for each. Whether you can reuse one side and they'll sell you just the other (or just replace one bearing), I don't know. The small savings you'd get from only having to buy half a Praxis BB might be outweighed by not being able to sell the othe half, whereas you could buy their Shimano unit and sell your used GXP version. If you can replace just a bearing that'd be a cheap fix. Once you have the correct Praxis BB (or the correct half to go with your current half) installing it should be an easy enough job to do it yourself.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    That's a question for Praxis. Since Sram GXP and Shimano use slightly different BBs Praxis makes a BB for each. Whether you can reuse one side and they'll sell you just the other (or just replace one bearing), I don't know. The small savings you'd get from only having to buy half a Praxis BB might be outweighed by not being able to sell the othe half, whereas you could buy their Shimano unit and sell your used GXP version. If you can replace just a bearing that'd be a cheap fix. Once you have the correct Praxis BB (or the correct half to go with your current half) installing it should be an easy enough job to do it yourself.
    The cost to buy a new Praxis BB and the tools to install the crankset (including a DIY headset press) would be about $20 to $25 more than my local bike shop would charge if I let them buy a Praxis BB and install it so I let my local bike shop install it.. The crankset isn't 180mm (which I prefer) it's a 177.5mm. The all silver crankset looks kinda out of place on a all black bike. When the time comes I'll replace the chianrings with black ones so maybe it won't be too much of a contrast. I noticed you have an all carbon saddle too. Was yours too low to install on the Fuji seat post? The rear post bolt was actually long enough to butt up against the bottom of the saddle "trough" so I had to install a small rubber piece. The shape of the saddle looks like and feels like an San Marco Aspide I have. Here's a pic.
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    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  11. #11
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    No, I didn't have that problem with saddle/bolt clearance and it looks like we have the same seat but I runn mine a little more nose-down and that might have made the difference. The only issue I had was that the post has more setback than I'd like so I had to jam the saddle as far forward as I could to get the feel I want. I'd probably more it a couple more mm forward if I could.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    No, I didn't have that problem with saddle/bolt clearance and it looks like we have the same seat but I runn mine a little more nose-down and that might have made the difference. The only issue I had was that the post has more setback than I'd like so I had to jam the saddle as far forward as I could to get the feel I want. I'd probably more it a couple more mm forward if I could.
    Yeah, I have my seat slammed as far forward as it can go too. The 2016 Transonics 2.5 no longer comes with direct mount brakes. Hmmmmm, methinks I should've waited.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  13. #13
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    I like the direct mount brakes. They seem more aero and a better design than normal Dura-ace. The only downside is you can't use the really light Planet-X/November July brakes but this bike makes a bunch of weight concessions for aero.

    Maybe Fuji will make a non-setback seatpost for this frame if enough are sold over the next couple years and they continue to hear demand for a more forward saddle position.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    The only downside is you can't use the really light Planet-X/November July brakes but this bike makes a bunch of weight concessions for aero.
    No, but you should be able to use a set of EE brakes in their direct mount configuration. I ran back to back again DA9000 brakes in a traditional center bolt mount and could not tell the difference in braking power or modulation between the two and they were a solid 120gr lighter. They aren't cheap, but compared to other high end niche brakes, they are still pretty affordable.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
    No, but you should be able to use a set of EE brakes in their direct mount configuration. I ran back to back again DA9000 brakes in a traditional center bolt mount and could not tell the difference in braking power or modulation between the two and they were a solid 120gr lighter. They aren't cheap, but compared to other high end niche brakes, they are still pretty affordable.
    I don't see the inherit benefits of a direct mount calipers; the aero "advantage", to me, is minimal on a road bike. Well, there might be one benefit. When the direct mount calipers become out of fashion I can pick up some Dura Ace ones for cheap. IMHO, Single bolt, dual pivot calipers are much easier to install and adjust.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  16. #16
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    Wasn't trying to say one mounting style is better than another. The quote I referenced said there were no 'really light' brakes available in direct mount, but there are, the EE brakes.

  17. #17
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    Here's my Fuji Transonic with cheap Chinese carbon, dimpled, 25mm wide, 48mm deep wheelset.
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    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  18. #18
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    Could you "feel" a difference with the new wheels? They must be both lighter and more aero than stock.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaeP View Post
    Here's my Fuji Transonic with cheap Chinese carbon, dimpled, 25mm wide, 48mm deep wheelset.
    What seller did you get the wheels from?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishfighter View Post
    What seller did you get the wheels from?
    I bought my dimpled wheelset through Amazon (because of their return policy). The company, who no longer seems to sell carbon wheelsets on Amazon, is called YCX. The wheelset, while being light a stiff, spins up nice and quickly; this is especially good for me as I am getting back into cycling after a 4 year self imposed layoff. I now can hang with the "A" group on my weekly club ride but I still yo-yo off the back of the pack so sprinting back is pretty effortless. Also, at speed, above 25mph, I can feel slight tug if there is any type of cross wind but not enough to be scary. Hope this helps.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  21. #21
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    Does anybody know if a front direct mount brake can be used for the rear on my 2015 Fuji 2.5LE Transonic or are they two different brakes? They look similar, no?
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  22. #22
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    Yes, the Transonic uses a front direct mount brake in the rear. A "rear" direct mount brake looks weird and is made to fit under the chainstays near the bottom bracket on Treks. The "front" version is gradually being adopted as the "normal" version for front or rear use.

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