If you are in the market for a new touring bike, you’ve probably heard about the Fuji Touring.
The Fuji Touring is the only touring bike model from the Fuji Corporation. Despite it’s small potential market of touring cyclists, the Fuji Touring has remained a popular choice amongst many individuals wishing to travel by bike. Sadly it is a bike that is not as popular I as I believe it should be.
I’ve personally been riding a Fuji Touring bike for the past seven years. I’ve used the bike on five long distance bicycle tours (both in the United States, Canada and Europe) and I’ve also been using the bike at home as my main commuter bike for transporting groceries, running errands and visiting friends.With all that experience under my belt, I feel like I finally have enough expereince with the bike to give it a proper review.
In this article I’ve set out to describe why this bike is made for long-distance cycle touring, what parts and pieces are included with the bicycle, how to go about purchasing a Fuji Touring bike (as they can be difficult to find in many local bike shops), and I’ll tell you whether or not the Fuji Touring is a bike I would recommend for you.
Are you ready then? Great! Let’s get started.
What Makes This Bike Built For Touring?
The Fuji Touring bike is a long-distance touring bike made for those individuals wishing to travel long distance while carrying a full set of panniers and who wish to spend their days in relative comfort.
The frame of the Fuji Touring is built out of Cro-Moly steel, which is exactly what you want to see on a good touring bike. Steel is the most popular choice when it comes to touring bicycles because it is strong, flexible (which makes it more comfortable for long rides), and it is easily repairable (which is important if you plan to travel with your bike to a remote corner of the world where they may not have the equipment necessary to repair aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, or platinum bike frames).
The bike comes in six different sizes: 43cm, 49cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 64cm and each year the bike received a new paint job so as to distinguish it from the previous year’s model. The photo at the op of this review is the 2010 Fuji Touring, while the photos you will see in just a moment of my Fuji Touring bicycle are of the 2003 model.
The Touring’s fork is also made of steel, which is great for a touring bike such as this. Touring bikes with forks made of lighter materials can occasionally break under the demands of long-distance loaded touring, so while steel is a heavier building material, it’s great for use in touring bike models such as this.
The frame itself also features the typically long chainstay length that you see on most touring bike models. What this means is that the bicycle is a little more stretched out from one end to the other than you might expect to see on a traditional road or mountain bicycle. This makes the bicycle more comfortable to ride and it helps to ensure that your feet won’t hit your rear panniers while you are pedaling.
The Fuji Touring’s wheels are also built for the demands of life on the road. The rims are made out of double walled aluminum and the spokes are stainless steel. While there isn’t really anything too special about the bicycle’s Alloy hubs, the tires are your standard 700c tires, but they measure 32c across, meaning that they are super wide when compared to a traditional road tire… and the reason for this is because the extra width allows the bike to withstand the demands of the additional weight that touring requires.
On the back of the bike’s frame there are braze-ons for a rear rack and rear fenders… and the front fork has all the mounts necessary to attach a front rack and fender as well.
As far as long-distance, self-supported bicycle touring goes, the Fuji Touring has all the characteristics you expect to see in traditional touring bike.
What Comes With The Bike And What Doesn’t?
When you purchase a Fuji Touring bicycles, there are a few little things that come with the bike that make it kind of special.
To start, the bike comes with an 8mm aluminum rack (not the best rack in the world, but it’ll work), pedals and toe clips and straps, mounts for two water bottle cages (not three), and (my favorite feature of all) two extra spokes that are attached to the rear chainstay and are there just in case you break a spoke while out on the road and need a replacement in a hurry.
Besides all that, the bike comes with everything you need for your first bicycle tour except for a front rack, fenders, lights and panniers.
How To Purchase A Fuji Touring
If you do decide to get a Fuji Touring bicycle for yourself, you may discover that actually finding one such bike on display at a local bike shop is proving to be difficult, if not impossible.
The sad truth of the mater is this: Touring bicycles are not big sellers for most local bike shops. When it comes to making money, mountain bikes, road bikes an hybrids are where most bike shops make their money, so touring bikes are rarely ever kept on the shop floor. If you are able to find a touring bicycle of any kind in your local area, consider yourself very lucky.
That said, finding a Fuji Touring bike on display can be difficult. And even if you do find one, it might not be the right size for your specific body type.
If, however, you are sure that you want to order a Fuji Touring for yourself, you should first find a local Fuji dealer in your area. You can find your local dealer by using the search form on this page.
Once you’ve found a dealer, go and pay them a visit. Tell them that you want to purchase the Fuji Touring bike and that you’d like them to order it for you. The person at the bike shop should then measure you to see which size frame you will need (if you don’t know what size you need, make sure the bike shop helps you. Getting the right size bike is very important.), then they will have y ou fill out some paperwork and your order will be placed.
After that, you’ll have to sit and wait while the bicycle is shipped to your local bike shop. This could take anywhere from 3 days to three weeks, so make sure you order your bike well before you plan to ever use it. In most cases t shouldn’t take much more than a week for your bike to arrive.
Once the bike does arrive at the sop, however, the people who work there will put the bike together for you and call you when it is ready to pick up. Then you just drive yourself down to the shop, pay for the bike, and ride it away! It’s that easy.
The Fuji Touring currently has a retail asking price of $1,089 USD. That said, if you deal with a local bike shop you can usually get a discount of at least $100 USD by simply asking for a discount. And if you happen to find a Fuji Touring bike in one of your local bike shops during the late fall or winter, you can save as much as $400 simply by purchasing the bike at a time of year when few other people are looking to purchase a touring bike model.
My Experiences With The Bike
Before I tell you about some of the experiences I have had with my Fuji Touring bicycle, I think it is important for you to know what I bought a Fuji Touring bicycle in the first place, as there are a lot of other bicycles I could have chosen from.
The story is this: In 2001 I went on my first long-distance bicycle tour. I was seventeen years old at the time and the trip I planned to take was a 30-day trip by bike down the California coastline – from Oregon to Mexico. Because this bike tour was supposed to be just a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing, I didn’t use a traditional touring bike for that particular trip. Instead, I used my father’s old mountain bike – an old Sierra Schwinn that had been sitting in the garage, unused, for more than a decade.
While the mountain bike worked to successfully get me from one end of California to the other, tradgety struck on the very last day of the tour when my bicycle was accidently run over by a Volkswagon Van. The bicycle’s wheels were destroyed, the frame was dent, and the derailleurs were both beyond repair.I was sure I would never be able to ride that bike again.
But, when the next summer rolled around and I began planning another long-distance bicycle tour, I didn’t have enough money to purchase a brand new bike. Remember, I was in college, eighteen years old, and had never worked a day in my life. The only money I had was money I had saved up from birthday presents and from odd jobs in my community. So with no money in the bank, but dreams of cycling across the United States, I hammered out the frame of my dad’s old mountain bike, put some new wheels and deraiullers on it, and used that same old bike to slowly pedal my way across the Rocky Mountains. Sadly, by the time I got to Wyoming, the bike was on its last breathe. Because the frame was so bent out of shape the bike was three times harder to pedal than it should of been, and the daily task of pushing that twisted hunk of metal up and over countless mountain passes made cycling across the country anything but fun.
I had planned to cycle all the way to the coast of Oregon, but I quit in the tiny town of Rawlins, Wyoming and took a bus back home from there.I vowed I would never do another bike trip that was longer than two weeks in length.
But that didn’t happen. The following summer, I felt the need to go on yet another long-distance bike trip. This time I set my sights on the East Coast of the United States – a route that would take me from North Carolina to Maine. But I nkew that if I was going to pedal myself through a dozen or more states, I was going to have to get a new bicycle. My father’s twisted mountain bike simply wasn’t going to cut it. And that’s when I discovered the Fuji Touring bike and realized that it was exactly the bike I needed.
The reason I bought the Fuji Touring bicycle over any other bicycles is because it was a full-fledged touring bike (meaning that it could handle the demands of long-distance road touring), it would carry the panniers I would need for my bike tours, it was in my price range, and I could use the bike at home for commuting purposes, and it was a bike that I knew I would be able to keep for several years to come. I saw it as an investment!
I purchased my Fuji Touring bicycle from a local bike shop near my college. They didn’t have the bike in stock, so they ordered it for me and I went to pick it up on my 19th birthday.
I then used the Touring on my third long-distance bike tour up the East Coast of the United States.
While I had never before ridden a bicycle with dropped handlebars before and that did take some getting used to, the bike as a while was so much faster, more comfortable, and better equipped for my life as a long-distance cyclists. When I reached New Jersey in 2003 I set out to cover as much of the state as I possibly could in the shortest amount of time. And with my Fuji Touring bike beneath me I was able to cycle nearly the entire state of New Jersey (from south to north)in a single day – a feat I never would have been able to do on the old mountain bike I had used on my previous two tours.
It was on days like that, cycling my way across New Jersey in a single day, that I realized just how important it is to have a good bicycle when you are traveling.
The following year I rode my Fuji Touring bicycle from Chicago, Illinois to New Orleans, Luoisiana. And the following year I cycled through British Columbia and much of Washington and Oregon state. The following year, I used the bike again to return to Wyoming and concquer two additional states by bike – Idaho and Utah. And then, in 2007, I took my Fuji Touring bicycle to Germany, where I rode it up the Rhine from Frankfurt, across the country to Berlin and then traveled with it briefly in both Poland and the Czech Republic.
In every instance the bicycle performed just exactly as it should. It carried my gear in style; It kept me comfortable on long arduous rides; and most importantly, I’ve never had any problems with it (except for the occasional flat tire, which is to be expected with any bicycle that you buy).
Today, I still have my Fuji Touring bike and while I’ve probably put well over 15,000 miles on the bike, it performs as though it were practically brand new. I use the bike on an almost daily basis now to run errands and go on short multi-day bike tours near my home… and when I go on my next long-distance road tour, the Fuji Touring will likely be the bicycle I take with me.
The only problem I have had with the bike in all my years of owning it is that about once a year I have to tighten up the bottom bracket. I’ve found that every once and a while, the bottom bracket can wiggle itself loose and needs to be tightened up, otherwise you are forced to ride with an annoying squeaking sound in your ear. Besides that, I’ve replaced the grip tape just a couple times, installed new tires two or three times, only once have I changed out the chain, and everything else is exactly as it was when I purchased the bike back in 2003.
Would I Recommend The Fuji Touring Bike?
The Fuji Touring bike may not be the most high-end touring bicycle on the market. It’s not even the most popular. but the Fuji Touring bike is one hell of a bike and I feel really good recommending it to you.
If you are planning a trip by bike that requires you to ride mainly on paved roads (it can take a little off-road riding), carry a full set of panniers (on both the front and back), and you want a bike that is inexpensive and can be used for purposes other than just touring, the Fuji Touring bike is one incredible bike. I’ve had mine for seven years now and it both looks and performs as though it were nearly brand new.
Photos From The Road – 2003
These are photos of my Fuji Touring bike when I rode it from North Carolina to Maine in the summer of 2003.
Stopped at an intersection sign near Raleigh, North Carolina
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – Outer Banks, North Carolina
Crossing to the Outer Banks on a ferry boat. My Fuji Touring bike sits on the far right.
Kitty Hawk, North Carolia – Wright Brothers Monument
Photos From The Road – 2004
These are photos of my Fuji Touring bike on my 2004 bike tour from Chicago, Illinois to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Posing for a photo with one of the hotel managers that gave me a free place to stay.
My bike and a replica of the Leaning Tower in Niles, Illinois.
Camped out somewhere in Illinois.
Sitting on a park bench outside the home of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.
Stopped for a photo with an old basketball I found on the side of the road.
Crossing a large dam. The set of panniers you see on the bike are Lone Peak P-500 and P-100 panniers.
My first photo in Nashville, Tennessee.
Camping along the Natchez Trace Parkway in the state of Mississippi.
Hiding from the rain inside a public restroom.
Cycle touring along the Natchez Trace.
Photos From The Road – 2005
When I graduated from college in 2005, I spent the following summer riding my bicycle around British Columbia, Canada as well as through the states of Washington and Oregon on the West Coast of the United States.
This is me and my Fuji Touring bicycle crossing leaving Seattle, Washington on our way to one of the nearby islands.
I spent three days at the start of my tour attending the Adventure Cycling Leadership Training Camp. Note how my front fender is on backwards. At the time, I thought it looked cooler like that, but the people at the camp really had a good time making fun of me for riding my bike with the fender flipped around like that. Ugh! Whatever. It should be noted that I am also carrying a skateboard in this photo. On this particular tour I stopped at over a dozen different skate parks along the way. I got made fun of for this as well.
I stayed with one of my best friends’ parents who happened to live along the route that I was traveling. This is my friend’s mom standing with my bicycle.
The Fuji Touring bicycle and a planter full of Washington tulips.
Crossing Deception Pass Bridge – Oak Harbor, Washington
Crescent Lake, Washington.
Bicycle camping somewhere in Washington state.
Cycle touring with my Fuji Touring bike along the coast of Washington State.
Camped out in the snow – Somewhere north of Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Photos From The Road – 2006
I bought my first property in 2006, so money was tight and I only had time to go on a short bike trip near my home. So I cycled through just three states that year: Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
Parked out in the shade of a street sign on a flat country road in Western Wyoming.
When I think of Wyoming, this is what I think of.
Photos From The Road – 2007
In 2007 I flew with my Fuji Touring bicycle to Germany and spent a month and a half exploring Deutschland, Poland and the Czech Republic.
My Fuji Touring bicycle is in the big cardboard box at the back. My panniers and the rest of my gear is in the smaller cardboard box in the forefront.
Cycling through one of the small forests near Frankfurt, Germany. The Fuji Touring performs excellently on these types of non-paved roads.
Cycling over a bridge into the city of Frankfurt. In the background are a bunch of the little garden plots that are scattered through out the country.
Here I am with my bicycle along the Rhine River near the city of Bingen, Germany.
My Fuji Touring bicycle leaning up against one of the Rhine River kilometer markers.
I put red handlebar tape on my Fuji Touring for my 2007 bike trip through Europe.
I did a lot of short day trips when I was in Germany. Here I am near Helmstedt, Germany carrying just one pannier on the rear rack of my Fuji Touring bicycle.
Another day trip photo – cycling from Helmstedt to Wolfsburg, Germany and back.