Felt Q720 review£850.00

Mid-range all-rounder

BikeRadar score2.5/5

Felt don’t have the brand recognition of some of the more established big-hitters, but with a huge range encompassing most varieties of human-propelled two-wheeled transport we reckon they could give the big boys something to think about. The Q720 sits a tad over halfway up the Q hardtail range, blending swoopy looks with a tempting price ticket.

Ride & handling: Good looking frame delivers a decent ride in most trail situations.

Like many bikes in its price range, the Q720’s all-up weight doesn’t suggest that it’ll be particularly fleet of foot on the trails. It’s certainly not the fastest accelerating or keenest climber, but thin tube walls and sorted chassis design lend it a surprisingly svelte feel once everything’s wound up to speed. The longish stem pulls the rider’s weight well over the front wheel, providing plenty of stability at the expense of a rather tiller-like, ponderous feel at low speeds.

Plenty of room to move about over the bike helps inspire confidence through tricky trail sections, though the effect is spoiled by the fact that the own-brand tyres are a complete liability on wet rocks. Their narrow profile and open tread pattern is reasonable on dry dirt and in moderately muddy conditions, but if you ride anywhere remotely rocky you should consider an immediate switch.

Competent in most situations without excelling at anything in particular, the Q720 is a decent but unspectacular stab at a good value trail all-rounder. It’s held back by so-so weight, dodgy tyres, a stem that’s just a bit too long and a fork whose build quality isn’t entirely convincing. None of these is a deal breaker, but neither do they propel the Q720 to the top of the class.

Frame & equipment: Too heavy, the stem’s too long, the tyres too sketchy and the fork's mediocre

With its sculpted tube profiles, steeply sloping top tube and compact rear triangle, the Q720 is certainly a looker. Fastback seatstays, which attach to the seat tube below the top tube joint and therefore manage to do away with a reinforcing bridge, combine great rigidity with the down-to-earth functionality of rack mount bosses.

Up front, top and down tubes have had the full hydroforming treatment. A swooping waistline makes the top tube appear more curved than it is, while the massive down tube flares to embrace the entire width of the bottom bracket shell at one end and curves neatly into the head tube at the other. It’s all very neat, though the rear brake hose clips are rather prone to being knocked into the bushes – we replaced them with cable ties.

Components are standard fare for this price bracket, with a slick-shifting Shimano Alivio and SLX-based transmission and a Suntour XCR fork holding the front end up. As budget rock-munchers go it’s a decent effort, although grey gunge on the stanchions after our first ride don’t bode too well for long-term longevity and the bar-mounted remote lockout is overkill. We’d rather see decent wiper seals and, for that matter, adjustable rebound damping.

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