Specialized Fuse Sport Shows Up as Capable and Worthy Hardtail MTB for Under $2K

Fuse Sport 27.5 MTB 10 photos
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
Fuse Sport 27.5 MTB CockpitFuse Sport 27.5 MTBFuse Sport 27.5 MTBFuse Sport 27.5 MTB Dropper PostFuse Sport 27.5 MTB CockpitFuse Sport 27.5 MTBFuse Sport 27.5 MTBFuse Sport 27.5 MTBFuse Sport 27.5 MTB
Bicycle manufacturers seem to believe that we normal folk have a bunch of cash to spend on some insanely capable piece of machinery. With some bicycles jumping the $15,000 price tag, rarely will most people ever acquire them.
However, with advancements in technology and design, cycle manufacturers can bring the prices down on their vehicles. One team to do so is Specialized, you know that crew that’s been around since 1974 and one of the names that you’ll often see in major cycling competitions worldwide.

Well, to tailor a bicycle that’s both capable and affordable, Specialized has come up with the Fuse, a hardtail MTB that’s meant to land into your hands for as little as $1,900 (€1,631 at current exchange rates). For this sort of cash, you’ll be getting the Sport 27.5 bike, an aluminum two-wheeler with an attitude and designed to climb hills and master corners on your way down.

One thing Specialized likes to say about these bikes is that they’re basically “a Stumpjumper without the squishy bits.” If you're aware of the Stumpjumper and its fame, you might have a decent idea of what to expect from the Fuse. If you don’t, just continue reading and all will be revealed.

Fuse Sport 27\.5 MTB
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
When designing the Fuse lineup, Specialized was looking to create a bike that can handle any singletracks you throw at it by showing up with a longer reach, dropped tail end, and tubing that’s routing everything internally, snag-free. At the front of the trinket, a RockShox Judy Silver TK fork brings 130 mm (5.11 in) of travel.

To make sure you get to where you want to go with the Fuse, a 1X drivetrain from SRAM will be in control of your rides. Overall, the rear derailleur, shift levers, crankset, and even chain, all belong to the SX Eagle family. The cassette, on the other hand, is a 12-speed PG-1210 Eagle with 11-50T.

For those riders that like to get a bit of a boost downhill, this just might do. Helping you keep control of your ride is a set of SRAM Level, hydraulic disc brakes with up to a 180 mm (7.08 in) rotor on the front and a 160 mm (6.3 in) rotor on the rear.

Fuse Sport 27\.5 MTB Dropper Post
Photo: Specialized Bicycle Components
Since hardtails don’t have a rear suspension, one aspect of the bike that is of uttermost importance is the wheelset. Rims are made of alloy, double-wall, and tubeless compatible, holding onto a pair of 27.5 in Eliminator GRID TRAIL tires. This should do for most trails that you’ve got in mind, but if you want to throw on a different pair of tires, you can easily do so as this is a rather inexpensive component to replace.

Secondary components like a Stout 3D-forged alloy stem, double-butted alloy handlebars, and a Body Geometry Bridge Saddle with steel rails, are also part of the mix, but most importantly, a TranzX dropper post is available right from the start. This last feature is becoming more and more common among MTB bikes, and those that like to hit downhill segments hard know how sweet it is to have this feature.

Listen, I'm not saying that the Fuse Sport 27.5 is the last hardtail MTB you’ll ever buy, but it sure does deserve some attention next time you’re out looking for a new mountain goat, and one that’s made to run wild.
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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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