Even though I live 30 minutes down the road from Fezzari Bicycles HQ I had unfortunately never spent time at their offices or had the opportunity to meet their crew. That changed a couple months ago when Tyler Cloward, their Director of Product hit me up and asked if I wanted to go out for a ride in American Fork Canyon. I’m always game to go shred some trails so we made it happen. He told me he’ll bring a bike out for me to ride and gave me a heads up it’s the bees knees. My knowledge of Fezzari Bikes at the time was minimal so the jury was out.
Before we hit the hills he gave me a quick tour of their offices. He explained that this bike we were going to ride has over a year of development into it and they were excited for it’s release in a couple months. Here is the bike he showed up with:
The La Sal Peak, Fezzari’s long travel (150 rear / 160 front) 29er that Cloward claimed shreds! He gave me the full run down on the work they had put into it, the exhausting trips overseas, sleepless nights, probably a couple swear words getting molds right, etc. I have got to say, pretty dang impressed and really surprised at this point. After meeting the crew and getting the full rundown on the bike it was time to slay some trail!
That Seat Tube Angle Tho.
We had about a 1,000 foot climb before some rad DH we had to hammer out so it was a decent opportunity to get a feel for the bike. At first, even though the reach numbers of 470 were respectable and modern, it felt much more compact on the climbs and at first it took some getting used too. It wouldn’t be until I got out of the saddle and hammered down that I realized what was feeling different. The bike has a 78 degree seat tube angle and a 65 degree head angle making the cockpit a bit more compact, but in a very good way. Once you step out of the saddle you quickly get a feel for the longer reach and aggressive nature the bike has. The steep seat tube puts you in an insanely efficient climbing position and I’d argue sneaks in a few extra watts with the extra leverage you have. This bike climbs amazing, there is no question. So impressive that I’d put it up against any bike in its category.
Olive Matte up close and personal
Cornering & Playfulness
This is why we ride bikes isn’t it? There’s not a better feeling than effortlessly floating around corners and boosting over small undulations on the trail – it brings a grin to my face every single time. That’s what brings me back for more and the La Sal delivered. With the aggressive numbers you’d think this is a straight line brawler. While it is very much that, it also felt snappy around corners. I’ll never forget the first downhill segment I took it on. It had been raining the day before and the dirt was drool worthy loam. The kind of dirt where every slow mow video shows the tire carving through the dirt and leaving a perfect impression of the DHF treads. Cloward led and I had a ridiculous grin from ear to ear the entire time blasting into corners, boosting over roots and splashing through puddles. The ride could have been done by then and I would have been stoked.
Highly approve of their Clean Catch cable system offering a silent ride
Having only been on the La Sal for an hour at that point it felt completely natural already. And, to my surprise the Horst-Link suspension offered a super planted feel to it. While there are bikes out there that completely smooth out the trail in front of you and others so progressive where at times you feel like your teeth are going to rattle out I’d put the La Sal straight down the middle which made for a super well rounded ride quality.
Factory Lyrik – don’t mind if I do
The DH we chose is a six mile sprint to a reservoir that is a MTB playground, but also open to horses & motos that are often whizzing by. It’s raw backcountry, technical and steep enough to make a killer enduro stage.
With primo conditions we were stoked to send it. This is where the La Sal came to life and really surprised me. We took some of the absolute silliest lines directly through rock gardens and were laughing the entire way down. It was actually pretty wreckless, but the La Sal didn’t care. One thing thing that really stood out was the pedaling platform in some of the flatter meadows. The bike sprints effortlessly when you hammer down out of the saddle and makes for a fun experience through the flatter terrain.
Since Cloward managed to create the perfect storm in American Fork Canyon and we got to experience once in a lifetime dirt, I talked him into letting me take his La Sal out for another hot date to make sure he wasn’t tricking me into liking the La Sal by taking me to perfect dirt. This time he tossed a Grip 2 Fox 36 on so I got a feel for both the Lyrik & Grip 2. Fezzari offers an X2 and Fox 36 upgrade for $200 more and after riding both I’d just say to chose which looks better because they’re both incredible.
I took the bike to Park City Mountain Resort and wasn’t so lucky with dirt this time – it was as crusty and loose as it gets. I ended up riding the lifts for a few hours, lapping Red Bull and Empire, which are old school dh tracks several times each. I got a really good feel for the bike and after almost 10,000ft of pure downhill dust bowl miles I was still a huge fan.
Once the lifts closed I pedaled over to Deer Valley resort so I could ride Tsunami and get a feel for how it handled bigger hits. The bike felt right at home on the park trails and sent the thirty+ foot booters like a boss. At the end of my second stint on the bike I had put well over 100 assorted miles on it and didn’t have plans to give it back, but eventually my hand was forced.
Fezzari not only introduced a modern enduro bike, but one that could set the standard as far as seat tube geometry goes. While other brands are coming in at what we thought was steep at 75 degrees, Fezzari’s leap to 78 is bold and I think a definite home run. The water bottle thing, which may seem trivial to others sure comes in handy on longer more demanding days in the saddle. Other brands making a claim they need to choose between performance or water bottle storage has me scratching my head because the La Sal is plenty capable. The La Sal checks every box with an extremely large check mark and is a bike that should be considered if you’re in the market for an enduro sled.