At Fuji, we have been working with athletes and their mechanics since we began focusing on racing design back in the 1930's. We have been using their input to help us refine our bikes ever since. So, while our product managers and engineers utilize the latest test equipment for strength, stiffness, and aerodynamics, we count on our riders to give us the final word on ride quality. How does all of that engineering investment translate into performance? How does the bike feel out on the road?
Feedback from our riders indicated that while the D-6 was plenty stiff, they wanted the frame’s silhouette to be leaner. Our objective was clear: retain the stiffness and reduce the amount of material specifically from the seat tube / down tube / seat stay junction.
First we removed the D-6’s brake cavity from the seat tube area, putting the rear brake of the Norcom Straight behind the bottom bracket shell to shield it from the wind. We used a BB86 bottom bracket which moves the bearings outward on the crank axle, dramatically improving the stiffness of both the frame – through a greater cross-sectional width at the BB shell – and the crank itself. The result was a surprising 26% increase in stiffness in the BB area.
Looking to improve responsiveness even more, we added our patented RIB (Reinforced I-Beam) technology which adds a stiffening wall or beam to the down tube. Also used on our SST, Supreme and Track Elite models, RIB technology yields a minimal weight penalty for maximum responsiveness.
RIB technology was also added to the fork blades increasing stiffness in the front end for crisp and predictable handling. With the use of this reinforcing carbon beam we were able to improve stiffness in the front end by 20%. Response from our athletes was overwhelmingly positive – they reported greater power transfer and mind-blowing acceleration.
The Norcom Straight’s TRP aero TTV brakes provide outstanding stopping power and modulation – notable in a Tri/TT platform, where braking systems prove to be especially complicated and hard to get right. Even if you are chasing speed, being able to control or modulate that speed is important in time trials and triathlons where braking is used more for speed regulation than to stop completely. Brakes with good modulation slow the rider down based on the pressure applied to the levers, brakes with poor modulation can bring a bike to a sudden and complete stop, no matter how carefully the rider squeezes the brake levers.
Fuji’s rider-focused design extends beyond our Fit-First mantra. Vertical dropouts provide the aerodynamic advantages of horizontal dropouts in a more user friendly package, allowing you to quickly and easily change wheels – especially convenient in a race situation. Our vertical dropouts are also adjustable (horizontally) which gives you the flexibility of fitting a wheel close to the frame making it that much more aerodynamic.
All Norcom Straight models and frames come equipped to accept either mechanical or electronic shifting systems. Changeable plates help guide the cables for both options.