First ride review: Felt Breed Carbon gravel bike


Felt has just introduced its race-targeted gravel bike, the Breed Carbon, and we have had a prospect to locate out how it handles and accelerates on a journey in Austria.

2022 Felt Breed Carbon First Ride 14

Felt has had an aluminium edition of the Breed in its gravel selection for some a long time now but this is the brand’s first-at any time gravel release with a carbon frameset. It may well be a little bit late to the get together for a v1 but Felt has unveiled a extremely capable and functional racer that has a lot of neat touches to address the desires of all those who are seeking to blast on any terrain.

For all the tech aspects, check out out our news tale: Felt launches race-concentrated Breed Carbon gravel bike that’s dialled for speed

2022 Felt Breed Carbon First Ride 13

Felt says it has optimised the Blend for velocity though also giving clearance for tyres up to 50mm vast. There are a ton of neat touches, these kinds of as its flexibility with dropper posts and entrance suspension fork compatibility. The Breed Carbon also has a practical array of mounting details for fuelling, as which is also a component in going speedy, of course.

2022 Felt Breed Carbon First Ride 7

In advance of getting the bicycle out and checking out the community gravel offerings south of Salzburg, we experienced a much more in-depth presentation about the bike, getting to see and have an understanding of the critical functions. 

What was really cool is the twist that the brand name has carried out on a T47 threaded bottom bracket. On the non-travel facet, the bearings sit internally in the body, building for a neat, smooth changeover from the bottom bracket shell to the crank arms. But on the drive-aspect, an external bearing cup is applied, the reason getting that it makes a pretty useful way of catching the chain, really should you drop it.

Get a glimpse at 10 of the ideal 2022 gravel bikes & journey street bikes

With inside bearings and a bottom bracket shell that is closer to the crank arms, it can be really uncomplicated to mash the chain versus the frame should really it at any time appear off. It’s not enjoyable. I did not get to check this feature on the trip these days due to the fact the chain stayed on in the course of, but it was there if necessary.

One more attention-grabbing touch is the seatpost clamp, which has the grub screw threading into a replaceable insert – so if you mash the threads, it is just a small inexpensive element to switch, fairly than messing up the body.

The up coming issue was irrespective of whether the exact same was the case for the via-axles, as some manufacturers have replaceable dropouts in this article, but Felt claims that the threaded aluminium inserts for the dropouts are bonded into the carbon, so if you cross-thread these, you do possibility severe problems. 

The ride 

The prepared loop was just south of Salzburg, in the foothills of the Austrian Alps and around the valley of the river Salzach which cuts through the metropolis. It presented a good deal of wide variety in just 30km, from wide, flat open up paths along the banking institutions (gravel that some could possibly refer to as ‘prime’), to brutally steep climbs and flowing descents. It was typically double keep track of, but diving off the major trails and into the woods periodically, there was a superior amount of money of twisty singletrack of different gradients to get stuck into.

2022 Felt Breed Carbon First Ride 19

The Breed Carbon was a great deal rigid. Felt aren’t in the sport of making a super light-weight gravel bike like Specialised has with the Crux and so it could signify they take a hit in the spreadsheet wars, but they say they’d rather make something that’s solid and will verify strong. It meant that sprinting up to velocity felt efficient following the slow 90 degree turns off the bridges as we crisscrossed the river.

Read our Specialized S-Operates Crux 2022 overview

2022 Felt Breed Carbon First Ride 2

Portion of that is possible down to the make. SRAM’s second-tier Force might not be the lightest groupset out there but it does conserve body weight more than some options. The Zipp 303s wheels are also a pretty lightweight solution – whilst not as light-weight as some other gravel wheels – and these were shod with Vittoria tyres with nominal tread, so the spec was geared towards more rapidly driving. 

Examine out our SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset review

2022 Felt Breed Carbon First Ride 4

As we started to climb, initial on tarmac access roads made use of by the entrepreneurs of the wonderful houses nestled in the hillside, the bike nonetheless felt pleasingly responsive. The major gains of a slack head angle and more time entrance-centre relate to the descending, but a secondary advantage is that there was no toe-overlap with the front wheel – building tighter turns at gradual speed as simple to execute as they actually must be. 

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It’s well worth mentioning, while, that the tyres I was riding were being 38mms (measuring additional like 40mm extensive on the rims owing to the wide internal width) – if you went up to the full 2. inches (50mm) that the frame/fork will take then most likely the tyre would hit your ft. Or possibly not. All I can say for positive is that this established-up worked well for me in that regard.

10 greatest gravel bike tyres for 2022

Continuing to climb, the path steadily transitioned into finer, shingle and then into moist and earthy forest paths. Listed here the bike felt a small compromised by the option of tyres. It would have been better earning the most of the bike’s 50mm clearances and the ability to operate reduced pressures for larger deflection above the roots and rocks sunk into the paths. Also, taller treads were being incredibly significantly needed for sufficient traction. 

2022 Felt Breed Carbon First Ride 6

Thanks to this, I didn’t get so clear a picture of how the bicycle actually handles the off-highway climbs but the exact same features the Breed Carbon showed on the tarmac sections shone through for the most aspect. It won’t be until we have 1 despatched about for a complete critique and we can swap out the tyres for a set improved suited to that form of terrain that we’ll be capable to get a total idea of its complex climbing efficiency. 

It was a very similar tale for the descending. We took in a blend of tarmac roadways, double track and singletrack excursions. On the tarmac, the bike felt super self-confident in its managing and grip, permitting me to take corners at velocity.

That largely shone by far too on the double and one track but, again, it was tough to really rail the corners with the semi-slick Vittoria tyres and on the rougher things I was cautious of bottoming out the rims on sq.-edged hits. 

Despite the fact that it would have been wonderful to make the most of the terrain, it was really the best balance it could be. No tyre option will be sure to everybody and be suited for all surfaces, and Felt are promoting the bike with all those Vittoria tyres as they believe it is the finest match for the terrain most people will have obtain to. 

But to trip far more rolling and somewhat sleek trails would have revealed only a part of what the Breed Carbon is designed for, so it was wonderful to be in the hills and using all that in, and it did make feeling that we’d be riding the stock spec alternatively than using a various set of tyres.

2022 Felt Breed Carbon  seat post

In phrases of the excess touches, the vibration damping sleeve for the seatpost was quite very good. I undoubtedly drove the pace over some rockier rough things and uncovered it wasn’t very so jarring – the journey wasn’t a specifically extensive gravel a person but it is even now reassuring that I failed to commence experiencing any saddle soreness.

Pressing at the rear of the saddle with just your hand, you could see it flexing. Interestingly, though, the saddle failed to move to the degree of the Cervelo R5 all-rounder functionality street bicycle I’ve a short while ago been riding, and it needed much more drive. Nevertheless, you get a lot extra flex than on a bike with just dropped seat stays and a lowered clamp. 

As we had been using along I listened to a loud clunk. Stone hitting carbon is not a nice sound and it really is anything that can transpire a ton on gravel rides. To aid the Breed Carbon far better get on the terrain, Felt has positioned moulded rubber protectors together the underside of the down tube and base bracket, as well as alongside the push-side chainstay. When I did still hear the occasional hollow ping from gravel strikes on other elements of the frame, it was reassuring to know that the protector is quietly fending off a proportion.

2022 Felt Breed Carbon protector

It is apparent that Felt has paid out distinct consideration to the specifics, and the bicycle seemed very neat. As it was set up 1x, there was a modern blanking plate in the position of the entrance derailleur hanger.

So there you have our initially ideas on the Felt Breed Carbon. It’s able and multipurpose and certainly encourages you to travel out the corners and hammer the straights. 

We’ll be receiving the bicycle in for a full review quickly so retain an eye out for that on

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