Fezzari Cascade Peak 29 Pro
Words and Photos by Chili Dog
Having never ridden a Fezzari, we were curious about trying their new Cascade Peak 29er. Like many other brands, Fezzari is using a consumer direct model, but with a twist. With an increasing number of people shopping online, fewer people are going into bike shops to test ride bikes off the showroom floor. For us, the investment wasn’t an issue, and the risk of having a bike shipped to us that we may not like wasn’t a concern. However, for a consumer interested in dropping several thousand dollars on something they’ve never even seen in person, the fear may be paralyzing. Looking to ease potential customer’s concerns, Fezzari offers their customers some pretty neat options.
Instead of leaving the customer to guess what size bike they should buy, Fezzari asks for detailed body measurements in a form on their site. They also let customers customize their bike build with add ons like an upgraded Fox Transfer post, tubeless tires, frame protection stickers, or an upgraded bike box. Fezzari even goes so far as to offer helmets, accessory kits with water bottles, bike stands and shock pumps for riders that are just starting out.
One of the coolest parts about the process however, is their Love It or Return It promise. You’ve got 30 days to decide if you like the bike. If things aren’t working out, Fezzari will cover the return shipping and refund the buyer. The only catch is that the bike can’t be broken or be missing parts. Speaking of broken parts, Fezzari also offer a lifetime warranty on their frames.
While billed as a trail bike, the Cascade Peak isn’t afraid of getting rowdy. The 66.9-degree head angle and 13.5-inch tall BB give it just enough gumption to handle some bigger stuff, without sacrificing the climbing or trail manners. The 16.69-inch chain stays felt long, but offer stability at speed, at the expense of easy manuals.
The Cascade Peak 29 Pro we tested uses Fezzari’s new Tetra-Link suspension design and GA-Link Geometry. The GA-Link is what allows the bike to switch seamlessly from 27.5” Plus wheels to the 29” set up we tested without drastic changes in the BB height. While simple compared to a lot of other bikes on the market, the Tetra-Link suspension does an impressive job.
The design delivers top-notch small bump sensitivity even from the modest 130mm of travel. It also remains active under braking. When comparing the new design to previous generations Fezzari claims that, “The suspension kinematics have been refined to increase pedaling efficiency.” We can’t vouch for the old design, but the current Tetra-Link system impressed going up and down.
Suspension spec is competitive for the price point and comes in the form of a 2018 Fox Float DPS Performance Series rear shock and a 2018 Fox Float 34 Performance Elite Series fork. Both have proven themselves to be reliable performers on this bike and other test rigs that have been through the Wolf Den.
Crisp shifting comes from a reliable SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 derailleur and shifter. We don’t love the fact the budget SRAM brakes don’t feature a tool-less reach adjust but understand the need to cut costs. Despite the inconvenience, we were actually pretty impressed with the brakes. Not a common statement from us when it comes to SRAM brakes. Power, modulation AND reliability.
For rolling stock, the Stans Flow MK3 29er rims and Stans Neo hubs got the job done without a hiccup, although we suspect they’ll require a bit more regular truing than their higher-priced siblings if you’re heavy or overly aggressive.