Felt launches racy Breed Carbon gravel bike with big tyre clearance, suspension compatibility and anything but symmetry

Felt has launched its Breed Carbon gravel bike designed for off-road racing, featuring big tyre clearance, suspension compatibility and an asymmetrical bottom bracket.

The Californian brand has seen itself as being at the forefront of carbon fibre in the industry but previously released its gravel platform as aluminium-only in the Breed 20 and 30 bikes. However, the Breed Carbon isn’t just a material upgrade, it’s a broader development with an emphasis on versatility and gravel racing.

Headline features of the Felt Breed Carbon are longer chainstays that are asymmetrical, an asymmetrical T47 bottom bracket, clearance for up to 700c×50mm or 650b×2in tyres, compatibility for front suspension and a dropper post, and a proprietary vibration-damping seatpost sleeve.

The Felt Breed Carbon comes in three specs and three paint jobs, and prices for complete builds range from €2,999 to €6,599. UK pricing TBC.

Brave new world

The Breed Carbon is Felt’s first release – coming alongside the announcement of the IA 2.0 triathlon bike – since being bought out by Austrian two-wheeled specialists Pierer Mobility AG late last year, and it comes with a slightly different logo typeface.

Although the new parent company has ambitious plans for growth both for Felt and thanks to Felt with its position in the North American market, it’s too soon to show itself in products like the Breed Carbon, which has been in development for several years.

That’s not to say the Breed Carbon isn’t an ambitious launch though, Felt says it wanted to take the time to make sure its first premium gravel option was done right. That’s why aluminium came first.

Brian Wilson, Felt’s vice president of product management and sourcing, says, ‘It was a blessing in disguise that it took us a little bit longer to get to the finish line because we really had a chance to monitor what was going on in the market and make sure that our geometry and component compatibility was spot on.’

Wilson says that means it’s not just a road frame with wider tyres, it’s a true modern gravel bike with cross-surface versatility and adaptability.

Felt Breed Carbon geometry

While Wilson mentions taking time to get geometry right, the numbers aren’t much different from the Breed aluminium models.

The noticeable difference is the longer rear centre, with an extra 10mm in all sizes to make room for bigger tyres.

Not a carbon copy of the alloy Breed

Despite that similar setup, the Breed Carbon adds plenty to the platform, which was already described as ‘an ideal gravel bike’ by Cyclist tech editor Sam Challis.

The first thing to notice – and split opinion – is the shape of the tubing. Influenced by ‘industrial’ design, the front of the top tube features a small kink and the seat tube shapes slightly around the rear wheel, creating a thick seat tube junction. Felt says that this is mainly for aesthetic purposes but does help in integrating the seatpost clamp.

Integration isn’t the only thing added to that area either. With a round tube cavity, the seat tube is just the right size for a 30.9mm seatpost or 30.6mm dropper post, however Felt has developed the TaperLoc seatpost system to fit a 27.2mm post. TaperLoc is a sleeve that sits in the top of the seat tube around the hidden seat post, working to damp vibrations and soften rough terrain.

On the subject of softening terrain, the Breed Carbon has been given a 20mm shorter head tube and 20mm longer fork, providing room to fit a suspension fork if required. Felt is pushing that message of versatility, with 700c×38mm tyres fitted as standard but clearance for up to 50mm, and capacity to fit both 650b and 29in wheels with 2in tyres. This helps to open it up to riders taking on singletrack rather than just open gravel and fire roads.

To cover all bases there are plenty of mounts fitted for bottles and bags, with bosses on the top tube, standard cage mounts, under-downtube mounts on all sizes as well as an extra set on top of the downtube for size 54 and up. Felt says it’s developing a box to fit on the top tube mount around the frame kink.

One of the standout features of the aluminium Breed frames was also a kink, on the non-driveside chainstay just before the rear wheel making room for the tyres. That’s gone, although both chainstays still curve but outwards to the dropouts. Even with the wider tyre capacity, no such shaping is required on the Breed Carbon to create space thanks to the new bottom bracket setup.

Potentially the feature that Felt is most excited about is the introduction of an asymmetrical bottom bracket based on the standard T47, which the brand is calling T47-77. On the non-driveside it has a width of 42.75mm and internal bearings. On the driveside the width is 34mm – the total width of both sides is 76.75, hence T47-77 – and has external bearings, which Felt says prevents the chain getting jammed between frame and chainring if it drops.

‘It doesn’t require special parts, you can still buy normal T47 parts,’ says Wilson. ‘In talking to other bottom bracket makers including SRAM, when Felt brought this idea to them they thought the asymmetric idea may catch on.’

Felt Breed Carbon models and pricing

The Felt Breed Carbon comes in two Shimano GRX builds and one SRAM Force eTap model, with three colours: LimeLight (yellow and green), Scrub (blue and grey) and Lava (dark grey and purple).

Felt Breed Carbon ADV Force eTap

Felt Breed Carbon ADV GRX 810

Felt Breed Carbon GRX 600