The day was sunny and beautiful – the screams of the mud and dirt were yelling from afar, so Heather and I, got the gear ready and went to some local trails near Chicago. She rode her trusty and popular Surly Pugsley, while I rode a newly acquired FELT DD30.
This is about the FELT fatty goodness… like the goodness attributed to churning butter, and its reward… butter. Do keep in mind, that it is about the ride and ‘built up’ personal experience. And the tool for this endeavor was the FELT DD30* – let’s begin (as I get served some roasted grapes and kiwis from the friendly wait staff at the Mafioso speakeasy)…
-Disclaimer on Puddle riding –
This puddle, in particular, is frequented by equestrians, motor vehicles, and other cyclists. The ground below is crushed limestone material, so all is well and no ruts were made.
FELT frame – An 18.5” double butted 6061 aluminum frame – stiff and gnarly on the human body on bumpy terrain. Most of us know that. The fat tires that come with this bike are, in my opinion, the plushness and comfort that come with the bike. The fork is a hydroformed 6061 aluminum (strong enough to be physically and verbally abused by a parolee).
Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0″ tires were used at 10 PSI. The terrain ridden to pop this bike’s cherry was a mix of gravel access roads, old sharp rock ruts, and tight and twisty (and at times muddy) single track and stream crossings. At that PSI, it did rather well – I was surprised at the tire’s handling in the muck. If the rear started sliding on what would be a truck’s watery and puddly rut, I would just sit and pedal with enough feel as to not make the tire skid with the motion.
The Jumbo Jim’s outer knobs handle great twisty single track with a good lateral bite, while the midsection’s shorter knobs are a good all around feel for dirt roads, asphalt, and general travel. Though, if I were to go back and ride snowy terrain in Colorado, I’d switch the tires out for Surly Nate tires, which to me, are the Velcro of fat bike tires.
I won’t bore you with components – With a good cluster of gears up front and rear, you are given a comfortable range of gears. Shimano Deore, XT, Race Face – that can tell you a lot, about what to expect. FELT spec’d this bike to the gills, with good components. Even the single-wall rims and thru hubs add kickassery to this glorious machine. Did I mention it comes with a WTB saddle and a FELT carbon handlebar? Shimano M615 hydraulics? The FELT machine comes with great pannier rack adaptability on the frame and fork, so racks can be added for long hauls, in addition to other customized tidbits. Ah, did I mention that the Matte Steel Blue paintjob makes it stand out like a neon pink sheep in a flock of otherwise drab spotted goats? It does.
How does the whole package handle? Great! Riding it up, down, twisty single track, here and there etc. It handles without any disappointments. The only disappointment is that I wanted to ride more but the day was drawing to a close and we needed to do other things. Later I’ll post a long term review, after I have a chance to hunt gnomes for full season on the Felt.
If you want to find out the very gritty details of this bike, simply click here.
* The only modifications – I switched from platform pedals to Shimano SPDs, and Ergon Grips. Everything else was left stock.