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  • Writer's pictureMo Awesome

ARI Nebo Peak First Ride Review! (The Best Lightweight E-bike?)

So the cat is officially out of the bag, Fezzari bikes has decided to rebrand themselves as ARI Bikes. Same people running the company, same direct to consumer business model, same excellent customer service you have grown to expect from them, all in a differently named package. My thoughts and opinions on this? Well as someone who rode for them for 2 years before starting our media company, I have a lot of them, but that's not what this article is about so stay tuned for that article soon! 

This article is another first ride impression, something that I am getting to do more and more of as our media company grows! Now I do want to say one thing, I'm not an E-bike guy. Anyone who knows me knows I love to put my body through insane amounts of pain through solo endurance riding efforts and I am a pay to play type of rider. I have done lots of e-bike testing over the years though and while I do find them very fun, none have made me think about adding one full time to the quiver. Will the Nebo Peak change that? 

I got the call the day before landing back in the US after living in Asia for the previous 3 months. Joey, the marketing manager at ARI bikes, wanted to know if I wanted to put the Nebo peak through its paces the day I landed. I have never been more excited to ride an e-bike as I knew the jet lag I had wouldn’t be so bad with a little bit of help from a motor. This e-bike was also supposedly pretty different from other ones I had tested so I was stoked to give it a shot! 

When I showed up I got the full run down on the bike. The Ari Bikes Nebo Peak is a 140/150mm trail/enduro lightweight e-bike that utilizes a Fazua motor, a motor I had never tried before. The geometry was based on their Delano Peak, one of my favorite bikes in the line up that I have spent a lot of time on. The bike also had brand new SRAM Mavens on it, which were not released at the time. I got the bike dialed in for my liking and got ready to hit the trails. I would be testing a size XL and I am 6’2

Almost right away I could tell the Fazua motor was the right motor for this bike. Too many times I have hopped on an e-bike and felt like the motor was overpowering the pedaling aspect of the ride, and I would get a bit of a jolt from the initial pedal strokes. The Fazua motor and Nebo Peak chassis felt very smooth through its pedaling and you could tell a lot of time had been spent trying to get that more natural feeling into the climbing aspect of the ride. I really enjoyed the seated pedaling position as well, the geo really did feel in-line to their Delano Peak, which features one of the steeper seat angles in the trail bike game. You guys know that my love for steep seat angles runs about as deep as my love for my wife Hannah, so that is saying a lot. Well okay, maybe I love Hannah a lot more, but we can have both, right? 

After a long singletrack climb up it was time to go down and this is where it was time to have some fun and see what this bike was really about! From the first time I hit the brakes I knew the Sram Mavens were nothing to mess with when it came to braking power. The lever itself just felt so much stouter and I did get a little bit of an impression that maybe this brake set would be a bit much for my riding style. 

The Nebo Peak however felt amazing instantly! I still can't believe how comfortable I felt descending on the bike right out of the gate, something that I also noticed with the Delano Peak. Through all my years of testing I have realized there are bikes that feel good right away and also bikes that take time to learn how to ride them, and this was definitely the first one! The headangle, coming in at 65 degrees, paired with a slightly shorter chainstay, really made the lightweight aspect of the bike even more evident on fast singletrack. The bike had a very playful feeling to it, a word I don’t normally use to describe e-bikes. The rear end of the bike also felt very playful and I was able to maneuver the rear wheel and place it exactly where I wanted to!  

After a few more climbs and downhills I was really starting to get a better understanding of this bike. I kept going back to my Delano Peak mentally, a bike that I think I actually like more so than the bigger sibling La Sal Peak. The Nebo Peak just had this feeling of fun and it was very apparent that this bike wanted you to treat it very differently than just another heavy e-bike. Afterall weight wise, the Nebo peak is coming in around 38 lbs which is insane considering my La Sal Peak is at about 33 set up. The slight weight advantage of the Nebo Peak over the La Sal also gave the Nebo peak a degree of stability that the Delano Peak sometimes feels like it's missing. 

Things that I hated? The Fazua motor does have a bit of an awkward remote that I kept confusing the actuation on. Sometimes I would hit it thinking it was my dropper and other times I would forget which direction went more or less power. I think with time I would probably adjust but just something to note. The Maven brakes also feel a tad too powerful for the lightweight aspect of the bike too. The rear hub could benefit from more points of engagement as well, but that is an easy fix! 

So is the Nebo Peak turning me into an e-bike owner? The answer is still no. While I love testing and helping with product feedback, my personal fun rides are limited and I still prefer the traditional mountain bike for those. However, I will say this. The Nebo Peak’s extremely playful nature, lighter weight chassis, and non overpowering motor choice makes me ponder what the next few years of e-bikes look like. If you are a rider that is looking for a lightweight e-bike and you do not want the burden of trying to throw around a 50lb rig, the Nebo Peak is hands down one of my favorite e-bikes I have ever ridden. It's fun, playful, and it's light, three things that I never thought I would ever say about an e-bike just 5 years ago. Is it for me yet? Like I said, not yet, but with a 30 day love it or return it policy, if you are on the fence and are looking for an e-bike that still has that playful nature found in traditional bicycles, I would say this bike just might be for you. At a price point of $6k for top of the line suspension and a solid build kit, it's kind of a no brainer.

Check out the Nebo Peak here:

-Mo Awesome


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