2021 eMTB SHOOTOUT
FEZZARI WIRE PEAK PRO REVIEW
Photos by Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles/Treeline Cinematics
Fezzari’s Wire Peak didn’t exactly blow us away at least year’s eMTB Shootout, but their newly launched bikes, like the recently reviewed Delano Peak have show the brand is taking feedback and turning that into awesome bikes at competitive price points. Fezzari Bicycles operate on a consumer direct model out of their Utah HQ and don’t appear to be taking their foot off the gas, or electricity, anytime soon. Last year their Wire Peak was a solid bike for the price but lacked some of the small bump compliance and playfulness compared to our very stacked field. This year, they updated the shock tune, added an EP8 motor system and sent us the 29” version. Those small changes do not seem like much, and to be honest we’re slightly embarrassed to say our skeptical testers were wondering if it’d really be any better. Without giving away the results of our grand finale and round table video, it’s safe to say we were dead wrong and the work Fezzari did between last year’s eMTB Shootout and this year were nothing short of magical. This bike has transformed into a very plush, sensitive and capable trail eBike that will be sure to please a ton of riders.
Fezzari stuck to their tried-and-true Tetra-Link suspension design, using 140mm of rear travel paired with a 160mm fork to create the Wire Peak. The focus of the design was to preserve playfulness while maintaining composure in all terrain. Thanks to Fezzari’s suspension design and the new Fox Float DPX2 Performance Elite rear shock, the Wire Peak does just that. The fork is matched with a Fox 36 Performance Elite fork while Shimano’s XT group handles the stopping and shifting duties. The upper end Pro model we received came with a RaceFace Turbine cockpit, Xfusion 150mm dropper, Stan’s Flow EX3 wheels and 160mm EM600 cranks.
Geometry is a bit conservative but certainly capable with a head angle of 65.5 degrees, chainstays of 434mm, and a short reach of 451mm. The seat tube angle sits at 75.5 degrees, making the cockpit feel shorter, but delivers a great climbing position for technical and twisty trails. The Fezzari Wire Peak has a shorter wheelbase at 1,198mm, but offers all the playfulness you can get out of an eMTB. The frame can accommodate either 27.5” or 29” wheels, although we’re partial to the 29er.
With a total weight of 51.4lbs, the Wire Peak is just a hair lighter than most of the bikes on test. A lot of that weight savings is due to the EP8 system being spec’d with a 504Wh battery, but we would happily add a little extra weight with the added range of a 630Wh battery since we ran the smaller unit to death several times. Fezzari integrated a nicely recessed power button and locking battery unit into the aluminum frame and has a unique cable lock system that keeps rattling to a minimum. The downside to the cool power button is that it did eventually get stuck after some particularly muddy days and washes. We had to pull it apart to get the button to come back up.
Climbing on the Fezzari Wire Peak is balanced and snappy thanks to the steep seat tube angle, short chainstays, and head tube angle. Steep switchbacks and tight corners are no issue for the well-balanced Wire Peak. Seated efforts are comfortable, but we found standing efforts required shifting back due to the somewhat shorter reach on our size large. Power delivery is outstanding with the EP8 motor system, and the tune feels very natural with no tendency to unwontedly lift the front wheel. We did open the eTube app to increase torque delivery a bit at lower RPM to give us the edge in steep, rocky climbs where we found ourselves ratcheting the cranks regularly for clearance. We appreciated the 160mm cranks, as eMTBs often can pedal through sections where we would normally be making upduro moves. We would like to see more brands start moving this way with shorter crank spec for additional clearance while pedaling in the rough stuff.
The combination of Fox Performance Elite suspension and Shimano XT is the perfect example of trickle-down technology. You are getting the most performance for the money with this build, and we were impressed with how the suspension handled against many Fox Factory spec’d bikes. We found our entire test team running a bit over recommended pressure in both the rear shock and fork, but small bump compliance remained supple. The mid stroke was supportive and while we could all feel the bottom, there was no overly harsh feedback even when pushing for a win in the huck to flat distance comp, which this bike did achieve. Our previous experience with a wandering bite point on Shimano XT brakes held true in this case, but has been minimized with current redesigns. That said they were consistently powerful and fade free, although we did have differing grab points when pulling the levers after being off them on wide open sections and entering rock gardens.
On the way down, the Fezzari Wire Peak fits the bill for all things a trail bike should be, it is fun, playful, and poppy. The shorter wheelbase, steeper front end and all-around snappy geometry gives the rider plenty of ability to lift off trail features, switch directions mid-trail and generally flick the rear end to their heart’s content. That does not mean the Wire Peak cannot handle the gnar though. The rear end was well composed on rough, rocky descents and handled speed with no issues. We were so stoked on the descending capabilities that we could not help but dream of doing a long shock on the rear with a Fox 38 on the front to see where the limit really is. Although we liked the snappy and quick handling of the Wire Peak, riders who regularly spend time riding at high speeds or ride lots of steep descents will find the short reach to be an issue. The bike will hang with the longer sleds, but you have to make a conscious decision to fight the urge and not tap the brakes.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Fezzari’s Wire Peak made a real impression this year and blew our crew away. Especially after comparing it to last year’s model. For the price, it would be hard to match the Wire Peak in overall capability and value. A larger battery would be nice and could be a deal breaker for those who regularly do longer rides or are guilty of being Boost-hounds like us. Fezzari offers a bundled spare battery for a lower price if you want additional range waiting in your pack or car. In a stacked field of high-end bikes, the performance per dollar spent ratio truly makes the Wire Peak a top contender in our 2021 eMTB Shootout. Stay tuned to see exactly where it stacks up against the entire field.
Weight: 51.4 lbs
Frame: Fezzari Racing Design AT5529-E, 140mm
Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite Grip 2| 160mm
Shock: Fox Float DPX2 Performance Elite
Motor: Shimano EP8 | 250 W, 85 Nm
Battery: Shimano | 504wh
Display: Shimano SC-EM800
Brakes: Shimano XT 4-Piston | 203mm Rotors
Shifter: Shimano XT 8100
Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series
Handlebar: RaceFace Turbine R | 780mm, 20mm Rise
Stem: Fezzari 3D CNC
Saddle: Ergon SM10 E-Mountain Stealth
Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic
Hubs: Stans Neo E-Specific
Rims: Stans Flow EX3 29
Front tire: Schwalbe Magic Mary 29 x 2.6″
Rear tire: Schwalbe Big Betty 29 x 2.6″
Cranks: Shimano EM600, 160mm
Chain Guide: MRP 1x EP8
Cassette: Shimano M7100 12spd, 11-51T
Derailleur: Shimano XT M8100, 12spd Shadow Plus
Chain: Shimano XT M8100 12spd
Price to performance
All around capability
Great for technical and flatter terrain riders
Slightly unnerving at top speeds on steep chutes
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