The Specialized Fuse proves that bikes that rip don't need to cost the earth. This hard-hitting hardtail has had a revamp for 2020 and Specialized have assured us it is built to shred. The Big S have bumped up the suspension fork travel to 130 millimeters and are spec’ing all Fuse models with reduced-offset forks. This means you can have a long reach and slack head angle without a bike that steers like a barge. Add in wider (780mm) bars and shorter (45mm) stems plus 1x drivetrains on all models and there's not much to dislike.

New geometry

With the head angle going to 66.5 degrees (or 66 in the M4 Alloy model) Specialized also increased the reach by about 20mm and made the seat angle steeper at 74 degrees. The aim is to keep you more centred in the bike on the ups and behind the front hub on descents. There's also more standover height on the frames which can allow a longer dropper post.

The M4 frame also has adjustable dropouts - which means a singlespeed swap out isn't a hack, it's an option.

Dual wheel options

The Fuse Comp ($2300) is now equipped with 29x2.6” tyres, whereas all of the Fuse models in the past came stock with 27.5+ wheels and tyres. That said, all of the new Fuse frames are compatible with both 29er and 27.5+ wheels, so you can swap wheelsizes if you want to. The Fuse 27.5" ($1800) comes with Plus tyres.

Going 29er gives you nimble and precise handling. Opting for the plus-size version, on the other hand, gets you tons of traction and a calm, planted feel over rocks and roots.

The M4 Fuse frame sells for $1000, and is a great palce to start your custom build.

Frame details

The Fuse is now an all-aluminium affair. The  Comp 29 frame is made of M4 Aluminum, while the base-level Fuse 27.5 is constructed from A1 aluminium. Specialized also offer the M4 frame as a frame-only option if you want to go custom.

The M4 is a higher grade material so it can be lighter and stronger, and have a better ride feel too. The frames run 148x12 Boost spacing and threaded bottom bracket shells.

Need more details? Head to the Specialized website or better yet - see your local Specialized dealer.