Fuji Declaration

67/100
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Where to buy

Not found for sale. More bikes

Facts

Gender
Release Year
Brand
Wheel Size
Numbers of gears
Weight
26.32, 26.3 lbs
Suspension
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on this bike. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

8 reasons to buy

  • The Hi-Ten frame exhibited minimal flex under stern pedaling force.
  • Owners reported responsive handling when cornering on smooth surfaces.
  • A chromoly seat-tube offset the unforgiving rigidity of the hi-tensile frame.
  • Lock-on grips were comfy, secure and the ‘very finest’ one reviewer had seen.
  • The Declaration presented superbly, with clean welds and lustrous paintwork.
  • Mounts exist for both front and rear rack mounts.
  • A flip-flop hub accommodates both singlespeeders and fixed gear riders.
  • On newer models, the Oval saddle was comfortable. On older models, a riveted, vintage-style, synthetic saddle impressed.

8 reasons not to buy

  • The Hi-Tensile steel frame can be harsh and unforgiving on imperfect roads.
  • Deep, 40mm rims were rigid and exhausting on rough surfaces.
  • Damage included a dented rim and a slightly bent frame, when new.
  • At 25 to 26lbs (depending on the build), this rig was a bit of a hog.
  • A faulty freewheel was a safety risk that necessitated replacement.
  • Drop bars felt a little narrow for effective leverage on standing climbs.
  • The stock 44 tooth chainring proved a little steep for some casual city riders.
  • Unlike higher quality bikes with sealed hubs, the Declaration used loose-ball bearings.

Bottom line

Of Fuji’s three singlespeed / fixed gear bikes, the Declaration is the most inexpensive and has the lowest component spec. Some owners described it as a good option for a buyer on a budget. One user claims to have ridden from Moscow to Helsinki without any mechanical issues. However, it may be the kind of purchase best made by someone with a cyclist’s mechanical aptitude. Like other supercheap fixies, there were some parts that needed immediate replacement and also damage that was beyond repair. A faulty freewheel presented a safety issue where it failed to engage at points. While this wasn’t the most recent model, Fuji seems to have kept the Declaration fairly consistent since its release in 2011.

Expert Reviews

70/100 based on 1 expert reviews
70
Frank DuCett

Fuji Declaration Review: Upgrades, Tinkering, Frustrations and Fine Tuning.

Level 2 expert

The Fuji Declaration is a single-speed / fixie bicycle that is beautiful to look at and magnificently practical. Now, after completing some essential upgrades and modifications, my Fuji serves me as an all-around fitness, commuter, and Century distance touring bicycle. It is a pure workhorse as well as a work of art.

Frame

The combination of high-tensile, seamed steel tubing and the chromoly seat tube provides me with an excellent platform

The Fuji Declaration is a single-speed / fixie bicycle that is beautiful to look at and magnificently practical. Now, after completing some essential upgrades and modifications, my Fuji serves me as an all-around fitness, commuter, and Century distance touring bicycle. It is a pure workhorse as well as a work of art.

Frame

The combination of high-tensile, seamed steel tubing and the chromoly seat tube provides me with an excellent platform for out-of-the-saddle climbing, with little or no frame flex. This rigidity has also resulted in a fairly harsh ride on rough roads.

This rough ride, however, has been tamed with a carefully thought out after-market wheel selection, helping to eliminate some of the bike’s inherent stiffness.

Sadly, I found it necessary to use a small, round rat-tail file to remove a small amount of steel from one forkend, in order to get an acceptably fitting front wheel.

The rear dropouts also have some additional alignment challenges. Not knowing exactly where to apply my files and wanting to avoid any “cold setting” on this part of the frame, I have been opting for patience while “finessing” the rear wheel during installation, to attain a good alignment while obtaining proper chain tension.

Wheels

The original stock wheels consisted of a large flange 28 spoke front and 32 spoke rear that were both laced in a crossed 2 pattern using straight gauge 14mm spokes, connecting the hubs to some very rigid, unpainted 40mm deep rims, providing a most punishing and tiring ride on rough roads. The front rim, although packed well for shipping, had a dent. It didn’t affect performance, but… I promptly replaced this original wheelset with a set of small flange crossed 3 wheels from my less expensive Retrospec Harper bicycle. With those wheels the entire personality of this bike was immediately transformed, becoming far more comfortable, controllable and less punishing to my hands on rough roads.

Freewheel

The original freewheel was a dangerous contraption with pawls that became dis-engaged without notice; a very real danger, especially when you’re out of the saddle and grinding up a steep hill with your nose out beyond the front hub. The upgraded Shimano FS 1200 now performs this task without fail and in near silence.

However, I do miss the sounds of the old Maillard and Atom freewheels from 1970s French bicycles, perhaps being reassured by the clicking from the pawls that they will surely re-engage when needed.

Crankset

The original equipment included a good alloy crankset, with a large 46 tooth heavy steel chainring, that I immediately replaced with an aluminum 38 tooth chainring.

The Chainline to the rear cog is now perfectly aligned after placing the chainring on the inside of the crank spiders, rather than the outside.

This straight alignment of the chain results in a totally silent transmission of power while you are pedaling.

Saddle

This Fuji Declaration came with a great saddle. It actually looks like the Brooks Pro saddle from my old Raleigh Professional but it is completely synthetic. It’s somewhat basic, yet very attractive and no animals were harmed in the making of this saddle.

Bars and Grips

Initially, my Fuji arrived with drop bars. The dealer sent along flat bars in another box that arrived a little later. Personally, I found the drop bars too narrow to offer adequate “out of the saddle” leverage when climbing. The grips, I believe, are the very finest I have ever seen, secured with a small Allen wrench, and allowed for a comfortable and confident grip.

A Thought About Weight:

There is no amount of money that even the most wealthy 170 lbs. cyclist could spend, that could result in a lower total weight of bike and rider, than this bike and I.

The Ride:

For me, this bike is an all-purpose bike. You see, I do some commuting but primarily I ride for pleasure, fitness and training for the inevitable and greatly anticipated century ride.

Out-of-the-saddle performance is excellent, with very little frame deflection under sprint force efforts.

High speed cornering on this bike is superb and inspiring on a smooth road surface.
However, on a rougher surface or on cobblestones, one will quickly become aware of reasons why the Professional European racers elect to use Reynolds, Columbus or Vitus tubes and forks. The responsiveness and shock absorbing qualities of these manganese and chrome molybdenum tubes keep the tires in contact with the road surface while providing some degree of comfort.

As I have already stated, I have a century ride planned for later this year and have a 38 tooth chainring with a Shimano 18 tooth freewheel installed in preparation of this ride. I also have a 20 tooth Shimano FS 1200 freewheel standing ready. It may be installed for the upcoming and very hilly Maysville, Kentucky century in September.

Under no circumstances would I consider using the original large flange wheels for anything other than an emergency.

With singlespeed bicycles, a great deal of thought about gear selection is necessary when planning a hilly or mountainous century, you cannot simply shift your way out of trouble, “run what ya brung”.

At this point, the only thing I find myself missing is the comfort of my Reynolds 531 Raleigh RRA (Raleigh Record Ace) from 1975. This bike had an incomparable ride and someday I will treat myself again to those 531 tubes. But, for now, the Hi-Ten tubes will have to do.

My last century was on a bike built with high tensile tubing, a Peugeot with modifications that included Clement Campionat del Mundo Seta sew-ups, Fiamme Yellow label rims, laced cross 3 using DT double butted spokes. That little Peugeot got me through the entire 100 miles of the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, Texas. One of my most memorable tours.

The Possible Hazard of Ordering Online:

With a dented rim, a dangerously malfunctioning freewheel and total lack of dealer response to these issues, I had considered destroying and discarding the original wheels, saving only the rubber and spokes.

Unless you’re a bicycle mechanic with the tools, time, patience and skills to assemble, repair and support a bicycle bought on-line, you may want to consider a local bike shop for your purchase.

Hubs are loose ball bearings.
Bottom bracket has sealed bearings.

Parts replaced as defective: Freewheel.
Parts replaced due to wear (300 miles.): None.
Parts replaced as personal upgrade: Wheels, Chainring, Freewheel.

Pros:

  • Beautiful, professional level paintjob.
  • Visually excellent welding.

Cons:

  • Dismal quality freewheel, replaced.
  • Slightly misaligned frame, managed
  • Only one water bottle mounting.
  • Dented front rim.
  • Heavier than expected.

Conclusion

After investing over $500.00 into this Fuji, I would not hesitate taking it to Wichita Falls, Texas in August for the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred. However, I would not buy another Fuji Declaration as I could have modified a Retrospec Harper or 6KU Fixie, with similar or better results for far less money.

Sincerely,
Frank DuCett

My thanks to my friend Anthony for his help in the sentence structure, grammar and the continuity of this review.

Zach Gallardo

Slammed Stems, Does Weight Matter, Fuji Fixed Gears?

Level 2 expert

Fuji make three fixed gears… the Feather, the Track then the Declaration. I would recommend that you look for those, in that order. That said, the Declaration is a distant third. I wouldn’t get that at all, unless…

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Vladimir Antonov

Fuji Declaration Test Drive

Level 1 expert

I have cycled from Moscow to Helsinki in Finland on this bike without any fixing problems.

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Big Blog

Bought: Fixed \ Singlespeed Fuji Declaration [Russian]

Level 1 expert

It looks very cool and stylish… This bike is a very interesting option if you have a limited amount of money.

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Sandy Programmer

Fuji Declaration 2014 – Bike Review [Russian]

Level 1 expert

2013 seems to be the last year Fuji made the Declaration with a chromoly frame.

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User Ratings

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Rankings

Compared to other bikes

Comparison

In comparison to averages of categories
Fuji Declaration
67
Average All Bikes
81
Average Fuji Bike
67
Average Commuter - City Bike
79