Anyone have experience with Fezzari? Best budget FS bikes?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone have experience with Fezzari? Best budget FS bikes?

    Hi everyone. I've been riding a hopped up (Reba forks + nice wheels) 2017 Rockhopper comp 29er and it's been great on both the engineered flowing trails and ghastly, wet, rocky singletrack of Central Pa. but my butt and budget are begging me to get a FS bike. I'm looking at a few, factoring spec, ability to "do it all" and customer service as critical components. $2,500 is ideal budget.

    I mostly ride XC-ish trails with a lot of ups, downs and smaller obstacles. Minor jumps and drops, lots of rocks. Here are a few I'm considering with a bit of notes on my experiences:

    Fezzari Cascade Peak or Abajo Peak: I rode a medium (I'm a large) Abajo in the Fezzari parking lot, and demoed a Cascade (27.5, because they were out of 29s) for several days in Utah. I have very little experience on FS but I loved the bike. It felt like the suspension worked seamlessly on both downhills and mild rocks and drops. But I unfortunately never got a chance to ride anything gnarly on it. Day one had me dying on the climbs (elevation?), but I was good after that. It's hard to demo a bike in a foreign place, right? Too many variables. For the Abajo, I love that it accepts 27.5+ 3.25 tires because I run and ride winters with my dog. Key factors: I've been in touch with Fezzari and they have been great. I also just like the company's style. They do a 23-point measurement (why not for direct to consumer bikes?!), offer 30-day money back, and have a lifetime frame warranty. And TWO water bottles. Things I don't like: There are a few fakish reviews online (I'm a writer, so pay-to-play is easy to sniff out) and a handful of credible ones. But it's pretty sparse. My take is that they used to use old frames and don't anymore and have a bad name for that. But the few people I find who own one tend to like the bikes.

    YT Jeffsy Al base: A friend owns this bike and I rode it briefly. But I plan to ride it again this weekend. I can't let compare it to the Cascade but I'll update the post after this weekend. Things I like: The spec, weight, mass fanbase. Seems like everyone loves this bike. You also get a lot, like tubeless setup and a shock pump in the price, which Fezzari charges extra for. Things I don't like. Their own FB page and Trustpilot and forums have some horror stories about customer service. It might just be a few squeaky wheels because they sell a lot of bikes but it does seem like they're having a bit of growing pains.

    Canyon spectral al 6.0 : Great bike spec. Never rode it. I wanted to stay 29er but after riding the Cascade 27.5, I'm open to either. Things I like: Their customer service seems decent and I might be able to demo one in my area. Cons: it's a bit beefy for the trails I ride.

    Specialized Stumpjumper al: I am demoing this this weekend in the carbon comp spec. The spec isn't great but my LBS sells it. They are awesome. Free demos, great service and support, awesome people.

    I think the Fezzari is the frontrunner based on value, customer service and the fact that I rode and liked it. I'll update after this weekend. Any thoughts on any of these bikes? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    There's a Fezzari board. I'm sure there's a wealth of information on it.
    It may be difficult to find people who have ridden all of these bikes, so their respective boards may provide the best info.

  3. #3
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    Oh, my bad. I'll look for that board. I did find a good thread on the abajo that had some good information.

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    Just to update the original post, I rode the stumpjumper and YT Jeffsy this weekend and both bikes were very nice. Both had Fox Rhythm 34, a downgrade from the plush Fox performance on the Fezzari Cascade. It's not apples to apples, because bikes use suspension differently and I rode different trails but I really thought the Cascade setup was superior. My arms felt less fatigued after 16-17 miles of singletrack. The small bump sensitivity on the Fox performance was very good and I felt like the Cascade was very plush, although it felt like it pedaled marginally worse than the Stumpy or Jeffsy. Really just a perception, considering all the variables. Also, for anyone else comparing these bikes, I thought the Stumpy and Cascade were similar and the Jeffsy was a touch more XC, as expected based on the geometry. Note that I rode the 2018 al Jeffsy that has the older geometry.

    I think the Spectral has too much travel and the Jeffsy was as good as the Stumpy and cheaper. But I think the Cascade beats them both.

    My only question is: I'd rather buy the Abajo Peak because it's cheaper and seems to have nearly all that I want. But I didn't get to demo it on singletrack. Has anyone tried both the Cascade and Abajo Peak? I've heard great things about the X-Fusion suspension but I've never tried it. So I would hate to get the Abajo and wish I got the Cascade.

  5. #5
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    The Abajo is a nice bike, aluminum, but still a good deal for the build. Based on where you ride, I'd suggest ordering the bike with 27+, that'll be a much nicer riding bike for Penn.

    If you get a chance to go south, check out NC and TN, great riding down there, esp when it gets cold up north.
    GG Shred Dogg 27+/29 (go fast!)
    RSD Wildcat V2 (backyard kicks)
    Pivot Shuttle 27.5 (wifeys)

  6. #6
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    I was going to get 29er because thatís what Iím used to but also 27.5+ if I got the Abajo because I run and ride with my dog in the winter. Itís cool that that fork supports 3.25 tires.

    Iím ok with aluminum. Iíd prefer carbon but with a budget of around $2.5k I gotta uncheck some boxes.

  7. #7
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    Might want to have a look at the Marin Rift Zone 3.

    If you get a chance to ride it, you will probably find that the totality of it exceeds the sum of its parts, which aren't bad.

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    I did consider Marin Rift 3 (looks beautiful) but I canít demo it easily locally, which is a bummer. Thereís an annual event that I can demo one at, but I gotta hold out until late May to do that. Itís tough with all these great bikes! I rode Fezzari, Jeffsy and Stumpy and Iíd be happy with all three at these prices. Iím new to the game but it seems like a good time to be riding bikes.

  9. #9
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    Has anyone had any experience with Fezzariís customer service? Iíve emailed them a bunch of times about various things and theyíve been great. I just kind of assumed that they were a low overhead, high volume kind of place to make bikes at the prices they sell them at but Iím surprised at how willing they are to respond to things and to make customizations. Anyone have a bad experience? I feel like Iím waiting for the catch.

  10. #10
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    So youíre bracing to get kicked in the teeth? Nah. What youíve experienced should be the norm from a company who wants your business. You get 30 days to change your mind. Buy, ride, keep or return. For me it was a great experience.

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    Thanks FatTurtle! Thatís great that you had a great experience. They do seem like a great company. I really like the 30-day return. It shows they think they do great work. Luckily I had a chance to ride an Abajo (just in the dirt near their parking lot) and demo the cascade for several days. Having ridden a Jeffsy and a Stumpy, I have no problems with the ride quality of the Cascade. The suspension felt a touch springy at first, but I never got tired or sore riding the cascade, and it felt faster than all the other bikes. It was my favorite of the three.

  12. #12
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    I had a great experience with Fezzari during my sale, I can't comment otherwise since I haven't had to deal with any problems. From what I've read in other threads, they're responsive. You might want to poke around in the other more recent threads.

  13. #13
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    Just to update anyone who is following this: I ended up upgrading a few items on the abajo peak and the priced inched closer to the cascade peak, so I ordered that. I'll post an update on the build, ride, etc. and will start a new thread, since there seems to be few reviews on this bike. The abajo peak seemed like a great deal, and I rode it around a bit, but I demo'd the cascade peak and wanted a bike that wouldn't need anything, save for some better engaging wheels, and handlebars.

    As several noted, Fezzari's customer service, at least up to the sale, has been stellar. They answered dozens of emails and were super knowledgeable and quick to respond. 10/10.

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