- MSRP: $7,000
- Weight: 16.22 pounds
- Size: 50cm
Since its release early in 2018, Fuji’s Supreme women’s-specific aero road bike has racked up some exciting results under Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank riders — including Kendall Ryan’s stage one win at the Tour of California and another Ryan stage victory during stage 4 at the Colorado Classic. So we took a closer look to see what makes the Supreme special.
Not only did Fuji create an all new aero race bike, but they also designed it specifically for women. Fuji has been involved with women’s professional racing ever since it sponsored the very first U.S. Women’s National team in 1974. While many brands are moving away from a women’s specific geometry, Fuji claims the data and feedback it has collected over more than 40 years of working with professional women’s teams has led it to a geometry that’s ideal for the competitive female cyclist. That geometry is built around a progressive stack and reach that (in theory) ensures consistent positioning across all sizes.
It’s a good idea to find your stack and reach measurements because they offer a much better way to compare geometry charts than a generic size (medium or 50cm), which can mean wildly different things from bike to bike. For example, both the Fuji Supreme and the Liv Envie (Liv’s aero road bike) refer to a 50cm frame as a Small. The Supreme’s stack is 521mm to the Envie’s 543mm. Reach is 377mm and 371mm respectively. Whether those numbers are good or bad depends on your own fit needs, but it demonstrates how much variance there can be even when we’re looking at seemingly the same size.
It’s also not unheard of to see large jumps in one or both of those measurements for sizes at the extremes of the range, which can give a drastically different fit than the midrange sizes are designed to provide. Since many women are on the low end of most size ranges, this is an issue that can disproportionally affect us. By focusing on a progressive stack and reach, the Supreme should offer the same fit characteristics from the XX-Small (44cm) – Large (56cm).
Central to the Supreme’s design is the truncated airfoil tubing that gives the bike its aerodynamic properties. The truncated airfoil shape is used throughout the frame and fork on all models to maximize aerodynamics while minimizing drag at yaw.
The Supreme 1.1 is the only bike in the Supreme line with Fuji’s C15 carbon. The other bikes in the lineup feature Fuji’s C10 carbon. The difference between the frames’ claimed weights are about 150g, with the 1.1 listed at less than 900g and the other models listed at 1,050g. The complete 50cm Supreme 1.1 bike I tested weighed 16.22 pounds — not the lightest aero bike on the market, but still respectable. This low weight certainly plays a role in the Supreme 1.1’s peppiness.
The Supreme 1.1 frame is stiff and feels stiffer still thanks to the front and rear thru-axles, which also provide the necessary stiffness to counteract the braking forces of the hydraulic disc brakes. This means out of the saddle, the bike immediately responds with no apparent sloppiness and that even sudden stops at high speed didn’t produce any noticeable fork shudder.
The bike is undoubtedly fast; its aerodynamic details are apparent on long stretches of rolling terrain. When you put your head down and work, the bike seems to make the most of it. Get out of the saddle for a short, punchy hill and the bike jumps. The frame handles crosswinds well, even if the deep-profile Oval 950 wheels are a bit squirrelly in gusts. If you aren’t fighting high winds, the wheels and frame pair well together.
The SRAM eTap drivetrain with 52/36, 11-28 gearing further emphasizes the fact that this bike is designed for high-speed and top performance. Living on Colorado’s front range makes it equally easy to ride big mountains or rolling plains, and the Supreme became my go-to bike any time I ventured away from the steeps.
For a few longer, climbing-focused rides, I did swap out the 50mm-deep wheels for a more versatile 35mm-deep set and was satisfied with the overall performance. If you want the aerodynamic frame qualities and the fit of the Supreme, but are looking for a bit more versatility, a second wheelset with shallower rims might be up your alley. The next model down in the line-up, the 2.1; while it also has an electronic Shimano Di2 drivetrain, it features the heavier carbon frame, and the lower-profile wheels are aluminum.
Short chainstays (410cm), a tight wheel base (987cm), and a race-oriented 71.5-degree head angle give the Supreme its sharp handling that make it an ideal crit bike. And while those same qualities make it exciting to descend on, it certainly isn’t a climber’s bike, nor is it ideal if you’re looking for an all-day endurance bike. The stiff frame and wheels are not particularly forgiving, the fit favors aggressiveness over comfort, and if you find yourself on rough roads, you’ll certainly feel it. But that’s the point: Fuji intentionally built an all-out, go-fast machine in the Supreme 1.1. If speed is what you’re after, you’ll certainly get it here.