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120 Years of Fuji


Vintage Fuji Bike Shop

 

Before the automobile, before the airplane, and before the turn of the last century, Fuji began as a bicycle company – founded in 1899 and named for one of the world’s most iconic peaks.

 

In the 120 years since, the Fuji brand and its distinctive mountain logo have been synonymous with cycling and cyclists everywhere, which is why you still hear riders say, “My first bike was a Fuji.”

 

Fuji has been a company of firsts, whose moments in time changed cycling history – and whose legacies continue to this day.

 

Look at any professional road race or at the highest of high-end bikes and you’ll see the dominance of Shimano components. It was far from that in 1973, when cycling was ruled by Italian manufacturer Campagnolo and another Japanese brand, Suntour.

 

Hoping to break into the component wars, Shimano developed its first race group, Dura-Ace (image.) And introduce it to the rest of the world, it chose a Fuji bike, The Ace. Shimano is now the world’s top component brand, from the pros on down.

 Original Dura-Ace

 

American road racing was in its infancy in the early 1970s, and women’s racing was almost non-existent. To the fore stepped Fuji, sponsoring the first U.S. women’s national team – Fuji/Suntour – in 1974.

 

Forty-five years of continuous sponsorship later, the Fuji brand still wins women’s races all over the world, now as the sponsor of the American TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank team.

 

Fuji introduced the world’s first 12-speed bike, the S-12 in 1977. With a then-revolutionary 6-speed freewheel, the S-12 (image) opened the gear wars that now see bikes with as many as 12 and 13 speeds out back.

 

 

Skip forward to the early part of this decade, when carbon frames were replacing aluminum as the material of choice for professionals. The first woman to win a world championship on a carbon bike was Germany’s Judith Arndt, in 2004 – on a Fuji.

 

Winning has been and continues to be a part of Fuji’s corporate DNA. The brand has competed in road cycling’s biggest races – the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France (image) and Vuelta a España – and in 2015, Omar Fraile rode the speedy Transonic to the King of the Mountains title at the Spanish grand tour. Off-road, Fuji bikes have won back-to-back world mountain bike championships (Annika Langvad in 2011 and 2012) and 2019 saw Amy Morrison pilot the Auric LT to its first USA Cycling Enduro gold medal.

 

Fuji at the 2014 Tour de France 

Today, Fuji’s full line of bikes makes it one of the top four brands sold through the specialty bicycle retail channel in the U.S., distributed in more than 100 markets worldwide. Its award-winning road, mountain, gravel, touring, recreation and electric bikes appeal to cyclists of all ages and abilities.

 

From cutting-edge racers like the new Transonic, women’s Supreme and Auric LT, to groundbreaking designs like the new Jari Carbon, to the versatility and fun of the best-selling Absolute series, Fuji leads the industry in the combination of engineering and value.

 

As we begin our second 120 years, we know our customers will still continue to say, “My first bike was a Fuji.” And we know their next bike will be, too.