The all-new Fezzari Empire SL is a surprisingly lightweight disc brake road bike that’s also surprisingly affordable, and it doesn’t skimp on features or tech. In fact, they’ve developed a new construction method that helps them better tune the ride feel, make a stronger frame and shave grams.

It’s an impressive package, and will come in two versions, the SL shown here with a claimed frame weight around 815g for size medium, and a standard version that’ll run about 200g more thanks to different fibers and a little paint. Here’s our quick video run through:

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Fezzari Empire SL frame tech

The Empire is the first full production road bike we’ve seen to integrate the FSA ACR cockpit. Depending on the build you select, they’re offering this one-piece bar-stem unit or a separate handlebar and stem, but all have the option and capability of running all cables, hoses and wires inside the frame.

For lower tier builds, or if you’re doing it yourself from a frameset, there are accommodations for standard cable routing, too, both on the frame and the fork.

What’s really new is their construction method called MonoForm. Rather than mold the front and rear triangles separately then bond them together with a lot of sleeving and overwrap, they’re able to produce the entire frame as a single piece. They didn’t reveal exactly how, but these cutaways show how clean the insides are. The photo above is the chainstays, which usually include a lot of overwrap and extra material to join them to the BB shell, but here it’s just a clean transition.

fezzari empire sl might be the best disc brake road bike you can buy direct from the manufacturer

The MonoForm method not only saves material, which saves weight, but it makes it easier for them to tune the ride feel.

fezzari empire sl is an affordable lightweight disc brake road bike

The last little bit hiding on the inside is their integrated seatpost clamp. It uses a curved wedge with a large foot print to avoid putting a big pressure point on the post.

Let’s see the bike!

fezzari empire sl is an affordable lightweight disc brake road bike

An oversized, shaped downtube keeps it torsionally stiff for good power transfer, but thinner top tube, seat tube and seatstays help it soak up some of the road bumps. There’s clearance for up to 700x28mm 700x32mm tires on a 21mm internal width rim.

fezzari empire sl ultralight disc brake road bike thats actually affordable

A small cable port on the bottom of the BB makes service easier. The FSA system uses spaces with slits in them, so you can add or remove them to get the bike fit to you without having to undo the entire drivetrain and braking system, too.

fezzari empire sl ultralight disc brake road bike thats actually affordable

SRAM Red AXS and Force AXS are both build options on the complete bikes and make it all even easier. And they can mix and match if you wanted the user-serviceable power meter from the Force group with the lighter weight of the rest of the Red group.

fezzari empire sl ultralight disc brake road bike thats actually affordable

The fork is their own design, too, and weighs in pretty light. Despite the thin profiles and svelte appearance, Fezzari says it tests through and passes XC mountain bike impact standards. Look for it to hit their website soon, availability by end or May or early June.


    • O. Tan on

      They probably save weight with better carbon layout process at the junctions. So I see no issue why disk brake frames can’t weight as light as rim brakes, though of course one can argue that with a rim brake bike will still be lighter with this kind of carbon layout and that’s probably true but does it matter since UCI has a 6.8kg bike weight limit?

      If this works as good as it says, I expect 2020/2021 carbon bikes to use similar concept hence we’ll be looking at generally lighter bikes across the board.

      • Mike on

        With disc brakes manufacturers should be able to make a lighter rim – it doesn’t need a wall with a reinforced braking surface.

        But even if there is a slight weight penalty, it’s nothing compared to the safety disc brakes bring – better braking in wet conditions and no risk of delaminating the carbon rim.

    • bryan on

      The name has always kind of bothered me… however, I do own 3 of their bikes and I like them- 2 fat bikes and 1 road bike. I think people get put off by it because it sounds like a Ferrari knockoff. However, the bikes themselves are always very good as shown by the countless reviews (BR tends to do a lot of good reviews on Fezzari products)

      And to answer the other question from Antoine Martin- I know the owner and he is definitely not Italian.

    • pmurf on

      According to another publication, starts at 1700 complete, 4200 for force eTap. Guessing they’ll be a few specs in between and possibly a Red-level build above it since that’s what’s shown here.


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