I recently bought a 2022 Fuji Jari Carbon 1.3 gravel bike to replace a 2017 Aluminum Fuji Jari 1.1 that I’ve ridden a lot over the last five years.
The 2017 Jari, my favorite bike ever, has been comfortable for rides in the Philadelphia area, 100+ mile rides, bike packing and long tours. For commuting and errands, I ride a Breezer Finesse from 2011. The Breezer is an upright bike with a hub generator, internal gearing, and a rack and fenders.
Thoughts about price
Although bike prices have gone up, I stopped fixating on the price of a bike. Regardless of the initial bike price, there are other costs. These include water bottle cages, racks, fenders, bags, clothes, shoes, tires, wheels, pedals, lights, GPS devices, and new components to replace worn out ones. If anything, I want to consider the ease and cost of replacing components that wear out.
So, whether a bike costs $1500, $2500 or $3500, I expect this to be a fraction of the cost of ownership. I figure maintenance costs for all of my bikes will average out to $500/year. Put into perspective, car repair places seem to charge me more than $500 every time I take my cars in for maintenance. Gas costs $60 a tank. And car insurance costs about $2000. So, I think a bike budget of $1000 a year is a bargain.
Comparing the two Jaris
I’ll keep this short, and you can email me with questions you might have. What I like about carbon over aluminum is the improved internal routing of cables. Also, I like the symmetrical shape of the frame.
A 2022 aluminum Jari has dropped seat stays and asymmetrical chain stays, both of which are trendy but do not appeal to me. Dropped seat stays provide comfort and stiffness. The asymmetrical chain stays provide more clearance for wider tires.
All of the 2022 Jari bikes have more mounting options for cages, gear and racks than I need, and I appreciate these options.
Why I stuck with the Fuji brand
Bike Co LLC and Pacific Glory World Wide Ltd have continued their commitment to maintaining operations in Philadelphia and South Jersey. Given that bikes are made in Taiwan, this is about as close as I can get to buying local. Also, Fuji’s version of the 2022 gravel bike appeals to me. I did see the 2023 Jari Carbon displayed at Eurobike and covered by several people. I prefer the look of the 2022 model even though I recognize the benefits of the 2023 model.
It was important that I could test ride the 2022 Jari Carbon before purchasing it. Fuji’s website lists inventory at bike shops, and a shop in Burlington, New Jersey had one in stock. Being able to try it out in person made all the difference. I rode the 2022 model and it felt good.
I could have bought a Gravity gravel bike for much less at bikesdirect.com. It just isn’t the same frame or components. I really don’t want to risk spending a couple thousand dollars on a bike sight unseen.
In the end, I stayed with the Fuji brand. I like everything about the bike even though I switched out the tires to sell with the old bike. Details matter.
Using this new bike
I’ll be using this new bike for work as I research trails and gravel routes in eastern Pennsylvania and other places where I’m designing maps. Sometimes I’ll set it up with front and rear panniers. Sometimes I’ll set it up with about 10 pounds of camping gear for one night rides.
My next bike purchase?
I would consider getting one for my daughter who is 5′ 10″ and has outgrown a Fuji road bike that she rides with gravel tires. That said, she really should pick out her own bike.