Jari is the Swahili word for super-duper-long. Okay, that’s probably not true, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Jari’s geometry errs on the side of long and stable. While Fuji markets it as a versatile bike that will do anything you want it to, we disagree: The Jari is purpose-driven and you’ll be happiest on this bike if you’re touring or doing long, all-day or overnight gravel trips.
That’s because it’s a slow steerer (64 millimeters of trail) and the geometry is fairly laid back. You’ll sit back on the bike, largely due to the big 170-millimeter head tube, which is great for comfort and compliance over the long haul. A 72-degree head tube angle and long 1,027 millimeter wheelbase lend stability for loose and fast descents.
These numbers obviously aren’t ideal for an aggressive race position, or really even a moderate race position. If you expect to use the Jari for long days, who needs aggression? Enjoy the view, chat with friends, listen to the crush of the tires on dirt. The Jari encourages it.
The frame is aluminum. Digest that for a second, then forget about your preconceived notions. Aluminum bikes today aren’t the same as they were a decade or more ago, and while the Jari certainly retains some of that aluminum harshness, we were surprised at how mellow it felt over moderate chatter. You’ll get a bit of bounce — and Fuji probably wants it that way to increase compliance — but otherwise, you won’t feel put out by the aluminum frame’s stiffness until the waning miles of your long day. Keep your tire pressure low for a bit of extra cush and you’re good to go.
The wide, swept-out handlebars felt balky and were perhaps overkill for most applications. The build is otherwise reliable. We weren’t crazy about the aesthetics, but the Jari’s functionality outweighs what it lacks in beauty.