Things I learned while buying a Cascade Peak-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    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!
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  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    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

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Thanks, CapnKirk! I'll have to get #Fezzarmy to catch on so my friends stop saying "FEZZARI!!! ... It's Italian!"

  4. #4
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Harryman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    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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