What Is It
The Fezzari Wire Peak Elite is the middle offering in the Utah bike maker’s pedal-assist e-bike line-up. The all-aluminum frame is gorgeous but even more compelling is the component spec and price. The Fezzari Wire Peak Elite sits in the middle ground between trail bike and enduro bike. With 140mm of rear wheel travel via a RockShox Deluxe RT shock and the Fezzari TerraLink suspension design, the pedaling platform is efficient yet forgiving on hard hits. The Elite model features an e-bike specific 150mm RockShox Yari RC fork. Interestingly, the two remaining e-bike models in the Fezzari lineup feature 160mm of travel (Pro model) and 140mm (Comp model). The Wire Peak also offers a choice in wheel size. Each of the three models is available in 27.5+ with up to a 2.8” tire or in a 29er option with room for up to a 2.6” tire.
Fezzari Wire Peak Elite Component Highlights
- Shimano E8000 250w, 70Nm torque motor and 504Wh removable battery
- 150mm RockShox Yari RC fork
- RockShox Deluxe RT shock
- SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain
- SRAM Guide RS 4-piston brakes with 200mm rotors
- X-Fusion Manic internal dropper seatpost (sized to the customer)
- WTB ST i35 2.0 wheels
- Maxxis DHF 27.5×2.8 Front, Maxxis Rekon 27.5×2.8 Rear
- Capability to run 29er wheels with 29×2.6 tires
- Weight: 50.3 pounds size XL w/out pedals
Something very compelling is the availability now of the $3599. E-bikes are quickly becoming an attractive option for some but the price barrier to entry has always been steep at over $5000 for a good full-suspension bike. This offering by Fezzari overcomes that obstacle with authority.
The key difference is the uses of the Shimano E-7000 motor instead of the E-8000. The E-7000 has less torque at 60NM instead of 70 on the E-8000. The motor mode switch is simpler too and does not look like a left shifter. Consequently, the precious under the bar dropper lever space is left for the dropper.
Recipe for Success
The brilliance behind the nimble agility of the Fezzari Wire Peak Elite was the simple design choice to build the battery/motor system around a bike with fun geometry. Some manufacturers build the bike around the battery/motor system and have to make sacrifices in geometry that can negatively affect handling. The Wire Peak suffers none of those negatives. In fact, the Wire Peak is just as active and easy to maneuver as a good non-motorized bike in the same travel class. It’s just heavier, of course. About 50.3 pounds to be exact.
The result of this design philosophy is a geometry that pushes the boundaries of “modern” with a steep effective seat tube angle of 76 degrees, which puts you into a very efficient position for pedaling. The 66 degree head tube angle is relaxed enough to provide comfort and stability on fast steeps without feeling floppy and clumsy on flat low-speed trail sections. The relatively short 435mm chainstays assist in keeping the bike as nimble as possible while maintaining high speed stability when the going gets chunky. There are three models ranging from the Comp model at $3599 to the Pro model at $5599.
How To Buy
Fezzari is a direct-to-consumer bike seller, which means no distributors or bike shops. The savings generated from shortening the chain translate into lower prices for the consumer and quicker product feedback to Fezzari. That feedback helps them make on the fly corrections and speeds up product design. One of the most intriguing and important points of service offered by Fezzari is their 23-point Custom Setup. When you are ready to order a Fezzari bike, you can supply the salesperson with information that is specific to you including age, riding style, height, weight, inseam, arm length, torso length, etc. This information helps Fezzari customize the bike specifically for you and the way you ride.
As a certified mountain bike instructor, I am constantly amazed when I see riders atop brand new ill-fitted bikes, especially women on “women’s specific” bikes. This quote from the Fezzari website sums up women’s bike fit perfectly in my mind.
“What about Women’s Specific Bikes? We go way beyond a generic woman’s fit to a person-specific fit. Each person has a different size hand, inseam, torso, etc., than someone else. We will fit the bike to you, not to a generic hypothetical woman… We at Fezzari believe every bike should fit you specifically. That’s why we offer Person-Specific Sizing. Yes, we know the general assumptions that women like shorter reaches to the handlebars, or softer rides, for example. But instead of generalizing, we get specific sizing data from you (not women in general) and then build the bike to fit you.”
If you already know what you want down to seat post and stem length then you can skip the 23-Point Custom Setup and place your order. I choose to supply the Fezzari Team with my body dimensions, ride style, and even sent them a few YouTube videos of trails that I ride frequently. After reviewing the information they offered their suggestions and I agreed with their recommendations so I placed my order. A week later my bike was in my garage.
Manufacturers listen up. Here is how you properly protect a bike for shipping AND make it easy for the consumer to remove, assemble and be ride ready in minutes. I have received many demo bikes over the years and this is by far the best packing job I have observed. The bike was very well protected with lots of foam, cardboard and plastic armoring. The bike was also 90% assembled which means it took longer for me to carefully remove the protection bits than it did to assemble the bike.
On the Trail
After assembly I was happy to see that the fork and shock pressure were already set for my weight and the cockpit was pretty close to the way I like it. Everything was pre-set such that all I had to do was set tire pressure and install my pedals.
My fiancé Jeni and I decided to hit up one of our favorite local flow trails in Nevada City. Hoot Trail is a short, flowy trail with so many pumpable rollers, doubles and big berms that despite being less than 1.5 miles long you’re panting and exhausted by the time you reach the bottom.
Riding up the connector trail I was immediately struck by how easy the bike pedaled in Eco mode. Duh, it’s an e-bike. But having not ridden any bike in months I was utterly out of shape and fully expected even this mild climb to take a toll. That wasn’t the case. I was still working, but with much less effort, which made it easy to warm up my muscles before the downhill section.
Hoot Trail was, well, a hoot. There’s no denying the Fezzari Wire Peak Elite is a heavy bike, but when you begin pumping rollers and popping off trail features you quickly forget about the extra weight. When tight turns started appearing faster than I expected I winced, thinking I would plow right through them and into the underbrush. But instead the bike followed my lead and went where I pointed it without drama. When I chose a bad line, I simply shifted my weight and placed the bike back where it should be.
Sometimes it was too late to change lines, but the massive tires and solid frame soaked up the rough hits and changed those bad lines into alternate lines. One of the coolest features of pedal assist is the ability to throw in a pedal stroke or two to generate enough speed to hit that feature you were trying to decide if you should hit, but your indecision caused you to lose speed. How many times have you looked at a feature on a new trail and wanted to hit it but by the time you made up your mind it was too late and you didn’t have the speed?
Sometimes you’ll turn around and re-ride the section and other times you’re too tired. I found my time on the Fezzari Wire Peak Elite to be filled with more of those re-ride scenarios. Not because I missed the feature the first time, but because it was so fun I wanted to ride it again and pedaling back up the hill was so easy.
With all of the fun downhill out of the way it was time to climb back up the mountain to the truck. The climb out of Hoot is generally pretty gradual over approximately three miles, but Jeni wanted to take an alternate route up the road then onto another trail. The first part of the road climb is steep and Jeni, who despite winning her class in the 2018 California Enduro Series, was also out of shape and was already breathing hard. She kept casting an annoyed look my way when I chatted away while pedaling almost effortlessly up the trail.
We’ve since ridden a handful of other local trails to get a feel for how the Wire Peak rides on less flowy trails with ledges, giant boulders, technical sections and chunky rock gardens. In all cases the fun continued.
My personal bike is size large Evil The Calling, a bike famous for being agile and fun to ride. There wasn’t one spot on any of the trails we rode that left me wishing I had brought the other bike. I’m not saying the Fezzari Wire Peak Elite is better or worse. I’m saying it was fun and did everything I wanted it to do and made me smile the entire way.
The XL frame’s reach feels a bit shorter than expected when seated due to the steep seat tube angle, but when standing in attack position the bike feels very balanced and no special adjustments were needed to keep weight on the front tire to maintain cornering traction. On steep terrain the bike feels very stable and well controlled.
The SRAM Guide RS brakes on the other hand were a bit underpowered on long steep sections of trail and began to fade despite cold ambient temps in the mid 40s.The brakes never failed and braking strength was still sufficient for panic stops, but I would be concerned if the temperature were in the high 90s and/or I weighed a lot more than 175 pounds.
Total pedal-assisted range is variable. Max range under ideal conditions is listed as 60 miles. Ideal conditions would consist of trails with minimal elevation change while using Eco mode in mild battery-friendly temperatures (65F-85F) and likely a rider who weighs less than 190 pounds. As tested, range appears to be 25-40 miles under hard riding with 3000+ feet of elevation gain using a mixture of Eco, Trail, and Boost modes. Thus, Fezzari’s estimate of 60 miles max range appears to be correct.
Don’t let the idea of being regulated to Eco mode for max range spoil your fun, though. I found the combination of the SRAM Eagle drivetrain and Eco mode to be more than enough pedal assist in most conditions except for steep sustained climbs or when just plain exhausted. At that point Trail mode was my go-to mode for saving my legs for more fun stuff further down the trail.
Boost mode is kind of ridiculous. The power available in Boost mode is almost unusable except for steep climbs or when you need a huge surge of speed like when a huge bear is chasing you. The first time I stuck it in Boost mode and stood up to mash the pedals down I was reminded of the scene in “Gone in 60 Seconds” when Nicholas Cage hit the nitrous button on Eleanor in the famous LA River car chase. Go Baby Go indeed! Until you hit 20mph and then the fun ends.
Pedal assist shuts down at 20mph and then it’s all you and a 50-pound bike. Talking about going from a hero to a zero in less than a second. But the speed governor is there for a reason and if we want to help ensure e-bikes have a place on our trail systems then I’m okay with the limitation. If you want to climb hills any faster than you really should look into a different sport.
Charging the Fezzari Wire Peak Elite is pretty straight forward. The bike comes with a Darfon 120v 2.4a battery charger, which plugs into the wall and directly into the charge port on the non-drive side of the downtube. Charging takes approximately 3-5 hours to complete.
Alternatively, you can remove the battery from the bike and charge it indoors. This is more efficient and generally a better place to store the battery during extreme hot or cold weather, which can negatively impact long-term battery health. To charge it while disconnected from the bike you will need a special adapter available from Fezzari for $40. On the road charging while traveling can be done with a properly sized power inverter such as this affordable unit by BESTEK. We will detail how to accomplish mobile charging in the long-term review.
The Fezzari Wire Peak Elite is a solid bike and I mean really solid. When you pick it up it feels like it was carved out of a solid block of steel. But when you ride it the weight disappears and it is way more nimble than a bike of its weight and length should be. The Pro model is a bit lighter with more carbon fiber bits and generally higher spec components, but bang for buck is very high with the Elite model.
Simply put, the Wire Peak is damn fun and everyone who has pedaled it around a bit steps off with a huge grin and just stares at it muttering things like “that’s rad” or “holy crap that was fun.” But could this bike serve as our only mountain bike?
We plan on giving the Wire Peak a thrashing on more rugged trails this spring in an effort to expose any weaknesses or durability concerns, as well as answer the question: Can an e-bike be a quiver killer? Stay tuned.
Learn more at www.fezzari.com.