After a number of years of informal mountain biking, I made a decision it was time to go ‘full ship,’ as they are saying. This season I’ve been testing Fuji’s new Outland 1.1, and the singletrack has by no means been higher.
Let’s be clear: Till this spring, I didn’t declare to be a biker in any respect. I’m nonetheless undecided if I’m. For years I’ve been into mountaineering, paddling, and fly fishing.
Driving a mountain bike was one thing I did often on a rental bike within the Rocky Mountains. So I got down to discover an inexpensive bike that might deal with a bit little bit of every little thing Midwest mountain biking needed to provide.
I’ve been using the Outland 1.1 on Minnesota singletrack by the spring and summer time. Although not all the time essentially the most technical terrain, Minnesota offers an ideal combination of flowy traces, punchy climbs, and simply sufficient options to maintain you in your toes.
In brief, the Fuji Outland 29 1.1 is designed to be an entry-level, budget-friendly, do-it-all path machine. And it’s simply that.
What to Search for in Your First Mountain Bike
Out of doors hobbies may be costly. I keep in mind going into an REI earlier than my first tenting journey and getting slapped within the face by sticker shock. So, I purchased the most affordable cookset accessible.
That gear occurred to be the heaviest, most cumbersome, and least helpful gear for me in the long term. Finally, that gear failed or I discovered what gear I really wanted.
Then, I needed to begin changing the objects, which was costlier general. I used to be tempted to get a $400 mountain bike, however this time I used to be sensible sufficient to withstand. I gleaned some beta from my co-workers on what to search for in a “starter” bike, so I’ll go on that knowledge on to you.
Succesful. Backside line, in the event you’re investing in a full-suspension bike, you need one thing that feels assured on the downhills however doesn’t struggle towards you on the climbs.
For the Midwest or modestly technical trails, search for one thing between 100 and 140mm journey up entrance with 80-120 mm within the rear. This can be a very good center floor that may deal with all kinds of trails from techy singletrack to straightforward flowy downhills.
Measurement. Bike match could make all of the distinction in how a motorcycle rides. Sizing shouldn’t be common, which means it’s possible you’ll be a small in a single model and a medium in one other based mostly on the body geometry. Discover a native demo and experience as many bikes as you possibly can so you will get a really feel for what measurement suits you greatest.
Kind. Be sincere with your self on how you propose to make use of the bike. You might have considered trying a full downhill bike, however is that the kind of using you do most?
A brief-travel, full-suspension bike does every little thing I want and doesn’t restrict the place I can experience an excessive amount of. Resolve what trails you’ll be using and purchase the bike most acceptable for these trails.
Worth. You get what you pay for. Most of the “mountain” bikes in the marketplace are usually not rated for precise path using and will fail off highway.
In case you’re in search of a short-travel, full-suspension bike, begin with one thing between $1,500 and $2,200. This threshold ensures you get a trail-worthy bike that’s a lot much less more likely to explode beneath you.
Many producers provide the identical body with totally different part specs. So you can begin with a less expensive construct and improve the elements as they put on out or you have got extra room in your price range.
Sturdiness. Once more, you get what you pay for. In case you’re undecided what to search for on the subject of respected manufacturers or fashions, cease in and discuss to somebody at your native bike store. Store workers are a number of the largest bike nerds on the market and can assist level you in the best path.
Weight. When you is probably not racing or counting grams, weight continues to be an necessary issue on the subject of the general expertise. You don’t must search for the lightest bike in the marketplace, however do search for one thing that feels balanced.
Fuji Outland 29 1.1 Mountain Bike Evaluate
It’s blue and it’s enjoyable to experience. However significantly, the truth that it appeared cool made me enthusiastic about it from Day 1. For the primary time, I selected to hit the paths as a substitute of the crag. Who’ve I turn out to be?!
Past flashy seems to be, this bike carried out properly for me, and it helped construct my confidence and check my limits. Fuji constructed this bike for these trying to get into the game with a strong, full-suspension bike to shred on. I feel they nailed it.
What You Get in Fuji’s Sub-$2,000 Mountain Bike
General, I appreciated the texture of the bike. I didn’t must muscle it on tight corners and by no means felt prefer it was making an attempt to buck me off throughout descents.
As my bike maven colleague Kurt would say, I felt like I used to be “in” the bike when using it, not “on” it. I used to be usually happy with the inventory elements on the Fuji Outland 1.1 contemplating the worth and goal marketplace for the bike.
I can’t declare that I’m — or that the bike is — a superfast climber. But it surely was simpler than anticipated — and the primary time I loved climbing on a motorcycle.
The 29-inch tires made rolling over roots and rocks loads smoother and helped sustain momentum whereas climbing. The inventory tires gripped properly on quite a lot of trails, and I didn’t discover any lack of traction on ascents or descents.
The Outland 1.1 comes inventory with a 1×10 Shimano drivetrain, which has a fairly big selection and allowed me to sort out all of the switchbacks I might discover with relative ease.
A 10-speed looks as if an historical gearing possibility, however for Midwest singletrack, it’s lots satisfactory. And after I inevitably crash and break a shifter or derailleur, it’ll be a lot inexpensive to switch if wanted.
The RockShox Judy Silver TK 29 Solo Air fork and Deluxe RL rear shock dealt with the bumps, berms, rocks, and roots of Minnesota trails splendidly. I felt secure and in management whereas rolling by all types of terrain and hitting small drops and jumps.
Each the entrance and rear shock lock out for climbs or flat trails. I didn’t discover a lot (if any) pedal bob on the bike when pedaling. The bike accelerates pretty rapidly and holds pace on the path. I didn’t have any issues with the Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes, which have fairly good modulation when braking.
The body has inner cable routing, which retains the traces of the bike clear. And the WTB wheels and tires come tubeless-ready, a pleasant bonus as a result of not all bikes at this value provide this as a inventory possibility.
I’m 5’three″ and examined a measurement small bike, and it suits properly sufficient. I by no means felt cramped or stretched out whereas using. Although, the 29-inch wheels made it really feel like an enormous/tall bike, particularly at first.
Whereas geometry is tremendous necessary, on the subject of how a motorcycle will deal with, I don’t have the expertise to know precisely what I would like but. The Fuji sits comfortably between XC and all-mountain geometry and is appropriate for quite a lot of terrain. And I by no means seen any opposed experience traits.
Click on right here if you wish to dive into the total specs.
What You’ll Yearn for on a Sub-$2,000 Mountain Bike
The outdated “choose two of three” adage applies to bikes. Mild, robust, and low cost — you possibly can solely have two. You will get a light-weight bike that may final a very long time, however it received’t be low cost. Or, you will get a less expensive bike that can be robust, however it received’t be gentle.
Although it looks as if a fortune, $2,000 will solely get you to this point within the bike world. As with all bikes on this entry-level class, the Outland has a number of drawbacks.
First is the burden. I examined a measurement small, which weighed 34 kilos. It’s heavy in comparison with different short-travel bikes on the market. For $1,950, I don’t anticipate any carbon, however it’d be good to swap out a number of elements to drop it under 30 kilos. A fast swap of the wheels and crank would internet a number of kilos that will pay fast dividends on the path, however they’ll additionally take an enormous chunk out of your pockets.
Fuji Outland 29 1.1 Mountain Bike
Body: A2-SL butted aluminum
Fork: RockShox Judy Silver TK 29 Solo Air
Rear shock: RockShox Deluxe RL
Groupset: Shimano Deore, 10 pace
Wheelset: WTB STP i25 32-hole rims; Method increase hubs; tubeless prepared
Tires: Schwalbe Rocket Ron Efficiency, 29″ x 2.25″, tubeless suitable
Brakeset: Shimano M315, hydraulic disc, 180/160mm rotors
Cockpit, saddle, seatpost, handlebars: Oval ideas
Full specs right here
Second, the bike doesn’t include a dropper submit. Actually, for my present locale, I don’t want it. However I’ll inevitably get into some steeper using, and it’d be good to drop the submit simply when wanted. It’s arrange with inner routing to maintain the traces clear and tidy when that point comes.
Thus far, the inventory 10-speed drivetrain has been satisfactory, and I haven’t felt the necessity for the extra common 12-speed drivetrains in the marketplace. That mentioned, as I turn out to be a extra critical rider, growing my gear vary may be one of many modifications I make to the bike.
It’s nonetheless blue, it’s nonetheless enjoyable to experience, and shredding singletrack on it was the spotlight of my summer time. In case you’re in search of a full-suspension 29er to get critical about mountain biking, I’d suggest having a look at Fuji’s Outland 29 1.1. It’s an ideal bike for below $2,000.