Pros: Quality of Materials, Comfort, No changes Needed, Shimano Shifters, 29"
As a man who's been riding bicycles since I've left the womb, I've had the great pleasure of tackling all kinds of terrain. Whether its the concrete Washington and Old Dominion Trail, or mountain trails that make my lungs work at full capacity, there's almost nothing more I enjoy than being out on my bike. For years, I was a loyal customer to none other than Specialized. Yet unfortunately they have raised their prices at an exorbitant rate, and now my heart is with the Fuji Company. They have always made excellent bikes, but most of their models were for street riding. That dynamic has changed, and the 2012 Fuji Nevada 4.0 29" bike is the best value for mountain bikes. Simply put, it is loaded, and unlike other cycles, there's not a lot of modifications needed.
First of all, 29" bikes are now the rage. Thank you to the bicycle manufacturers, for coming out with these, for us taller folks. The 29" wheels compared to the traditional 26" are a huge improvement. They allow long legged individuals, to build momentum up so much faster, as well as sustaining it. Also this gives you more comfort on the trail, although of course your ability to make quick turns, can be compromised to a slight degree. The loss of maneuverability is barely noticed though, so no worries unless you are in a race. So what makes this Fuji the best one? The price and what it comes with. This is an affordable mountain bike, that gives you components, that you would be hard pressed to find in its range.
Let's get to the weight first. I am shocked by how light this is. You can pick it up with just a couple of fingers. Most mountain bikes are much more heavy than this one, but due to improvements in aluminum alloys, this one weighs in at under thirty pounds. This makes it so easy to put on a bike rack, or in the back of my pick up truck. After a long trek on a trail, I'm very happy with this weight too. This allows you go also generate speed, without as much effort, as say bikes from just five years ago. Technology has really improved in mountain bikes, and the Nevada 4.0 is the result of this process.
Its hard to find a bike, that has a seat that is comfortable. As most bikers know, you always replace it. This is the first time I'm not doing that. While it does not have the "ball holders," that I've joked about for years, it does not cause any discomfort. In fact, its the most comfortable bike seat I've had the chance to sit upon. Its sturdy build quality, along with its angled slope, make it fine for any distance of ride on any terrain. Of course, the 100mm SunTour Fork take away the shocks of bumps, thus saving you from sounding like "The Jersey Boys." The teal blue streamlined seat even looks cool, and the handlebars fit in the same category.
These are also bright blue, and you can use gloves if you like. I recommend that, because any handlebar, is going to accumulate dirt, sweat, and grime. Also, you will get callouses. I've ridden this with and without gloves, and like the grips. They are easy on your hands, but do allow you complete control of your direction of travel. I like how they are angled as well, so that you don't have to lean too much into them. This is especially useful for long trips, because with other mountain bikes, I used to suffer from lower back pain. There's none here.
How's the shifting? Smooth and effortless. The Shimano Acera Shifter is simply the best. There are a total of twenty four gears, and there's a trigger switch. This can allow you to downshift quickly,and on big hills this feature is very much appreciated. The left shifter is where your three settings are, and you can see the numbers easily. This is the case in any type of weather condition, and its amazing how quickly you can go through the gears with that trigger toggle. There are no "clinks or clanks" when shifting either, and although that might be the case several hundred miles more into riding this, I have yet to hear that familiar noise. It appears that Fuji has incorporated, some of their street bike technology into this.
Braking is excellent as well. There aren't disc brakes on here, and that's where the money saving is obvious. Yet the Linear Pull brakes from Tekro work just fine. Don't pull too hard on the front one of course, without applying the ones in the rear. I've had to stop quite fast, due to an idiotic car driver, and was surprised at how effective these are. There was barely any skidding or wavering of the bike, and for safety purposes this is very important. I had complete control, and I feel even more secure riding this around town, after that rather harrowing experience.
The Kendra 29"x1.95" tires are impeccable. They deliver a smooth ride, and are also very quiet. I like how the treads are set, as so to provide good riding conditions anywhere. Most of the time I am on established trails, but this bike has no issues off of those. It is able to eat dirt, divots, and other obstacles with no problems. These tires are not going to be confused with some of the more expensive ones, but for the price range, I was surprised by how good of a ride they provide. Their solid treads and durability are appreciated, and as long as you keep them at the correct PSI, you can expect thousands of miles.
This is the best bike I have owned. I still cannot believe I got it for $499 out the door. You can find it at a variety of sporting good stores, with most of them selling it for an average of $539-$559. Considering the high quality Shimano and alloy materials from Fuji, this is an exceptional value. It is made in China, but I do not have any issues with its build quality, as it provides a comfortable ride during each journey I've taken with it. The bike frame itself is very comfortable, and I like the grey Fuji logo on its beam. You could spend a lot more for a bike of this category, but this is a best buy, and I fully recommend purchasing this one over any other.
**Special thanks to Abraham for adding this to the database*****