Back in July, we got our hands on the newest trail bike from Fezzari, the Delano Peak. To recap Fezzari as a brand, they are a direct-to-consumer company based out of Utah and they’ve been building some great full carbon bikes lately at a good value, to include the La Sal Peak, the Signal Peak, and now the Delano Peak.
The Delano Peak sits right in the middle of the La Sal Peak, a 150mm travel 29er, and the Signal Peak, a 120mm 29er. The Delano Peak has 135mm of rear travel and is purposefully designed and overforked with a 150mm fork. Whereas the La Sal is a big enduro bike and the Signal Peak is a marathon-XC/stage race bike, the Delano Peak takes attributes from both and makes for an aggressive trail bike that can handle long and pedally days mixed with steep and rocky descents.
About the Delano Peak
- 135mm/150mm rear/front travel
- 29″ wheels
- Tetralink (Horst-link) suspension design
- Full carbon frame with internal routing
- Sizing: S, M, L, XL
- Price as tested: $3,500
- Weight, size M w/o pedals: 31lbs
- Frame price: starts at $2,300 w/ rear shock
- Complete builds from $3,500 to $9,000
Having been out for about two years now, the La Sal Peak’s geometry was a little ahead of its time, with a very steep 78° seat tube angle and a slack 65° head tube angle. Consumers and the industry as a whole have since come to expect that progressive geometry.
The numbers on the Delano Peak aren’t what I’d call progressive anymore, but they are modern, and feel right for a trail bike.
On my medium test bike, I settled into a 77.5° seat tube angle with a 65° head tube angle, paired with a reduced offset fork. That 65-66° range seems to be where trail bikes are heading right now and the steeper seat tube angle balances out the bike’s climbing ability. The medium has a pretty lengthy 1210mm wheelbase, with a solid 455mm reach.
The seat tube is short at 420mm and the standover height is much lower than the Signal and La Sal Peak at 741mm, but certainly not the lowest out there.
Pricing and build options make the Delano Peak even more enticing. Consumers can buy a full carbon frame set with a shock for $2,300 – which is a great deal, considering that there are quite a few full carbon framesets on the market that retail for a thousand more. It’s also possible to add a fork to the order at checkout.
A full build starts at $3,500 which is what I tested. My Delano Peak came with a Shimano SLX 1×12 groupset and Deore brakes, WTB wheels, and DVO suspension front and rear. For riders that would rather have SRAM, there’s a build for the same price that comes with a SRAM NX 1×12 drivetrain instead.
Then there are builds at $4,500 with Fox suspension and Shimano XT, or another at $5,500 that comes with ENVE AM30 wheels. There are two more builds at $6,500 and $8,000, before the top level build at $9,000. Pricey, yes, but still lower than their competitors. The top-shelf Delano Peak comes with a full SRAM AXS X01 groupset, ENVE M630 wheels, and Fox Factory suspension.
There are numerous options at checkout to upgrade parts on the selected build and Fezzari still does a 23-point custom setup for a perfect fit when a buyer pulls their new bike out of the box. When I have had test bikes come from Fezzari, all I’ve really had to do is put the handlebars on, maybe tweak the cockpit setup, and adjust the pressure in the suspension by a few pounds. Bikes from Fezzari have always been very close to my preferred setup and nearly seamless out of the box.
On the trail
Trail bikes just might have the tallest set of orders out of any category right now, and for these purposes I’ll reference bikes between 130-150mm of travel, to exclude XC bikes and enduro bikes, and the all the other hairsplitting categories out there.
The Delano Peak delivers on those orders exceptionally. The best thing about my test build, in particular, is that the bike can deliver great performance at a good price point and I was rarely reminded that I was on an entry-level build.
I set up the Delano Peak around the recommended 30% sag mark, though I may have been closer to around 28%. That gave me a supportive rear shock for climbing with plenty of sensitivity for descending. There is some noticeable bob in the rear suspension with the rear shock in open mode and it can be mitigated by using the middle position or a shock with a climb switch. Most of the time the movement wasn’t enough for me to need to reach down and firm it up.
Coupled with the steeper seat tube angle, the Delano Peak was an easy choice to pull out of the garage when I was heading toward a steeper ride. The tradeoff though, is that the cockpit can feel a little tight on flatter, more moderate trails. Still, the Delano Peak isn’t a drag to pedal on this kind of terrain, and that’s the beauty of a trail bike like this; it can go almost anywhere.
The Comp build isn’t the snappiest when it comes to acceleration and it doesn’t encourage sprinting, so it was mostly sitting and spinning for me. The stock wheels are a little heavy and aren’t exceptionally stiff, which probably contributes to the feeling. The Bear Pawls hubs do offer good engagement.
Pointed downhill, the slack, and over-forked trail bike feels comfortable on anything steep or technical and it has a playful attitude over jumps and is nimble through corners. The suspension kinematics come together for a great feel in the rear. The Tetralink is very reactive to small bumps and remains composed on bigger landings. I never felt any wallowing in the rear and aside from adding about 10PSI that the shock lost over a few weeks, I didn’t mess with the shock or the fork at all. They just worked.
It’s easy to tell where Fezzari put their money into the Comp build and that was in the suspension. A DVO Topaz T3 rear shock and DVO Diamond D1 fork are pleasant to see aboard the sub-$4,000 build. If you’re interested in this Comp build, check out Gerow’s DVO Diamond fork review. He breaks down the nuances of the fork very well. Ok, the Shimano SLX 1×12 is pretty sweet too. The SLX 12-speed isn’t as flashy or as refined as the XT, but it’s reliable, impressively smooth, and quick.
There are a few things about the Comp build that do remind the rider that it is an entry-level build. For starters: the Shimano Deore 4-piston brakes. Sure, they got four whole pistons all up in them calipers, but there is a reason they’re on this build. They will likely be a reliable brake with the Shimano namesake, but they don’t have the most bite.
The Fezzari FRD Charger 35 handlebars felt a little stiff to me at first but I got used to them over time. The stock Ergon GA20 grips aren’t as plush as their nicer models, and the SM Stealth saddle feels just like the nicer Ergon saddles but looks unfinished compared to the fancier stuff. These gripes though are mostly about the products that help Fezzari achieve such a killer price on this build, so it’s hard to complain.
I swapped out the X-Fusion Manic dropper post to fit another post I have in for review during my time with the Delano Peak. The X-Fusion post has worked great, just to note. Although I should have left the cable housing in the frame, I removed it and discovered that the Signal Peak frame is not an easy one to route cables through, mainly because of the narrow port near the headtube where the housing needs to exit. If you’re not big on doing maintenance at home, don’t worry. If you are, now you know. I did get a look at the Cleancatch cable guides that keep the Delano Peak nice and quiet and they have a pretty clever design.
Again, I have to say that for anyone out there looking for a new trail bike in this category, you should consider the Delano Peak. The geometry and suspension design fit the trail bike’s intentions perfectly, and with so many different build options offering a ton of value that actually give you a choice between Shimano and SRAM, it’s like having your cake and eating it too. The Delano Peak isn’t perfect, but it’s a damn fun trail bike and can hold its own on a lot of terrain.