Utah based Fezzari is continuing to gain name recognition with a strong line up of highly rated bikes shipped directly to riders. Among those bikes is the updated Kings Peak fat bike which scores high with me on quality and price. The base level Kings Peak is currently selling on the Fezzari site for $1,999, which is a great price for a high-end full carbon fat bike.
Full disclosure, while I was an early fat bike adopter, after a few seasons I sold that heavy early generation bike. There were just too few days to ride fat, with either no snow or too much. Fast forward roughly 10 winters and my local trails are now groomed after each snow, and there are herds of fat bikers having snow-day fun. So I don’t think I’m alone in my desire to ride the magical wintery woods without spending a ton of money. The budget-friendly Kings Peak with SRAM Eagle SX drivetrain meets this goal, with a killer frame and wheelset for around $2,000. Fezzari also offers the Kings Peak Elite with Eagle GX build ($2,999), which is still a good deal for those more committed to winter riding, or looking for a slightly higher end build.
The Kings Peak weighs in at 29lbs despite the base level Eagle drivetrain, and shares the same lightweight and elegant carbon frame as the pricier Elite. The 1,530g (size M/L) frame has a smart looking shape with a lot of material at the BB and an hourglass headtube that smoothly integrates the top and down tubes. The purposefully shaped tubing is pointy on the sides for lateral stiffness with the added bonus of looking cool. One of the biggest changes for the new frame is a shortening of the seat tube which allows for longer dropper posts – more on that below.
It’s a sexy frame, and the bike gets a lot of looky-lous. Fezzari backs it up with a life-time guarantee.
With 4.8” tires the Kings Peak is obviously designed for snow and sand, so the geometry is more inline with the cross country bikes of yore, and the numbers are in line with current-day fat bikes. A 69.8 degree headtube maximizes handling, compensating for the big, low pressure tires. The 19in size M/L frame has a short Reach (429mm) and average Stack (625.4mm), so it’s a comfortably upright riding position inline with its fattest tire intentions.
And it’s those 4.8” tires and the riding conditions that dominate the handling characteristics. Fat bike tires grip or slip depending on the terrain and tire pressure. Bouncing, grabbing rocks, or sliding, fat bike front ends can wander like a drunken sailor. But after swapping with other fat bikes to rule out the trail conditions, the Kings Peak had a well-balanced and stable feel. Also the sloping top tube offers extra standover clearance (29”), which came in handy for tri-poding through icy turns (note to self: get studded tires).
The Kings Peak 197x12mm rear dropout and 150x15mm front hold the Maxxis 26” x 4.8″ tires with room to spare, so snow and mud didn’t bog up, and there is room for up to 5” tires. But like all fat bikes using 100mm BB’s to clear the wide chain stays, the pedal position (q-factor) is wider than traditional mountain bikes. The wide stance is also something to consider if you are q-factor intolerant from hip or knee issues. The Kings Peak measures slightly over 200mm, and there are bikes out there with narrower q-factors. Not an issue for me, and likely not for most riders, but I know one riding buddy who suffered from sore hips and made jokes about swimmin’ bowlegged. Headquartered in Utah, Fezzari’s local trails are iconic. The Fezzari team rides and lives bikes, and tries to bring that spirit to its customer service, even if those interactions are only electronic and a note written on the box. Selling direct means sizing and fit are done virtually, and the 23 point online form worked well for me. I input all my measurements and a few days later a very wide bike box arrived. It was a super-easy build, with everything tuned and ready to ride, with only the handlebar and front wheel to attach. Buyers have a 30 day test period to return the bike at no cost.
While I signed up to test the base-level Kings Peak with Eagle SX drivetrain, I chose to add the X-fusion Manic dropper post and tubeless setup for the Maxxis Colossus tires and Sun Ringle Mulefut SL 80mm rims. For $200 installed, I highly recommend adding the dropper as it really helps with the frequent stop and gos inherent to fat bike riding conditions. And tubeless is a must have for running super low psi and for saving weight, whether you pay Fezzari $75 to setup or bucket in the sealant yourself. The Shimano BR-MT200 Hydraulic Disc brakes on the Kings Peak are good, but my build came with 160mm rotors which didn’t quite allow for one-finger braking. In hindsight I would have requested 180mm rotors, since Fezzari will put on larger ones if asked. The SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with 30t chainring and 11-50t cassette had plenty of gear range. The SX doesn’t feel as smooth shifting as the pricier GX and doesn’t have the 10t cog on the cassette. Fezzari house branded bars (780mm default) and stem (length varies per rider 23pt setup) sized up for me well, and I’m old friends with WTB Volt saddles. Overall it feels like a great value for the frame, wheels, and dropper. With an acceptable loss in shifting performance for the money saved.
Winter riding conditions in coastal New England change daily. I had 55 degree slime fests and 20 degree snow rides within days of each other. In the four weeks I had on the Fezzari there were only a handful of days with good snow, so I often hit the unexplored sandy trails along my local beaches with some technical rocky trails in between.
The Fezzari is 10lbs lighter than my original steel fat bike, and it’s on par with the other carbon fat bikes I’ve tried recently. The words “light and efficient” aren’t often used in fat bike reviews, but the Kings Peak frame is fairly light and stiff, putting power to the honking wheels quickly. The bike performed as designed, great for rolling groomed snow and loose sand trails, and also really good at low speed technical climbs. Adding 180mm rotors and an optional RockShox Bluto fork upgrade would help it descend faster and smoother, but that’s what my full-suspension bike is for. There’s no shame in taking the b-line now and then, it’s the trade off for being able to ride all winter. The 4.8” tires extended my riding season and floated over loose sand and patches of powdery snow where my 27.5+ trail bike would have been crippled. It’s great fun to be alone in the woods in winter, seeing more wildlife than usual and following tracks in the snow (although a bit alarming to loop back to see where a coyote had been following me). Even more fun is riding with friends on icy trails with everyone sliding the downhills with one foot out, and frequent slow speed falls with softer landings.
The Kings Peak is a fat bike with an exceptional carbon frame for the price. It checks all the boxes for wintertime fat bike fun without sacrificing your life savings. With 26” x 4.8” tires it stays in its lane for its intended use, which is getting you out and riding on days other bikes can’t.