Felt DD 10 fat bike review

Big wheeler hits sweet spot on geometry, spec — and price

Fat Bike Winter Guide
Total weight, size large, is 31.8 pounds. Price is $3000.

Total weight, size large, is 31.8 pounds. Price is $3000 (click to enlarge).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Mtbr Ultimate Guide to winter mountain biking, fat bikes, gear, apparel, lights and trainers. We are taking a deep dive into all manner of cold weather mountain bike gear, with round-ups and reviews of fat bikes, tires, wheels, apparel, trainers, lights and more. To see all the articles, head over to our Winter Guide Hub Page.

Lowdown: Felt DD 10 Fat Bike

Though there are exceptions, the fat bike niche can generally be broken down by examining three key metrics: price, suspension (or lack thereof), and frame geometry. For price, the dividing line is typically around $3000. Anything above that and you’re likely getting a carbon frame and the requisite lightweight benefits. Anything below and aluminum is material of choice.

Suspension is a simple yes or no. With it you get greater diversity of use, but a higher price and heftier overall weight. Without it, price and weight go down, but anything other than snow riding can be an exercise in molar loosening.

The 455mm chainstays hit a sweet spot between handling and stability.

The 455mm chainstays hit a sweet spot between handling and stability (click to enlarge).

Finally, geometry primarily looks at chainstay length and headtube angle. Long stays, roughly 455mm and up, mean better straight line stability at the expense of tight-handling capability. Conversely, short stays mean a more poppy feel and can help with uphill traction. Finally, headtube angle tips around 70 degrees. Anything steeper and you’re entering the realm of twitchiness with the benefit of sharp steering feel. Slacker set-ups make shorter work of techy terrain, but can lead to vague steering, especially in slower-moving situations.

Then there is the Felt DD 10 fat bike, which rides the proverbial white line with its $3000 price tag, 70-degree head angle, 455mm chainstays, and a 100mm RockShox Bluto suspension fork. So is this a true happy medium, or an act of compromise? Read our full review below to find out.

Stat Box
Frame: Double butted 6061 aluminum Wheels: Single-wall 80mm rims
Fork: Rock Shox BLUTO RL A2, 100mm Hubs: Forged aluminum
Shifters: Shimano XT Tires: Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0″
Rear derailleur: Shimano XT Hub spacing: 12x197mm rear/15x150mm front
Cassette: Shimano XT 11-40 Headtube angle: 70 degrees
Cranks: RaceFace Ride 30t Chainstay length: 455mm
Brakes: Shimano Deore M615 Wheelbase: 1151mm (size large)
Rotors: 180mm front/160mm rear Standover: 82.5mm (size large)
Bars: 760mm Felt MTB carbon Flat top Sizes: SM (16″), MD (18.5″), LG (21″)
Stem: 80mm Felt MTB 3D-forged Weight: 31.8 pounds (size large)
Grips: Felt Wing lock-on Price: $3000
Saddle: WTB Volt Race Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 Chilis-out-of-5
Seatpost: Felt carbon shaft, dual bolt

Pluses
Minuses
  • Good frame bag clearance
  • Tall gearing
  • Rack mounts
  • Soft snow traction
  • Fast rolling tires
  • Overall weight
  • Carbon components
  • Suspension adds weight
  • Wide bars
  • Heavier Deore components
  • Snappy handling
  • Tall standover height
  • Shimano shifting/braking
  • So-so hub engagement
  • Understated look
  • Tubeless set-up tricky
  • Suspension adds versatility
  • Short’ish rear end
  • Tapered headtube
  • Ample tire clearance

Review: Felt DD 10 Fat Bike

Felt has never been a particularly flashy brand. Like component giant Shimano, it typically opts for staid letter-number driven product nomenclature (like DD 10) versus perhaps more compelling monikers such as Big ED, Fat Boy, Farley or LES Fat. But don’t let this lack of marketing moxie fool you. The SoCal based bike maker is first and foremost an engineering company, and it’s that analytical approach that impressed us most during our winter riding time on the DD 10 (which officially stands for Double Dee, though that name doesn’t appear anywhere on the bike).

In the winter we could take or leave the 100mm fork, but come summer it's a must have.

In the winter we could take or leave the 100mm fork, but come summer it’s a must have (click to enlarge).

This is seen most notably in the bike’s frame geometry. With a 70-degree headtube angle, Felt has hit a Goldilocks mark, not too steep and twitchy, but not too slack and clumsy. This was most appreciated during slow-moving, narrow trail situations, where steering must be precise but not overly twitchy, lest your front wheel wander off the side of the trail into the soft stuff, which typically results in an end of forward momentum — or worse.

Continue to page 2 for more of our Felt DD 10 fat bike review »

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


Related Articles


NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*


THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.