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Fuji offers an excellent selection of gravel bikes with its Jari range, which features five variations of differing quality to fit any budget.
The Jari is not simply a repurposed road bike with bigger tires, it has been designed with a new frame specifically designed to seat the rider further back on the bike for better grip on dirt. Along with a slack head tube, the bike’s designers have also included seat stays with a unique shape that provides better stability when traveling at high speed with a heavy load.
The original Fuji Jari came in five different versions, with the ultimate top-of-the-range beast being the Jari 1.1, which spares no expense. The Jari 1.3 and 1.5 are two mid-range and more affordable versions and the 2.3 and 2.5 complete the lower end of the range. For 2019, Fuji released a new full carbon version of their Jari 1.1 model as a professional competitor to other major gravel racing bikes.
Other than the new full carbon, the three top-range frames are built from A6-SL super-butted aluminum with internal cable routing to best perform in any weather conditions. Lower-range models feature Reynolds 520 Chromoly frames. All versions of the Jari feature direct mount bento box bosses on the top tube and additional mounts for up to three water bottle cages. There is also rear mounts for a pannier rack and even a shoulder pad so you comfortably carry the bike over unpassable terrain.
The FC-440 cross carbon fork on the high-range models features a tapered sphere that provides decent comfort through the handlebars without any noticeable steering loss. There are thru-axles on both front and rear wheels and flat mount disc brakes that absorb any lingering fade even on the tightest of stops.
Wheel clearance offers space to fit tires up to 700x42c or 650b 2″ tires so you can fit the tire of your choice depending on your specific use case. This customizability makes the Jari one of the most versatile off-road adventure bikes available.
The full-carbon Jari has a frame built from high-end C15 modulus carbon and comes in at an incredible 950g (according to Fuji). The frame geometry hasn’t changed much since the original 2017 design but takes on some typical carbon shaping techniques like a flattened top tube and widened intersections. It still features all the necessary bosses for racks, bottle cages, and fenders and carries over some of the gold detailing from the 2017 model.
The 43mm wheel clearance is adequate but could be a bit tight if you want to run anything bigger than 700x43c with fenders. However, they do take up to 47mm tires or 650b x 2.2″, with the front forks sloping frame slightly tighter than the rear.
At 67mm, the bottom bracket is considerably lower than common cross bike frames but fairly standard across gravel range bikes with fatter tires. The 73-degree seat tube and 72-degree head tube angle fit in a snuggly middle-of-the-road area for slackness and compliment the higher head tube.
The standard Jari Carbon 1.1 ships with an 11-34t Ultegra rear cassette and 2x (46/30t) Shimano drivetrain but also offers the option for a single front ring. The front derailleur is an Ultegra FD-R8000 and on the rear, you’ll find an Ultegra RD-RX800 clutch derailleur to reduce the loss of tension in turbulence.
Standard models usually ship with WTB i23 Light KOM tubeless clincher wheels with Panaracer GravelKing SK TLR 700cx43mm tires and an Oval Concepts x38 seat.
The original top dog of the Jari range was the aluminum Jari 1.1, available in an eye-catching dark-gold color. It’s a considerably more toned-down than the carbon version, with a Shimano 105 groupset across the board, including all shifters, derailleurs, and 105 hydraulic brakes.
However, the rest of the kit remains of similar high quality, with the same WTB KOM Light i23 wheels, Panaracer Gravelking tires, FSA Omega Adventure cranks, and Oval Concepts rounding off the handlebars and seat.
The Jari 1.3 is only a mild downgrade from the 1.1, swapping out the Shimano 105 groupset for the SRAM Apex range. It comes with only a single front ring and an SRAM PG1130 (11-42t) cassette with Apex 1X derailleurs and shifters.
On the 1.3, braking is supplied by Tekro MD-C550 mechanical disc brakes. The frame comes in a subdued Navy Blue color in sizes 46cm to 61cm. Wheels are the slightly weightier WTB ST i23’s wrapped in Panaracer Gravelking SK 700x38c tires.
The Jari 1.5 is more similar to the 1.1 with a 2x drivetrain but a slightly downgraded Shimano Tiagra groupset. The cassette is a 10-speed HG500 (11-34t) and the brakes Tektro Lyra mechanical discs.
WTB ST i23 wheels, Panaracer tires, and the Oval Concepts features make up the rest of the bike.
Brakes are Tektro mechanical with WTB SX19 wheels and Panaracer Comet 700 x 38c tires.
The Jari 2.5 is similar to the 2.3 but with an 8-speed Shimano Claris groupset rather than the Sora. The rear derailleur is the Shimano Altus with a Shimano HG31 (11-34t) cassette.
Fuji Jari comes in the following sizes:
The Fuji Jari has received all-round decent reviews from the majority of major biking websites, with the carbon being particularly noted as a 5-star bike. Several review sites have given an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars for the alloy Fuji Jari 1.1 Shimano 105 version.
Most reviewers praised the versatility and comfort of the bike over long distances and noted the numerous storage options. Negative points included a slightly rougher ride than some other gravel bikes and a lack of smooth ‘roll’ on paved surfaces.
The Fuji Jari is an off-road machine and while it certainly holds its place on the tarmac, it would be best suited to somebody looking to spend 90% of their time on dirt. For true adventurers looking to spend days out in the mountains and countryside, you will be hard-pressed to find a better bike.
The higher-end versions may put some pressure on your wallet but reviews indicate it would be money well spent. Even the Jari’s lower-spec bikes have left riders impressed and promise to provide value for money.