Things I learned while buying a Cascade Peak- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Things I learned while buying a Cascade Peak


    Hi everyone. I purchased a Fezzari Cascade a few months ago and I didnít see much on here for that specific bike, so I wanted to offer a few thoughts and extend an offer to answer any questions. Iíll be sure to update if thereís any news to report and as I keep riding it.


    Background? Last summer I took my kids to get a haircut and bought a used Rockhopper on the way home. (ďYou had one job!,Ē my wife. Note, the kids still had their hairs cut, so that box was technically checked.) Then I realized I loved mountain biking and began exploring a full quish bike purchase in the off-season with a max budget of around $3k.

    Tested/Considered? I was able to visit Fezzari because I was visiting a friend. I liked the Abajo but I demoíd the Cascade for five days and loved it on the Utah trails. I also rode the Spech Stumpjumper carbon (only available test bike, but the aluminum was in my price range), YT Jeffsy AL and Kona Hei Hei. For me, the Cascade looked and rode the best. YT was fun (pre AL geo change, but I worried a touch about customer service.) I prefered the reach on the Fezz and Stumpy over the YT, although they changed the specs to be more similar this year.

    Big factors? I really value customer service and found out Fezzari does, too. I was going to demo an Orbea or Santa Cruz in Utah because a friend there really bagged on Fezzari (name like Italian sodas or two ďZsĒ short of copyright infringement and maybe remnants of old days before they did frame designs). But I emailed Fezzari a few times and was super impressed. Since then Iíve emailed them like a hundred times (not kidding, I am parayzed by analysis) and you get a response fast. I also considered the Canyon Spectral but I had no compelling reason to not get a 29er. Both seem to offer a return policy, but Canyon seemed vague about testing (they said road rides only.) And I think only Fezzari pays for return shipping. (Owner Chris Washburn said it hasnít led to more returns on a recent podcast. Heís the owner, so heís gotta say that but you can see by their outlet ďstoreĒ that it never has anything in it. Iím inclined to believe him.)

    Why Cascade? I would have been fine with the Abajo. I loved the red but that Fox suspension is the bees knees. I also heard from a Utah ride park that they buy the Cascade because the suspension is more durable. But outside of that Iíve never heard a bad thing about X-Fusion. The bike is a pound or two lighter (large, Iím 6í even.) But after adding upgraded brakes and a dropper to the $2,000 Abajo Peak I was $400 away from the Black Friday deal of $2,800 for the Cascade Peak. Seemed like I got a lot for $400.

    My rides? I live in Pennsylvania and I worried about this bike on rocky, shark-toothed local trails (my local digs is called ďRothrockĒ for a reason.) We also donít have many extended hills, just tons of ups and downs, so I worried about climbing and pedal strikes. Iím not worried anymore. This bike kills on rocks. I have limited riding experience but I canít believe how little Iím banging the pedals or bobbing on hills. I also ride a lot in snow or wet conditions. Maxxis does their thing here. In Utah I bombed some steep flowing stuff, too, and it handled all of that with ease. Still, Iím what you might call ďa $hitty rider.Ē

    Upgrades? I planned on tossing the wheels but they are actually fairly light. I found a source to upgrade the engagement of the Bear Pawls hubs from 10 degrees, which is pretty decent, to 5 degrees for about $70. Itís easy to swap the freehub, too.

    Maybe something you donít know? Fezzari does do full custom, which is cool. But if you swap parts you donít get as good of a deal. If you want to save money, itís best to get the stock bike. The custom fit they offer is free, and cool. You can also override what they say with the stem, bars and other minor stuff. They also give you the biggest dropper possible. One bummer, they donít deal much. I get the impression theyíre not hurting to sell bikes. I was bummed because I saw YT and Canyon dropping prices in the winter but Fezzari budged only a bit ($100-200 on most bikes.) Also, my bike arrived fast. It took about 7-8 days from purchase to arrive, but this was in late November. Also came with a handwritten note!

    Customer service? These guys answer emails by the next day, even after the purchase. They called a few days after I got the bike to see how it was going. Great personal touch. I emailed the owner and got a reply. Canít rate that any higher. One thing I canít speak to is a dispute or resolution. My bike was fine. Iíd be curious to see how they handle a problem but I saw no red flags.

    What would I do differently? I should have tried the La Sal Peak. I was at the frigginí store! It was probably too much travel for my needs but I should have kicked the tires.

    Thanks for reading! Toss me any questions if you got íem!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Things I learned while buying a Cascade Peak-79188854_10157574388582508_7011755215636398080_n.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    Awesome write up! I have been riding these bikes since 2013/14ish and have had nothing but fantastic things to say about the bikes and the company #fezzarmy

    Sent from my SM-G960U using tiny.cc/Mtbr_android_app

  3. #3
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    Thanks, CapnKirk! I'll have to get #Fezzarmy to catch on so my friends stop saying "FEZZARI!!! ... It's Italian!"

  4. #4
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    I bet your wife takes the kids for haircuts now.......

    I love my La Sal Peak, but I think you made the right choice for your terrain.

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    Thanks for the detail da_kube.

    I am considering a mid travel in the same price range as you and the Cascade is on my short list along with the 2020 Trek Fuel EX 8.0 - they have similar geometry and specs. Also considering the YT Jeffsy & Canyon Neuron but right now they are a bit lower on my list. They are nice bikes, with great value like the Cascade, but the Fuel and Cascade look to fit my needs a bit better.

    A few questions:
    - any issues building the bike? It sounds like a simple process.

    - tires: did you get the 29ers and if so did you request 2.6's? The fork can handle 2.6 and I imagine the rear can handle 2.6 as well. The biggest 29er is important to me especially in the front (the fuel comes with 2.6s front & rear).

    - did you consider a CF bike? The YT Jeffsy entry CF is the same price as the Cascade but the spec does not look as good. Store bought CF is going to be more $. I am having a hard time understanding the value of CF for the significant additional $ over Aluminum especially with good AL frames now and the fact that it is a big full squish bike, with burly tires, which minimizes the impact of CF feel over AL (at least for non-advanced riders like myself).

    - what is the weight and is it tubeless? I have asked this before and most point to low 30.x.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NM_Dirt_Rag View Post
    Thanks for the detail da_kube.

    I am considering a mid travel in the same price range as you and the Cascade is on my short list along with the 2020 Trek Fuel EX 8.0 - they have similar geometry and specs. Also considering the YT Jeffsy & Canyon Neuron but right now they are a bit lower on my list. They are nice bikes, with great value like the Cascade, but the Fuel and Cascade look to fit my needs a bit better.

    A few questions:
    - any issues building the bike? It sounds like a simple process.

    - tires: did you get the 29ers and if so did you request 2.6's? The fork can handle 2.6 and I imagine the rear can handle 2.6 as well. The biggest 29er is important to me especially in the front (the fuel comes with 2.6s front & rear).

    - did you consider a CF bike? The YT Jeffsy entry CF is the same price as the Cascade but the spec does not look as good. Store bought CF is going to be more $. I am having a hard time understanding the value of CF for the significant additional $ over Aluminum especially with good AL frames now and the fact that it is a big full squish bike, with burly tires, which minimizes the impact of CF feel over AL (at least for non-advanced riders like myself).

    - what is the weight and is it tubeless? I have asked this before and most point to low 30.x.
    Hey Dirt Rag. My friend went with the trek that's I think one spec below the EX 8 (I'll confirm with him.) It's a bit heavier than the Cascade but he really likes it. FYI, I weighed my Cascade the best I could with a luggage scale. It was 31.8 lb in large frame with tubes and a bit of mud. I've since gone tubeless. I have ridden lighter bikes and I wouldn't say this bike is heavy. All my friends ride it and talk about how light it rides.

    On tubeless. I didn't see a need to have Fezzari do it because the rims come taped. I wiped the rim, installed valves and the tires popped right in using an air compressor. Then I removed the valve to add sealant. Easy peasy.

    Assembly was stupid easy. My buddy has a Jeffsy and another got a Cannondale online and both had to install the rear derailleur and tire. Fezzari ships with that installed. You have to install pedals and four bolts for the handlebars with the provided wrench (but get a torque wrench if you can afford it!) Dropper was also installed.

    I kind of ruled out YT, even though I rode the Jeffsy AL (old geo, 2018) and loved it. I followed them on Facebook and seemed to see negative reviews disappearing. There also seems to be more than the occasional squeaky wheel on Trustpilot reviews.

    The only bike I would have considered would have been the Canyon Neuron or Spectral CF because you can find them in the scratch and dent section or rollovers from last year for under $3K. But I couldn't ride those and rode the Cascade and loved it so that was that.

    I didn't ask about the tire size. I'm sure they can do that but it might cost you a little more. I'm almost certain the frame allows a 2.8 29er, but you can email them to confirm. FYI, I rode the 2.8 27.5+ in Utah and loved that. I just got the 29er because that's what I'm more familiar with.

    I've heard mixed reviews about the comfort of carbon frames and wheels vs. al. That said, I would have gotten this bike in carbon if it existed and was the same price. I just figured my money would be better spent on nice forks and wheels, which the Cascade has.

    With any bike you buy, you're going to love it. So pick the one that gives you the most joy, all Marie Kondo like, and have fun.
    Last edited by da_kube; 02-28-2020 at 10:14 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks da_kube, I appreciate the response.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NM_Dirt_Rag View Post
    Thanks da_kube, I appreciate the response.
    You bet! Good luck with your bike purchase. Exciting times!

  9. #9
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    Interesting. I bought both a Cascade Peak and a Spectral AL 6.0 back in summer '19.

    My previous bike was a '12 Ventana El Capitan, which I loved. I switched to get "new school" geometry, etc. What I found jarring and difficult to adapt to is the super low BB heights in bikes nowadays. I took a couple of very hard falls on both bikes early on from pedal strikes that never would have happened on the Ventana. For that reason, I run my Cascade Peak 29 with the flip chip in the 27.5 position to get some extra ground clearance. I also found that I have to run rear sag at 25% at an absolute maximum to avoid pedal strikes.

    Although I have made peace with the low BB height, I find that I do not charge through rock gardens the way I once did. This aspect of "new school" geometry I still believe is a tragic mistake by the manufacturers. We do not all ride exclusively in bike parks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicycleriderguy View Post
    Interesting. I bought both a Cascade Peak and a Spectral AL 6.0 back in summer '19.

    My previous bike was a '12 Ventana El Capitan, which I loved. I switched to get "new school" geometry, etc. What I found jarring and difficult to adapt to is the super low BB heights in bikes nowadays. I took a couple of very hard falls on both bikes early on from pedal strikes that never would have happened on the Ventana. For that reason, I run my Cascade Peak 29 with the flip chip in the 27.5 position to get some extra ground clearance. I also found that I have to run rear sag at 25% at an absolute maximum to avoid pedal strikes.

    Although I have made peace with the low BB height, I find that I do not charge through rock gardens the way I once did. This aspect of "new school" geometry I still believe is a tragic mistake by the manufacturers. We do not all ride exclusively in bike parks.
    Hi @bicycleriderguy! Curious to hear your comparison on the Cascade vs. Canyon Spectral since that was my second choice. I can't speak to the old geo since I'm still wet in the saddle myself. Although my bro bought a 2012 Fuel 5 26er and we spent half a late night and copious amounts of whiskey rebuilding the suspension and getting it ready for the trails and it was surprisingly fun to ride the next day. Considering he spent thousands less than I did, he had no buyer's remorse.

  11. #11
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    When I was bike shopping I considered both the Cascade and Spectral for do-it-all trail bike duty. On paper, the Spectral is more of an enduro machine and that is why I chose the Cascade first. In reality, the Spectral is a fine all mountain trail bike except for that low BB. Interesting fact: My size large Spectral came with 165 mm crank arms.

    To conclude this rambling, The Cascade is a much better trail bike (for me) because of the 29er wheels and the flip chip that can give you more clearance. I ride the Spectral when I expect to do a lot of rough downhills or go to Moab.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicycleriderguy View Post
    When I was bike shopping I considered both the Cascade and Spectral for do-it-all trail bike duty. On paper, the Spectral is more of an enduro machine and that is why I chose the Cascade first. In reality, the Spectral is a fine all mountain trail bike except for that low BB. Interesting fact: My size large Spectral came with 165 mm crank arms.

    To conclude this rambling, The Cascade is a much better trail bike (for me) because of the 29er wheels and the flip chip that can give you more clearance. I ride the Spectral when I expect to do a lot of rough downhills or go to Moab.
    Thanks! 165mm crank arms on a large? Wow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by da_kube View Post
    Thanks! 165mm crank arms on a large? Wow.
    When I was shopping 6 months ago, I noticed most bikes with radically low BB heights had what I would consider very short cranks. It's something that worries me.

    All my mtbs have 175 mm cranks (medium frame), and my road bike has 172.5 mm (M/L frame). I rode my partner's mtb a while back, it had 170 mm cranks and they felt like 160! I couldn't pedal the thing worth a damn.

    I figured I'd likely adapt to it if it was my bike. And changing cranks is not too expensive if I couldn't adapt. I dodged that bullet though, because my Ransom has a modest BB height, shock climb switch that stops the BB sagging, and 175 mm cranks.

  14. #14
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    Just to give an update after passing the 100-mile mark on the Cascade Peak, I've really been impressed with how it handles on rocks and I haven't had too many pedal strike issues. I have a large frame 2017ish Specialized Rockhopper comp hardtail and the pedals on the Fezz sit higher.

    I did the 72 point, 6-pawl hub upgrade (PM me if you need help finding one) and it's so cool. It was easy and set me back $70. The 3-pawl hubs have decent engagement but they don't sound like a swarm of bees, so they had to go.

    I did already have an issue with the SRAM Guide R brakes. Drive side pistons on both calipers are as stuck as pistons get so Fezzari suggested I take it to my LBS to see if it can be warrantied. If they give me new brakes those are going right to eBay so I can get some Formula Cura 4s or Shimanos. Haven't loved the lack of power from the guides but mine might have been defective from the start. I only noticed the pistons sticking out when I went to change the pads to sintered after being disappointed in the power. I did rebleed and the levers felt great. It's possible that Fezzari cuts the lines but doesn't do a topside bleed because mine always felt a little spongy before the bleed.

    One bright side from having the Fezzari down is riding my Rockhopper and realizing how much I enjoyed spending $3K on something. I'm 41, so I feel these hardtail rides in a way I don't on the Fezz. That suspension is divine.

    Two people I stayed with in Utah both bought Abajo Peaks and love them. Another Pennsylvania friend bought the La Sal and he's killing it on that bike. But he's a way better and more aggressive rider than me.

    One of the abajos came with his shock at 60 percent sag and the front axle so loose the wheel was moving around after a few rides (He picked it up in person, so he didn't seat his own wheel.) So that was careless and could have been a disaster for my buddy. His wife's bike came perfect and she loves it.

    My friend's La Sal came missing Stans sealant in the rear tire and luckily another rider had some to save him from walking 10 miles out. Couple of minor issues but I hope Fezzari doesn't get too sloppy as they start selling more bikes.

    Hopefully SRAM does me right so I can get back on my bike before too long.

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    I just ordered a Cascade Peak, what size water bottle fits in the large? Doesnt look like much room

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    On my large frame, I can fit the standard issue sports water bottle from my local bike shop. I can also fit the larger Camelbak Big Chill but it rubs against the shock slightly. You could add a small piece of tape or just not care if your shock's aircan get's scratched. I've just been using the smaller bottle since that's my dog's water supply and she's not interested in drinking when trails are waiting.

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    Thanks for the reply. Im hoping to ditch my hydration pack to make it a more comfortable ride and add a water bottle and a top tube bag instead but i hate stuff strapped to my bikes and it gets super humid here in the south in the summer months. Not sure if a 20 oz bottle would be enough

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    For sure. I actually do short rides after work sometimes and it's great not wearing a pack. You can also get creative and strap another one to the bottom of the downtube. I wish Fezzari put a couple bolts in there to make it easier. My friend with the Jeffsy does that.

  19. #19
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    Update at the 460 mile mark

    Just to update anyone who is interested, I have about 460 miles on the Cascade Peak and here's how things are going:

    Things that were bad-ish:

    • the upgraded pawls already had some metal shavings in the freehub but they're still working flawlessly. I know some have had issues with this freehub and Bear Pawls has helped out. There's a separate thread on that.
    • I bent the bolt on the geochip (there's another thread on this) but Fezzari rushed one and it was easy to fix (ask them to share the video. It's much easier if you keep the spacers in place with a 5 mm allen key. However, I didn't mind removing everything to lube it well. It's just a pain to reseat!)
    • The SRAM brakes work fine after my bike shop fixed them up. SRAM didn't cover the costs or feel sad about it.


    Things that are good: Everything else. I've called Fezzari a few times where I got stuck on something or wanted to know some details. They were a bit slow during the busy season but my general feel when speaking to them is that they really care about riders and want them to be happy with their bikes. The bike rides, climbs and gets compliments well.

    Maybe something you don't know: I'll post a separate thread on this but I had Andrextr do a suspension analysis and, with his consent, he's allowed me to publicly share details on the bike. I won't share too much because I don't want to eat the guy's lunch (you really should do it if you are curious. It's a thorough review of your suspension performance and climbing data) but the basic highlights of his review are here:
    • The cascade peak suspension is about 45 percent progressive, meaning it is supple at first and really hard to bottom out at the end of the travel. For comparison, it's very similar to the JT Jeffsy. It's more enduro than I thought. That's a lot for a trail bike, or even an enduro.
    • The bike, according to the numbers, isn't a great climber. It's less efficient than the Jeffsy or Stumpjumper full travel, particularly in the smaller gears. It climbs best in the 50T gear, with 80 percent anti-squat. Not too great, but wait there's more!
    • The suspension is very active in tech conditions, in a good way, according to him. That's maybe why I love climbing with it. I ride some pretty bumpy, rocky east coast stuff and climb faster on this than my hardtail because I have better traction.
    • Final KEY takeway. The suspension is very dependent on the shock tune. So you can use a different shock or shock tune to make the bike climb better. Because I always climb with the shock in the mid position, I tend to not notice the inefficiency that I might if the shock was fully open. Because of this, I think the 3-position shock on the cascade is a better idea than the 2-position on the abajo peak, especially if you ride gravel roads. You can have a great gravel to trail bike, a great uphill tech bike and a great downhill bike, depending on your position.

  20. #20
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    I really appreciate this thread.

    Sorta like you, da_kube, I recently realized I love mountain biking. I'm a middle-aged dud, er, dad, er, dude who recently returned to the sport after getting sidetracked by life for way too long. Anyway, I recently hopped back on my early 2000s full-suspension XC bike -- which was pretty nice back in the day -- and realized that maybe I "deserve" a modern ride.

    At my core, I'm prolly an XC guy. I actually enjoy climbing singletrack and picking lines. That said, I also enjoy fast descents a lot. I'm not going to be catching huge air at the local bike parks anytime soon (maybe small air!). Or attempting any significant drops.

    I had settled on the idea of a short-travel trail bike -- say, 115-120 shock, 130 fork -- but now I'm wondering if going more mid-travel (like the Cascade Peak) would be OK, if not wise. Here's the thing: I live in the West, but most of my local foothills trails are flowy and smooth. Yet I do ride some techier, more challenging stuff a few times each summer up in the mountains, and there are brief sections that I flat-out ain't attempting on my ol' XC bike. I walk 'em. I'm in good shape -- still snowboarding every winter -- but this graybeard has little interest in going over the handlebars anymore.

    After countless hours of paralysis by analysis, I'm thinking that a Cascade Peak might be in my wheelhouse. My only fear is that it might be a tad too squishy, making my everyday, after-work trails "boring." Like I said, it's a lot of smooth, flowy singletrack around these foothills. And if I actually like climbing, is it a bad choice?

    I see that you're having a ball on this thing. (And I get older every day, so more suspension probably isn't a horrible idea as the years go by.)

    My question: What are your thoughts?

    I have taken test rides on everything from the Kona Hei Hei (maybe too XC?) to the Giant Stance and Trance 29ers (good values) to the Evil Following V3 (cool but so spendy, and prolly a waste on me since it's made to perform its best at mach speeds).

    P.S. How tall are you and what size are you riding? And have you weighed your Cascade Peak?

    Thanks again. You've put together a really informative thread.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yawlay View Post
    I really appreciate this thread.

    Sorta like you, da_kube, I'm a middle-aged dud, er, dude who recently returned to mountain biking after getting sidetracked by life for way too long. Anyway, I recently hopped back on my early 2000s full-suspension XC bike -- which was pretty nice back in the day -- and realized that maybe I "deserve" a modern ride.

    At my core, I'm prolly an XC guy. I actually enjoy climbing singletrack and picking lines. That said, I also enjoy fast descents a lot. I'm not going to be catching huge air at the local bike parks anytime soon (maybe small air!). Or attempting any significant drops.

    I had settled on the idea of a short-travel trail bike -- say, 115-120 shock, 130 fork -- but now I'm wondering if going more mid-travel -- like the Cascade Peak -- would be OK. I live in the West, but most of my local foothills trails are flowy and smooth. Yet I do ride some techier, more challenging stuff a few times each summer up in the mountains, and there are brief sections that I flat-out ain't attempting on my ol' XC bike. I walk 'em. I'm in good shape -- still snowboarding every winter -- but this graybeard has little interest in going over the handlebars anymore.

    After countless hours of paralysis by analysis, I'm thinking that a Cascade Peak might be in my wheelhouse. My only fear is that it might be a tad too squishy, making my everyday, after-work trails "boring." Like I said, it's a lot of smooth, flowy singletrack around these foothills. And if I actually like climbing, is it a bad choice?

    I see that you're having a ball on this thing. (And I get older every day, so more suspension probably isn't a horrible idea as the years go by.)

    My question: What are your thoughts?

    I have taken test rides on everything from the Kona Hei Hei (maybe too XC?) to the Giant Stance and Trance 29ers (good values) to the Evil Following V3 (cool but so spendy, and prolly a waste on me since it's made to perform its best at mach speeds).

    P.S. How tall are you and what size are you riding? And have you weighed your Cascade Peak?

    Thanks again. You've put together a really informative thread.
    Glad you're getting use out of this, Yawlay!

    I weighed the bike upon arrival but I can't remember the exact specs. I think it was pushing 32 lbs with pedals. I wouldn't call it heavy or light.

    If you want a straight XC bike then I wouldn't get this bike. You'll note the suspension is more enduro than XC, based on the analysis. But it sounds like you will wish you had a bike with more travel if you went with an XC bike. My friend went from the Hei Hei to the La Sal Peak and he couldn't be happier. But the La Sal is more bike than I need.

    Also based on that analysis, this bike doesn't pedal as well as things like the Stance or Trance. I didn't ride either of those but I rode the Stumpy and Jeffsy and I think this bike pedals just fine. I always go middle compression on the shock, tho, and lock out on gravel. I'm in this for the exercise and fun and not breaking bones so I value comfort and performance over pedaling efficiency, anyway.

    I'm 6' even and ride a large. I have like a 33 inseam so I feel like I should have at least tried the XL but the reach on the cascade peak is long and I like that. I might have gone XL if I went with the YT Jeffsy.

    One thing I really found demoing bikes is that they are all awesome. I think you decide which bike classification suits your needs and just pick the one that gives you the most joy, all Marie Kondo-like. For me, I would have been happy with the Jeffsy or the Stumpy but I really dug the look of the cascade peak. It's also pretty unique on the trail. Everyone has a Santa Cruz or Specialized so it's often a conversation starter (mostly "what is that?") but still it's a conversation.

    My buddy got the abajo peak and he rides with this wife and kids and does sometimes feel less challenged, like maybe he needed a hardtail. The fox suspension really is creamy. It's very plush and makes a lot of stuff feel very easy. That might be less fun for some. I do still ride my hardtail and enjoy it but I'm 41 and feel it after.

    I don't know what other companies are like since this is my first modern bike but I know the people at Fezzari by name. They're a pretty cool group.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by da_kube View Post
    Glad you're getting use out of this, Yawlay!

    I weighed the bike upon arrival but I can't remember the exact specs. I think it was pushing 32 lbs with pedals. I wouldn't call it heavy or light.

    If you want a straight XC bike then I wouldn't get this bike. You'll note the suspension is more enduro than XC, based on the analysis. But it sounds like you will wish you had a bike with more travel if you went with an XC bike. My friend went from the Hei Hei to the La Sal Peak and he couldn't be happier. But the La Sal is more bike than I need.

    Also based on that analysis, this bike doesn't pedal as well as things like the Stance or Trance. I didn't ride either of those but I rode the Stumpy and Jeffsy and I think this bike pedals just fine. I always go middle compression on the shock, tho, and lock out on gravel. I'm in this for the exercise and fun and not breaking bones so I value comfort and performance over pedaling efficiency, anyway.

    I'm 6' even and ride a large. I have like a 33 inseam so I feel like I should have at least tried the XL but the reach on the cascade peak is long and I like that. I might have gone XL if I went with the YT Jeffsy.

    One thing I really found demoing bikes is that they are all awesome. I think you decide which bike classification suits your needs and just pick the one that gives you the most joy, all Marie Kondo-like. For me, I would have been happy with the Jeffsy or the Stumpy but I really dug the look of the cascade peak. It's also pretty unique on the trail. Everyone has a Santa Cruz or Specialized so it's often a conversation starter (mostly "what is that?") but still it's a conversation.

    My buddy got the abajo peak and he rides with this wife and kids and does sometimes feel less challenged, like maybe he needed a hardtail. The fox suspension really is creamy. It's very plush and makes a lot of stuff feel very easy. That might be less fun for some. I do still ride my hardtail and enjoy it but I'm 41 and feel it after.

    I don't know what other companies are like since this is my first modern bike but I know the people at Fezzari by name. They're a pretty cool group.
    Thanks for the insight and quick response.


    I'm sure that whatever I buy I'll end up digging. I do like the idea of dealing with Fezzari. Seems like a cool company. I also like that you can customize your order. (I'd probably go with a 30t crank for a few extra bucks. I like having a true granny on some of the steep climbs on my local trails.)


    I'm 6-2 (OK, 6 1 1/2 barefoot, I shrank) with a 34-inch inseam, so most bike shops push me to an XL ride. That said, I do feel like a L is a bit cramped in the cockpit whenever I try one. Plus, my old arse probably would appreciate the stability of an XL.


    We'll see what happens. If I wind up with a Fezzari, I'll report back.

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