Thoughts on 2020 Specialized Fuse 27.5- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on 2020 Specialized Fuse 27.5

    The new Fuse 27.5 is a pretty interesting option in XS for riders that would fit it. Spec and price are solid, but not sure if the reach will be too much.

    The crank is too long. And it might be better all around for a lighter rider w/out the + size tires and just a beefy 2.5 on there.

    Curious if anyone is considering (or already has) a ~9-11 yr old on one? Going to get my son on one to test ride it.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboy-oboy View Post
    The new Fuse 27.5 is a pretty interesting option in XS for riders that would fit it. Spec and price are solid, but not sure if the reach will be too much.

    The crank is too long. And it might be better all around for a lighter rider w/out the + size tires and just a beefy 2.5 on there.

    Curious if anyone is considering (or already has) a ~9-11 yr old on one? Going to get my son on one to test ride it.
    I'd def stay away from the plus tire stuff for a young kid (or any kid). I just experimented with that and the difference was STARK. The kid hated it...rotational weight is something to consider. The wheels are i38 which is too wide in my opinion and needlessly heavy.

    Aside from that, bike is pretty badass tho, it looks super cool. That paint job is really sharp too. For adult bike, it does seem fairly expensive tho.

    I haven't looked at the geometry fully but you will be able to get a Calibre Bossnut full suspension for a touch cheaper in a couple of weeks (shipped to USA). 11sp with Shimano brakes etc. Not to say thats the perfect bike (they sell a bunch of hardtails too) but just to highlight that once you get into the adult bikes, some of the value brands can be a smoking good deal on a solid bike. I bought their Astronut DJ and its fantastic. 550$ and is better spec'd than an 1100$ Specialized DJ (halflink chain, dropout tensioner, adjustable brake mount, headset porthole, TableTop tires etc.).

    A few companies are doing inexpensive, solid bikes like this. Calibre, Vitus, Ferrazi and Canyon to an extent. Might be worth checking those out. As you've highlighted tho, fitment can be a bit of a concern if your kid is on the smaller side of the sizing chart.

    For similar LBS options, Norco has some new Hardtails that aren't Plus bikes:
    https://www.norco.com/bikes/2020/mou...um/fluid-ht-2/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I'd def stay away from the plus tire stuff for a young kid (or any kid). I just experimented with that and the difference was STARK. The kid hated it...rotational weight is something to consider. The wheels are i38 which is too wide in my opinion and needlessly heavy.

    Aside from that, bike is pretty badass tho, it looks super cool. That paint job is really sharp too. For adult bike, it does seem fairly expensive tho.

    I haven't looked at the geometry fully but you will be able to get a Calibre Bossnut full suspension for a touch cheaper in a couple of weeks (shipped to USA). 11sp with Shimano brakes etc. Not to say thats the perfect bike (they sell a bunch of hardtails too) but just to highlight that once you get into the adult bikes, some of the value brands can be a smoking good deal on a solid bike. I bought their Astronut DJ and its fantastic. 550$ and is better spec'd than an 1100$ Specialized DJ (halflink chain, dropout tensioner, adjustable brake mount, headset porthole, TableTop tires etc.).

    A few companies are doing inexpensive, solid bikes like this. Calibre, Vitus, Ferrazi and Canyon to an extent. Might be worth checking those out. As you've highlighted tho, fitment can be a bit of a concern if your kid is on the smaller side of the sizing chart.

    For similar LBS options, Norco has some new Hardtails that aren't Plus bikes:
    https://www.norco.com/bikes/2020/mou...um/fluid-ht-2/
    All good points. Thanks for the input. The wheels are tubeless ready, so that would help but I also saw that as unnecessary weight and heft.

    My son is taller for his age, but not crazy tall. I don't have any sort of brand loyalty per se--just looking for the best value w/ the least amount of added parts swapping etc. post purchase.

    And of course value-to-weight and potential for longevity of use--though that one is subjective. I want him on a bike that fits.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I'd def stay away from the plus tire stuff for a young kid (or any kid). I just experimented with that and the difference was STARK. The kid hated it...rotational weight is something to consider. The wheels are i38 which is too wide in my opinion and needlessly heavy.
    Which tires / wheels did you try out? Did I miss a thread with results of what you'd tried?

    Haven't started digging in too much above where we're at, but at 20", I'm seeing a huge variance in what's being sold as "plus" -- 2.8 seems to mean anything from 750g monster truck tires (Vee Crown Gem) to 560g fast rolling 2.4" tires with bigger side knobs (CST Fringe).

  5. #5
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    The Fuse would probably work fine. If your kid does any XC racing I would probably ditch the + size tires, but I do see a number of kids on NICA teams riding 27.5+ bikes.

    I got my son an XS size Chisel (29er), but I put 27.5 wheels and 152mm cranks on it to fit him better (he's 4'7" and 70 lbs.). The combo of smaller wheels and shorter cranks leaves the pedal-to-ground clearance the same. It's more expensive to buy a bike and then swap out the cranks and wheels/tires, but I got a really good deal on everything. I sold the entire SRAM XS groupset and installed an XX1 11-speed drivetrain I had in my garage. I sold the XS group, and I'm trying to sell the stock wheels/tires, so that will recoup a lot of the extra cost. Plus, I reduced the bike's weight by 3.8 lbs. As he grows I can install longer cranks and 29er wheels, so he can grow 7-8 inches and still fit this bike.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    The Fuse would probably work fine. If your kid does any XC racing I would probably ditch the + size tires, but I do see a number of kids on NICA teams riding 27.5+ bikes.

    I got my son an XS size Chisel (29er), but I put 27.5 wheels and 152mm cranks on it to fit him better (he's 4'7" and 70 lbs.). The combo of smaller wheels and shorter cranks leaves the pedal-to-ground clearance the same. It's more expensive to buy a bike and then swap out the cranks and wheels/tires, but I got a really good deal on everything. I sold the entire SRAM XS groupset and installed an XX1 11-speed drivetrain I had in my garage. I sold the XS group, and I'm trying to sell the stock wheels/tires, so that will recoup a lot of the extra cost. Plus, I reduced the bike's weight by 3.8 lbs. As he grows I can install longer cranks and 29er wheels, so he can grow 7-8 inches and still fit this bike.
    That looks like a killer setup. Thanks for posting!

    He's not doing any NICA stuff yet. We'll see. I do like the idea of longevity, but the whole wheelset swap out may not be worth it to me, unless I can get some good pricing on key elements

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    As he grows I can install longer cranks and 29er wheels, so he can grow 7-8 inches and still fit this bike.
    You could probably even skip the "install longer cranks" step -- after some experimentation the past summer I dropped down to 152mm cranks on all my bikes (I'm 5'11") and on my wife's bike (she's 5'4").

    The shorter cranks are lighter, pedaling feels easier on the knees, and pedal strikes are pretty much non-existent. Other than taking a few rides to adjust, I haven't noticed any negatives.

    Overall it matches up with most of the research that I've read on crank length -- not much disadvantage to going "too short", but plenty of negatives from going too long.

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