Fezzari is a top-end bike brand that’s based in Utah. The company makes its frames in Taiwan, although they’re assembled in the US, with bikes being shipped to customers.
It retains a focus on providing quality without compromising on affordable price points for riders. With an all new carbon gravel bike, it’s as good as ever.
The Shafer is ready for adventure with built-in accessories and excellent room for bikepacking. The frame can accommodate 700x50mm knobby tires and either 1x or 2x drivetrains with a more advanced geometry that prioritizes stability while adding capability.
However, with the help of aesthetically-pleasing bike style that has an oversized downtube and flat top tube, along with a headtube junction that gets many aesthetic points, the Shafer still maintains its own sleek, race-bike-like look despite all the mounts.
Fezzari used a neat solution for the modern look of their bike. The rear derailleur cable and brake line enter the frame through the upper headset bearing instead of needing to be attached with a traditional clamp.
This can be nice since changing an upper headset bearing is often a hassle, as it may make lots of noise. Using a wedge-type binder instead of a traditional clamp also makes it easier to replace or replace the seatpost whenever you want to change it out.
Although these changes seem like small annoyances on the surface, with Fezzari’s attention to detail, they deserve praise for going so far.
The Shafer offers great quality at a hard price. This bike uses a reliable 1×11 SRAM Apex drivetrain and Fulcrum Tubeless wheels, offering the quality you would expect from a high-end carbon gravel bike.
Riders looking for a lightweight and affordability-balanced gravel bike should take a closer look at the Fezzari Shafer. The Shafer is 1,160 g with paint and hardware in total, which isn’t too heavy for the price or difficult to carry.
Bike Family, Pricing, & Availability
Fezzari offers customizable kits starting from $2,300 to $4,200. There is also a frameset option for hobbyists and riders looking to build or transfer parts from an existing bike.
Built for performance, the Shafer Pro comes with a Force AXS XPLR groupset and DT Swiss GR1600 wheels for $4,200.
For Campy fans, the Shafer Elite Ekar 1×13 build is available for $3,700.
A Shafer Elite Rival AXS build with DT Swiss G1800 wheels sells for $3,300.
The Shafer Comp SRAM Apex bike is a budget bike for the price-conscious buyer
The cheapest complete Shafer build comes with a frame, fork, and seat post that retail for $2,300. The Shimano XTR build is even less expensive at $1,695!
Analyzing the new 2017 climbing and descending preferences, RockShox has added a carbon fork, the RockShox Rudy Ultimate XPLR, to their line-up for an additional $600.
Geometry and Fit
Fezzari has engineered a number of new geometry features with the Shafer, to make it a versatile gravel bike. The long rear end, long wheelbase and slack head tube are characteristic of more progressive gravel bikes.
The head-tube angle is also off the spectrum, making it a stable and responsive ride in rough conditions.
There is a 430mm chain drop when compared to other 29ers while retaining the 700x50mm tire clearance. The seat tube angle on the Berdon is also slightly more steep, at 74º versus 66º and 68º on the Checkpoint and Grizl.
The new geometry is certainly on-trend—and even ahead of it in some cases—but offers more capabilities off trail. Other than that, its patterning is definitely up to date and exceeds the competition.
The Shafer Plus Geo comes with an extensive sizing guide that walks you through all the necessary measurements. With a very detailed tool, riders have only 30 days to buy and try out this bike before returning it for a full refund if unsatisfied.
The Fezzari Shafer has features that push it towards the progressive side of gravel riding. It has generous tire clearance and leans more toward single track riding than smooth dirt roads.
The Shafer is an intermediate gravel bike with a healthy dose of adventure mixed in with the paceline-worthy routes.
The slack headtube angle, combined with the long trail figure, makes riding the Shafer feel like you don’t need to worry about corner entry speed.
This trait could be a deal-breaker for riders who prefer bikes that provide sharper turn-in or just aren’t ready to change their technique. On the other hand, urban cyclists should feel right at home.
With its longer and steeper front end, Shafer’s downhill bike feels agile and impressive. I felt confident descending steep trails because my center of mass was further back.
After getting used to how aggressive I needed to lean on the Shafer, I would feel confident and ride downhill with ease. Riding down really steep pavement would require a lot of effort but the bike’s stability would help me stay on my chosen line.
However, its higher center of mass felt like it struggled more in tight, slow-speed turns. The long trail, wheelbase, and rear end did not feel snappy at low speed.
The sluggishness turning at low speeds made me feel like the Shafer would not make a great cyclocross bike.
The ride quality of the Shafer was pleasant. It felt like a lighter than average mountain bike with balanced frame geometry.
At Its maximum speed, it felt agile, but not too twitchy to compete in crits. Our test bike showed up with Maxxis Ramblers on and was around 30 psi at full twisting pressure.
Riders who enjoy long, tough days in the saddle but have a tendency to break out in hives before lunch can now look forward to trips with the Shafer.
Comfort and packability are key features, as is the ability to mount fenders, panniers and other features that can make your ride more fun. However, this bike is not suitable for cross and gravel races; it is better suited for longer-distance rides.