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As a caveat to this review, I’d like to mention that this bike is about a size too small for me. I normally ride a size Large, but this Alta Peak Large is better suited for a rider between 5’6″ – 5’9″ rather than my 6ft height. I would highly recommend giving Fezzari your measurements so that they can fit the bike exactly to your specs (and why wouldn’t you, it’s currently FREE).
The Alta Peak is Fezzari’s top of the line Full Suspension (FS) bike. It is outfitted with a Deore levers, Juicy 3 brakes, Rock Shox Tora 302 fork & Ario 2.2 shock. The cranksets is a Truvativ Blaze while the wheels are Mavic 117 shod with Maxxis Larsen TT 2.0. The front derailleur is a Deore while the rear is spec’d XT.
My first thought is “I really like riding full suspension.” As a FS newbie, I have very little experience on the FS so my reference point is a hardtail. That being said, I really enjoyed riding the Alta Peak because it allayed many of the worries I have about FS bikes.
As a hardtail rider, I was most worried about the extra weight of the FS. I believed the extra weight would weigh me down and I would not be able to finish the climbs I normally would. I was so worried about this that I actually packed extra fluids in case I ended up staying on the trail longer than originally anticipated.
But I found the extra weight of the Alta Peak although noticeable to be negligible. Yes there is extra weight, but no it was not enough to make me get off and hike-a-bike. In fact I was more than able to clean the climbs albeit at a slower than normal pace. But the downhills more than made up for the longer climbs.
Descents are the Alta Peak’s forte. The suspension gave me boldness I normally did not have while on a hardtail. As I rolled down the hills I began subconsciously choosing more and more difficult lines and looked to take jumps rather than avoid them. The full suspension ate up everything on the trail so that obstacles that would normally jar my rear ended up being almost gentle. As my friend (who swapped rides with me for an uphill climb and downhill descent) put it the Alta Peak makes you feel “very confident on the downhills”.
Another plus with the Alta Peak is the ability to lockout the fork & shock. With the lockouts off, there was pedal bob (another worry). Don’t get me wrong, but coming from a hardtail there was just enough bob for me to notice.
But with the lockouts on, the pedal bob was non-existent. The bike felt very efficient and I was able to climb and clean what I would normally climb & clean with my hardtail. In my first impressions of the Alta Peak I mentioned that the lockout on the shock, although small, was very easy to find and engage/disengage even when I wasn’t looking. This stayed true the whole ride and I gave that shock a workout, locking it and unlocking it numerous times.
Some other notable features included the juicy 3 hydraulic brakes. These brakes were not set up for me, but they performed extremely well. I always felt that there was enough power to stop me and at over 200 lbs., that’s saying a lot.
The XT rear derailleur shifted confidently each time and the Purple Extreme lube, applied by RL, made the bike’s drivetrain feel very smooth and efficient.
For my conditions (mostly dry/hardpacked), the Larsen wheels performed very well. There are only a couple of difficult spots on the trail and the tires gripped with confidence. When I rode through a sizable puddle then immediately climbed over a worn wooden beam the wheel did slip. But give the Larsens credit, the rear wheel engaged right away and I didn’t need to put my foot down.
Lastly, the beautiful white paint makes me smile every time I see it. I don’t know why I like white bikes so much, but the Alta Peak is a beauty!
Weight (surprisingly not noticeable)
Love the lockout feature
Fork & Shock are confidence inspiring
Juicy 3′s have lots of power
Pedal bob (minor, but you can tell if you normally ride a hardtail)
Need to go a size up for most people
Larsens not for all conditions
Check out the Alta Peak here.
Update: I’m going to spend some time dialing the Alta Peak to my measurements. Hopefully this will solve some of the pedal bob I was experiencing as well as make me feel more comfortable on the bike. Check back to hear about the changes and the results.