Fresh out of the Specialized HQ, the new Fuse is a hardtail that’s set to turn heads from the outset. Slacker, longer and lower than previous iterations. The Fuse comp isn’t designed for the all out racers, is designed for the people looking for pure thrills out on the bike. And it will certainly offer you that!
Specialized describe the Fuse as snappy, confident, and happiest on trails that make other hardtails cry. Fuse is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a Stumpjumper without the squishy bits. It’s a bike in the key of badass. Being the first bike released on Specialized’s new click&collect programme, it’s set to be a game changer.
The Fuse Comp 29 punches way above its weight class thanks to a light-yet-burly M4 aluminum chassis, frame geometry that lends the bike both playfulness and capability, and parts that withstand a serious flogging. Sitting in the middle of the range for the new Fuse options, this frame is shared with the most expensive option.
The Fuse is loaded with smart touches. The wide-diameter down tube boosts stiffness. The low-slung top tube improves maneuverability. New Butcher & Purgatory tyres offer improved cornering grip when things get slippy. And while this Fuse’s 29×2.6 tyres give it a precise, nimble feel, the M4 aluminum frame is also compatible with 27.5+ wheels and tyres. This gives you a lot of flexibility to customize the bike how you like.
If you fail to nail the geometry, advanced materials and innovative designs still amount to nothing on the trail. Fuse gets it right. The long reach gives you even weight distribution. The slack head angle lends confidence on sketchy descents. But the new steep seat angle makes quick work of steep climbs.
130-millimeters of plush suspension courtesy of a RockShox Recon RL fork up front help you tackle the terrain on the Fuse Comp. Powerful SRAM Level disc brakes and a TransX dropper post give you control and agility out on the trails. It’s great to see a dropper post offering a full 150mm of travel on the larger sizes. While a new SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed drive train gives you single-ring simplicity and gearing to spare. This gives you all the 12 speed fun without the break the bank price tag.
The only downside of the new Fuse Comp is that it’s a heavy one. Tipping the scales at 15kg you’ll certainly not sprint out of the traps with it. You’ll also have to carry this extra weight up the hills meaning it does climb quite so sharply. The 12 speed groupset should help with the climbing, though that’s a large part of the extra weight.
A great bike for the price tag, with some features coming down from the top end. The specification is certainly up with some of the leading bikes in it’s category, though Specialized could have done more to keep the weight of the Fuse Comp under control.