One of the biggest complaints we often hear about the bikes we review is that they are too expensive. With some top-of-the-line latest models coming in at over $10k, who could argue? Fezzari Bicycles seeks to provide an affordable all mountain answer with the Nebo Peak. The Nebo Peak is an aluminum framed brother of the Timp Peak that we reviewed in the Mtbr Enduro Compare-O earlier this year. They both have 150mm of travel and they both roll on 27.5 wheels but that’s about where the similarities end. The Nebo Peak uses a completely different suspension design, a different parts spec, aluminum (vs. carbon) frame and costs way less.
The main factor that allows Fezzari to offer a quality bike at a cheaper price is their direct-to-consumer business model. This means, you order your bike directly from Fezzari via their website and they send it to you in a “pre-built” stage that you can assemble with only a couple of tools and easily within half an hour. The purchase process begins with the rider providing body measurements and riding style and trail terrain information. From there, Fezzari uses their 23-point custom setup to decide what size you need and how to build up your bike. Swapping out parts is also an option if you don’t like the default parts kit. The direct-to-consumer model is a growing trend and there are more and more companies selling their bikes this way too.
Targeted towards the all mountain rider, the Nebo Peak provides 150mm of plush, active suspension. The tapered and shaped 6061 hydroformed alloy creates a “moto” look and feel. The tapered headtube is nice and short, so the front end won’t be jacked up too high (especially good if you are a shorter rider). The head angle is an enduro standard 67 degrees and provides solid front end feel. The frame has external cable guides for an optional dropper post (an upgrade that we choose for our test bike). It also has ISCG chain guide compatibility and the direct mount rear brake provides plenty of control. The Nebo Peak uses a 142x12mm rear axle for stiffness and the frame also features a replaceable derailleur hanger with threads in the hanger and not the frame for longevity. The frame offers an easy-on-the-eyes frame shape that also offers plenty of standover clearance. As an added tough, the bike comes with a Fezzari neoprene chainstay protector.
The Fox Talas CTD fork with 150mm travel worked great and was well matched with the custom tuned Fox Float CTD rear shock. The handlebar mounted remote for the shock put CTD control at our fingertips, which means that you will use it all that much more (just like a dropper post). True, it does add one more cable to the front, but we will gladly trade a bit of front end clutter for expanded usability and function any day.
The SRAM X9 2×10 is a solid option for the type of riders looking at bikes in this price range. Sure, 1x drivetrains are all the rage these days (and for good reason), but the money saved totally makes 2x the better choice here. Other spec highlights are the Stan’s 27.5″ Flow EX wheels and Maxxis Ardent 2.25 Tubeless ready tires. Again, this is a great performing wheelset at a great price. Wheels stayed true and straight during our extensive test period (even when our riding was less then finesseful through certain rock gardens). The Ardent’s worked well in a variety of conditions, run them tubeless for maximum benefit.
The Truvativ bar and stem worked fine and Fezzari will work with you during the setup process to spec you a stem and bar with the exact length and width that you prefer. Given that the Nebo lives on the more aggressive end of the all mountain spectrum, we advise getting bars that are on the wide side (for added leverage). The Avid Elixir 7 hydraulic disc brakes don’t have the power and modulation of Shimano’s XT (or even Deore), but they worked fine for us. The WTB Volt Race saddle however, was not one of our favorites. This will be easy to upgrade or swap out. The stock Nebo Peak comes with Wellgo flat pedals that we ditched for our favorite Crank Brothers pedals.
2014 Fezzari Nebo Peak Specs and Geometry
- Frame: Fezzari Racing Design HL675 Tapered, 150mm Travel, full sealed cartridge bearings, replaceable derailleur hanger, water bottle bosses
- Fork: Fox Talas CTD FIT Performance Series, 150mm travel, 1.5 Taper, 15QR, 32mm stanchions
- Shock: Fox Float custom tuned CTD remote
- Headset: FSA internal sealed cartridge bearing, tapered
- Drivetrain: SRAM X9, 2×10 11-36, 36/29T front rings
- Brakes: Avid Elixir 7
- Pedals: Wellgo Ultra Narrow, CNC spindle, MTB-flat with Ultra-Grip Pattern
- Wheelset/Tires: Stan’s Notubes Flow EX Rims/Hubs, Maxxis Ardent 27.5×2.25 60 TPI tires
- Bars/Stem: Truvativ Style Bar and Stem
- Bottom bracket type: Press Fit
- Head tube angle: 67 degrees
- Seat tube angle: 70 degrees (size SM)
- Chainstay length: 17.3 inches
- Bottom bracket height: 13.5 inches
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL (15″, 17″, 19″, 21″)
- Weight: 29.3 pounds (size small, without pedals)
- MSRP: $2999 US
I rode the small (15″) size Fezzari Nebo Peak and it was a good fit for me at 5’5″. I am sometimes between a small and medium but generally I prefer to go with the smaller frame and the Nebo felt solid. The short head tube also helps keep the geometry ideal for shorter riders.
The wheelbase measured in at 43.8 inches on our 15″ and the bike looks long but doesn’t feel long. The bottom bracket is 13.5 inches but we ran our suspension on the soft side so with sag accounted for, the bike did not feel tall at all. The 67 degree head angle and 70 degree seat angle, the stance and feel of the Nebo Peak is definitely downhill oriented.
Here are the geometry measurements from Fezzari:
The 27.5″ wheels of the Fezzari Nebo Peak offer a great balance of handling prowess and rollover ability. If you are upgrading from riding 26″ wheels, you will notice the difference right away. For bikes in this range of rear travel, 27.5 just makes sense. The bike’s geometry and travel make it tons of fun on the downhills. Whether your style is to weave and roll through the singletrack or to bomb straight down, the Nebo Peak and it’s 150mm of travel can handle it. The ride is stable, confidence inspiring it this bike likes to go fast. The handling is solid and responsive. The rear suspension design is kind of like a three-bar design and is not as complex or catchey as other designs, but it is simple and it works. I’ve said it before and it’s still true, aluminum isn’t as sexy as carbon, but it’s not as pricey either. The ride is not harsh or jarring and power transfer is smooth and efficient (as long as you use the bar mounted lockout for extended climbs).
If there’s any area where the Nebo doesn’t excel, it would be its climbing. At 29+ pounds, there is just no getting around the weight on climbs. That’s not to say that the Nebo is a pig, but it’s no scalded monkey either. It is as good a climber as other bikes in its weight class or price range.
Who Is It For?
The Fezzari Nebo Peak is a bike that is fun to ride and won’t break the bank. You may not get the latest VPP/DW/FSR suspension design, but what you do get is a lot of bike for under $3k that can handle the rough stuff and get you to the top of the hill without a shuttle. The Nebo Peak is for you if you have more fun challenging yourself on the gnarly downhills, then trying to set a KOM record on the climbs. Riders looking for their first full suspension bike that don’t have a lot to spend, but want something that is fun and capable that they won’t outgrow after one season, you would do well to take a closer look at Fezzari.
4.5/5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
“On the trail, the Nebo Peak really had a moto-feel to it that instills confidence on the downhill and can still climb efficiently with proper use of the handlebar mounted remote for the rear shock. We would definitely recommend the dropper post upgrade. An inexpensive way to try out 27.5 wheels with all mountain travel.”
5/5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
“Direct-to-consumer means you save some money on a solid parts spec and a great riding bike. The Fezzari Nebo Peak proves that spending less doesn’t mean less fun.”
For more information and to order direct, visit: www.fezzari.com