Monday, July 09, 2007

My Fujin SL

A few months ago I was keen on getting a Challenge bent. I nearly bought a new Taifun and then lucked into a nearly new used one on BROL at a great price. Soon afterwards I stumbled upon a Fujin being sold on EBay by a BROL member. The bidding was at less than $100 when I started and having done a lot of research I knew what the bike was worth so I threw in a few bids. I have to admit I got a little carried away and by the end of the day I was top bidder. I sort of expected to be outbid at the last minute as the bike was still a great deal. 3 days rolled by with no further bids and TA DA! I owned a used Fujin SL. I hadn't planned on getting two Challenge bents, but both bikes were exactly what I wanted at prices that were too good to pass up. In fact I ended up getting both for less than the pimped out new Taifun I was thinking of buying initially would have cost - thanks BROL & EBay!

The Taifun arrived first and I spent my energies getting that bike ready to ride. It was the only bent that would fit into my transit bike locker so I had to get it sorted out if I wanted to commute on a bent. Once the Taifun was rolling I turned my attention to the Fujin. The previous owner had removed the top return idler and completely modified the lower return idler. The result wasn't to my liking so I decided to rethink the whole idler system. I tried out pretty much every possibility. My priority was to have a bike that shifted well and was easy to use. In the end I basically went back to the stock setup with both return idlers in place and a chain tube on the power side chain. This works great and means that I can ride the bike without any thought about the chain. I also haven't noticed any particular drag or noise from this set up in comparison to my Volae that has a pretty straight chain line with less idlers and no chain tube.

The process of getting the bike setup took me a long time. I've had the Fujin around a month and had not even taken it on a quick test ride until this past weekend. I can't really explain why that happened except to say that I was enjoying the Taifun a lot and I just felt I should wait until everything was "right" before I tried riding the Fujin.

Well the wait was worth it. Sunday I did a metric century on the Fujin. Wow. It took very little time to get accustom to the lower seat angle and the open cockpit. I really like the Taifun, but I love the Fujin. It is very fast, comfortable and very stable. I was riding with one hand at high speeds over frost heaves while shooting video - on the very first ride. I had read great things about the Fujin's handling on BROL and I can confirm that they were not exaggerating.

I only have 105kms on the Fujin, but I feel totally comfortable on it and it almost feels like I've been riding it for a long time - it feels that natural. I've found my long distance bike.

One other thing I'm very happy about is that I finally have that road bike experience back. My DF road bike is an awesome ride and I've missed the speed, acceleration and climbing ability since riding bents most of the time. The Fujin has the same feeling. I'll need to get out alone on some of my training routes to see how the Fujin stacks up, but I can tell already it should do very well.

4 comments:

Jim said...

Vik,

Very, Very nice. Always wanted to try a Fujin. Love the open cockpit. How is the hand/wrist position?

Looks like a great ride.

jim

Vik said...

Hi Jim,

The hand position is perfect. It is the most ergonomic of all my bikes. Better than my Volae which also has an open cockpit. I think my Volae bars are a bit closer to my body than the Fujin's - so that could be corrected.

trsnrtr said...

Congrats, Vik! That is a beautiful bike. Here's to many miles of smiles!

Ride the wind!

Steeker said...

very very sweet bike! ok well SUPER sweet :-D