Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY - Fuse v. Marley v. Scout - Triple Threat Death Match

4155 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ugadawg
Hello all. I'm in the market for a newer hardtail, something with newer geometry. Life had gotten in the way and I had taken an unintentional many year hiatus from riding. When I decided to get back into riding it was either ride my old '94 bike that I was riding up until I stopped riding or buy something newer. I had also introduced my girlfriend to riding at the same time and she was enjoying it, so I spent more to make sure to buy her a proper bike and bought myself a low end 2015 just to get back out there, knowing I would upgrade later. The low end '15 still has older geometry, heavy, and low end components as to be expected. Rather than dumping money into it and still having old school geometry, I figured it probably made more sense to buy something newer and try out the newer geometry that everybody talks about. There is an overwhelming amount of new things to take into account, and I've been trying to read and learn and narrow down what I am looking for. From what I have been learning, I have my eyes on a few bikes, but would love some help from people with more knowledge to help me comb through my options. The three bikes in question are:

Nukeproof Scout 27.5
Ragley Marley
Specialized Fuse (2021)

I seem to get a sense that the Marley and Scout are pretty much interchangeable. Some people own and prefer the Marley and some own and prefer the Scout, but I haven't seen any concrete details mentioned why one is better than the other. Either one can be purchased complete or as a frame (which would allow it to be built exactly like I want from the beginning).

The specific Fuse I am looking at is the 27.5+ model that comes with 27.5 wheels but can be run as a 29er as well. I have found two stores that still have 2021 models in stock that came in late. Neither store has both sizes, but between the two stores I have a medium and a large I can try out, which is the two sizes I sit between on size charts. I specifically searched for a late model 2021 as I feel the Deore components would be better than the SX Eagle components on the 2022. I am US based, so I think the Fuse will be the easiest one to sit on in person (take that for what it's worth).

Please lay your knowledge on me and help me decide, or let me know if I'm overlooking something. The new geometry is, well, new to me so I'm just trying to get as much outside perspective as possible before making a decision.

Thanks in advance.
See less See more
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
29 would give rollover benefits. Current geo makes that wheel size handle without drawbacks. Where do you ride and what kind of terrain? Height and actual inseam?

Scout 290 Comp gets you a very good fork - Marzocchi Z2 44 offset, 35mm rim wheels for 2.35-2.5 tires and 12sp Deore.
$1900 free ship no tax L in stock at CRC. 4-9 day shipping time.
The Recon on the Race has a poor performing Motion Control compression damper that can't be upgraded because of the interior dimensions of the stanchions. Almost no small bump compliance and the damper stops working at higher speeds.

The Big Al 1.0 has a Z2 fork 29 wheels with 30mm rims and better geo by a bit than the Scout. Shorter chainstays and longer reach. Should have 44 offset fork. Not noticeable generally.
It also has a frame with good rear vertical compliance. So it beats you up less.

Plenty of hardtail reviews on YT Hardtail Party.

The Fuse needs a better fork. A used Pike for $500 or a Z2. Manitou Mezzer if you want even better. Completely tunable.
See less See more
I would not bother with the 27.5 fuse, get the 29 with horizontal dropouts as posted above. I have that exact bike set up single speed, it’s awesome. I have upgraded basically every part other than the frame over the year and a half I have owned it, it’s an amazing bike. Oh, I do still have the brakes but I had to replace the pads and rotors a few months ago.
I have a 2019 Fuse that came as 27.5+. Slightly different than the newer model, but I liked it for getting back into the sport after 20 years away. The big tires were forgiving and offered some cushioning over the rougher stuff.

I converted it to 29er a couple of months ago and now it seems to be faster and more precise, mainly because I'm not bobbing up and down on those giant, squishy tires. Not as smooth or cushy as it was, but it seems faster now (to me, anyway).

Then and now:

See less See more
I'm 5'9" pushing 5'10". I think my inseem is around 30" based off of the measurements I came up with. As far as the terrain I ride, I don't know all of the technical terms, but I think you consider it soft over hard pack(?). I'm in North Texas, for anyone familiar with the area. It's all hard packed dirt, but with use, the top layer comes loose. Certain trails have roots or rocks, in varying amounts depending on the trails. I don't have much to compare them to, but I know our terrain is flat in comparison to a lot of places, even including other parts of Texas.

I have been watching some of Hardtail Party's videos actually, and he seems to have good things to say about both the Big Al and Fuse.

How is the compliance and ride on the Fuse? I know one of the things that gets a lot of compliments on the Ragley bikes is the compliance, leading to a nice ride, especially for an aluminum frame. I haven't heard as much said about the Fuse in that regard.

Thank you.
See less See more
i bought a ragley mmmbop earlier this year. my previous bike was a 1998 schwinn homegrown hardtail. the ragley frame rides so much smoother than the old aluminum hardtails. maybe it's partly the bigger wheels but the ragley doesn't feel harsh over the fast, high frequency bumps. i haven't ridden the scout or fuse but i think you'll like the marley if you get it.

i was debating big al or marley/mmbop but i'm glad i got 27.5 instead of 29. feels easier to manage the smaller wheels, and the bike feels fine in the skatepark.
I don’t have experience with any of the bikes you listed, but I’ve heard good things about all 3. I do prefer 29 wheels on hardtails though. I noticed that you mentioned possibly buying a frame and building it up. I wouldn’t suggest that right now since parts are so hard to get.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.