Can you trust a gravel bike review from someone who wears baggies and drinks beer from a can?

Let’s get one thing out of the way. If the choice is between beer from a can and no beer, that’s not a real choice. We can do better than that. Seriously, your stomach, and taste buds will thank you.

With that business out of the way, we can talk about bikes. In this case the Fuji Jari, as reviewed by Cycling Tips. While I can’t speak directly to the validity of their criticisms of the bike, I haven’t ridden it, there are a few things I can comment on from the review.

  1. It’s “heavy” because of the wheels, and probably the crankset + handlebars, not because Fuji put eyelets and screws on it.
  2. Road-leaning geometry isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a thing. If you prefer something else, that’s OK. Most of the riding shots were on gravel roads, if that’s what you’ll be riding, maybe road-leaning is what you want?
  3. I suspect that the compliance complaints noted are likely to be an artifact of the wheels + tires as well as the handlebars. Super stiff Al wheels have a cost, the WTB Raddler isn’t known for it’s supple feel (oddly the WTB Riddler is very supple), and it’s very unlikely that the house brand Al handlebars are light or particularly compliant.

When I look at this bike I see a great canvas at a reasonable price. Every bike has quirks, and no bike is perfect straight out of the box. As long as the foundation is sound, don’t be afraid to swap the handlebars/stem/saddle to make it work for you.

Without riding it myself, or taking the bits apart to weigh them, obviously there’s a lot of conjecture on my part. But, we should also not forget that this is a $2,900 bike. If it was 2-3x that, I wouldn’t be so quick to jump in.


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