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www.vitalmtb.com

2019 Fezzari La Sal Peak Pro

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There is something good going on in the Salt Lake and Park City region. It seems that when a bike company wants to have a good time, these sprawling mountains offer plenty of opportunity. Fezzari very recently invited us to the area to ride their latest bike, a big 150/160mm travel 29er. Free of Power Point presentations, marketing claims, and pretenses, they focused their energy on making sure their bikes were trail ready and that we spent our time getting dirty in the high-alpine backcountry. Let's check out the new La Sal Peak.

La Sal Peak Highlights

  • 27.5+ or 29-inch wheels
  • CleanCast carbon frame and suspension link
  • 150mm (5.9-inches) rear travel // 160mm (6.3-inches) front travel
  • Short 42/44mm offset fork
  • Holds two standard water bottles inside front triangle
  • Threaded bottom bracket with ISCG-05 mounts
  • CleanCatch internal cable routing
  • 36-tooth max chainring size
  • Short seat tube for longer dropper posts
  • Flush-mount fit and finish on bolts and bearings
  • Up to 29 x 2.6-inch or 27.5 x 2.8-inch tire compatibility
  • Frame weight: 5-pounds (2.27kg, claimed)
  • Lifetime warranty and 30-day "Love It or Return It" guarantee

Fezzari calls Lindon, Utah home, not far from Salt Lake City, and for over a decade they have been selling an almost complete line of bikes via the consumer direct model. Their latest release, the La Sal Peak, is a move to full completion in the Fezzari line. It is the company’s first push into the enduro segment. For this venture, they chose the 29-inch wheel platform and sprung it with a 160mm fork and 150mm of rear travel.

The usual suspects are all well represented: steep seat angle (75-degree actual and 78-degree effective), slack head angle (65-degrees), moderately long reach (445mm on a medium), short chainstays (435mm), and short seat tubes (420mm on a medium). To help tame steering flop on the climbs, the bike runs a reduced 42/44mm offset fork, depending on the fork brand. Every size of the the La Sal can carry a full-sized water bottle, and the large and extra large can cary two inside the front triangle. All sizes have two sets of mounts as there are a number of new products beyond just bottles that can use these bolts.

Fezzari built in some thoughtful features such as a threaded bottom bracket, internally routed cables that pop out above the bottom bracket (instead of below), as well as a few cable ports for rear shock lock-out options. Fat rubber fans will rejoice at the ample clearance offered: up to 29 x 2.6-inch or 27.5 x 2.8-inch tires will both fit just fine. To that point, the La Sal utilizes a flip chip in the rear shock link to keep geo pretty consistent between 29-inch and 27.5+ modes.

On the topic of options, Fezzari offers more permutations of builds and customization than a Ford F-150. With multiple pre-selected part options, choosing a build would be easy. However, within each of those builds one may select different wheels, suspension, dropper posts, brakes... and well, you get the idea. After a customer figures out all the parts desired, they’ll get a phone call from Fezzari to lock in the finer points and then the bike will be built in Utah and shipped to the customer.

Prior to arriving in Park City we had the opportunity to go through the same customization process, opting for a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain and Code RSC brakes, RockShox Lyrik RC2 fork and Super Deluxe shock, FOX Transfer dropper post, and some Reynolds TR309S carbon hoops wrapped in Maxxis Minion DHF and Aggressor tires. This would be the equivalent to the Pro build and retail for $6,599 USD. Models start at $3,599 and go beyond how our test bike was built.

Saturday morning started with a big breakfast and a brief overview of of the La Sal Peak. Fezzari’s Director of Product Development, Tyler Cloward, gave us the rundown on the development process and mission behind their new offering. Fezzari made it clear that a touch of versatility and a whole lot of aggression drove this enduro project. It seams they chose not to mess about on this bike – they wanted to make a statement. We heard them loud and clear.

Geometry

On The Trail

Lift tickets, full-face helmets, exploding berms and rock smashing: it was park time at Deer Valley Resort. Other than the dry conditions, there was a wide swath of terrain to point the La Sal at. Things started off mellow with blue runs and thoughtful berm technique. Kind of a “Hey, how you doin?” affair. We moved swiftly to the larger jumps on Tsunami Trail, graduated to more technical trails, and finished the day on Fire Swamp and NCS. Both of those trails are properly difficult with Fire Swamp cautioning riders to have a downhill bike and NCS offering “Pro-Line,” options. There was very little on the mountain that the La Sal was not taken down in the course of our full-day cackle fest. 

It is light on its feet, quick in the corners, and didn’t wallow or bog down when things didn’t go as they should’ve in the heavy chop and boulder fields. It is by no means timid though, and there was never a point that things got out of hand or that the bike felt like it was outmatched.

The La Sal Peak rides like a bike much smaller than it is, and that’s a good thing. It is light on its feet, quick in the corners, and didn’t wallow or bog down when things didn’t go as they should’ve in the heavy chop and boulder fields. It is by no means timid though, and there was never a point that things got out of hand or that the bike felt like it was outmatched. The La Sal has a progression curve reminiscent of the YT Jeffsy 29, but where that 140mm bike will dance too heavily in successive mid-to-large hits, the Fezzari will stay planted and composed. The more gently-progressive curve means there is still platform to push off without losing a bottomless feel. 

Cornering the La Sal is a blast. It is so much fun because there is confidence for days when laying the bike over. The La Sal’s weight distribution and neutral rider position primes the bike to carry speed through each bend in the trail. This natural urge to carve is much like the Transition Sentinel and their Speed Balanced Geometry approach. It is difficult to say how the bike feels in the fast, back-to-back, tighter stuff as we just didn’t have the opportunity to get into those bits. 

Finishing a solid day of riding by hitting the two heaviest trails on the hill is super intelligent – always do that. One of Fezzari’s resident photographers and undercover beast, Branson, insisted we ride Fire Swamp. Despite the lack of R.O.U.S (rodents of unusual size) and lightening sand, we did prevail and the trail delivered ample opportunity to get the La Sal into some heavy terrain. When confidence and strength begin to wane, so do speeds. This is not always a wise call when mitigating rock gardens where momentum is your friend. That being said, the big 29er was never clumsy or hung up – ease off the brakes and it tractors on through. This sort of confidence in the most savage of situations speaks to its ability to make lions of house cats.

It was the close of day one and all parties involved were absolutely blown but in high spirits. Phrases like “That was the best day I’ve had in the park!” and other claims of the day’s supremacy were all shared as we recounted our adventures and near mishaps. There was no doubt that the La Sal Peak was among the most aggressive of descenders when the curtains drew on our first day, but that Eagle drivetrain is there to make the bike go uphill, too. We’d have to wait until Sunday to unpack that mystery.

On the fly choices, good or bad, are right up the La Sal’s avenue. A little input and the bike is airborne, ready to clear any bits you’d rather not roll over. When you miscalculate, just drop anchor, look where you should have gone, and this bike will get you out of trouble.

Sunday’s ride had us making a run up to the Wasatch Crest Trail. This meant a solid effort up "Puke Hill" and a lot of punching out climbs. It is of no real surprise that the La Sal cruised up the fire road and single track ascents. The suspension is efficient, the Super Deluxe shock is valved nicely, and the riding position is centered. Given a longer test, it would be fantastic to get this bike on some technical climbs or all-day outings. For a first ride, though, it passed the baseline measures. At this point, there wouldn’t be any asterisks in the climbing description – the La Sal climbs well for any mountain bike on the market, not just an enduro bike.

Riding the natural ribbon of the Wasatch Crest felt a bit more “right” than being in the park, and despite its commanding performance the day prior, being on the La Sal on such a trail felt proper. As it is for most on weekend outings and big rides, we often don’t get a second lap or another chance. Riding trails in the wild means interpreting features as they come, assessing risks each second, and digging into the skills bank to maintain momentum whilst fighting fatigue. On the fly choices, good or bad, are right up the La Sal’s avenue. A little input and the bike is airborne, ready to clear any bits you’d rather not roll over. When you miscalculate, just drop anchor, look where you should have gone, and this bike will get you out of trouble. The trail was particularly dusty, which meant riding by braille if you weren’t the front man. One must resign themselves to presuming that if the person in front of you is upright, there isn’t anything to worry about underneath the dirt cloud covering the ribbon of trail. Truly, this affair works best aboard a bike you trust, which speaks volumes for our first date with the La Sal Peak. 

In Action

Build Kits & Pricing

La Sal Peak Pro - $6,599 USD

SRAM X01 Eagle DrivetrainRockShox Lyrik RC2 160mm Fork or Fox 36 Factory Grip2 160mm ForkRockShox Super Deluxe RC3 or Fox Float X2 ShockSRAM Code RSC BrakesReynolds TR 309 S Carbon WheelsRockShox Reverb or Fox Transfer Dropper Post*FOX X2 and 36 Grip 2 Fork - $200 upgrade

**Enve Bar, Stem, and Wheels with Industry 9 Hubs - $1,300 upgrade

La Sal Peak Elite Race - $5,599 USD

SRAM GX Eagle DrivetrainRockShox Lyrik RC2 160mm ForkRockShox Super Deluxe RC3 ShockSRAM Code RSC BrakesReynolds TR309s Carbon Wheels

FOX Transfer Dropper Post

La Sal Peak Elite - $4,599 USD

SRAM GX Eagle DrivetrainRockShox Lyrik RC2 160mm ForkRockShox Super Deluxe RC3 ShockSRAM Code RSC BrakesStans Flow MK3 Wheels

FOX Transfer Dropper Post

La Sal Peak Comp - $3,599 USD

SRAM NX Eagle DrivetrainRockShox Lyrik RCT3 160mm ForkRockShox Super Deluxe RC3 ShockSRAM Guide T BrakesWTB i29 Rims

X-Fusion Manic Dropper Post

What's The Bottom Line?

For a first effort, Fezzari has smashed one deep into the bleachers. All of the key elements of a solid enduro bike are present in the La Sal Peak, and they add up to a ride that performs well on the trail. A long-term test would be needed to see if there are peculiarities not immediately noticed, but at first look this bike would be foolish to ignore. 

Visit www.fezzari.com for more details.

About The Tester

Brad Howell - Age: 39 // Years Riding MTB: 25 // Height: 5’9” (1.75m) // Weight: 160-pounds (72.5kg)

Brad started mountain biking when a 2.25-inch tire was "large," and despite having threads, bottom brackets sucked. Riding in the woods with friends eventually lead way to racing, trying to send it at the local gravel pits, and working in bike shops as a wrench to help fix those bikes. Fortunate enough to have dug at the past six Rampages and become friends with some of the sport’s biggest talents, Brad has a broad perspective of what bikes can do and what it means to be a good rider. The past few years Brad worked in the bike industry and got to see the man behind the curtain. These days, though, he likes just riding his bike in the woods with friends.