I had the opportunity to meet up with Tyler Cloward with Fezzari a few months ago at their office in Lindon, UT. He showed me the Signal Peak in the form of a 3D print. At that point it was pre-production and it was pretty rad to see all the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this bike. Tyler walked me through all the design as well as shared stories about some intense trips overseas to make this labor of love all come together. At this point I knew that this was a bike that I needed to ride. Running a group that brings members of the Utah MTB community together through social media, why not include local brands as well.
The Signal Peak is a 120 front and rear all around trail shredder. It’s compatible in 27.5 plus as well as 29. Based on the 29er I’m running with 2.3 tires I feel pretty confident saying I’m sure this will fit up to 2.6 29er tires as well. Quite the versatile machine. I was feeling crazy and opted for their full on factory kitted XX1 Eagle build which goes for $6,399, but the Signal is offered at a comp build for $2,999 and pretty much anywhere in between.
First Ride Impressions
With a Fox 34 Step Cast fork, XX1 components and it weighing in at only 25lbs, it seems the intended use leans towards the lycra clad XC crowd. I opted to go with a tad wider 30mm internal width Reynolds 309tr wheels and a beefy DHF 2.3 front and DHR 2.3 rear tire combo – it still weighs in at only 26lbs. Not too shabby.
For the bike nerds like myself, here are your GEO numbers.
|Bottom Bracket Height||341||341||341||341|
|Bottom Bracket Drop||35||35||35||35|
|Bottom Bracket Height||335.5||335.5||335.5||335.5|
|Bottom Bracket Drop||28||28||28||28|
Also, not to be that guy, but the trail I took the Signal on I had ridden multiple times prior, all on some pretty dang top shelf brand name bikes. The numbers seem to speak for themselves. It could have been the Monster I threw down beforehand, but the jury is still out:
Two water bottles? Need I say more? Anyway, coming from some oh so coveted DW link and Switch Infinity bikes most recently, which I have absolutely loved, I tried to remain neutral returning to Horst Link on the Signal. I have to say I was beyond impressed with how it performed. I kept the shock in the open position and pretty much forgot about it. There was almost no bob and the traction was excellent. As mentioned above, I definitely don’t have this setup as light as possible, but I was beyond impressed with how it performed uphill. I’m looking forward to tossing some Maxxis Aspens on, maybe even some lycra and pounding out some climbs. More on that later.
This is definitely where I was most impressed. The trail I took it on was the iconic Bryce Canyon, Thunder Mountain Trail. This trail has a great mix of cross country, rocky, flowy, tight, steep switchback DH and even some tarmac & gravel climbs. My mind was absolutely blown with how well the bike corners in tight situations. The Signal is insanely effortless to toss around, pop off small booters and navigate tight turns. I had a blast. Can’t wait to get it on some more familiar trails.
I’ll admit when I first set out, with a step cast 34 and a 120mm bike I anticipated the typical XC feel. While I see how you could set it up that way with a few small tweaks, this very much performed like an extremely capable trail bike. I had a blast and found myself gravitating towards all the bonus lines I could find in my way. It held a line like a boss through chunky rock gardens and was an absolute rocket when things opened up and got fast and flowy. I wonder what this thing could do with a stubby 130mm or even 140mm Fox 36? Fezzari hasn’t endorsed this yet, but I think it’s definitely an option I’ll try in the future. Or if you are feeling like torturing yourself with some XC miles, Fezzari tells me you can run a 100mm fork, which will take the HT angle to 69 degrees. This thing is like 4 bikes in one.
Fit & Finish
One of the things that stood out most was how silent the bike rides. There is nothing worse than a creaky bike or cables rattling all over the place. Nothing to worry about here, with the exception of the Reynolds hubs all you could hear were the tires making sweet love to the dirt. Fezzari has done a great job with minor details like a plate where cables exit holding them nice and snug. Super happy overall with the build and finish, it is worthy to stand among the giants in the industry. Oh, and, thank heavens for a threaded bottom bracket.
At the end of the day, if you are looking for a ridiculously versatile bike that wont disappoint on a broad range of trails, this is a bike you should probably be looking at. The price is right, the ride quality literally blew me away and they hang their hats right here in Lindon, UT. Not only that, but the folks at Fezzari are some of the most humble and rad people that are extremely dedicated at their craft. Looking forward to ripping around on this bike more.