Sensible pruning of spec doesn’t have to be a compromise, as the Fuji Roubaix 1.1 shows.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Fuji Roubaix 1.1

Pros:

  • Well thought-out spec list minimises compromise
  • Surprisingly smooth ride
  • Comfortable rider contact points

Cons:

  • Non-compact chainset isn’t for everyone

Product:

Fuji Roubaix 1.1

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,100.00

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Fuji’s long-running Roubaix series has seen several design and cosmetic changes over the years, culminating in the 2015 model which features a smoothly sculpted alloy frameset.

The 1.1 is the top of the three-model Roubaix range that all share the same frame, and it includes some of Shimano’s latest Ultegra drivetrain components to provide 22 gears, all for £1,100.

Frameset
Though it may share its ‘Roubaix’ name with a series of carbon-fibre bikes from Specialized (which, incidentally, licenses the name from Fuji), it couldn’t be more different. Fuji places its Roubaix in its ‘road race’ series, and so the bike has a slightly more aggressive stance than more relaxed leisure-bound bikes.

Fuji has used its own A6-SL custom-butted tubes to piece together the frame, which you’ll note has a relatively level top tube rather than the almost ubiquitous sloping top tubes of the majority of current models.

The frame’s clean lines are assisted by the internal cable routing in the top and down tubes for the gears and rear brake. It’s neatly done, as are the smoothed welds at the frame junctions. Also noteworthy are the asymmetrical chainstays — flattened on the non-drive side, and rounded on the drive side.

Fuji Roubaix 1.1

Shimano’s latest Ultegra derailleur and shifters offered effort-free shifting across the 11-speed cassette

Components
To hit the £1,100 price point Fuji has had to be discerning with its choice of components. The backbone of the drivetrain is Shimano’s Ultegra 6800 levers and rear derailleur. We’ve said it before, and doubtless we’ll say it again — this groupset is one of the best we’ve ever tried, with quiet, rapid shifts that require the minimum of effort and provide accurate gear selection every time.

Matching the Ultegra levers and rear mech to Shimano’s next-rung-down 105 front derailleur and cassette has done little to spoil the feel. Same also goes for the Oval Concepts chainset, which is a solid unit that doesn’t look out of place alongside the Shimano bits. Although Fuji bills the Roubaix as a ‘road race’ model, we do question the inclusion of a mid-compact chainset offering 52 and 36-tooth rings. Although they are coupled to a wide-ranging 11-28 tooth cassette, some may find the bike over-geared for their needs.

Rather than going for no-name or third party brakes, Fuji has stuck with Shimano 105 units to provide proven and reliable stopping power. Oval Concepts provides much of the rest of the finishing kit including stem, bars, seatpost and saddle. The bars retain their full diameter along the tops and are wrapped with thick bar tape to give a comfortable grip.

Wheels
Oval Concepts crops up again, providing its 327 wheelset shod with decent 23mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick tyres on the Roubaix 1.1. Black rims and hubs are well finished, with the rim profile offering a smooth curve rather than a more angular point where it meets the spokes.

The stuck-on graphics are rather chunky, and are perhaps one of the only indicators that these are an entry–level set of wheels. The nicely finished quick-release skewers look great, though.

Fuji Roubaix 1.1

The Roubaix’s frame was nicely finished and with internal cable routing, and the Oval components were of a decent standard

Riding
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Roubaix 1.1 was a very smooth ride, even over some of our bumpy, potholed local roads. Buzz from uneven tarmac wasn’t directly transmitted as you sometimes find with alloy frames and the silence of the drivetrain and lack of rattles that sometimes plague internal cable routing were absent. It was an almost eerie experience whipping along quiet back lanes, and the bike does shift along nicely.

We appreciated Fuji’s speccing of thick bar tape; even that few extra millimetres of give helps for a comfy ride. Our size Large model came with a stack of 35mm of headset spacers under the stem, which made for a relatively upright position which felt good and certainly puts the rider in command on steeper descents.

The Oval Concepts wheels also felt plenty stiff enough, with no side-to-side movement when we were riding out of the saddle on climbs — and seemed to have little wobble in stiff crosswinds either, despite the rim depth.

The drivetrain was superb, confirming our initial impression that Fuji has done a good job of sensibly mixing and matching parts to retain the smooth operation of 11-speed Ultegra. Only when the road reared up did we miss the lower gearing of a compact chainset, although the bike’s very respectable 8.58kg weight certainly helped fight off gravitational pull.

For more details visit the Evans Cycles website.

Verdict

There was really very little to fault with the Roubaix 1.1, and we had to remind ourselves of the price when we got back from our rides. This is a £1,100 bike that offers a lot.

Details

Frameset:Fuji A6-SL custom-butted alloy
Fork:Carbon-fibre

Gears:Shimano 105/Ultegra 6800 11-28t 11-speed
Brakes:Shimano 105

Chainset:Oval Concepts 520 52/36t
Wheels:Oval 327

Tyres:Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick, 700 × 23
Handlebar:Oval Concepts 710

Stem:Oval Concepts 713
Saddle:Oval Concepts R500T

Seatpost:Oval Concepts
Size range:52, 54, 56, 58, 61cm

Weight:8.58kg/18.93lb
Size tested:58cm

Contact:www.evanscycles.com

  • Matt Blackledge

    Yes. I spent approximately GBP 200 on new cranks and crank arms and the same on the wheels.

  • giacomo turzo

    sorry mate but the price is in english pound….?

    thanks

    giacomo t

  • Matt Blackledge

    I bought the Fuji 1.3 Roubaix a year ago and can confirm that the frame and Shimano components are good (Shimano 105 on the 1.3) but that the Fuji own brand components (called Oval) are absolutely terrible. The cranks kept falling off, the wheels lost spokes every couple of weeks and were never in true, however often they were corrected. I replaced the cranks with Shimano 105s and the wheels with Fulcrum Racing 5s and it’s now quite a decent bike. You need to be wiling to spend another £400 – 500 on a Fuji bike to replace its own brand components if you don’t want to be stood by the side of the road every few miles tightening up the cranks.

  • Stephan Boesser

    What’s your problem with the “non-compact” cranks? They’re actually semi-compact, and if a 36/28 low gear does not get you up the “bergs” or an Alpine pass, you should finally use your bike for training instead of discussing its specs. 52/36 front, 11-28 rear is absolutely perfect.