Review: Fuji SLM 29 1.0

29er Cross Country Pro Reviews

Marco Soldano Review:

Rider Specs:

  • 6’1″, 200lbs, 34″ inseam
  • XC, AM, CX
  • 42 years old
  • Good looking Italian

Description:
I had a total of 6 rides on this bike ranging from steep fireroads (Mission Peak, Kennedy, Limekiln, El Sereno) climb and descents to fast flowy singletrack (Fremont Older) and mixed terrains (Santa Teresa) and spent about 30hrs on the bike. The overall impression is that it is a solid ride, with a very stiff and responsive frame. I was also very impressed with the SID Forks with 15mm thru axle (I’ve always ‘steered away’ from the SID forks because of my weight.)

The tires (Hutchingson Cobra) are very fast rolling, but kind of frustrating if mounted in the recommended direction: front is skating and rear is skidding while climbing. After  flipping the direction of the rear tire, the performance was satisfactory for both front and rear, at least for a low profile tire like this.

The frame seems to do a good job of dampening vibrations at high speed, especially on bumpy descends. The bike feels stable and comfortably descends thanks to the very wide handlebar. The climbing is exceptional, a very good power transfer with minimal flex even at high torque loads.

The main downside is the overall weight (which I recorded at 25.8 with no pedals),  Most of the weight seems to come from the wheelset and the selection of alu components, such as the handlebar and seatpost. In fact, a much higher content of carbon bits would boost the bling factor of this bike. The good news is it’s easy to lose weight since when the owner is ready to upgrade wheels or handlebar or seatpost.

Strengths:

  • Stiff and responsive frame
  • Climbs like a goat
  • Confident descending thanks to the wide handlebars
  • Flickable, nimble, and carves corners
  • Solid power transfer, great acceleration feel
  • Extremely stable and confidence-inspiring handling

Weaknesses:

  • Component choice (tires, alu bar, alu seatpost) for this level of bike made for a heavy bike
  • Integrated shifter/levers will make it difficult to change/upgrade the brakes.
  • Heavy wheelset, negates the acceleration advantage

Bottom Line:
All in all this is a great frame. Well built, solid and stiff, combined with nice forks (although probably a 100mm would be better) and targeting racers and aggressive XC riders. The look is sporty and the beefy frame inspires confidence, which is confirmed once the bike is pointed downhill. This is an efficient and fast climbing machine that can provide good entertainment on flowy singletracks and perform well at the local races.

Only 3 stars in the value rating due to the price point vs selection of components and bike weight. In particular, the wheels negate the acceleration advantage coming from the carbon frame and binging this bike down on par with cheaper alu offerings in the 29er department.

Value Rating:
3 out of 5 Stars

Overall Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars

More info: http://www.fujibikes.com/

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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • WLB says:

    Are those 2012 XT Icetech brakes? You must ride your brakes like an old lady to be able to get them to fade. I have XT on a Mojo SL-R & rip the long, fast downhills here in Utah & never get any fade.

  • Francis says:

    We’ve deleted the comments about the brakes. The brakes needed to be bled and were not in top form. Normally, those brakes are one of the best today.

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