First Ride: Fezzari Delano Peak

Great handling, premium components, and massive value in this new trail bike

Pro Reviews

The stars have aligned to offer a stunning, compelling and affordable bike in this Fezzari Delano Peak for $5,500.

For us, this may be Fezzari’s coming of age celebration. In our opinion, this is the culmination of all the hard work they’ve been building up to in the past decade. The result is a bike that is dialed enough that it not only competes in the category, but is one of the top contenders in a very competitive trail bike field. The brand’s entry is the carbon Delano Peak with 135mm of rear and 150mm front travel. We spent a lot of time with this $5,500 build with Enve carbon wheels, Fox suspension, and the latest Shimano 12-speed XT drivetrain and came away very impressed at the performance and the value.

Fezzari Delano Peak Highlights 

  • $5,500 Shimano 12-speed bike with Enve carbon wheels
  • Looks as good on the trail as it does on the geometry chart
  • 65-degree head angle with 77.5 seat angle with flip-chip to fine tune handling
  • Fox DPX2 shock and Fox 36 Grip 2 at the $5,500 price point
  • Price range: $3,500 – $9,000 bikes that are all competitive
  • Flexible customization options
  • Expert at consumer-direct packaging, instructions, and ease of assembly
  • Test bike weight for a Med Delano Peak Race is 30.5 lbs

The Arrival

Fezzari has been at this consumer-direct game for a while now and they’ve had plenty of time and experience to master their craft. They started by offering consumers a lot of bike for their money and the Delano Peak follows this core value.

They’ve also mastered the art of online ordering and shipping a bike directly to the consumer creating a seamless experience. They’ve developed a website that seeks to understand the buyer with a series of questions and customization options. The buyer then receives the bike in the mail where the bike assembly is simplified. Tires are already sealed tubeless and the shock pressures are set to the rider’s weight so an initial ride can be performed immediately.

But most important of all, Fezzari has produced a bike that is dialed. It’s got the lines and colors that enthusiasts can covet. And the numbers and components work in concert to deliver a bike that can be considered cutting edge for this season’s trail bikes.

Related: Fezzari Wire Peak Review – 140mm rear travel E-bike

It’s a two-faced bike with a climbing and aggressive descending side that will satisfy the most demanding riders.

The Suspension

Rear suspension action is where it’s won and lost for us and our initial reaction to this version of their Tetralink suspension is that it’s very supple. At our first meeting, it felt very much like the 150mm La Sal Peak. This 135mm Delano Peak suspension feels quite active and we called up Fezzari to dial it in—30% sag is what they prescribe and the Fox DPX2 was ready with a couple more clicks of compression low-speed compression to firm up the rear end while pedaling.

Once settled in, we were impressed with how responsive this suspension was to small bumps. It is a smooth operator, more subtle than many longer-travel bikes we’ve tried. And then it offers good support (more than the La Sal) on mid-stroke impacts to keep it responsive and poppy. Pivots are absolutely free moving and the Fox DPX2 offers three distinct lever riding modes with the middle mode serving up a great climbing/traversing platform and the wide-open mode granting excellent comfort and control.

Shimano 12-speed XT and Enve carbon wheels at this $5500 price?

On the trail, our initial impressions were confirmed as we railed the Braille Trail of Demo Forest in Norcal several times. This bike was not only smooth but also poppy on the dozen or so optional jump features along the way. We topped off the ride with a top to bottom rally on the Flow Trail and we were rewarded with a lively ride, where we achieved a balance of an involved, entertaining descent. The surprise was it was comfortable too as our hands and back were not so fatigued that we felt compelled to stop. The bike kept speed well and made the most out of each jump feature and pump sections.

On the climb up Sulphur Springs, it was no mountain goat, but the steep seat angle allowed us to settle in and drive the power to the pedals. On the second lap up, we added a few clicks of compression damping to the DPX2 rear shock and we were able to climb that fire road well in the wide-open shock position.

Delano Peak Geometry in Low Mode

Geometry Discussion

The geometry on this is pretty revolutionary for a trail bike. First off the 135mm front and 150mm rear travel is quite novel as it is a 15mm difference but it results in a very balanced bike. The front and rear feel perfectly matched for each other. As we plunged full speed into the rocky straightaways of the Braille Trail, the 150mm of front travel answered the call as it took the big hits while the 135mm rear followed along competently.

Next, the 77.5-degree head angle worked in harmony with the 65-degree head angle (in the Low setting). This is an ideal head angle these days for a trail bike but they’re not so easy to climb usually as the front can wander and lift up on the steeps. But instead of the typical 75- or 76-degree seat angle, Fezzari went with a 77.5. This is steep and it may take some getting used to if the rider is coming from an older bike. But what it does so well on this bike is perch the rider up front, driving the pedals efficiently and propelling the bike forward on steep climbs. It also unloads the rear suspension and keeps the rear from bobbing and losing power.

Frame Real Estate Highlights

These two conflicting angles are tied together by a long top tube with a reach of 455mm on a Medium and 480mm on a large. This reach gives the rider room with a short stem and that steep 77.5-degree seat angle.

Chainstays are a short, 434mm, with room for big 29er tires. And the seat tube is short and straight allowing the longest dropper posts and deepest insert lengths (300mm for Small) for even for riders of shorter stature. Standover height too is excellent at 741mm for a medium bike.

Fit two water bottles in that Medium frame and you’ll realize that Fezzari has done a great job solving the classic geometry and real estate problems of fitting big tires, long droppers, water bottles on short stays and standover heights on a bike with a reservoir shock.

This is where ears perk up as desirable carbon bikes quickly become unreachable with builds ranging from $6k to $12k. This one is more approachable.

The build options

We praised the bike’s attributes so far but usually, this is the section where the enthusiastic reader’s face turns sour as we discuss price and build options. “Where’s my Shimano brake option? And do you want my firstborn, too?” Or “Do I really need an $800 dropper post with that build?” These are some of the common reactions when we discuss builds that reach five figures from some brands.

In this case, every bike is carbon and you don’t have to sit down as you hear these prices…

Delano Peak Comp – $3499

  • Fork: DVO Diamond D1 29 150mm
  • Rear Shock: DVO Topaz T3 210×50, 25x8mm/30x8mm
  • Components: Shimano SLX, SL-M7100, HG+ 12 Speed
  • Saddle: Ergon SM Stealth
  • Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic Internal Dropper with Remote (Travel adjusted with 23-point customs fit after checkout)
  • Brakes: Shimano BL-M6100, 4 piston, 180mm SM-RT66 Rotors

Yes, you heard that right. It’s a carbon bike with DVO suspension and Shimano 12-speed and 4-piston brakes. The damage (a misnomer in this case) is just $3,499. There are a few upgrade options, too. Including Enve AM30 carbon wheels for $1,200. Talk about a dialed $4,700 bike! And if you haven’t tried the new Shimano 12-speed SLX, it is an instant legend! It shifts perfectly, shifts with poise under power, and the brakes feel like they can stop a locomotive. They’re just heavier than XT and XTR but wow, they work well.

Related: What’s best mix of new Shimano XTR, XT, and SLX?

Fezzari has always been a consumer-direct brand so they’ve had a lot of practice honing in the user experience with purchase configuration and ease of assembly.

Delano Peak Elite – $4,499

Delano Peak Elite Race – $5,499
The same spec as the Elite, but changes the wheels to Enve AM30 Carbon with I9 1/1 hubs. This is the model reviewed here and it’s really quite impressive that it’s $5,500.

Delano Peak Pro – $6,499

It certainly looks the part of a dream bike, but does it play the role well too?

Verdict

Color us impressed with this effort. It doesn’t just tick all the boxes, it creates a novel bike package that is lust-worthy. It assaults your senses but not your wallet with a bike that is approachable, flexible, and compatible with the best-of-breed products in the market.

The suspension is active and supple but it is ready to be controlled with ease by the DPX2’s low-speed compression adjustments on our $5,500 model. And in every build, it seems Fezzari paid attention to the components that matter most: the drivetrain, suspension, and brakes. And then saved the buyer money on pieces but gave them an option to upgrade. The use of Ergon and Maxxis tires for key contact points is worth noting, as well.

We’ll ride this bike some more on road trips and more challenging terrain but for now, we’ll give it our highest recommendation. In the meantime, share your thoughts on this new bike in our Fezzari forum.


About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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Comments:

  • Loll says:

    Base model seems to be a good to great deal. Add the enve wheels, its a decent deal. I say focus on this price range.

    While I love seeing top end bikes, at 5.5k and 6.5 k there are more options out there that have better resale value purely based on brand loyalty . Sure spec might be a notch or two lower, but personally I m just as happy riding slx 12 speed as xt 12 speed.

    Fezzari are good bikes, i think they can use some branding/marketing to help establish the brand more.

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