Fezzari Signal Peak EliteCheck Out the Full Specs and Review
Somewhere in a faraway place, there’s a room full of marketing people burning the candle at both ends coming up with new ways to slice and dice the simple act of riding bikes. From the folks who brought us ‘all-mountain‘ versus ‘trail’ and ‘enduro’, we now have ‘down-country’ to finally describe that activity where we have fun riding bikes on trails that go up, down, and around (apparently ‘mountain biking’ was already taken).
Well, if ‘down-country’ is a thing now, then the Fezzari Signal Peak is doing that thing really frickin’ well. What’s more, it’s doing it well at a pricepoint that appeals to those of us without trust funds or who decided writing about bikes was a solid career choice.
For the most part, the numbers on the Signal Peak scream, “Get me a heart rate monitor and a race plate, STAT!” At a time when even cross-country bikes are getting slacker, the 68-degree head tube angle seems comparatively steep. Combine that with a modern 75-degree seat tube angle, 29-inch wheels and 120 millimeters of front-and-rear travel, and you’ve got a bike that’s ready, willing and oddly excited to crank out climbs. The seat angle moves the rider’s weight forward during seated climbs, keeping the front wheel pinned to the ground. The quick handling at slow speeds and lack of front-wheel wanderlust made the Signal Peak shine on steep inclines, whether they were loose and rocky or carpeted with roots.
When we found our way to fast descents and fun little nasty bits of trail, the bike felt slacker and more aggressive than its numbers would suggest. The result is a work-hard-play-hard mentality. Overall, the testers felt like there were a few bonus millimeters hidden in the rear travel, making for a supple mid-stroke while absorbing hits and poorly thought-out line choices.
The Signal Peak’s Horst-style ‘Tetra Link’ suspension relies on a relatively progressive leverage curve to balance small-bump sensitivity with bottom-out protection. Some testers felt that the suspension ramped up a lot at the end, offering riders a bit of wiggle room before bottoming out, but also making it difficult to get through all the travel at times.
When the topic of lateral stiffness came up, the testers’ experiences varied widely, which isn’t shocking as we ran the gamut in sizes and riding styles. One of the three testers (and the stockiest of the bunch) felt a bit of flex in slow, technical sections, but also noted that it wasn’t enough to detract from the ride.
From specs to geometry, the Signal Peak straddles the line between being a greyhound and a Labrador retriever puppy. By putting cross-country seriousness in a package that won’t judge you for eating tacos before a ride, the Signal Peak offers a bike that is light enough (and fun enough) to ride all day. Though the bike is spec’d with fast-rolling 2.35s, the ability to run up to 29×2.6-inch tires (or 27.5×2.8) means this bike can be outfitted with a pair of party shoes or casually crush multi-day epic races.
As a testament to this bike’s desire to rack up miles, two water bottle cages fit inside the main triangle—even on the small size. And as part of Fezzari’s digital storefront, riders are given the ability to pick and choose from a handful of upgrades and enter in a zillion measurements to help create a proper setup.
Sure, we can nitpick the Signal Peak, because that’s what happens when you get to ride a lot of very nice bikes back to back. Some people may prefer to lean into the bike’s bomber tendencies and wish the bike had a 130-millimeter fork. Others may decide that they want something a bit more race-oriented. Minor sniveling aside, the Signal Peak proved itself to be a capable bike at a great value. One of the testers summed it up simply by saying, “If I were looking to buy a bike like this, I would buy this bike.”
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