Fezzari La Sal Peak

First Ride

Fezzari La Sal Peak

Words by Seve “Send Devil” Mustone | Photos by Chris Mabey/ Fezzari

Has the industry become too saturated? When big names rule the front pages, we find ourselves only focusing on a few companies and the conversation gets stale. We often overlook the other guys for no real reason besides the fact that not many people are talking about them, it seems the out of sight out of mind adage is a real challenge for the brands without top name pros and deep marketing pockets. Fezzari is one of these lesser known companies, and one that has recently opened our eyes to what lesser-known brands are capable of. Could the release of the La Sal Peak, a new long travel 29’er, change their status? Take a look and decide for yourself.

The Lab

Sporting 29-inch wheels, 160mm/150mm front and rear travel, and a full carbon frame, the La Sal Peak is Fezzari’s entry into the growing range of long travel 29er bikes on the market. In terms of geometry, build, and attention to detail, this bike is an absolute beast. The La Sal Peak utilizes Fezzari’s Tetralink suspension platform and does a great job of blending sensitivity with progressivity in most all conditions. The Horst Link design will work with a coil or air shock.

In the geometry department, the La Sal Peak checks in with a slack 65-degree head angle that gives you the ability to torch through just about anything. For the climbs, the 78-degree effective seat tube angle is so capable that it lets you climb like an unemployed 23-year old with a rock climbing gym membership. It will make the cockpit feel a bit short while seated, but also puts you in a power positiong right over the cranks.

Fezzari La Sal Peak

Additionally, the La Sal Peak comes with 435mm chainstays, adjustable geometry, a threaded bottom bracket, simple cable routing and room for two water bottles. The ingredients leave you with a pretty well laid out frame in regards to what the public generally asks for in a bike.

The build is where things get interesting. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Fezzari utilizes a 23-point custom set up system for their customers. Before arriving at the launch for the La Sal Peak, they took the time to ask me everything regarding my body geometry, suspension preference, bar width etc. This is the exact same treatment that they give their customers and the options are endless. Shimano XT’s instead of SRAM Guides? No problem. Rock Shox instead of Fox? Coming right up. It’s a foolproof way of getting the exact bike that you want and not get stuck with some crappy parts that a company threw on to keep their build at budget. It’s also worth noting that Fezzari has pre-selected build kits available for those who desire them.

On my own test bike, I chose to ride with a Rock Shox Lyrik and a Rock Shox Super Deluxe in the rear. I also opted for SRAM Code brakes to slow me down and a Rock Shox Reverb 150mm dropper post. I was able to slam the 150mm Reverb to the collar on a small frame, which is something I always appreciate for maximum clearance on the downhills.

Fezzari La Sal Peak

The Dirt

On trail, the La Sal Peak speaks for itself. I can confidently say that I’ve never gotten as comfortable as quickly on a bike. If you do buy this bike you may want to invest in some extra paper towels because it oozes confidence. As soon as I threw my leg over it, I felt like I had owned it for years. Within my first lap I was slapping corners, letting it all hang out on the jumps, and having an absolute blast on whatever I rode.

I can’t emphasize enough how well the La Sal climbed. I braced myself for the worst on every hill we approached, but the bike just seemed to light up when things got steep. This leads me to believe it has a leg up in terms of climbing ability compared to some of its competitors. If you live for big epics and climbing huge mountains just to bomb them, the La Sal Peak ticks the boxes.

Now, my love affair wasn’t without issue. While riding a jump line at the bike park, I went a little too deep and snapped my test bike’s rear stay near the non drive side pivot. Since the event we’ve spent some time on the phone with Fezzari and learned a bit more about the incident. We found out that in order to get the bikes rushed out for the media camp, our frames missed a small but very important part of the QC process that would have prevented this frame from leaving the factory.

Fezzari La Sal Peak

While I do believe them, it was disheartening to both myself and the Fezzari crew to have this happen as I had been completely thrilled with the bike up until this point. With that being said, it’s important to note that Fezzari has a lifetime warranty on all their frames and has a 30 day no questions asked “Love It or Return It” policy on their bikes. Luckily they had another bike on hand and by the time we were done with lunch I was back on the trail and loving the bike just as much as before. (Editor’s Note: See below for more frame information).

I also managed to crack the front Reynolds TR S wheel while riding some fast technical terrain. From what I could tell, a rock snapped up and hit the rim in the wrong spot, leaving a decent sized crack. I was able to ride the rim for the rest of the day, but still felt very uneasy about it. We spoke with Reynolds after the camp and found out they quickly rebuilt the wheel we were on– a normal warranty repair they would extend to any of their customers. AJ Ariss, Reynold’s product and marketing manager told us, “We updated our warranty policy a while back to be a lifetime policy and to cover damage incurred while riding, including impact damage.” While this is certainly a relief, if you’re still hesitant about going carbon, Fezzari has a couple other wheel options on the menu.

Fezzari La Sal Peak

After my short time riding the La Sal Peak I get the vibe this bike likes to be free. It craves big, epic back country rides and long adventures with burly descents. When I got the bike on the terrain it was created for, I could almost feel it leap at the opportunity. It was a savage climber and the suspension could be run wide open all day if you choose to do so. It was as fun, playful, and fast as I wanted it to be, all the while not sacrificing anything in terms of climbing ability or weight. In fact this aggressive all mountain 29er weighed around 28.5 pounds, which is pretty impressive.

Fezzari La Sal Peak

Having no real experience or thoughts about Fezzari before arriving to this camp, I can’t believe how much I liked a bike from a brand I never even talked about! It’s like eating at the little restaurant that lives in the shaded alley behind the big chain restaurant for the first time and finding out their food kicks ass and costs a lot less!

If you’re looking for a bike that will eat your local trail system up, climb like mountain goat and shred the descents this is a killer option. Fezzari offers a great custom-build option to dial in the bike for your size and style, plus you can rely on an excellent warranty program and great customer service.

We tend to overlook small companies in favor of what’s at the top of the headlines, but we need to remember that small companies like Fezzari are what keep the big guys on their toes. As you go to purchase your next bike, I encourage you to give Fezzari a look. Their culture, mission, and service are what truly set them apart from the rest of the industry and I believe these traits will take them to the next level soon enough.

We’ve got a La Sal Peak on the way out for a long term review, so we will be sure to give it a thorough thrashing over the next few months before reporting back.

After Action Report

We recently spoke with Fezzari’s Tyler Cloward just before he boarded a plane to go visit their factory to be sure every single frame is in fact going to be properly tested and inspected. Tyler’s stance, as well as Fezzari’s is one of complete customer satisfaction and trust in the brand. “We take this very seriously,” Cloward said. “All rear triangles are impact tested and cycled through a stress test of 500 cycles to ensure the material and lay up process are up to spec.”

Over the years we’ve attended media camps where any number of things happen as brands rush to get product delivered and understand sometimes things happen. After speaking with Tyler and learning more about their post-production test process before every frame leaves the facility, we’re confident that further incidents will be very limited. Plus, that whole lifetime warranty thing is a pretty good deal closer too!

Fezzari La Sal Peak

Price: $3,599- $6,599;
Website: Fezzari.com