Fezzari chases the aero all-rounder unicorn with with the new Veyo road bike
It’s reasonably light, stiff yet comfy, and presumably aero, all at fantastic pricing.
It’s reasonably light, stiff yet comfy, and presumably aero, all at fantastic pricing.
Utah-based consumer-direct brand Fezzari Bicycles has had a lightweight carbon road bike in its lineup for the past several years, but when it comes to aerodynamically efficiency, there’s been a conspicuous gap in the lineup. Debuting today, however, is a new model called the Veyo that promises to be a high-performance aero all-rounder at pretty incredible prices.
Fezzari historically hasn’t exactly been known as a disruptor when it comes to bicycle design and engineering, and while the Veyo appears to tick a lot of boxes, it doesn’t exactly move the needle (and that’s ok).
The overall profile of the carbon frame is about what you’d expect, with a slightly sloping top tube and aggressively dropped seat stays. Truncated airfoil cross-sections are used in the down tube, seat tube, and matching carbon seatpost, and the hourglass-profile head tube is equipped with an oversized upper headset bearing and Vision’s ACR fully hidden routing system for a clean front end.
Although ostensibly meant to be an aero bike, Fezzari isn’t drawing a massive amount of attention to that, nor is the company providing any wind tunnel or CFD-simulated data. Instead, Fezzari’s press materials are conspicuously vaguer: “It’s easy to show impressive aerodynamic numbers in an artificially perfect wind tunnel setting, but Fezzari built Veyo for real riding.”
Fezzari’s director of product development, Tyler Cloward, was a bit more informative, saying the company intentionally went for more of a balanced approach.
“Veyo is all about a holistic approach to a complete performance bike, balancing all ride characteristics,” he explained. “While aerodynamics is one of the big considerations in Veyo, it was not the only or top consideration. Power transfer, comfort and weight really played into our aero profile decisions. Could we have made the tube profiles more aerodynamic? Yes. But what would we have been sacrificing in terms of comfort and weight? Adding more aerodynamic tube profiles would increase this frame weight. A heavier bike takes longer to get up to speed. If the bike is overly stiff and the rider can’t keep the power into the bike, the aerodynamic properties have less of a bonus on speed and efficiency. We combated this with placement of the seat stay (lower on the seat tube allows more seat tube flex), and more fore-aft flex in the fork, while keeping front end rigidity for sprinting and cornering. Wall tube thicknesses were also adjusted on the frame to provide compliance as well. It is how we balanced the full system that makes Veyo so appealing.”
Reading between the lines, it seems safe to assume the Veyo is probably nominally aerodynamic – at least compared to a non-aero bike – but it was also designed to just feel good, which for most everyday riders is likely just fine.
Other features include compatibility with both electronic and mechanical drivetrains – a rarity with modern aero frames – official clearance for 700c tires up to 32 mm-wide (which looks to me to be a very conservative figure), a PF86 press-fit bottom bracket shell, a two-position bottle mount on the down tube (plus the usual seat tube mount), and DT Swiss thru-axle with repositionable handles instead of the lighter (but more annoying) tooled axles more commonly found these days.
Claimed weight for a raw medium-sized frame is 860 g, including hardware, and the matching uncut fork adds 350 g. Not bad.
Fezzari is kicking things off with an upscale version of the Veyo frame called – naturally – the Veyo SL. A more affordable version will eventually follow in about six months, built with the same shape but a heavier carbon fiber blend.
“All frames and builds will feature the SL frame,” Cloward explained. “This is the spare-no-expense, highest quality, lightest weight, flagship frame. The more price-conscious frame changes raw carbon material to help reduce the price. The ride characteristics as far as stiffness and compliance between the two frames are the same. To get the same stiffness and compliance between the two frames, we redesigned the carbon layups because the input ingredients are a touch different. A good analogy is how you have to adjust hydration levels when making bread as you change flour. You can get the exact same results with two different flours, but you may have to adjust hydration and proof times to get there [Someone’s been following me on Instagram…]. We did the same thing on the two versions of the frame, with the result allowing us to hit a more price-conscious build.”
Fezzari is offering the Veyo SL frameset in four different build kits to start (but unfortunately, only five sizes in total).
The Veyo Elite will come with Shimano’s new 105 Di2 electronic groupset for US$4,000. Stepping up to the Veyo Pro with Shimano Ultegra Di2 will run you US$5,000. Both are offered with optional wheel upgrades, with the Zipp 303-S tacking on another US$900, and the 404 another US$600 on top of that.
Sitting further up on the ladder is the Veyo Team with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groupset and standard Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels for US$8,400. And finally, there’s a version of the Veyo Team with a SRAM Red eTap AXS electronic groupset (including the crank-based power meter) and the same Zipp wheels for US$9,800.
If you’d prefer the DIY route, a bare frameset will cost US$2,500, including the frame, fork, seatpost, headset, and axles.
All of the above is supposedly in stock now. Pricing for other regions varies with exchange rates. Fezzari ships internationally but operate strictly on US currency.
After being duly impressed by Fezzari’s Shafer carbon gravel bike back in 2021, I’d long wondered if the company’s road bikes offered a similarly value-laden performance punch. An unusually snowy early winter here in Colorado has unfortunately limited my ride time on this new Veyo so I only have early impressions to offer here, but those early impressions are very good nevertheless.
Fezzari sent over to me a Veyo Pro built up with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 wiredless electronic groupset, an FSA aluminum cockpit, and the optional Zipp 303-S carbon wheels wrapped with 28 mm-wide Maxxis High Road tubeless clinchers. Total weight for my size small sample is a respectable 7.74 kg (17.06 lb), without pedals or accessories.
What’s been most obvious to me about the Veyo so far is its chassis stiffness. It’s very responsive and snappy under power, both at the bottom bracket and head tube, and it generally feels fantastic both off the line and out of the saddle. It naturally lends itself to sprinting, and while the total weight of my particular sample isn’t especially feathery, that excellent stiffness goes a long way toward making the Veyo an eager climber, particularly on short-and-steep pitches that require a big burst of power.
Ride comfort has proven so far to be an interesting mix, particularly given Fezzari’s claims in that department. Indeed, the Veyo is surprisingly comfortable most of the time, particularly given what those deeper tube cross-sections – especially the seatpost – might otherwise suggest. Nevertheless, the Veyo has been impressively smooth and very well damped across a wide range of tarmac conditions.
However, I’d argue that damped sensation crosses over somewhat into being a little numb, and the Veyo also isn’t the most communicative frame I’ve ridden. And exactly as you’d expect, bigger impacts still send a harsh jolt through the bars and saddle that more compliant frames are more likely to better soak up a little more.
Handling-wise, the Veyo is exactly the fleet-footed racer Fezzari intends for it to be. Trail dimensions range from 63 mm in the smallest size to 54 mm at the other end, bottom bracket drop is average for the segment at 72-68 mm, and the wheelbase, chainstays, and front center are all as compact as you’d expect for a go-fast road bike. As such, the Veyo is appropriately quick to initiate turns and it’s easy to alter your line mid-corner, and it feels plenty stable at high speed – not like a long/low/slack gravel bike, of course, but certainly stable enough where seasoned riders will feel plenty comfortable in a full tuck at 80 km/h.
The fit is also suitably aggressive, with relatively long reach figures and fairly low stack heights across the board.
Fezzari clearly isn’t trying to rock the boat aesthetically with the Veyo, but that’s not meant to be an underhanded compliment. The lines are pretty clean, the paint color is elegant and understated with a refreshing dearth of in-your-face graphics, and while the tube shapes aren’t incredibly inspiring, they’re perfectly inoffensive. Potential buyers who just can’t get past that contrived-sounding Fezzari brand name will also be happy to see there’s just a single (and pretty small) logo on either side of the down tube. Overall, I think it’s a nice-looking bike.
But is the Veyo actually aero? That’s a tough one to answer, and Fezzari’s answers to my questions on the subject don’t necessarily lend a huge amount of confidence. Fezzari may have admirably gone for a more balanced approach here, but numbers still matter when it comes to aero claims, and numbers are noticeably absent here.
With the caveat that wholly non-scientific subjective accounts don’t mean a whole lot when it comes to aero bike performance, I’ll say that my seat-of-the-pants feedback is the Veyo feels faster than a completely non-aero bike, but it doesn’t seem as easy to hit higher speeds as some top-shelf competition I’ve ridden recently, nor does the Veyo seem to magically hold those high speeds as effortlessly as those more-established competitors. That said, if you’re looking to upgrade your current (non-aero) road bike and are looking for some free speed without breaking the bank, the Veyo seems like a pretty decent way to go.
And that brings me to my next point, which is price. Fezzari’s consumer-direct sales model has always provided excellent value, and the new Veyo range is no different. Even with the upgraded Zipp 303-S wheels of my test sample – and even compared to other value-oriented consumer-direct brands – the Veyo makes a strong financial case for itself.
At US$5,700, it’s US$500 less expensive than a Trek Emonda SL 7, US$1,300 cheaper than a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Di2, US$2,100 less costly than a Specialized Tarmac SL7 Pro, or US$2,300 less than a Giant Propel Advanced Pro 0 Di2. Granted, these aren’t exact apples-to-apples comparisons, and it’s definitely debatable if the Veyo SL frameset is as good as those other bikes.
Nevertheless, all of these are aero-focused all-rounders equipped with Shimano’s latest Ultegra Di2 groupset and aero carbon clinchers, and as I already mentioned, the Veyo feels great on the road. For a lot of buyers, that’ll be enough.
More information can be found at www.fezzari.com.