Review: Fezzari’s 2019 La Sal Peak is a Fun & Modern All-Rounder
The La Sal Peak has numbers that put it right into that oh-so-trendy enduro category, but I’d call it more of an all-mountain bike. I know, that’s splitting hairs, but hear me out. My best rides on the grey machine were ones that had a good variety of terrain – up, down, traversing, and where it really felt most at home was on techy trails that required a little bit more finesse rather than a ‘let off the brakes and pray’ approach.
This isn’t a bike for plowing straight down the most heinous terrain around – there are longer and slacker sleds that are better suited for that task. The La Sal Peak has plenty of travel on tap for the vast majority of trails out there, but it can feel a little out of its element when things get extra rowdy. It doesn’t inspire quite the same level of confidence as bikes like the Santa Cruz Megatower or Yeti SB150 in really steep, rough terrain. Those two bikes have a lower slung, more planted feel, where it felt like I was perched a little higher on the La Sal, and wasn’t quite as stable when carving down fast, steep trails.
I also found myself wishing for a dropper post with even more than 150mm of stroke – the bike’s steep seat tube angle puts the seat in a more forward position even when it’s fully lowered, and it would have been nice to have it further out of the way. Fezzari do offer a 175mm Fox Transfer post as an option, and that’s what I’d go with if this were my own personal bike.
On slightly less wild trails the La Sal Peak was in its element. ‘Easy’ is the adjective I kept coming up with to sum up its handling – it’s easy to maintain speed by pumping through natural rollers, and it’s an easy bike to get airborne, with a high level of maneuverability that’s sometimes lacking in longer travel 29ers. It might not be able to go toe-to-toe in DH bike-worthy terrain with those aforementioned trail smashers, but the La Sal Peak more than holds its own everywhere else. It’s a bike that doesn’t need to be pushed super hard to come alive, which is a noteworthy trait – there are bikes that feel dull and uninspired unless you’re going all-out, but the La Sal Peak remains enjoyable even if you’re out for a quick cruise at a pace that doesn’t turn the world to a blur.
There’s a nice smooth ramp up as the suspension goes through its travel, and it’s a simple procedure install an additional volume spacer or two if more end stroke support is required. I ended up adding one spacer and running a touch under 30% sag, a setting that allowed me to use all the travel when necessary without any harsh bottom outs.