Fuji SLM 29 LTD SL: Final Review- by Guitar Ted
The time has come to wrap up this review and give my final thoughts. The Fuji SLM has been written up before and you can check out those posts here, here, and here. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s take a final look at this flashy looking carbon hard tail 29″er.
The Fuji Bikes brand is owned by the same company as Breezer Bikes, and along with that comes, (shall we say), a rather eclectic way of spec’ing bicycles that leaves one wanting a bit. We’ve opined on Breezer bikes before on the solid components, but lower than expected level of spec, and we’ve noted the same on Fuji’s bikes. However; the spec level on the SLM 29 LTD isn’t too off, it’s just kind of odd for a race oriented bike. XTR Trail brakes, for instance, which are not the lightest option there. WTB Bronson tires, which aren’t going to be on the top of most XC racer’s choices, but are decent enough all around trail tires. Odd spec choices, but still high end and very nice here.
So, if you don’t mind the unique spec for a high end, flagship model race bike, what will you find? The frame is the heart of any hard tail, and with the SLM 29 LTD you get a quick handling, light, laterally stiff feel with geometry that seems dialed right in there as far as what you’d find on other companies XC racing rigs. The component choices work very well. I would only slightly fault the WTB Stryker wheels for a slight amount of rear wheel lateral flex, which we’ve noted in our review of those wheels separately here.
Carbon fiber continues to be an amazingly varied frame material as far as feel for the rider. In the case of this bike, the seat stays seem to actually have a bit of an effect on taking the edge off trail chatter. Make no mistake- this is still a hard tail bike, but it makes for a decent ride feel without getting “zinged” up the spine on sharper edged hits. Some carbon fiber rigs don’t feel as lively as this one does either, but now this is so subjective that I’ll just say that I enjoyed the ride feel of the SLM 29 LTD very much. (And if anything, I am a steel hard tail kind of guy.) For my riding, the SLM 29 LTD ticked all the right boxes along with being very responsive to pedal input.
Conclusions: Okay, I’ll say this right up front- I liked this bike a lot from the standpoint of how it handles, and yes- even the spec was “okay” from my view. However; it isn’t in line with how many might envision a racing hard tail to be spec’ed. If you don’t mind the few odd spec choices here, this bike sits in the “go-fast” lane and will handle a bit on the quick side with a solid, comfortable feel.
The overall graphic package on this bike is certainly not for the meek and mild. But….it is par for the course, it seems, with how many XC/Race oriented bikes look. Ironically though, if your trails feature green vegetation, it kind of blends in.
My feeling is this bike, albeit a tad confused on spec, is an excellent carbon fiber hard tail mountain bike that could be raced or used as your everyday trail bike out of the box. With a couple judicious component swaps, it would slot right in at any XC race start line and do quite well.
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.