– Felt is Fast
My new bike partner is Felt, and I got to try the Felt Carbon Breed this year. I am impressed. It definitely feels like an upgrade to my previous bikes, and I can assure you it is fast!
My bike: Felt Breed Carbon Advanced with Sram Force and Zipp 303S wheels
Frame weight: 1,100
My bike weight (no pedals): 8,7 kg
Tire clearance: 700C - 50mm, 650b - 58mm
Highlights: Taperlock and dropper-ready seatpost, suspension-ready fork, aerodynamic frame
Price: starting at $3,549, similar setup as mine: $7,549
I had my bike on the training camp in Spain and quickly notices how the bike handled and how quick it was to respond. It felt stiff and fast, yet it was comfortable. On my first block on the 12 days training camp, I had 28mm tires on, mainly riding on the road. With my road racing background, I have been on many fast road bikes, yet my first impression was that this bike was fast also on the tarmac. Okay, it was not a pure aero road bike and not my go-to if I were doing an elite/pro-race, but for training or group rides, this wouldn't keep me from having a great ride.
For the second training block, I sat on 40mm gravel tires and went on more rough surfaces, varying from gravel, trails, or sand. Now the bike came to its fullest. On the gravel roads, I noticed how the seat post absorbed many vibrations while the aerodynamic frame helped stabilize the bike, so I quickly got good momentum on the more challenging sections. I was comfortable on the more technical downhill, and the handling was good.
I started my season in the US at the end of February with Renegade Rambler, followed by Belgian Waffle Ride Arizona and Mid South. The first and last ones were mainly on gravel roads, including some gnarly sections or parts with chunky gravel. As I had experiences in Spain, the bike would handle this terrain great, and I had two good races with solid performances, especially by winning the Renegade Rambler.
The BWR event in Arizona was different, as it was lots of singletracks and technical riding. You had to be on top of your bike handling. Again the Felt Carbon Breed was a good choice, and I was comfortable on the single tracks. I was in control on the trails, yet I had a fast bike on the tarmac between the sections.
So far, I can say I definitely like the bike.
The bike's geometry differs from other bikes I have ridden, as it's built to be fast, with an aerodynamic frame. But aero is not everything, and making sure I can ride push power to the pedals hour after hour is just as important. With the flex in the seat post, I feel it's comfortable, and the vibrations from the surface aren't making me too fatigued.
I like how the frame is ready for the dropper post and suspension fork. The option to quickly change the setup can make a big difference as I can specialize the bike to the given event. I also like the tire clearance, which is wider than most frames. I might not ride a 50mm tire often, but if the course is challenging, I think it's great to have the option. Last year I rode The Rift, and in that course, I would have liked to have a bike with wider tires and suspension. In my own race Nesfjellet Gravelduro I will also set the bike up with suspension and a dropper post, perfect for the downhills.
An added feature I like for gravel is the many options for adding bottle cages or frame bags. For longer races with limited numbers of feed zones, having more bottles on the bike can be very valuable. There are screws for up to 5(!!) bottle cages and three inside the frame. This year, I will race with three bottles for most of my gravel races.
The versatility of the bike is excellent. This bike can do it all. If you set it up with road tires, you are ready for a fast, long ride on the tarmac. If you go with 50 mm tires and suspension, you are ready to seek adventures wherever the trails lead you. You don't stop when it gets rough.
I can highly recommend the bike, and if I only had one bike, I would go for the Felt Carbon Breed.
SEE MORE: Felt Bikes website (external link)