Fuji’s newest entry into the full-suspension mountain bike market is the Auric One.1, a bike that, by the parts specs, would make it competitive in terms of quality with the other major players from companies like Specialized, Trek, Giant, Yeti and Scott. But more often than not, a trail bike is not defined by its parts list or the manufacturer that made it. It is defined by geometry, a mixture of angles and ratios that contribute more than anything else to how the bike feels — and whether or not that feeling inspires confidence will determine the success of the bike.
When Fuji set out to redesign their full-suspension mountain bikes, they decided to implement a proven, but fairly new rear suspension platform called MLink. MLink first debuted on the Breezer Repack and stands for “mid link.” The system works by having a rear pivot point situated in the middle of the chainstay. Fuji, which is owned by the same company as Breezer, utilized the suspension platform for its efficiency in travel and ability to accommodate 160mm of rear travel. The Repack and the Auric share similar geometry numbers, but they’re not identical, and this is an important distinction. The Auric is not simply a Fuji-branded Repack, and I commend Fuji for going their own route with the platform.
Wheel Size: 27.5 inches
Suspension Travel: 160mm Front / 160mm Rear
Frame Material: A6-SL custom-butted alloy
Weight: 29.85 pounds (without pedals)
Undoubtedly, when working with a new suspension platform and attempting to change the geometry surrounding it, there were bound to be some kinks — and this was certainly the case with the Auric. On my first few rides, the top tube length felt very short and in order to account for this, Fuji fitted the Auric with a handlebar that measures out to 760mm wide. It was an awkward-feeling setup, and it felt much more like you were sitting on top of the bike as opposed to comfortably seated in the cockpit. A quick swap of the stem and handlebar gave me a slightly more comfortable setup, but didn’t fix the awkward feeling completely. A slack head-tube angle of 67 degrees works well with the 160mm of travel and inspires confidence when taking steep and technical descents. The geometry of the rear triangle also felt slightly disjointed with long chainstays, due largely to the MLink pivot in the middle.
The Gloves We’re Wearing Now
Kitsbow All Mountain Gloves
I have been riding the Kitsbow All Mountain Gloves for the past few months and they are quickly becoming my go-to trail glove. Pitards leather palms and fingers provide plenty of grip and comfort while Schoeller stretch panels provide ease of mobility. The one drawback comes in the material used in the forefinger area of the glove. The suede used is less than ideal at soaking up sweat and I had to resort to using my jersey. Other than that small blip, the Kitsbow All Mountain Gloves are superb and a great addition to any trail-mountain biker’s kit.
Despite its shortcomings in geometry, the Auric One.1 is kitted with a thoughtful parts spec that is competitive with any of the big brands. An XO1 1×11 drivetrain keeps shifting simple and efficient while keeping the handlebar uncluttered, with enough room for a dropper-post button. The Auric’s dropper post is a Rockshox Reverb that does its job and is responsive when you need it. For stopping power, Fuji opted for Sram Guide RS brakes — some of the best available and a personal favorite. While all of these parts can be found on other bikes, they are nice touches and worthy of mention. The Auric One.1 also has a few tricks up its sleeve and comes with a few unique parts as well. For starters, it comes with an MRP AMG chainguide. There are very few bikes that come kitted with a chainguide, stock, and it is often the first accessory that a mountain biker adds — so the Fuji has a leg-up there. It also features a Praxis 32-tooth chainring that works well with the drivetrain as well as a Rockshox Pike that has adjustable travel from 150mm to 160mm — parts that very few manufacturers are using.
…launching off bumps and hopping down the trail like a jackrabbit at mach 10 felt like a walk in the park.
The silver lining to the Auric is its ability to absolutely crush on descents. With 160mm of travel all around, launching off bumps and hopping down the trail like a jackrabbit at mach 10 felt like a walk in the park. Its weight kept it stable and its long and low platform helped it keep speed and fly through corners. When it comes time to turn around and pedal back up however, the bike feels heavy and its geometric shortcomings rear their ugly head. If you are looking for an enduro-minded bike that you won’t often pedal too far uphill, the Auric is a great choice. If you are more of an all-around trail-rider however, looking to climb as much as you descend, the market is flooded with great options.