Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1×11 fat bike review

Solid wintertime wide tire option for rider on a budget

Fat Bike
Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

For less than $2000, the Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1×11 can deliver plenty if winter riding fun.

Lowdown: Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1×11

In my humble opinion the vast majority fat bikes are for wintertime riding only. Yes, there are a few full-suspension designs out there that could be interesting when the trails melt out (see the 27.5-wheeled Trek Farley EX). But when you’re talking standard hardtail (and often fully rigid) 26” fat bikes, my stance is that they’re great for riding on snow or late fall/early spring mixed surface terrain, and not much else. If you want tank-like traction in the summer, go ride a plus bike. They handle much better.

Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

So much better than riding the trainer during the winter.

Thus, if you’re in the market for a fat bike, budget-priced models make the most sense. Why spend extra thousands of dollars on a rig that spends 75% of the year collecting dust in the back of the garage while you’re out riding your “normal” bike. And when we’re talking budget priced options, the Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1×11 is worth a long look. For under two grand you get a full carbon frame and fork (no suspension here), plus a decent line-up of components. It’s nothing fancy, but at 29.8 pounds (size Large) it can make a great companion for a little snowbound exploring.

Scroll down to see the bike’s full spec line-up, pluses and minuses, and more from Mtbr’s test session.

Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

The rear end is driven by a Shimano SLX rear derailleur and SLX 11-42t cassette.

Stat Box
Frame: Full carbon BBB: FSA Mega EXO threaded
Fork: Rigid carbon Chain: KMC X11
Shock: N/A Bars: Fezzari Racing Design 740mm
Wheels: Alex Blizzerk 90 Stem: Fezzari
Hubs: Joytech Alloy Headset: FSA Integrated
Tires: Maxxis Colossus 4.8” Grips: Velo MTB
Brakes: Tektro Hydo Disc Seatpost: Fezzari Racing Design XRT
Brake Levers: Tektro Saddle: Fezzari Ultra XRT
Rotors: Tektro Headtube angle: 69.8 degrees
Shifters: Shimano SLX Chainstay length: 468mm
Front Derailleur: N/A Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX Weight: 29.8 pounds (size Large)
Cable routing: Internal Price: $1849
Crankset: FSA Comet 32t Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 Chilis-out-of-5
Cassette: Shimano SLX 11-42

Pluses
Minuses
  • Inexpensive
  • So-so shifting
  • Full carbon frame
  • No S or XL frame sizes
  • Carbon fork
  • No dropper post
  • Reasonably light
  • Twitchy steering at speed
  • Great stock tires
  • So-so soft snow traction
  • Internal cable routing
  • No suspension
  • Easy out-of-box assembly
  • No frills components
  • Attractive looks
  • Wonky wheel removal
  • XC-oriented geometry
  • One-season capability
  • 23-point custom set-up
  • Compliance of carbon
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Efficient climber
  • Low standover height
  • Reliable tubeless set-up
  • Love it or return it guarantee
  • Quick release seatpost clamp
  • Room to upgrade components

Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

The full carbon frame and fork provide a reasonably compliant ride so long as you stick to snow.

Review: Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1×11

Before delving into our on-bike experience with the Kings Peak Carbon, it’s important to note that Fezzari is a direct-to-consumer bike seller. That means your new bike will arrive at your house via a UPS truck, and not after a trip to the local bike shop. That’s part of how the Ogden, Utah-based company keeps costs down.

Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

Total weight for our size L test bike was 29.8 pounds sans pedals.

Fezzari ships their bikes nearly ready to ride, so as long as you have even just an elemental level of mechanical skill and/or can follow Ikea’esque directions, assembly is quite simple. It took about 15 minutes to get our tester built up, and we weren’t in a big rush. It’s also worth mentioning Fezzari’s Love It or Return It guarantee, which allows you to test ride a bike for up to 30 days with no risk. If you don’t feel the love, they pay return shipping. You’ll just need to get the bike back in the box.

Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

These tire’s tread consists of numerous tall knobs designed to penetrate soft snow and grip the harder surface underneath. The open tread pattern clears out packed snow to maintain traction, and the 120tpi rubber compound is designed to stay pliable when cold.

Out of the box the first thing you notice is that this is a good looking bike, its internally routed silver painted frame set off nicely by the bright yellow lettering. It’s also reasonably light, coming in at 29.8 pounds with the Maxxis Colossus 26×4.8 tires set-up tubeless. The rest of the components are nothing to jump up and down about. But no one expects XTR on an $1849 bike. Instead the 1x set-up is a mix of Shimano SLX drivetrain bits, an FSA 32t crankset, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, and Fezzari aluminum house brand cockpit parts. Rims are Alex Blizzerk 90 (with 84mm inner width) mated to Joytech Alloy hubs.

This bike’s geometry leans toward XC, though it’s actually a little slacker than its predecessor. Still, if you’re used to modern trail bike angles, the 69.8-degree head angle may initially lend to a somewhat twitchy steering feel. The upside is that steep’ish headtube angle and 73-degree seat tube angle keep you well centered over the bike when climbing, which is critical to maintaining traction.

Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

Racing the Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1×11 at the 2017 Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Meanwhile, the Maxxis Colossus tires hooked up well so long as the snow track was reasonably compacted. You’ll want something wider with more bite if you spend a lot of time riding in loose conditions. We’d also love to see a budget priced dropper post added to the equation. They come in handy when bombing downhill — and during restarts. Thankfully, the Kings Peak Carbon frame has a sloping top tube and relatively low standover height, which helps alleviate post holing.

Braking and shifting were about what you’d expect at this price level, good but not great. I’m definitely a fan of 1x for winter riding. You’re never going to grinding up 15% grades, so why mess around with an extra derailleur, shifter, and chainring.

Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon SLX 1x11

Fezzari will work with you to get fit dialed, including sending the stem length of your choice.

The wheels were equally reliable, but unspectacular, maintaining their tubeless set-up over about two months of testing. Our only real complaint was the somewhat wonky thru-axles, where the axle screws into a nut on the opposite side that could easily be lost if dropped in the snow.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a dedicated wintertime fat bike and don’t want to blow out the budget, the Fezzari Kings Peak Carbon is a great option. The components are nothing special. But because you get a compliant carbon frame and fork as the foundation of your build, it’s easy to upgrade down the road if you decide to move to Alaska and ride year round.

For more info please visit www.fezzari.com and scroll through the photo gallery below.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


(Visited 2,425 times, 2 visits today)

Related Articles


NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:



Wordpress Comments:

  • Perfectbike says:

    The list of Minuses is so big and related to the reasons you would buy such a bike it made me LOL. Bad on soft snow, ride, shifting, handling, etc, etc.

  • Lisa says:

    Why do you think only people in Alaska ride fat year round? Why don’t you like thru-axles? You could just as easily drop a QR spring in the snow. I think someone who enjoys winter more than Jason should have written this review.

    • Jason Sumner says:

      Lisa — Thanks for the note. Couple clarifications. I have no issues with thru-axles. The niggle is that unlike more standard thru-axle set-ups, which are one piece, the mechanism on this bike has two pieces (one of them small). As for riding fat year round, as I wrote in the piece, in my opinion there are much better options for summer (think plus bikes). But if you prefer to ride your fat bike all 12 months there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. And finally you could not be more off base about my feelings toward winter. Why else would I live in a place like Crested Butte, elevation 8600 feet. The fat bike is a truly essential piece of my winter recreation quiver, because when the skiing is bad, the fat biking is great. Happy trails — Jason

  • Joe says:

    Exact reasoning I got my inexpensive Motobecane Fat Bike — it is mainly my “winter” bike. I also pull it out a few times in the summer to ride with newbies, but few and far between. That is why I didn’t want to spend a butt load on it.

    In the summer I ride my “skinny” tire 27.5 Trance and my Cannondale Bad Habit plus bike. It is nice to have all these choices!

Leave a Reply to Jason Sumner Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*