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Felt Breed 20 review

Lightweight aluminium meets dirt-conquering capability

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £2,159.00 RRP | USD $2,899.00 | EUR €2,399.00
Felt Breed 20 gravel bike

Our review

Nimble yet stable-handing, smartly designed gravel machine
Pros: Lively handling; great equipment; solid value for money
Cons: Dry conditions tyres not best suited to the UK
Skip to view product specifications

With its aluminium frame, premium drivetrain and some classy finishing kit, the Felt Breed certainly looks value-packed.

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You’d be hard pushed to find a gravel bike for this kind of money equipped with a full carbon fork, carbon seatpost, titanium-railed saddle, carbon cranks, tubeless-ready wheels and quality tubeless tyres, without even mentioning the SRAM Force drivetrain and brakes.

The Breed’s geometry is well-thought-out, with a relaxed 71-degree head angle and road-like 73-degree at the seat.

Throw in a 50mm fork offset and 38c tyres for a trail of 69mm (distance of the front tyre’s contact point behind the steering axis: a small figure means a fast-handling bike, while more trail slows down steering response) and you have a bike that’s easy to manoeuvre on the road and dirt, and copes effortlessly with rough and random surfaces.

The 1,035mm wheelbase cranks up stability while the cleverly kinked seat tube means the bike’s rear end, with its 420mm chainstays, delivers a nimble edge.

475154565861
Seat angle (degrees)747474737372
Head angle (degrees)7070.570.57171.571.5
Rear center (cm)424242424242
Seat tube (cm)444750525457
Top tube (cm)535455.55758.560
Head tube (cm)1213.51516.51820
Fork offset (cm)555555
Bottom bracket drop (cm)7.27.27.27.27.27.2
Wheelbase (mm)1,0131,0191,0301,0351,0391,048
Standover (cm)68.770.873.775.777.780.5
Stack (cm)54.456.157.559.160.762.6
Reach (cm)37.43838.538.939.339.7

The Breed has plenty of tyre clearance, taking up to 45mm wide tyres in 700c and huge 2.1in tyres in 650b.

The frame’s well-appointed with fixtures and fittings for three cages, internal routing for 1x and 2x drivetrains, a mount on the top tube for a bag, rack mounts and proper mudguard mounts with a bridge on the rear stays.

You can fit a rack to the Felt Breed 20 gravel bike
The Breed’s seat collar has a double fitting ready for a rack.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Felt Breed 20 ride impressions

The Breed excels on fast hard-packed surfaces and tarmac between trail sections. Some of that’s down to the geometry and the use of 700c wheels; some of it’s down to the excellent graphene-infused Vittoria Terrano tyres.

Their textured centre strip rolls fast on the hard stuff with its straight-line speed not far off a road tyre. They’ve just enough shoulder tread to bite on dirt corners but, as these are the ‘dry’ version of the tyre they don’t fair so well when the gravel’s wet and mud-laden.

In adverse conditions the rear tyre breaks traction all too easily and I struggled to keep the front tracking true. I have used the ‘wet’ version of the tyre, though, and it’s impressive in the mud.

The gearing’s classic 1x gravel stuff, thanks to its 40-tooth chainring and 11-42 cassette, shifted using SRAM’s premium Force mech. The shifting’s crisp, while a chain-tensioning clutch on the mech ensured I didn’t drop the chain even on some seriously rocky descents.

The Praxis carbon cranks are an impressive addition
The Praxis carbon cranks are an impressive addition.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Felt’s choice of using a Praxis 1x specific carbon chainset is a good one, I’ve always been impressed with the quality of Praxis components and the cranks here combine lightness with stiffness superbly and the tooth profiling of the chainring is as good for smooth operation and chain retention as SRAM’s own models.

The Force brakes offer plenty of tactile feel that’s backed up with heaps of power.

Felt Breed 20 gravel bike is equipped with SRAM Force disc brakes
The SRAM Force brakes are a cut above the rest too.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The Breed’s finishing kit is from in-house brand Devox and it’s good. The Devox stem has weight-saving cut-outs at the clamp and it holds the brilliantly shaped Devox bar.

With its compact drop, subtle flare and back-sweep, it’s superbly ergonomic and comfortable down in the drops and on the hoods. The back sweep on the tops also gives a great cruising position.

The Felt Breed 20 gravel bike is equipped with a Devox gravel bar
The Devox gravel bar was one of my favourites on test.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Alexrims wheels feature a 21mm internal rim that’s built for tubeless tyres. The hubs spin smoothly on cartridge bearings, though took about 10 hours to bed in properly.

The Breed’s running gear didn’t settle down quite as swiftly. The tubeless valves didn’t fit the rims as they should. Akin to the hubs, they soon settled down, but then both front and rear developed significant leaks, losing pressure as I rode. However, it turned out that in Felt’s rush to be helpful to our testing process, it had set the wheels up in haste and used the wrong brand of valves.

So once I’d switched the valve retaining nuts for a more compatible set with better rubber seals the problem was cured.

The Felt Breed 20 gravel bike is equipped with a Prologo Dimension saddle
Prologo’s Dimension is one of the best short saddles around.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Felt Breed 20 overall

The Breed’s a truly superb bike – it’s great value, has wonderful on- and off-road manners and it has real spark when it comes to both acceleration and handling.

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Once the pressure problems with the wheel setup were cured, I was even more enamoured by the Breed’s considerable charms

How we tested

Gravel riding is more popular than ever and if you’re looking to have a gravel adventure and have a two-grand budget, we’d suggest searching beyond carbon and looking at some of the toughest rides around made of metal.

This quartet of versatile and durable bikes was selected from brands you may not be aware of or because of a unique point of difference, but all dispense with carbon for steel and aluminium.

Each bike was tested on a variety of terrain on our local gravel routes that included rocky tracks and byways, as well as tarmac roads.

Also on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €2399.00GBP £2159.00USD $2899.00
Weight 9.36kg (56cm)
Brand Felt

Features

Available sizes 47, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61cm
Headset Felt
Tyres Vittoria Terrano Dry G2.0 38c 700c
Stem Devox stem
Shifter SRAM Force
Seatpost Devox carbon C2
Saddle Prologo Dimension NDR T4.0
Rear derailleur SRAM Force
Handlebar Devox DBar A1 bar
Bottom bracket Praxis T47
Frame Superlite aluminium
Fork UHC carbon
Cranks Praxis Zayante carbon 40t
Chain SRAM
Cassette Praxis Zayante carbon 40t
Brakes SRAM Force
Wheels Devox RDS A.0 700c