Initial Impressions: The Fuji Track Elite Velodrome Monster

Fuji Track Elite Drive Side

In 2012, Fuji announced a new uber track machine at Interbike, the Track Elite. Based on the technology in the bike, the design of the frameset, and the quality build spec, it was very evident Fuji wanted this bike to be first over every velodrome finish line possible. The best part is that Fuji was able to spec a solid build on this high end frameset for just north of what other companies charge for a frameset alone.

No one on staff here at BikeRumor races at a velodrome. So, when initially asked if we would like to review the bike we passed. However, a good friend of ours, Cesar, does race here in Portland, OR at the Alpenrose Dairy velodrome. We decided to set him up with the bike for the season to see how it fairs.

Head past the brake(less) for full bike details, images, and Cesar’s first impression.

Fuji Track Elite Cesar Riding 1

The Fuji Track Elite is designed to do one thing and do it well. It’s only goal is to go around a banked oval as fast as possible. To accomplish this goal, Fuji built a very slippery aerodynamic carbon fiber frame that has internal ribs in both the down tube and fork blades. This yields a bike that is 27% sifter than its predecessor, but also 23% lighter as well. Adding to that stiffness is the tapered head tube. It uses a 1 1/8″ upper bearing, and tappers out to at 1 1/2″ lower bearing. Fuji claims this is a first for a track bike. The final design of the frame is a result of aerodynamic testing in the wind tunnel. Even the seat bolt binder is internal lending to it’s sleek lines.

Fuji Track Elite Chain Stay

As for the build up, Fuji used a group of parts any track racer would be happy to call their own. Power transfer is made possible by the stiff Dura-Ace crankset (50t ring), Dura-Ace track BB, and Dura-Ace 15t cog wrapped with a KMC Z510HX chain. The cockpit is made up of a proprietary Oval 931 carbon aero seat post, Oval carbon railed saddle, Oval alloy stem, and the well respected 3T SCATTO carbon bars. Wheels come in the form of Oval 981T 81mm deep carbon rims with Vittoria Pista Evo CS 22mm tubulars glued up. The total build cost runs $4749. I value price point considering what you get for the money.

Fuji Track Elite 3T Bars

The only downside to the entire package are the graphics. It feels like a NASCAR, which may be fitting as the bike does go fast then turn left a lot. The shape of the frame is beautiful, but the over the top red, white, and black graphics take away from its appeal. Add in the wheels with their 12 OVALconcept logos and its just to much. If I could change anything about the bike this would be it. I’ve noticed several major manufactures, and a ton of custom builders, using more understated graphics and it would be nice to see that implemented on this ride. This complaint however, has no bearing on the performance of the bike. For more on that, read Cesar’s impressions below.

Fuji Track Elite Cesar Riding 2

Cesar’s First Impressions:

The look and feel of this bike speaks louder than words. The bike is light (14lbs 13oz without pedals), stiff, and very responsive to even the slightest input. The dialed in track geometry and well made carbon frame yield a beautifully stiff, and efficient ride. The handling of the bike is quick but not scary, and picking a good line through the corners is easily done. This bike does exactly what it’s designed to do, it goes fast.

Fuji Track Elite Rear Profile

Here in Portland, the Alpenrose Velodrome is outdoors, it has a steep bank, and is bumpy. The bike is more comfortable than expected on the outdoor track as compared to my Bare Knuckle steel frame I am used to.

Fuji Track Elite Front Profile

Being outdoors however, does mean wind can become an issue at times. The deep carbon rims and aero tubing amplify this, and can throw the bike off course if you aren’t careful. Personally, I will spend my training laps riding my Mavic Open Pro wheelset and save the OVAL carbon tubulars for race day. The stock tires that came with the bike are great, but I would prefer something a little more robust given the track surface and condition at Alpenrose. Other than that minor issue, the bike is competition ready and I can wait for racing to start.

Fuji produced a video highlighting the Track Elite and the Rudy Project racing team that will be using it. Skip ahead to 2:31 to see a cross section of rib technology used in both the down tube and fork.

 

Comments

Sprinty Mcroid - 04/17/13 - 10:16am

This bike is chock-full of kick-ass. Love it. I agree w/ the NASCAR graphics comment, but love the bike. Needs some chain tugs to prevent the wheel from slipping under pedaling torque and it’s good to go.

Fuji’s got a winner here, IMO.

T - 04/17/13 - 10:23am

Coming soon to a coffee shop near you.

Paul - 04/17/13 - 10:46am

I know nothing about track bikes, but that is one of the coolest looking machines I have ever seen.

EricNM - 04/17/13 - 10:54am

Needs more logos…

vectorbug - 04/17/13 - 12:38pm

put some risers and a 650 on the front and wheelspin for days!

PDXFixed - 04/17/13 - 1:07pm

We approve. The graphics are horrible though.

Canucklehead - 04/17/13 - 1:52pm

Make the logo BIG… Make the logo BIGGER!

Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AxwaszFbDw

Mindless - 04/17/13 - 3:05pm

Would be great for a latte run in my Birkenstocks.

AZBikeFreak - 04/17/13 - 8:09pm

Those logos will be a big blur when that thing goes blastin by you on the track.

onespeed - 04/17/13 - 9:02pm

what?! aww, c’mon! man, fixed-gear bikes are over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlGqN3AKOsA

that said, well done fuji.

Raglandia - 04/18/13 - 9:08am

This bike is amazing. I only wish there was a velodrome withiin 100 miles of my location….

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