Fuji Jari Carbon 1.1 review: With the Jari in aero trim, Fuji is practically presenting a completely new gravel bike with an unusual frame shape that is specially tailored for mounting large frame bags. The bike pleases with further transport options, a variable geometry and a lot of tire clearance and is therefore worth a closer look, especially since the price is reasonable.
With the Jari 1.1 Carbon, Fuji is practically launching a new gravel bike. The predecessor, tested by Velomotion at the beginning of 2021, was an all-rounder suitable for travel with sporty driving characteristics. But improvement is always possible, and so the US manufacturer with Japanese roots has brought a new attribute into play - aerodynamics. And when it comes to luggage transport, Fuji has come up with some ideas.
Fuji Jari Carbon 1.1: Completely new frame with aero trim
And that's why the new Jari looks completely different from its predecessor, which was quite slim and sporty-organic with a sloping top tube and slightly curved seatstays. In the current model, the top tube is now significantly less "sloped", and the frame appears flatter, especially at the front. As with modern aero road bikes, the seatstays meet the seat tube well below the seat post, and the down tube is wider at the bottom two-thirds than it is high. This is already known in a somewhat more extreme form from the 3T Exploro and is supposed to offer the drinking bottle a slipstream, so to speak.
Deep frame triangle for large bottles
Of course, it is particularly noticeable that the down tube is much steeper than on conventional gravel bikes and then bends almost horizontally towards the bottom bracket. This increases the frame triangle, which Fuji uses to position the bottle cage extremely low on the seat tube; the one on the down tube is also quite low. This creates space for a frame bag attached to the top tube, which can of course protrude further into the frame triangle without getting in the way of the bottles. That's pretty much ideal for bikepacking; Anyone who rides without a large top tube bag will of course wish that Fuji had provided an alternative bottle holder position higher up, as usual. Because the way it is, you have to stretch quite a bit to drink.
Two other features of the frame are also designed for long distances. On the one hand there is a plastic insert with elastic bands on the top tube, to which you can attach small bags or bars, for example - practical if something like this needs to be reached quickly. Alternatively, a small top tube bag can be screwed on here. There is also a plastic box under the down tube, held in place by a wide rubber band. It is triangular in shape with an opening of approx. 3 x 18 cm and not too big overall. Not much can be accommodated here, such as a wind vest or again gels and bars - but please nothing hard that then rattles annoyingly. This box doesn't seem to make much sense; after all, it can protect the bottom bracket shell and sprocket from bottoming out. But you can also omit them, since Fuji supplies a cover that can be easily screwed on.
Fuji is also taking a step forward when it comes to cable routing: With the new Jari, everything that looks nice, is "aero" and also makes it easier to attach a large handlebar bag is routed internally. The bike also comes with an aero carbon seat post, which wasn't available on the pre-production model.
The Fuji Jari Carbon 1.1 in the large test video
A FlipChip dropout changes the handling
The geometry has changed little. Fuji has reduced the frame sizes from seven to five without making the jumps in stack and reach too big - the frames each grow by 1 cm in seat length and approx. 2 cm in height at the head tube. The chainstays have become slightly shorter, the wheelbase slightly longer. A special feature is the flip-chip dropout at the front, with which you can change the trail by almost 1 cm. The conversion is a bit complex, especially since you have to change the position of the brake caliper, and the plates on the inside of the dropout have to swap sides. It's good that the front wheel sits exactly in the dropouts, which are protected with rubber sleeves.
The result is slightly more manageable handlebar behavior as the front wheel gets closer to the rider, with the Fuji overall tuned for more confident straight-line stability without feeling sluggish. The seating position appears slightly stretched, which suits sporty drivers; The handlebars, which are pleasantly flattened at the top, widen from 44 cm to 50 cm at the ends (centre to centre) and are therefore almost a little too wide for the aero alignment of the Jari.
Fuji equips its Gravel flagship with the top version of Shimano GRX - always a good choice and today there is practically no alternative if you want to ride a Gravel bike with 2×11 gears. FSA contributes the crankset with 48/32 teeth, although the 46/30 combination is also commercially available – even better for off-road passages and steep climbs.
Quite light wheelset with wide rims
The wheel set comes from WTB, it's called the Speedterra i25 and is reserved for original equipment manufacturers. With an internal width of 25 mm, the aluminum rims are ideal for wide Gravel tires - good, because the Jari would easily cope with 50 mm wide tires; the throughput of frame and fork is huge. In addition, the ready-to-ride wheelset is pleasantly light at 3.660 grams, and you should save another 200 grams when converting to tubeless. The easy-rolling, yet quite grippy Maxxis tires don't cause any problems.
The Fuji Jari Carbon 3.499 currently costs 1.1 euros, 320 euros more than the old Jari two and a half years ago - a moderate price increase in view of the significant further development. And who should buy it? Aero features, assembly options and a lot of tire clearance point in the direction of sporty bike packers who also want to ride technically more demanding routes - it is quite possible that they will be happy with this gravel bike.