Not content with three Enduro, three Stumpjumper and three Rhyme full-sus options as well as three Fuse and two Ruze alloy hardtails, Specialized has now added a carbon Fuse to its ‘6Fattie’ plus family.
Specialized Fuse Expert Carbon 6Fattie spec overview
- Frame: FACT 10M carbon
- Fork: Fox Rhythm Float 34
- Wheel size: 650b+
- Drivetrain: SRAM GX / X1
- Brakes: SRAM Guide R
- Head angle: 67.5
- Seat angle: 73
- Reach: 440mm (L)
Specialized Fuse Expert Carbon 6Fattie ride impression
Featuring the same Fact 10R carbon construction as the World Cup race-ready Epic Expert hardtails means it has a frame weight of 1,300g (4-500g lighter than most alloy plus frames) despite the extra weight of the unique SWAT storage trapdoor on the downtube.
A 13.2kg complete bike weight is comparable with the other similarly priced alloy plus bikes we’ve tested though and the component spec is a little underwhelming for the price.
Add heavy duty Specialized Purgatory and Ground Control Grid plus tyres and the Fuse is hard work on climbs or when attacking flat or rolling singletrack.
Thankfully, switching the tyres for something lighter puts an immediate pep in its acceleration and altitude attitude, and also improves smoothness and flow over lumpy terrain at slow speed. 29er wheels only give a 7mm change in ride height, which opens up another ride quality option.
Grunt it up to the top of the hill and you’ll be glad you kept the original tyres on — surefooted low-pressure sticky-grip to dirty-drift-stability and rock-shrugging impact-ignorance make it a proper have-a-go hooligan.
Fox’s new budget Rhythm 34 fork is upgraded with a GRIP damper to make the most of its surprisingly smooth stroke and the Specialized dropper post helps push the limits on punishing terrain.
While the Guide R brakes lack progressive Swing Link modulation there’s masses of stopping power through the 200/180mm rotors.
The 67.5-degree head angle and 750mm bar combine with a 440mm reach for a well balanced, versatile handling character that reinforces its tenacious trail versatility and potential even if it doesn’t wow on weight and value.
Specialized Fuse Expert Carbon 6Fattie early verdict
Plus size power for the trails but the component spec is a little underwhelming for the price.