Factory-direct Testing: The Fezzari Timp Peak

Utah’s Special Delivery Performance Goes 27.5

Fezzari sells its bikes directly to the rider, cuts out the bike shop middleman, and passes on the savings to you. That sounds like the type of marketing pitch you’d hear from a used car salesman, but Fezzari keeps its promise and delivers your bike directly to your door with components you thought you’d never be able to afford. In fact, Fezzari takes better care of its customers than most bike manufacturers, ensuring your bike is properly fit, assembled perfectly, and even properly set up for your weight and riding style. Even the tires are inflated for you. When the “brown Santa” UPS driver shows up at your door with your brand-new Fezzari, all you have to do is put on the front wheel and handlebar and you’re ready to hit the trails.

WHO IS IT MADE FOR?

The Timp Peak is designed to strike a balance between cross-country efficiency and all-mountain suspension performance. The frame is designed around ‘tweener” 27.5-inch wheels with a relatively slack geometry that’s built to handle everything from long cross-country epics to aggressive all-mountain trails.

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WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?

The frame is carbon from top to bottom and sports Fezzari’s proprietary Tetralink modified single-pivot suspension design. The frame also features a tapered head tube, 12×142-millimeter rear axle, and a downtube rock guard protector. Internal routing for the shifter cables and brake hoses and Stealth routing for a height-adjustable seat post keep the shapely carbon frame looking sleek and streamlined.

WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?

The huge number of custom component options and incredible bang for your buck is the standout here. This is the tinkerer’s dream bike, because through Fezzari’s website, the Timp Peak, or any of Fezzari’s other models, can be delivered with a number of different build kits to suit the needs of the rider. Have a favorite wheel set or suspension fork? Fezzari can probably accommodate that.

We chose to have our Timp Peak built with Mavic’s Enduro wheel set, a Rockshox Pike RCT3 fork and SRAM’s X01 drivetrain, all of which have received excellent reviews from the Mountain Bike Action crew in the past.

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HOW DOES IT PERFORM?

The setup: Fezzari’s claim that the bike is ready to ride right out of the box holds true–for the most part. When we built our bike, we were ready to hit the trails in roughly 15 minutes. The process that took the longest was simply removing the mass of bubble wrap and foam packaging that keeps the bike from getting damaged during shipping. Our only issues were a minimally rubbing brake, probably a result of the bike being jostled during shipping, and a slightly crooked stem–something we’re extremely particular about. Other than that, the bike was ready to roll.

Moving Out: The Timp runs on the large side, with a very high standover height. Our size large test bike only fit our tallest test riders. Fezzari presets the suspension air pressure based on your weight and riding style, but we found the preset pressure in the shock to be too firm for our liking. While it wasn’t unridable, a novice rider may never know that he is not getting the most from his suspension simply because it’s over-inflated. We burped a little pressure out and hit the trails with 25-percent sag front and rear.

Pedaling: Step on the pedals and you’re rewarded with snappy acceleration and a quick feel, thanks to the lightweight carbon frame and ultra-responsive Mavic Enduro wheelset. The relatively steep seat tube angle puts the rider in an aggressive position right over the pedals for an efficient yet powerful pedal stroke that translates to a great pedaling feel on the trail.

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Climbing: The remote controlled CTD shock is your best friend on this bike when the trail points uphill. With a quick flick of the lever, the Timp goes from feeling like a plush all-mountain bike to quick and firm. Using the “Climb” mode on this bike feels a little like using the escalator that’s right next to the stairs. The stairs will get you there, but the escalator will get you there faster–and it’s very easy to use.

Cornering: Fezarri’s spec chart would have you believe that the Timp Peak has a fairly low bottom-bracket height, but our tape measure proved otherwise. This bike has a relatively high bottom-bracket height at over 14 inches, which gives it tons of confidence on rocky pedaling sections but does you no favors in the corners. The Fezarri is most at home in slow-speed technical corners where pedaling through and avoiding rocks is key. While the geometry is comfortable and confidence inspiring on most corners, we felt slightly “on top of the bike” on high-speed sections where a lower center of gravity would help immensely.

Descending: The Timp Peak’s suspension design is dubbed Tetralink. It’s essentially a modified single-pivot design and combines great small-bump compliance with a slightly progressive feel for big-hit control. While the suspension does exhibit a slight firming under braking, it’s not enough to be a deal breaker. Overall, the balanced and well-controlled suspension gives confidence to the rider when the trail gets rough.

Crewers noticed a bit of flex in the front end, especially when the Timp is pushed hard into corners on steep descents. While this wasn’t enough to undermine the overall solid performance, a stiffer frame would greatly improve the steering precision.

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TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?

The internal cable routing on the Timp Peak keeps the frame looking sleek and clean, but the cables ping the inside of the tubes when riding over rough terrain. It’s a small gripe, but when the rest of the components are nearly silent, even on the gnarliest trails, it’s very noticeable. We weren’t able to remedy the problem, so we had to put up with the small annoyance.

 BUYING ADVICE

The Timp Peak shows up to a knife fight with a shotgun by delivering a component group that nearly no other bike can match for the price. The strength of the Timp Peak is its incredible value coupled with the option to tweak the package and build your dream bike. The on-the-trail performance is solid–although not without its quirks. The Timp Peak is the ideal bike for the rider who loves to tinker with build kits and make his dream machine–all at a price that won’t require an increased credit limit on the platinum card.

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