FEZZARI DELANO PEAK
Words by Nic Hall & Drew Rohde
Photos by Cole Gregg
The Fezzari Delano Peak was released in 2020 with a pretty significant amount of buzz generated from the small, but rapidly growing Utah brand. Fezzari Bicycles is a relative newcomer in the bike world but have been making a ruckus with big growth year after year as they strive to fulfil their founding goals to offer high quality bikes, provide personalized customer support and offer a great value.
Fezzari’s Delano Peak is marketed as their “do it all” 135mm rear travel trail bike. On paper, it has moderate geometry, a 150mm front fork, and build kits to match almost any budget. After our initial surprise with how well the bike performed, check our Dissected Feature here, we have put it in our regular lineup for the past several months. In fact, it is such a versatile bike El Jefe, Drew Rohde just got back from a cross-country road trip, where it was his only pedal bike. After getting back from that trip he reached out to Tyler Cloward at Fezzari with some feedback and thoughts before writing our long-term review and were pleased to learn about an unofficial upgrade that sent us back to the trails. Read on to see what it is.
Our Dissected Feature goes into many of the finer details around Fezzari’s impressive 23-Point Custom Setup process, Love It or Return It policy and lifetime warranty, so we will skip those points in this review.
Fezzari started their development of the Delano peak by combining community feedback along with their own ideas of the perfect trail bike. Tyler Cloward told us they were looking to add a model in between their 120mm bike and their enduro-ready La Sal Peak while also bringing a high-end carbon bike to their lineup. The Delano peak is a 135mm rear travel do-it-all bike that’s just as happy playing and snapping as it is putting down power under heart-rate monitor wearing racer dudes.
Fezzari uses CleanCast carbon layup, a process that eliminates 30% of carbon waste while decreasing frame weight and improving strength. This translates into their testing exceeding 130% of industry standards for strength and impact protection. Looking to add to the protection and durability of the frame, Fezzari added replaceable chainstay and downtube protectors as well as an in-molded metal chainring protector. From our testing, we have yet to inflict major damage to the frame, however we have had some foot contact issue with the protector on the seatstays as the edge catches our right foot.
Geometry on the Fezzari Delano Peak is nothing wild but might just be the secret combination discerning trail riders have been looking for. The seat tube angle is 77.5 degrees and head tube angle is 65 degrees. Reach is 480mm, chainstay length 434mm, and stay is 628mm on a size large. It is hard to always know how a bike will ride just based on numbers, but these were our first hints that the Delano Peak would be good.
As with all their models, build options abound at the Fezzari factory and it is something many riders take advantage of. If you prefer, you can order a preset build from $3,499 to $8,999. We tested the Elite spec, which retails for $4,499. The Delano Peak Elite comes with a Fox 36 Grip2 Performance Elite fork, Fox DPX2 Performance Elite shock, a Shimano XT drivetrain, and Stan’s Flow S1 wheels. At half the price of the top end offerings, this is a solid spec that can hang with bikes retailing well over $6,500-$8k.
Fezzari spent time adding things like compatibility for two water bottles, a threaded bottom bracket, space for even the longest droppers, and ISCG-05 chainguide mounts to the Delano Peak. While none of these are game changers alone, when put together, they make a frame that can work for any build or riding conditions.
Back in September, we took the Delano Peak out for some initial test rides and filming. Since that time, we have passed the bike around to our testers and they have all reported similar findings: the Delano Peak is a solid all-around trail machine.
Our time on the Fezzari Delano Peak has taken us on everything from flowing single track to steep, chunky descents and rock slabs in Utah to granite fields in Tennessee. The suspension is active and impressively composed, although towards the end of our testing we found the suspension was definitely in need of some love. The Delano Peak’s large wheels, snappy geometry and 150mm of front travel is ready to handle anything we could throw at it and the really stiff frame urges you do thrash on this poor little bike harder and harder. The Performance Elite fork and shock certainly began to quiver after a while and more aggressive riders could benefit from a suspension upgrade or should prepare on regular service intervals, because you are going to be beating the crap out of this bike! It is just too fun. The rear suspension dynamics are very supportive through the mid stroke, which allowed me to gain speed by pumping rollers and trail features but still had enough travel in reserve for big hits. We did find that it squirmed and rebounded a bit quick on deep, G-out compressions that turned into jumps. On a few occasions the rear end would shoot up out of those hard compression to jump scenarios, making for some scary nose-dives. It happened later in our testing so we think that shock’s need for service could have been to blame. Before we serviced that shock however, we got a longer travel Rock Shox damper which turned our 135mm Delano into a 142mm trail machine. Since then, we have not had any issues and have been very pleased with the extra confidence and comfort the 7mm of travel offers. It is not an upgrade everyone will need, but if you live in super chunky areas, ride hard and want a lightweight trail shredder that is more efficient and snappier than the Fezzari La Sal, this could be the dream upgrade for you.
Pedaling performance is about as good as we have seen for a mid-travel trail bike. The balance of anti-squat, axle path, and anti-rise balance well for a ride that is compliant, keeping traction to the dirt while not bobbing with seated or standing effort. On long gravel road climbs, we flipped the climb switch a few times and noticed a firmer platform, but not enough to need the climb switch on trail rides.
Geometry on the Fezzari Delano Peak is a master class of balance. The 65-degree head tube angle coupled with short but not too short chain stays and a long reach gives an instant feeling of familiarity on the bike. The bike feels engaged on the climbs with just enough room to get around tight corners and long enough chain stays to keep the power down. Descending shows similar levels of balance, the bike is centered around the rider and always seems to be in a good position in the travel to either pop off a trail feature or send a gnarly shoot. It is an insanely fun bike to jump, slash and manual, so jibbers rejoice.
We like the balance of budget-minded build while still offering near top level performance but think that suspension would be our first spot to upgrade down the road. The Shimano XT components are all business and worked well throughout our time with the bike. The only hiccup we noticed was in rough and chattery terrain, the XT trail brake had a wandering and inconsistent bite point, which we have seen on several Shimano brakes over the last year. We either had too much brake on initial grab or not enough, which is not a great feeling when things get steep. We also noted some hand fatigue on long, rocky descents and believe the handlebar and grip combo are to blame, so it may be an issue depending on how long and sharp the obstacles on your descents are or if you have lots of washboard-like brake bumps.
The Wolf’s Last Word
We put the Fezzari Delano Peak high on our recommended bike list. It is an easy call as it checks off so many boxes: lifetime warranty, customizability, great value build options, and most importantly, it is a ton of fun to ride. If you have got a 210x55mm shock around and spend a lot of time riding rougher terrain or going big, the long shock upgrade to 142mm of travel could be exactly what you need. We found this 135mm bike was plenty capable after we added some aggressive volume reducers to the shock to combat the bottom outs we were experiencing on drops to flat.
Aside from some minor cockpit critiques, Shimano brake inconsistencies and having to customize the air can for a more progressive end stroke, this bike is seriously dialed. The rear end is stiff, making it a blast to slash and slam, the suspension is lively and quick which is great for popping off lips and obstacles and the weight is pretty light so getting it airborne is effortless. It climbs well, manuals nicely and blends efficiency and speed with play and pop in a way many bikes do not. Fezzari has nailed it with the Delano Peak and now that we have added to the bike’s capabilities by increasing rear travel, it’s got us excited all over again.
Frame: Fezzari ST135 CleanCast Carbon TetraLink Full Suspension, 135mm travel.
Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite, 150mm
Shock: Fox Float DPX2 Performance Elite
Brakes: Shimano BL-M8100 4-piston
Shifter: Shimano SLX
Handlebar: Fezzari FRD Charger35, 800mm
Headset: Cane Creek 40
Stem: Fezzari FRD Charger35
Saddle: Ergon SM Stealth
Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic Internal Dropper
Hubs: Stan’s Neo Disc
Rims: Stan’s Flow S1 29″
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5
Rear Tire: Maxxis Aggressor 29×2.5
Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-MT800
Cassette: Shimano XT
Cranks: Shimano XT, 32t
Derailleur: Shimano XT
Playful and fun
Efficient and fast
Blows through travel on drops
Chainstay protector/heal rub and peels (fixed by volume reducers)
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