First Ride: Fuji Supreme 1.1 women’s aero bike
Fuji’s Transonic is a fast aero bike. The Supreme 1.1 is even faster.
A women’s aero bike that’s faster than the men’s version? Yep, Fuji claims the Supreme is one minute and nineteen seconds faster and requires 5 fewer watts to maintain the same speed as the men’s Transonic. And compared to the previous Supreme? Huge difference: three minutes and 23 seconds faster, and 14 watts less. Those results are based on a 125-pound rider traveling at 25mph for 40km.
Fuji started its design process with the Supreme’s geometry. Instead of relying on traditional sizing systems, it focused on creating a consistent, progressive increase in stack and reach between sizes. The geometry of each frame was then built around those stack and reach coordinates. While many bike brands are moving away from offering a women’s specific geometry, Fuji claims the Supreme geometry is optimized for the competitive female cyclist and is based on data it has gathered from female athletes since the 1970s.
The Supreme 1.1 utilizes Fuji’s highest level of carbon fiber, which it calls C15 (the 2 series utilizes Fuji’s C10 high modulus carbon, which is presumably a bit heavier). This ultra-high modulus material is used in different layups based on the overall size of the frame so that a 44cm frame has the same ride quality as 56cm frame. Fuji then uses its high compaction molding process to eliminate excess wrinkles and resin build-up in the bottom bracket, head tube, seat tube, and fork crown. According to Fuji, this process makes the frame lighter, stiffer, stronger, and livelier to ride. The claimed frame weight of sub 900g is respectable for an aero bike.
Through extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis and wind tunnel testing of prototypes, Fuji claims it has minimized airflow over each section of the frame. And, like similar aero bikes on the market, the Supreme tubes rely on truncated airfoil Kamm shapes to provide aero benefits for real-world situations like crosswinds. Interestingly, Fuji opted for a traditional stem and round handlebar rather than an integrated, aero cockpit. While this makes fit adjustments easier, you’ll do without the watt savings of aero bar shapes.
With SRAM eTap shifting, flat mount disc brakes, thru-axles, and 50mm carbon wheels with Vittoria Open Corsa tires, the Supreme 1.1 is certainly kitted to show up everyone else’s bikes, whether you’re racing or not.
There’s no pink or purple or teal on this women’s rocket; it’s a raw carbon frame with just enough gold accenting to remind everyone that it’s here to hunt for hardware. Aesthetically, it’s a power suit on 50mm carbon wheels, and that’s mostly how it rides.
Fuji touts the aerodynamic qualities of the Supreme, and while we didn’t use a wind tunnel, it is certainly a fast bike. Our 50cm (medium) test bike had some quick steering that never hedged into nervousness. The Supreme responds quickly to input while descending winding canyons and jumps for out-of-the-saddle sprints. Perhaps unsurprisingly — as long as the crosswind is minimal — the frame and wheels feel especially fast in long straightaways.
At 16.22 pounds, the Supreme isn’t a pure climber, nor is it really geared for big elevation days with a mid-compact crank and 11-28T cassette. Yet it certainly holds its own when the road tips upward. And the lively ride on the way back down may encourage you to do some hill repeats anyway.
The Oval Concept 950 disc wheels will make fantastic race wheels. They’re wide enough that the 25mm Vittoria Open Corsa tires measured 28mm when mounted up, making the most of an already plush tire, and the rims are tubeless-ready to boot. The 50mm-deep rims are incredibly stiff, almost jarringly so if you’re just out for a training ride. As is the case with any wheel of this depth, if you know you’re going to encounter high winds, you might consider investing in a second, low profile wheel. The addition of a low profile wheelset may also help the Supreme shine on longer, steeper climbs.
After only three rides on the Supreme 1.1 (two during high wind warning days), we’re impressed with what Fuji has done and we’re looking forward to logging more miles to get a better sense of what the bike is capable of.