The € 2,275 Fustle Causeway GR1 is an ambitious gravel bike, a blended malt of all-day comfort with high-speed confidence and adventure ready versatility. But is the GR1 a jack of all trades, or a master of none? It’s time to put it to the test.
Fustle bicycles are a fresh new brand based out of Northern Ireland, championing no-hassle bikes that blend performance design with accessible price points. Their first bike is the aluminium Causeway GR1 gravel bike, boasting an aggressive geometry that suggests solid mountain manners, but with enough bosses and mounts to keep adventure riders happy. Starting from a base-spec price of € 2,275.59, it looks like a great option for a rider looking for a bike that is good at everything but doesn’t want to spend the earth. With a comprehensive online customiser, without additional charges the customer can choose handlebar width, stem length, seatpost offset and saddle and tyre width. If they want to customise further, a number of upgrade options are available including 1x and 2x drivetrains, dropper posts, carbon wheelsets and finishing parts.
The Fustle Causeway GR1 in detail
Using the online configurator we built a middle-of-the-road specification bike with a standard 420 mm standard PRO Discover bar with 30° flare, 80 mm PRO Koryak stem, WTB Resolute 700 x 42C tires and WTB SL8 saddle. We also upgraded to a Shimano GRX RX810 wide-range groupset, Shimano MT800 centre lock rotors mounted on HUNT 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide 700C wheels, and a PRO Koryak 120 mm dropper post integrated with the left GRX lever. This brought the total cost to €2,799. The heart of the Fustle Causeway is a 6061 aluminium frame available in three colourways, green, red and blue. If you want to know where the red and green colour inspiration comes from you need only look at the bottles of 16 and 10-year-old Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey. It’s clear the designer Alastair Beckett is a malt fan. A carbon fork heads up the front with dual position bottle cage mounts for big adventures (making up 6 bottle mounting points in total). The adventure theme continues with rack bosses, fender mounts, and 12 mm thru-axles front and back – 12mm x 100mm in the front and 12mm x 142mm in the rear. The Fustle comes with flat-mount brake compatibility and all bikes are set up tubeless during the build process unless the customer specifies differently. All the cables are internally routed and the bike is fully Di2 compatible, and we like the super simple zip-tie cable capture underneath the frame that quickly takes all the rattle out of the cables.
Groupset Shimano GRX RX810, 1×11, 40T
Cassette Shimano SLX, 11–42T
Brakes Shimano GRX RX810, 160/160 mm
Wheelset HUNT 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide
Tires WTB Resolute, 700 x 42C
Seatpost PRO Koryak Dropper Post, 120 mm travel
Bars PRO Discover, 420 mm
Stem PRO Koryak, 80 mm
Weight 9.78 kg in size M/L
Price € 2,799
Availability available now
The geometry of the Fustle Causeway GR1
A quick glance at the geometry table of the Fustle Causeway shouts one personality trait! Stability. With a 425 mm reach, 608 mm effective top tube, long 1103.4 mm wheelbase and lazy 69 degree head angle, the bike is long and slack. With a 598 mm stack and 70 mm bottom bracket drop the rider is integrated into the bike and the generous 430 mm chainstays suggest predictable cornering. The seat position is defined by a 73° seat tube angle and 480 mm seat tube length (in the size M/L).
The Fustle Causeway GR1 gravel bike in review
It takes just minutes on the gravel to get a handle on the Causeway GR1’s personality. The wide 30° flared bars, long wheelbase, low standover and huge 120 mm dropper post (150 mm is also an option) combine to provide huge stability. Clicking down through the sharp-shifting Shimano GRX RX810 gears, the bike builds speed steadily, but easily, feeling increasingly composed the faster you go. Even at very high speeds on rough terrain we felt confident to stay off the brakes and charge the direct line, especially on the wide flared drops. The handling too is very predictable, the long-front centre lets you get your weight low over the bars without feeling like you’re in an exposed position while the equally long 430 mm chainstays bring the rider weight toward the middle of the bike. The result weights the front wheel for deliberate and precise cornering, free of indecisiveness or nervousness, not the most lively through sharp turns but the GR1 will carve a sweeping gravel bend at ridiculous speeds. The longer chainstays also help keep the front wheel tracking straight on slow-speed, full-torque, steep ramps. The long front centre means toe overlap is non-existent with the 170 mm Shimano GRX cranks, there is ample clearance to accommodate even the most clown-like of feet.
The Fustle Causeway GR1 is a bike that will appeal most to mountain bikers, stable and confident we found we were constantly seeking the hardest lines to tackle, just because we could.
Technical trails are unquestionably the Fustle’s forte. Channeling MTB D.N.A, the low standover and long dropper allowed us to lean the bike over further than most in tight turns, helping a lot in tight singletrack switchbacks and steeply pitched corners. There’s always a trade-off for measured steering and natural stability, and the Causeway GR1 never feels zingy or electric when flicking through turns, more of a BMW 1200 GS than a Ducati 1299 sports bike, but equally it’s less likely to throw you into the verge when it gets rough. Rolling back onto the gravel roads and tarmac, the Fustle proved itself as a comfortable and deliberate mile muncher, eating through long tarmac hauls with an effortless, though not exhilarating speed. With the rider sitting compactly on the narrow 420 mm hoods, the grippy WTB Resolute tires (click for review) roll surprisingly fast on hard surfaces, even given their aggressive nature, Splitting hairs, the long dropper post does mean there’s minimal natural compliance from the seat tube, but the thinned-down seat stays do a good job in softening the worst hits – think more a dull thud rather than a tooth rattle. Combined with the voluminous 42C tires run at 2.8 bar, it’s certainly comfortable enough for a full day in the saddle, and would be fine for multi-day bike-packing duties.
Tuning tip: We would remove the basic chainstay protection and replace with softer Scotch 2228 Mastic tape.
A highlight was the budget 1,698 g HUNT 4 Season Gravel X-Wide wheels – on numerous occasions, the Fustle’s crushing off-road capability carried us into sharp rocks faster than many bikes would allow, with resounding clangs from the rim that would normally suggest we would be walking home, but upon closer inspection there was no observable damage. Another highlight is the full Shimano 1×11 GRX RX810 drivetrain which is astonishing at this price point, and works flawlessly. We were less impressed with the chainstay protection which is too thick and starting to peel (Fustle are revising for the next batch). While we did not test it, the opportunity to fit upto 6 bottle cages (or fork racks) champions the Fustles adventure credentials. Overall, the Fustle Causeway GR1 is a perfect gravel bike for someone who wants a solid all-rounder on a budget, but cannot resist the lure of the roughest off-road trails.
The 30° flare on the bars suits the bike well, the super wide and open position provides a lot of leverage should you encounter a surprise root at speed
In contrast to the single malt whiskey which served as inspiration for the colors of the bike, the Fustle Causeway GR1 is a sublime blend of all-round versatility and potent off-road capability. What it lacks in agile playfulness, it makes up for in confidence and composure on the roughest trails. Redneck adventure seekers will love the provision of frame and fork bosses, and an exceptional build kit allows the Causeway GR1 to punch above its price point.
- Measured steering and impressive stability boosts confidence
- 120 mm dropper great for technical trail riding
- Full Shimano GRX RX810 drivetrain
- If your gravel rides are more about speed than tech, there are faster and more agile bikes
- Frame protection peeling
You can find more information about the Fustle Causeway GR1 at ridefustle.com
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Words: Trevor Worsey Photos: Trevor Worsey, Finlay Anderson