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.