Fuji is a reputable Japanese brand that has made a recent comeback by offering some of the lightest and most affordable bikes on the market. Fuji draws on its Japanese technological heritage and racing history to make performance-oriented road bikes.
- address: 10940 Dutton RoadPhiladelphia, PA 19154
- telephone: 1-215-824-3854
- fax: 1-215-824-1051
- website: http://www.fujibikes.com
- e-mail: [email protected]
Just to prevent confusion, do note we are talking lean, mean, racing machines and not cameras here. Fuji Bikes is the American distributor of bicycles that descended from a Japanese manufacturer established in 1899. It is also one of the world’s oldest biking brands.
One of the great things about riding a Fuji today is that you will definitely stand out from the crowd. While every second person might be on a Trek or Cervelo, you can almost guarantee your Fuji will be unique. Despite not having the sex appeal of other brands, Fuji bikes have been regularly tested against other more costly alternatives and regularly come out as value for money with top-level components.
Fuji is probably better known in the United States than Australia for example, but if you’ve never heard of it, do note the brand is actually highly venerated and rivals Schwinn and Raleigh for legend status. But somewhere along the way, they lost their way due to economic fallouts and the rise of mountain bikes. They are on the up again however so here’s a bit of their story to fill you in if you’re weighing up your options.
Fuji Bikes were Japan’s most popular bicycle in the early 20th Century and won many local races. The company was responsible for establishing the inaugural Tour de Japan, a stage race between Osaka and Tokyo that is still a premier Asian event. In 1951 a Fuji cyclist won the first Asian Games.
By the 1950s Fuji bikes dominated the Asian market and were distributed in the American market under Toshoku America Inc. In the 1970s they began to appear under their own name. American consumers lapped them up and they were considered just as good or better than European designs and cheaper. They were often the first to offer technological advances to the public such as triple butted tubing and titanium road frames.
Fuji offered a bike style for every kind of rider although they were weighted to road and touring styles. While the company’s product line was highly regarded they did not foresee the boom in mountain bikes sales in the 1980s. They had no product to match and touring and road bike sales declined dramatically. Fuji lost its share of sales to others like Specialized, Giant and Trek. In the 1990s the fallout from the Japanese economy affected them further. As the Japanese yen continued to rise, the bikes became more expensive than their competition in America and sales fell even more. Eventually both parent companies from Japan and America filed for bankruptcy. So despite being named after Mount Fuji in Japan, a symbol of strength and endurance, the company’s finances could not match.
Following bankruptcy, Advanced Sports Inc. took over bicycle distribution in the USA and still own the brand today. In 2005 Ideal Bike Corporation acquired a 60 per cent stake in the Asian wing of the company that markets the brand in Asia. To cut costs Fuji Bikes moved manufacturing from Japan to Taiwan, China and Poland. They manufacture decent quality products for road, off road, children and police. They also manufacture bags, racks and fenders. Most riders say the bikes are smooth and comfortable to ride although some of the touring frames are rather heavy.
Fuji bikes today often beat other more-well known competitors in bike reviews. The 8kg Fuji Team Pro was pitted by Australian cycling magazine “Ride Cycling Review” in 2009 against six other brands of a much higher price tag. The Fuji bike was the cheapest in price but came in second overall. While this is a high performance bike there are plenty of more fun, functional and affordable models to look into.
Hours of work
Monday – Friday
9 am – 5 pm
- Standard Frames: Yes
- Custom Frames: No
- Retrofitting old bikes: No
- Year Established: 1899
- Products Made In: Taiwan, China and Poland
- Availability: dealers in 36 countries worldwide, no shipping
- Types of Bicycles: road, mountain, specialty, women’s, lifestyle, kids, police
- Construction Methods: Carbon integrate T-T construction
- Frame Materials: steel and carbon