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:
Want more killer tech videos? Subscribe to Bikerumor on YouTube!
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.
The MonoForm method not only saves material, which saves weight, but it makes it easier for them to tune the ride feel.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.