Specialized has redesigned the Fuse for 2019. The hardtail is up to date with all-new aggressive lines. Think of the Fuse as a younger sibling to the Stumpjumper, equally capable of attacking the trail without rear suspension and arguably a more versatile machine. The Fuse will be offered in three models, The Expert (seen here) the Comp and a 27.5 plus model.
Out of the box, the Fuse leaves little confusion on what its intentions are on the trail. Equipped with Specialized Butcher tires front and rear, a dropper post, massive brake rotors, and wide handlebars, the Fuse is begging to find steep and rowdy terrain. Constructed of Specialized M4 aluminum tubing, (the same tubing once used for S-Works models of the past) the Fuse Expert goes beyond entry level hardtail. Perhaps our favorite feature on the M4 Fuse Expert is the adjustable dropouts. Having the ability to set up a bike easily as a single speed is a big plus in our eyes. Along with its single speed-ability the adjustable drops also allow for 15mm of chainstay adjustment, making the Fuse a perfect go to for a bike packing adventure with a simple slide of the dropouts.
The Fuse enters a growing market of “trail” hardtails, hardtrails perhaps? At any rate, the Fuse isn’t pulling any punches, with a 66.5° headtube angle, the latest edition is most certainly slack, long and low. A steeper seat tube angle of 74° keeps the Fuse’s climbing prowess intact while the newer lines on the front of the bike allow riders to attack descents.
We were able to scoot out on a short spin in between trail saturation sessions by mother nature, and our first taste of the Fuse was appetizing. All the punch of a hardtail and all the fun of a trail bike, if you are someone who has recently left the race course behind for fun and features in the woods the Fuse might be your ticket to a better time.
The Fuse Expert features Sram’s NX Eagle 12-speed shifting, a RockShox 35 fork, Sram Level T brakes and Specialized Stout Trail wheelset, offering riders a lot of bike for $2,150.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of the Fuse as we put more time in on the trails upon it. Until then, check out the specs and photos below and visit Specialized for more.