Fezzari may have waited a while to jump into the gravel scene, but their patience paid off. The all-new Fezzari Shafer gravel bike packs all of the features a mixed-surface rider (and racer) could want into a very light, comfortable frame that’ll carry anything you want.
We’ve been riding one since March and will post a separate review, so this post is focused on the tech specs, features and design…
2022 Fezzari Shafer gravel bike
Starting with the frame, Fezzari used their MonoForm manufacturing, which means the entire frame is made and cured as a single piece. They introduced this method on their Empire SL road bike, which we reviewed and really liked, then on their latest Solitude race hardtail.
This method lets them run continuous fibers from headtube to rear dropout, eliminating many of the overlapping layers typically needed to bond or connect different tubes. It saves weight, and gives them more control over the final ride quality.
With so many gravel races topping 100 miles, and many going to 130, 150, or even 200+ miles, they wanted enough mounts to bring all the food and drink you’d need to skip a few aid stations.
There are three bottle cage mounts inside the front triangle on all but the smallest frame size, plus another underneath. The downtube juts forward slightly from the bottom bracket to add space, letting you run two larger bottles and easily tuck the lowest one under a seat tube bottle cage.
Top tube bag mounts secure a bento box bag just behind the steerer. It’s worth noting the slender top tube, reducing the likelihood of knee rub for those of us whose knees lean inward.
And for the multi-day adventure riders, they added a few more to carry supplies on the fork legs, too. They’re angled backward slightly to keep your cargo tucked in…slightly.
It also has fender mounts front and rear – on the inside of the fork legs, where the tube profile is flat, to keep them aligned…and for a cleaner look. The rear mounts are just above the dropout.
They’re not designed for racks, though, as there’s no upper mounting point. Fezzari recommends going with a thru-axle mounted rack option like the Old Man Mountain Divide from Robert Axle Project. And that’s because they prioritized thin, low-set seatstays and a shorter seat tube to improve rider comfort over standard rack mount bolt placements.
The head angle is a slack-ish 68.9º, paired with a 50mm offset fork and short-ish stem…and a little more reach built into the top tube. Chainstays are a normal 430mm long. This combo creates a longer wheelbase and steering angles/trail that are designed to keep the bike stable at high speeds and on loose terrain, while still allowing it to be nimble on the slower, more technical stuff.
The seat tube ranges from 75.5º to 73.1º (74º for size medium) to keep the rider in a comfortable position over the pedals. They gave it a stealth seatpost wedge, which not only looks good, but they say provides a broader clamping area that distributes pressure over more of the seatpost, making it far less likely you’d overtighten it and crush the tube.
It’s a standard 27.2 round post, and you can swap in a dropper post if you want.
Up front is a stealth cockpit using FSA’s SRS or ACR integrated stem-and-headset systems. These use 1.5″ upper and lower headset cups to make room for the brake hoses and shift cables to run internally next to the steerer tube.
Don’t worry, even though Fezzari is consumer direct, these bikes are shipped fully assembled, so you won’t have to run the lines yourself. Each bike is built to fit the rider, so you can choose the stem length, bar width, etc…so depending on how short of a stem you get, it may be the FSA SCR/SRS stem rather than the ACR one shown here.
They use a standard threaded bottom bracket and dropped chainstays that remain parallel (versus some frames that only drop the driveside). This creates room for up to a 44-tooth 1x chainring, but the frame is compatible with front derailleurs should you opt for a 2x build.
The bike comes with 700×45 tires, and there’s room to put something knobbier in there. Or a similar 50mm tire, which is their recommended maximum width.
That wide clearance comes at the cost of not leaving room for a stick-on power meter like Stages or 4iiii, so you’ll want to go with a crank-based system if you like power. Or some power meter pedals.
Fezzari Shafer geometry, specs & pricing
Claimed frame weight for a size medium frame, painted with all hardware (alloy hanger, front derailleur cover, seat clamp, and all bottle cage/accessory bolts) is 1160g. Fork is 538g, painted with bolts and full length steerer.
Fezzari says they could have gone lighter, but they wanted the bike to pass XC mountain bike safety testing standards, which are tougher than the road bike standards, which is all gravel bikes are required to pass. They said it also passes their own rear impact test, so chances are you can huck it off a drop if you want.
Among other options listed below, you can order one with a 40mm travel Rockshox Rudy suspension fork, which will add 30mm to the Axle-to-Crown height and make the front end a bit taller and slacker. Just something to keep in mind if you’re planning for a slammed headset stack like shown here, it’ll be harder to compensate with cockpit setup.
Available models, pricing and shipping dates are:
- Shafer Comp GRX ($2,299) – Shimano GRX 400, Fulcrum Rapid Red 900 wheels (ships 4/2022)
- Shafer Comp Apex 1x ($2,499) – SRAM Apex 1×11 Hydro, Fulcrum Rapid Red 900 wheels (ships 10/2021)
- Shafer Elite Rival AXS ($3,299) – SRAM Rival AXS XPLR, DT Swiss G1800 wheels (ships 10/2021)
- Shafer Elite EKAR ($3,699) – Campy Ekar, Fulcrum Rapid Red 500 wheels (ships 10/2021)
- Shafer Pro ($4,199) – SRAM Force AXS XPLR, DT Swiss GR1600 wheels, Fezzari Carbon gravel bar (ships 12/2021)
- Shafer frameset ($1,699) – includes frame, fork, axles & headset (ships 10/2021)
Optional upgrades at checkout include:
- Carbon wheels – Zipp 303s or Enve AG25
- Suspension fork -Rockshox Rudy 40mm travel
- Dropper post – Rockshox Reverb AXS or PNW Rainier 27.2
- Tubeless setup
Above is their sizzle reel, and video below is a chat with their product manager about the new Shafer:
Stay tuned for a full review…