FEZZARI DELANO PEAK

A NEW CARBON OFFERING

Words by Drew Rohde |
Photos & Video by Brian Niles/Treeline Cinematics

SPONSORED CONTENT

Fezzari Bicycles has been gaining momentum year after year with their affordable, good-looking and capable mountain bikes. The completely new and fully carbon fiber Fezzari Delano Peak is going to open the doors to an even wider spectrum of riders who will soon be joining the growing “Fezzari Family.” As is the case with all of our Dissected Series stories, this is not our in-depth review, but is instead a detailed look that we’ve made with the help of Fezzari to introduce their latest bike and showcase some of the details and goals behind the brand’s motivation to create this new shred-sled.

When Fezzari began designing the Delano Peak they used the large amount of feedback and requests they’d been receiving as the fuel for creation. “We have been getting asked for a carbon trail bike for a couple of years now, and those requests only sped up as more people started riding out ‘Fun Country’ bike, the Signal Peak and our big trail basher, the La Sal Peak Enduro,” Fezzari’s director of product development, Tyler Clower told us. “We compiled a bunch of rider and media feedback from both of those bikes and came up with the new 135mm rear and 150mm front Delano Peak,” Cloward continued.

Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected

Like the rest of Fezzari’s bikes, the name comes from a peak in the nearby Tushar Mountain Range, located in Central Utah. The Fezzari Delano Peak is actually the tallest peak in the range and a suiting namesake for the brand’s newest bike. Like the tallest peak it’s named after, Fezzari’s new bike seeks to be the pinnacle of the lineup, offering top-tier performance, pretty lines and maintaining the brand’s eye for value.

For those unfamiliar with Fezzari Bicycles, the brand has been offering customizable bikes direct to your door for 14 years and have been seeing a lot of success thanks to their 23-Point Custom Setup program, a no risk 30-day Love It or Return It policy, a lifetime warranty, after-sale support and the ability to modify the componentry spec to suit your needs. With a list like that it’s easy to understand why we’re seeing more and more Fezzari bikes on the trail.

GEOMETRY
Our riders are all in the 5’10” to 6’1” range so we opted to get on a size large. Fezzari will be selling size Small through XL frames and we’ve been told that thanks to their greatly reduced standover height, riders as short as 5’1” have been able to comfortable stand over a size Small frame.

BUILD OPTIONS
Fezzari will be offering the Delano Peak in several builds from their entry level Comp model, retailing at $3,499 to the Pro model at $6,499. They will also have a Team edition dropping with SRAM XX1 AXS and Shimano XTR options with Enve M6 wheels. We opted for the Elite model, which retails for $4,499 as we felt it was a great value and offers some awesome components for well under $5,000. As with all of Fezzari’s bikes, customers have the ability to change anything from suspension components to bar width, stem length, upgraded wheels or even discuss custom paint options.

Fezzari Delano Peak - Comp

DELANO PEAK COMP
M.S.R.P $3,499

Frame: Fezzari ST135 CleanCast Carbon TetraLink Full Suspension, 135mm
Fork: DVO Diamond D1 29, 150mm
Shock: DVO Topaz T3 210×5
Headset: Cane Creek 40

DRIVETRAIN
Shifters: Shimano SLX
Derailleur: Shimano SLX, RD-M7100
Cassette: Shimano SLX HG+ 10-51T
Crankset:Shimano FC-MT510
Chainring: Shimano 32T
Chain: Shimano SLX, CN-M7100
Brakes: Shimano BL-M6100, 4 piston

COCKPIT
Handlebar: Fezzari FRD Charger35 Alloy, 800mm
Stem: Fezzari FRD Charger35, CNC 6061-T6 Alloy
Saddle: Ergon SM Stealth
Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic Internal Dropper with Remote

WHEELS
Rims: WTB STP i29 TCS 29″
Hubs: (F) Bear Pawls MTB Disc, 15×110 / (R) Bear Pawls MTB Disc, 12×148 Microspline Freehub
Tires: (F) Maxxis Minion 29×2.5″ 60 TPI, EXO / (R) Maxxis Aggressor 29×2.5″ 60 TPI, EXO

Fezzari Delano Peak - Elite

DELANO PEAK ELITE
M.S.R.P $4,499

Frame: Fezzari ST135 CleanCast Carbon TetraLink Full Suspension, 135mm
Fork: Fox 36, Performance Elite, 150mm
Shock:Fox Float DPX2, Performance Elite
Headset: Cane Creek 40

DRIVETRAIN
Shifters: Shimano XT
Derailleur: Shimano XT, RD-M8100
Cassette: Shimano XT HG+ 10-51T
Crankset:Shimano XT FC-M8100
Chainring: Shimano 32T
Chain: Shimano SLX, CN-M7100
Brakes: Shimano BL-M8100, 4 piston

COCKPIT
Handlebar: Fezzari FRD Charger35 Alloy, 800mm
Stem: Fezzari FRD Charger35, CNC 6061-T6 Alloy
Saddle: Ergon SM Stealth
Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic Internal Dropper with Remote

WHEELS
Rims: Stan’s Flow S1 29″
Hubs: (F) Stan’s Neo, Disc, 15×110 / (R) Stan’s Neo Disc, 12×148 Microspline Freehub
Tires: (F) Maxxis Minion 29×2.5″ 60 TPI, EXO / (R) Maxxis Aggressor 29×2.5″ 60 TPI, EXO

Fezzari Delano Peak - Pro

DELANO PEAK PRO
M.S.R.P $6,499

Frame: Fezzari ST135 CleanCast Carbon TetraLink Full Suspension, 135mm
Fork: Fox 36 Factory, 150mm
Shock: Fox Float DPX2, Factory
Headset: Cane Creek 40

DRIVETRAIN
Shifters: SRAM X01 Eagle
Derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle 12 spd, X-HORIZON
Cassette: SRAM XG-1295 10-52T
Crankset:SRAM X01 Carbon Dub
Chainring: SRAM X01 Eagle X-SYNC 2 Eagle
Chain: SRAM X01 Eagle
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC

COCKPIT
Handlebar: Enve M7 Carbon, 800mm
Stem: Fezzari FRD Charger35, CNC 6061-T6 Alloy
Saddle: Ergon SM Stealth
Seatpost: PNW Bachelor Internal Dropper with Loam Lever Remote

WHEELS
Rims: Enve AM30 carbon
Hubs: Industry9 1/1, 110×15/148×12, XD driver, Centerlock
Tires: (F) Maxxis Minion 29×2.5″ 60 TPI, EXO / (R) Maxxis Aggressor 29×2.5″ 60 TPI, EXO

Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected

SUSPENSION
We were impressed with the bike’s suspension right away as we felt the Delano Peak offered a more ground-tracing and sensitive suspension feel compared to other Fezzari bikes we’d ridden. After a few early rides we sat down for a Q&A session with Tyler Cloward, who’s not only the brand manager but also a total bike geek with some serious knowledge when it comes to suspension.

TLW: Being that you’re a Utah brand, your terrain and trails are very specific and present unique tuning and suspension preferences. Do you regularly travel to other regions or have test riders help you develop and fine-tune products outside of the Utah desert?

Tyler Cloward:  We are really lucky to have the trails and access we do here in Utah.  We have everything from the desert slick rock riding that is most commonly associated with Utah, but we also have miles of high alpine single track with loamy sections in the pines about 20 minutes from the office.

That being said, we do realize different areas have different styles of trails.  We often have test bikes with us at events we attend and have test riders in different locations across the country. Luckily for Delano Peak, we had the suspension tuning dialed long before the current travel restrictions and closures were enforced.  This allowed us to do some test riding at all the major events we attended across the country in early 2019.

Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected

TLW: How many revisions did it take before you settled on the current Delano Peak’s suspension tune?

TC:  We have a company culture of constant improvement, always looking to get better. We have a great thing going with our La Sal Peak enduro bike, so it could have made logical sense to take that suspension design and just shorten the travel to create the Delano Peak, however we wanted to adjust the frame tubing and stand over heights on each frame size.

This required us to move the shock position. Any time a pivot location is moved, in this case the shock eyelets, adjustments have to be made to all pivot locations of the suspension design to achieve the suspension feel we are going for on a specific frame. It took several revisions of our suspension layout drawing to move the shock, but maintain a progressive suspension curve for good small bump compliance, mid-stroke you can push off of in the rollers, but still offer a pillowy landing on that bigger jump or drop.

We also had to be sure the suspension design pedaled well as most riders on the Delano are expected to do a good amount of pedaling. I think I have 9 or 10 versions of the Delano Peak suspension drawings saved on my computer, all with minor tweaks to get the leverage ratio, anti-squat, axle path, and anti-rise ratios just how we want them, while still optimizing shock compatibility and the ever elusive two bottle capacity.

We have to balance the suspension design with the industrial design and frame use.  Luckily we have a fantastic industrial designer in house. Once we nailed the suspension design, we test ride every shock we can get our hands on.  We work close with the suspension suppliers to adjust tuning on the shocks. We send these out with different test riders of different sizes and weights to get their feedback. If we do our job on the suspension design, the shock tunes go fairly quicker with 2-3 tunes on each shock tested.

Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected

TLW: How does it differ from other bikes you’ve made in neighboring travel ranges?

TC:  As you change the suspension travel and geometry you are going to have some tuning and suspension design changes. We do try and keep a progressive design across our line, but every model we make is distinctively its own. The Signal Peak is our 120-120mm ‘Fun-country’ bike. This bike focuses on the pedaling characteristics first and then downhill play as a close second.  On the other end, our La Sal Peak Enduro bike focuses on downhill capabilities, braking performance, and then pedaling.  We can also manipulate climbing and descending characteristics with frame geometry changes, so on these two bikes that are on the edges of travel and use case, we change the geo to help climbing on the bike optimized to go downhill and vice-versa.  With the Delano Peak we had to balance suspension, climbing performance, small bump chatter, mid stroke support and bottom out control for bigger hits.  We also added the geometry secret sauce tricks to compliment the suspension design.

TLW: Speaking of geometry. We found the 65-degree head tube angle to offer a nice blend of snappiness and quick handling yet remained stable at speeds up to 40mph. How many revisions to geometry did you make and did you go too far before bringing it back?

TC:  When we did the first drawings about 1.5 years ago, we had the head tube a bit steeper.  Before we prototyped in alloy, we slackened it a bit more.  After a good amount of test riding, it was a general agreement by all of our testers to go with the 65-degree angle.  Like you mentioned, we felt the same way about the blend of snappy and responsive performance at slower speeds but offering good stability in extremely fast sections.

Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected

TLW: In a time when so many message-board engineers have something to say when it comes to “2017 geometry,” how does a brand balance creating a bike they know will be more versatile and well-rounded for the majority of riders versus “giving the people what they want?”

TC:  I remember when the first iPhone came out thinking it was really dumb. I didn’t need this huge block-looking thing that used ‘apps’. I was happy playing Snake on my tiny Nokia cell phone. Fast forward 13 years and I was wrong about the iPhone. The same thing has happened to bike geometry.

When we released our La Sal Peak Enduro bike in the summer of 2018 with the 78-degree seat tube angle, that was really scary. It was so far out there for mass-produced carbon suspension bike. We had never been asked for that steep of a seat tube angle before. If you go back and look at some of the comments still out there on the “First Look” articles, there is a good amount of criticism about the steep seat tube angle, no one asked for it, no one would buy it, etc.

Looking at the trends now, steeper seat tube angles are all the rage and there is customer feedback that the bikes pedal better and are more comfortable. We have to listen to customer feedback, customers are the most important thing to any business. However, we do have the unique advantage of being able to test, tweak geometry, and test again. Sometimes when you know something is right, you have to put your head down, get to work, and do your best to tune out the message-board engineers that may not agree with what you doing. So far, I think we have had good luck with this approach.

TLW: It seems that Fezzari as a whole is “The people’s brand.” Your marketing or branding isn’t crazy or obnoxious, you don’t have wild graphics or colors, it seems like you just fly under the radar but deliver quality bikes that are enjoyable for a large audience of riders. Can you touch a bit on Fezzari and your brand’s mission?

TC:  Thank you.  This is a serious compliment.  To me, this is a reflection of the people and culture we have here at Fezzari.  We have worked very hard to build a ‘We’ culture with customers first.  We have a set of Ten Values here at Fezzari, and #1 is the Golden Rule, treat others how you want to be treated. We truly believe this. We want to build products, offer customer service and an experience that we ourselves would want. It blows my mind sometimes how much our team cares about our customers.

The behind the scenes internal discussions that are had about how to resolve customer concerns and issues, the after-hour text messages from co-workers trying to resolve issues, or follow-up on customer questions is really amazing.  It’s not uncommon to see our production team discussing a specific customer’s build to be sure they have the sizing perfect or a brake or derailleur tuned perfect before going out the door.  It really shows how much our employees care and is amazing to be a part of it.

This ‘We’ mentality all starts with our CEO. He is a behind the scenes type of guy, but he is in the office every single day, works harder and more than most anyone I have ever met.  He rides his bike 5-6 days a week, is friendly, kind, and just an all-around good guy.

When he and his wife started Fezzari they wanted to create a company and products that make the world better, not something useless or something headed to a landfill.  We have seen so many first-hand accounts how the bikes we are producing have helped people with their physical health or mental health.  We are not interested in a flash-in-the-pan popularity contest. We are in it for the people, building the very best products possible, and making our customers, employees, and our families happy along the way.

Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected

TLW: What do you see as the biggest challenge in getting people to try a bike from a brand they’ve maybe never heard of, or never seen in person?

TC: Buying a bike online or sight unseen can be scary. We are doing everything we can to make buying a bike from Fezzari a win for the rider. We have two demo vans that travel across the country to demo events to allow riders to test our bikes as we understand a bike purchase can be a touchy-feely endeavor. We also offer our 23-point custom setup, our 30-day Love it or Return it guarantee. Buy a bike from Fezzari, ride it on your own trails that you know and are familiar with for 30 days, and if you don’t love it, return it for a refund.

TLW: We imagine that most people are probably pretty stoked once they unpackage their new Fezzari. How often do you have people take you up on your 30-day Love it or Return It policy?

TC: Returns are next to zero. We take so many steps all the way from product design, production quality control, our fitting system, assembly, and packaging to be sure riders have the very best experience on their new bike.

TLW: Who do you think is going to like this bike most? What’s the ideal rider?

TC: The range of riders who will enjoy this bike is huge. From those that love to pedal but want the right amount of travel and geometry to have confidence on most any descent, to riders looking for a light, capable trail bike that they can still shuttle or hop on the occasional chairlift.  We’ve worked extremely hard to offer this bike at a price point that anyone from the weekend enthusiast all the way to the aspiring racer would be proud to own.  The lower standover height has really appealed to our female testers as well.  We’ve joked internally that the Delano Peak is the Goldilocks bike, it’s just right.

CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE DELANO PEAK LINE-UP HERE
Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected

FIRST RIDE IMPRESSIONS
We’ve tested several bikes from Fezzari over the last few years and without a doubt, this bike has the best feeling suspension platform for chattery and rough terrain. It doesn’t pedal as well in the fully open mode, but as we said in our video, that’s a compromise we’re more than happy to make. The effort to reach down and flip a switch for climbs in exchange for an open and sensitive rear shock on the downs is well worth it.

Fezzari ships the Delano Peak with a .6” air volume spacer in the rear shock, which is right in the middle of their tuning offerings. We plan on installing a .8” spacer for our long term review to see how it affects the rear end on bigger hits and aggressive riding. Even with the .6”, we felt the rear end offered a nice blend of support, sensitivity off the top and progression for big hits. During our filming, we found a natural trail step down that was about fifteen feet long and seven feet tall into a very minimal landing transition that was littered with 4-inch deep braking holes. We sent the gap deeper and deeper until we ran out of transition and while we definitely reached full travel, the bike never shuttered or moaned in agony under the harsh compressions. Something not many 135mm frames are capable of when we’re really trying to put a hurt on them.

In terms of geometry, we feel it’s a solid all-around offering that will make a wide range of riders happy. We want to play around with the rear tire spec and do some more comparing of BB height and rear end lengths however as we have experienced a couple of instances where the bike wouldn’t quite dip over and rip into the corners the way we’d like. Again, since these Dissected stories are usually made with short deadlines, our goal is to just get enough time on the product to learn it and get an initial impression out. As such, we haven’t been able to spend the appropriate amount of time really replicating the cornering feedback over and over and swapping out tires, bar height and other factors to see if we can find where it’s coming from. That being said, it was a relatively small complaint in a long list of awesome features and one we couldn’t quite put our finger on. So there is a chance after we learn the bike a bit more it will be something we adapt to and learn to work with.

Until then, we look forward to spending a lot more time riding this absolute shredder of a bike. It’s a ton of fun to jump, manual, nose-bonk, haul ass or just sit down and pedal on. Stay tuned for a long term review coming in the future.

CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE DELANO PEAK LINE-UP HERE
Fezzari Delano Peak - Dissected