I gave my new Felt Breed 30 a shakedown ride yesterday and in a word - fun! I went with the Breed 30 instead of the 20 because I wanted a double crank, I trust and know Shimano 105, and $2000 was what I wanted to spend. I rode it 33 miles through a flat area that had a mix of pavement, fine gravel, chunky gravel, dirt, grass, rooty doubletrack, and sand. On pavement this bike feels like a road bike, albeit a road bike that you can bunny hop and ride over parking stops. Yes I have to put forth more effort to hold the Breed at the speeds of my road bike but it was smooth and impressive nonetheless. I definitely see myself using this bike on the road more than I thought I would. It will replace my townie and also be used for rambling, goof-off road rides where I’m simply out for fun. But I bought the Breed for fast gravel rides and that’s where it shines. It was surprisingly plush on the gravel, dirt and grass. The 47c tires pumped to 30-35 psi provide a lot of suspension. The super cushy handlebar tape helps too. I wasn’t expecting such a comfortable ride. On the rooty double track I definitely felt the hits and I had to get out of the saddle a lot. But Palmetto roots are rough on a mountain bike too so no disappointment there. In the sugar sand the going was rough. But only a fat bike is “good” in sugar sand. In addition to providing a lot of cushion, the WTB Byways were stable. They gripped really well except on dry, loose turns where I had to slow down and be a little more cautious. Every tire is going to be a compromise in certain conditions but these tires do a admirable job of being a do-it-all tire.
My mtb is 27.5 so I’m used to that size wheel and along with the cross-compatibility, that was part of the appeal of the Breed. On gravel I think this is the way to go. With 650b I have more stability and control so I don’t see myself changing to 700c on this bike. So far I haven’t made any changes except to set it up tubeless and install Crank Brothers Candy 1 pedals. However, I am considering some changes but want to test the bike out a while longer. I might swap out the more mtb-oriented Prologo Nago X10 T2.0 saddle for my road saddle the Fizik Antares. Also, the spacer stack is pretty high and it has a 100mm stem which puts me more upright than I’m used to. It’s kind of nice that way and I like the added control but I might remove a spacer and try a 110mm stem and see how it feels to be more stretched out.
The Breed comes with all sorts of mounts for racks, fenders, bottle cages, and a direct mount top tube bag. This is all very cool but to be honest I’ll probably never use any of it except for the top tube bag. I’m eyeing a Oveja Negra Snack Pack. That being said, it’s nice to know that if I ever wanted to try bikepacking the Breed 30 would be more than suitable.
I’ll update this post after I’ve owned and ridden the bike some more but my initial impressions are obviously very favorable. I think Felt has a winner with the Breed. It checked all the right boxes for me; 650b with massive tire clearance, Shimano components, a T47 BB (very cool to see a major brand spec’ng this). Sure I’d like a carbon frame but for a bike I won’t ride that often I didn’t want to move up to the carbon price point. And last but not least this bike just looks cool. The glossy black and glittery green paint pops in the sun.