Do you have a cross-county specialist in your clan? Does your teen race in a middle school or high school NICA league? Do you want to save hundreds- if not thousands of dollars on a race-ready carbon frame hardtail 29er? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we would like to introduce your family to the Fezzari Solitude.
Fezzari Hails From The Wasatch – Not The Dolomites
Fezzari bikes are designed in Utah along the corridor of the Silicon Slopes – the state’s geographic swath of startups and technology companies at the foot of the Wasatch mountains. We love this area for it’s mountain biking opportunities with access to single track in the foothills and bike parks up the canyons. Now this local bike company is making an impression on the bike industry as well.
We’ve been aware of the Fezzari brand for several years. Naturally- they’re quite popular in our neck-of-the-woods. Based in the town of Lehi, the Fezzari factory store and warehouse was less than an hour drive from the house. When I arrived to pick up our demo, I was greeted by Jordan and he told me, “The company has been steadily growing, and we’re moving into a larger space soon.” That’s a testament to the fact that exclusively selling online is working. A large part of this relies on accurately fitting customers to a bike based on measurements and other data supplied.
It’s all part of Fezzari’s 23-Point Custom Setup. Jordan also stated, “We realize that spending $500-$5,000 on a bike sight unseen via our direct to consumer sales model still requires a leap of faith. Fezzari removes those barriers by offering award winning, world-class bikes, at a savings of 30%-40% compared to other companies selling through the dealer model.”
Quality Frames Backed Up With A Lifetime Warranty And Growing Accolades
Fezzari also backs up their frames with a lifetime warranty and a 30-day “Love It Or Return It” policy. Their website states that if you don’t think you and your bike are a match made in heaven after riding it for 30 days, your can return it for a refund. Fezzari will even cover the shipping.
Another reason why Fezzari is growing is because their bikes are good. Their enduro model, the La Sal Peak, won Bike Magazine’s award for the best long travel bike under $4,000.
Fezzari Solitude Overview
The Fezzari Solitude comes in three sizes and can be fit with either 27.5+ or 29 inch wheels. Our demo was set up with 29 inch wheels. You can choose from a 16 inch, 18 inch or 20 inch frame. The Solitude is designed to fit a rider with a standover height ranging from 27.5 inches through 31.5 inches. Three build options are available for the Solitude where the Elite Race specs govern carbon wheels. We got the Solitude Comp which featured WTB wheels. With the stock seat post and pedals, our bike weighed in at 25.6 lbs.
Frames Built For Durability And Performance
Monoform carbon molds used for the Solitude result in a single-piece frame that does not have joints. Many other bike brands build up a front triangle and a rear triangle that need to be bonded together. With the elimination of joints in the frame, Fezzari’s technology allows the use of longer carbon fibers. Sans junctions and bonded sections, Fezzari’s frames are light, strong, stiff, and responsive.
Geometries For Miles Of Smiles; Comfort And Efficiency
Take a look at the angles and dimensions on this light, dependable, cross-country machine. You’ll see that it’s designed to ascend with efficiency and be a comfortable dirt chariot across challenging terrain.
Numbers shown are for the Fezzari Solitude with 29-inch wheel set. Take a look at the Fezzari site for numbers on the 27.5+ wheel set.
|A - Top Tube||21.9||23.5||24.4|
|B - Seat Tube||16.0||18.0||20.0|
|C - Chainstay||16.7||16.7||16.7|
|D - Head Angle||68.5°||68.5°||68.5°|
|E - Seat Angle||70.5°||70.5°||70.5°|
|F - Head Tube||4.3||4.4||4.7|
|G - Bottom Bracket Height||13.0||13.0||13.0|
|H - Bottom Bracket Drop||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|I - Wheelbase||41.6||42.9||44.6|
|J - Fork Offset||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|K - Standover Height||27.8||29.8||31.8|
|L - Stack||23.7||23.8||24.1|
|M - Reach||14.3||16.0||17.2|
|Solitude Elite Race||Solitude Elite||Solitude Comp|
|Frame||Fezzari MC279+ Full-Carbon Frame, 100-120 mm Travel||Fezzari MC279+ Full-Carbon Frame, 100-120 mm Travel||Fezzari MC279+ Full-Carbon Frame, 100-120 mm Travel|
|Suspension||Fox Float 34 Step-Cast 120mm travel, Performance Elite||Fox Float 34 Step-Cast 120mm travel, Performance Elite||2018 RockShox Reba RL Solo Air, 29er Boost, 120mm Travel|
|Drivetrain||SRAM GX Eagle 1×12||SRAM GX Eagle 1×12||SRAM NX 1×12|
|Wheels||Reynolds TR 249 S or Reynolds TR 367 S||Stan’s Arch MK3 29er, or Stan’s Baron S1 27.5+||WTB I29 TCS Tubeless 29er, or WTB Scraper i35 27.5+|
Our bike had a SRAM 1×12 drivetrain with a 32t ring in the front and a 42t granny gear. A 95mm long crank got power to the wheels and Level T brakes made the bike slow down and stop. For live pricing and more build details, visit the Fezzari website /// https://www.fezzari.com/solitude ///.
Riding The Fezzari Solitude
In our opinion, a hardtail cross-country steed’s directive is simply: be light – be fast. The test rider for this bike review is a Wyatt – our 16 year old kid who is a whopping 6ft, 1in tall and can spend hours in the saddle. A 20-inch size frame was selected based our guinea pig’s size and he was immediately impressed with how light the bike was. We outfitted our demo with clipless pedals and an internally routed Raceface dropper post. Installing the dropper was made easier by using a nifty Park Tool Internal Cable Routing Kit.
It took a couple of rides to get used to the bike. But right from that start, the Solitude stood out as a comfortable climber. The bike’s geometry and crank length were great for getting full extension on the pedals. The wide bar width opened up the shoulders to allow for getting air into the engine. The stiff carbon frame was easy to control when the occasional opportunity for a front wheel lift presented itself.
Our test rider is old enough to remember the dark days of kid bikes that were heavy and cumbersome. Recent years have bid adieu to front derailleurs, crummy suspension forks, and cheap 26-inch wheels. Nothing was taken for granted when powering through rides with the Solitude’s [Comp build] 1x drivetrain, air fork, and quality 29-inch wheels.
Following his second outing on the bike, our rider told us “I’m used to riding a long travel trail bike and descending with the Solitude took a bit of discovery. Once I figured out how to keep my feet ‘heavy’ on the pedals and my hands ‘light’ on the bars, the bike added a new element of fun and confidence.”
Racing The Fezzari Solitude
One of our objectives when receiving this bike was to get our rider out racing on it. In addition to competing in regional enduro events, Wyatt is on a Utah NICA team. He’s not as competitive in cross-country events as the gravity disciplines, so we were eager to see how having the right tool for the job would influence his race results.
The venue for the experiment was an 18 mile race; 3 laps x 6 miles with about 550 feet of elevation gain. The course featured 1.2 miles of dirt road for passing and separating the athletes prior to hitting singletrack.
Our racer said, “The bike pedaled great during the race. In open spaces, I was able to get up to speed quickly. Climbing was easier and I loved the 29-inch wheels. They rolled fast and smooth.”
In his category, Wyatt finished in 31st place on the Fezzari Solitude. At his previous race on his trail bike, Wyatt finished in 38th place. In our opinion, the bike made a big difference and allowed him to increase his overall position.
And to further sweeten the deal, Fezzari offers an additional incentive pricing to registered NICA racers and coaches. See fezzari.com/highschool for live pricing and more information
Consider The Solitude Among The Crowd Of Carbon Hardtails
Do your research and compare the Solitude’s frame and build options against all the competition – large brands and small. You will be hard pressed to find a bike that can beat the Fezzari Solitude and save you at least hundreds of dollars. Just take some simple measurements at home to determine the correct fit and you can own a premium carbon xc race bike at a very good cost. And, Fezzari’s warranty coupled with their 30 day money back guarantee removes all the fences people attribute to the online only sales model.