Fuse Expert 29 Hardtail Trail-Crusher Dominates With Solid Gear for Under $3K

Fuse MTB With Rider 10 photos
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
Fuse MTBFuse MTB With RiderFuse MTB With RiderFuse Expert 29 MTBFuse Expert 29 MTBFuse Expert 29 MTBFuse Expert 29 MTBFuse Expert 29 MTBFuse Expert 29 MTB
Everyone wants a good and capable bike, but no one wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars on one. In that spirit, Specialized has unleashed the Fuse Expert 29, a hardtail MTB with quite a few tricks up its sleeve.
Yes, folks, the mountain rider before you is known as the Fuse Expert 29, a hardtail MTB from none other than Specialized. If you haven’t heard or seen a Specialized bike, it’s never too late. Just turn on your TV to any cycling channel, and chances are that you’ll see one of their machines in the next minute or so.

This team has been around since 1974 with the goal of offering riders a new experience when it comes to cycling, and nowadays is still meeting the call of riders ranging from experienced world champions to the new kids on the block who are being pampered to be the next podium winners.

This is where the Fuse Expert comes in. With a price tag of just $2,700 (€2,318 at current exchange rates), and capable components you wouldn’t normally find on a bike of this price, it’s primed and ready to be the next all-around thrasher that you gift yourself later this year.

Fuse Expert 29 MTB
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
What makes the Fuse series so attractive is its frame. Not only is Specialized using proprietary M4 Premium Aluminum, but the frame's geometry is also tuned to be a trail-smashing machine. Since it's designed with a longer reach and a trail-rated 66.5-degree head tube angle, descents should end up being a whole lot of fun, not to mention easy.

Aside from the internal cable routing that the frame features, the bike is also built to be dropper post ready and equipped with a TranzX seat post. Whenever you’re ready to pound that downhill route you’ve planned for, just flip a switch, get your seat out of the way, and go bonkers.

As you can see, this puppy has a solid rear triangle, so I don’t recommend risking it on any massive drops, but to smoothen your journey up and down your local trails, a Fox Float 34 Rhythm with 130 mm (5.11 in) of travel, GRIP damper, and two-position Sweep adjuster, will not only soften the ride but will allow you to make on-the-fly adjustments as well.

Fuse Expert 29 MTB
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
What about the drivetrain? Well, I will admit that I was a tad surprised to see an SRAM Eagle setup running on this bike. A GX Eagle rear derailleur and shift levers move an NX Eagle chain up and down an XG-1275 10-52T cassette, all the while tuned to the sound of 12 speeds.

To help you keep things under control, SRAM continues its dominance with a G2 brake set with 200 mm (7.87 in) or 180 mm (7.08 in) rotors, depending on your preference. Wheels are formed from a pair of alloy rims, tubeless-ready, that hold onto a set of Eliminator Grid Trail 2Bliss tires, but if you don’t like these rubbers, switch them up for something else as it’s a relatively inexpensive component to replace.

As for myself, I haven’t had the chance to ride a Fuse just yet, but I'll tell you one thing, I have to get in touch with Specialized for one of these suckers as it sounds like quite the capable bike for the price it comes in. Yup, Specialized may just be taking my cash here pretty soon.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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