The Fuji Altamira. © Clifford Lee
Our latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 19, boasted more bike reviews than we’ve ever had before. Among these was the Fuji Altamira. Check out its vital stats here, and make sure you pick up a copy of Issue 19 to see what we had to say about it!
by Clifford Lee
A few tidbits from the review:
Good clearance for wide tires and muddy conditions.
The last time Fuji’s Altamira graced our pages, in Issue 12, we found the 1.0 to be “a purpose-built one hour race bike, light, stiff and responsive, but with an edge that made it less able on rough, rocky courses.” Enter, now, the Altamira 1.3, an all-carbon, disk-equipped beauty that we were excited to put through the paces. Along with tearing the trails up and the bike apart, we also spoke to Steven Fairchild of Advanced Sports International, U.S. distributor of Fuji, to learn as much as we could about the features that have made the Altamira a success.
To take advantage of new- and old-school riders alike, the Altamira has split into two lineages: the 2.x line caters to canti-loving ’crossers, while the 1.x line seeks to attract those making the UCI-sanctioned transition to discs. The decimal refers to the build of the bike, with the lower the number the higher the quality of the components. While an Altamira 1.1 was in the works as a C10 high-modulus carbon frame equipped with a SRAM Red hydraulic disc and tubular wheels, Fuji’s ‘superbike’ was put on hold for the release of some new technology and is available as a frameset only. Thus the 1.3 CX remains the sole Altamira disc bike with slightly lower modulus “C5” carbon—and if our experience with it is any indication of how the 1.1 will perform, we can’t wait to get our hands on one!
The finish appears understated, with a matte black coat accented with yellow and blue designs. Though the matte silver Fuji logo is emblazoned on the massive down tube, it too appears somewhat subdued, as if the bike isn’t quite sure it has the chops to stand out.
The most obvious change over the 1.0’s frame, of course, is the addition of mounts for the disc brakes. New, as well, is the internal routing for the gear cables, which enter the down tube with a special bolt-on aluminum caps. The caps act as housing stops over the oval frame holes. The cables are exposed and accessible at the bottom bracket: the rear derailleur cable continues into the right chainstay and exits the top of the stay with the same bolt-on-oval housing stop, while the front derailleur cable exits behind the sculpted, mud shedding bottom bracket area.
Di2 ready if you decide to go electric.
The Altamira 1.3 CX is equipped primarily with a mixture of SRAM Force and Oval Concepts components. SRAM provides the drivetrain: shifters, crank, derailleurs and cassette. Interestingly, Fuji paired a KMC X10 chain with the SRAM. Oval Concepts 300 series aluminum components provide basic support for your contact points with the bike. Braking chores are handled by the venerable Avid BB7 cable-actuated disc calipers. Matching Avid stainless steel 6-bolt rotors mate with the Oval Concepts 327 CX wheels.
The Oval Concepts 327 CX wheelset pairs a high flange hubset with a 22.5mm wide, 30mm tall aluminum alloy rim using 24 two-cross bladed black spokes in front and 28 two-cross spokes in the rear. The spoke nipples are external, making truing easy. In my opinion the rim depth is largely on this “aero” section that adds unnecessary weight. There’s good reason for an aero rim in cyclocross—our Issue 13’s tests verified that such shapes and depth can help shed mud—but I would rather forgo the deep rim for a lighter rim.
Bold branding makes it easy to find your bike in a LeMans start.
Contributing to the wheel heft is the choice of Challenge Grifo Pro nylon tires with a 60 tpi casing. These have the timeless Grifo tread without the supple cotton/polyester casing of the Grifo Open tubular.
The resting weight is 19.2 pounds with the Oval Concepts clincher wheelset, but only a paltry 11 pounds without wheels. With a lightweight set of wheels and discs, this could be a 16.5 pound bike with cable disc brakes!
With such a rigid setup, how does it race? Check out a digital copy of Issue 19 for the full review, with instant delivery.
Find out how the Fuji Altamira measures up and be sure to check out all the ’cross bikes in our cyclocross bike directory.
Frame: Fuji C5 carbon composite
Fork: Fuji 327 C5 carbon composite
Drivetrain: SRAM Force
Cassette: SRAM 1050, 12-28
Crankset: SRAM Force, BB 86 Pressfit
Brakeset: Avid BB7 Road, 160mm rotor front, 140mm rear
Wheelset: Oval Concepts 327 CX
Tires: Challenge Grifo Pro
Handlebar/Stem: FSA Omega compact/FSA OS
Weight: 19.20 lbs w/o pedals, 11.0 lbs w/o wheels
Country of Origin: Taiwan
More info: Fujibikes.com
Want to read the full review? To see what our testers thought about after putting it through some muddy races, check out Issue 19 of our print mag. Make sure you’re subscribed to Cyclocross Magazine (subscribe digitally to receive Issue 19, or order it in the archive section of our subscription page).
Check our Issue 19 page for the full Table of Contents to see what else is in store, and stay tuned for more sneak peeks!