You might not have heard too much about Felt lately, but that should change with Felt launching the Breed Carbon gravel race bike.
Building on the brand’s racing heritage – from Olympic gold medals at the velodrome to three decades of winning the Triathlon World Championships and twice CX World Championships with Wout van Aert – Felt is now doubling down on performance efforts, starting with the launch of the Breed Carbon gravel race bike.
To give some context, Felt’s bikes are still designed and developed in California – as they have been since 1991 – but last year the brand was acquired by Pierer Mobility (an Austrian multinational specializing in all things two wheels), bringing a portfolio of sister brands alongside Felt.
Depending on which country you are in, you may not have heard of Husqvarna or Raymon, but these will be the brands where electric utility bikes and commuter/recreational models will be developed.
From now on, the emphasis is on that “Felt is fast” – it’s a phrase you’re going to hear a lot more – and will focus on performance. But enough of that – let’s get straight into the details of Felt’s new Breed Carbon gravel bike.
Felt Breed Carbon Gravel Race Bike
Felt designed the Breed Carbon as a speed-oriented gravel bike. Of course, you can always attach bike bags to it for a night or a long weekend, but the intention is for the bike to be ridden hard, fast and competitive.
Yet that emphasis on speed still hasn’t come at the expense of rougher-terrain capability. Optimized around 700c x 45mm tyres, there’s clearance to go up to 50mm, while the steerer tube has also been designed to handle the stresses of a suspension fork.
There’s no shortage of frame bosses, with a total of four sets around the main triangle – plus an optional top tube bag, but the purpose of these mounts is primarily to carry bottles – there’s no There are no triple bosses on the fork for the cargo cages and no mounting points for a rack or fenders.
The framework includes some pretty neat features. Integrated frame protection isn’t something we see so much on gravel bikes, but there are inserts on the bottom of the downtube and chain stay to protect against rock kicks and chain slap .
A face plate on the lower part of the seat tube allows for a clean look when racing 1x, but removing it reveals mounts for a front derailleur, opening up a wider range of gears with tighter jumps.
The oversized seat tube is quite an interesting point. This houses a rubber damper for probing the bumps with a 27.2mm seatpost. Or, if you want more compatibility with a wider range of dropper posts, it’s removable and will fit a 30.9mm dropper post instead.
In terms of geometry, the Breed Carbon leans towards the progressive but doesn’t quite hit the established limits. In a 54cm size, the 70.5 degree head angle is very slack, while the 72mm BB drop is also a little below average.
With the 430mm chainstays—not super short nominally, but given the tire clearance that’s especially tight—the geometry seems to be in line with Felt’s vision of a more performance-oriented ride.
Maybe the 575mm stack is a bit taller than you’d expect for his racing designs, and the 385mm reach is a bit shorter than the 400mm longer you see on racing designs. more progressive framework. But that said, neither is hugely out of step with comparison bikes.
Going back to tire clearances, while there are plenty of bikes out there with the same capacity for bigger rubber – the Canyon Grizl being perhaps the most prominent of them – most of these bikes tend to be optimized for bikepacking and long-distance touring, rather than racing. .
The majority of the recent crop of gravel race bikes have their clearances capped at 45mm, so the Breed Carbon is a pretty rare offering in its mix of trail capability and fast intentions. Perhaps the 3T Exploro Race Max is the closest comparison, but while well respected, it’s not a mainstream bike.
The price is as follows:
Race Carbon | Force eTap AXS | $7,549 / £5,939
Race Carbon | GRX 810 | $5,249 / £4,229
Race Carbon | GRX 600 | $3,549 / £2,699
Race Carbon | Frame set | $2,499
I’m going to take my first ride on the Breed Carbon in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, just south of the historic city of Salzburg – so we’ll see if it delivers.