Fuji SLM 29 LTD SL: Out Of The Box- by Guitar Ted
The second of two Fuji Bikes being tested now, (the other is the Outland 29 1.0 seen here), is now ready to be detailed out for your approval. This is Fuji’s top of the line carbon fiber 29 inch wheeled hard tail aimed at XC racing and for anyone who likes to ride as fast as they can on the proper trails for this bike. Let’s take a look to see what Fuji ha done with this bike…
The Fuji Bikes SLM 29 LTD SL sits atop a line of four carbon hard tails with this model and the next down the line featuring “high modulus, D6 carbon fiber”. The frame has tube to tube construction, and the shaped, oversized down tube is “ride tuned” per the website description. The same “ride tuned” design feature applies to the seat stays. The quick release style drop outs are carbon here with a replaceable derailleur hangar.
The brake caliper mounts on a post style mount on the seat stay. The frame features a tapered head tube and the bottom bracket is a Shimano PressFit style. The front derailleur is a direct mount type which this frame supports. Cables are (mostly) internally routed.
Strangely enough for an XC type bike, there are only provisions for one water bottle cage. The mounts are on the down tube.
Components: As one might expect for a top of the line XC racing bike, the SLM 29 LTD has some high end componentry. Fuji chose to spec this bike with a lot of DynaSys 10 speed Shimano XTR. The group is well represented here from shifters, derailleurs, and crank set. Even the brakes are the Ice Tech XTR level. The rear derailleur features the Shadow RD cage damper which keeps chain slap to a minimum. (In fact, the SLM 29 LTD doesn’t even have a chain stay protector!)
The cassette drops to an XT level 10speed, 11-36T model which mates with a 2X XTR Hollow Tech II crank set up with 28/40T chain rings. The Shimano HG-94 10 speed chain rounds out the drive train. Shifters are Dual Release Rapid Fire 10 speed pods with the aforementioned XTR brake levers sitting next to them.
The fork is a Fox 32 Float 29 Factory Fit RLC with a remote lock out and has 100mm travel. The stanchions are Kashima coated, of course. The lock out mechanism on the bar is unique in that you depress a lever to engage the lock out, but you simply bump the outside of the unit with the inner part of your fist while gripping the bar to engage the release lever. Clever!
The wheel set is from WTB and is the Stryker model which c_g and M-1 tested here. These are shod (curiously enough), with TCS Bronson tires, also from WTB. The front wheel is a 15mm through axle type to match the Fox fork’s 15QR axle.
Other bits are mostly from Fuji’s in house component brand, Oval. The seat post is an alloy 31.6mm size with a 350mm extension. The bars are Oval M850 carbon fiber with a width of 710mm and can be flipped for a rise/negative rise choice of 5mm. The stem is an Oval M800 “carbon matrix” model with reverse hardware and is 110mm in length. (Fastener heads face the rider and thread into the face plate.) Finally, the saddle is an Oval M800 model with carbon rails.
Geometry: The SLM 29 LTD comes in S(15.5″),S/M(17.5″), M(19″-tested), M/L(21″) sizes. The head tube angle is 71 degrees, (with the exception of Size Small, which is 70 degrees), and all seat tube angles are 73 degrees. Top tube sizes range, (from small to “M/L”), from 587mm, 604mm, 623mm, and 642mm. Chain stay lengths are at 439mm.
Fuji claims a weight of 23.67lbs for the bike, (sans pedals and water bottle cage), and my size Medium tester with cage and pedals, ready to ride weighed in at 25.1lbs. Not surprising given the 1600 gram wheels and 770 gram each tires, (which have tubes as well, by the way). MSRP on the Fuji Bikes SLM 29 LTD is $6949.00.
Out Of The Box Impressions: Two things strike me about this bike upfront: The graphics package and the carbon frame. It never ceases to amaze me how these carbon frames are shaped, how light they are, and how they can withstand the abuses of mountain biking. Then there are the graphics. Whoa! What a design. I find that some folks like it, but a lot of riders are a bit down on the brand-heavy livery here. However you see it, this is par for the course with many racing machines these days, it seems.
Upon closer inspection, the bike continued to amaze me with all the multi-shaped carbon tubes. I was pleasantly surprised to find decent rear tire clearances as well. The fit and finish of the parts and frame is top shelf, and for the asking price, it should be. Components are definitely a personal choice, and the high end maybe magnifies this, but I was happy to see the Shimano DynaSys 10 speed and especially the Ice Tech XTR brakes, which I feel are some of the best stoppers out there.
The wheels are okay here, but the tires are a head scratcher, in my opinion. Especially when you consider that the Fuji Outland 29 1.0 came with Vulpines and this bike has Bronsons. It would seem to make more sense the other way around, and I may flip flop tires here to see how that plays out for both bikes. That said, obviously racing tires are going to be most likely different for most folks, so consider the Bronsons “training rubber” here, perhaps.
Stay tuned for a First Impressions post soon.
Note: Fuji Bikes sent the SLM 29 LTD for test and review at no charge. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.