SOC14: Felt Goes 650b with Compulsion, Retro with American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe, & Electric with new LebowskE Fat Bike!
According to the interwebs, to be Enduro you need 650b wheels and something in Enduro blue – and maybe a fanny pack. With the introduction of the Compulsion 27.5, Felt is checking off two of those boxes. Developed in conjunction with their Enduro team, Felt is finally offering a 650b Compulsion which has been tweaked to work with the bigger wheels. Shown above in the top of the line Compulsion 10, the 160mm travel bike will be offered in a few builds with the 10 ranging from $4,999-5,499.
More details plus a collaboration with American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe and big changes to their fat-e bike after the break…
Carrying the Equilink suspension platform forward, the Compulsion 10 runs 160mm travel front and rear through a Rockshox Pike RC fork and Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock with a custom tune. By the numbers the bike runs a 66 degree headtube, 73.7 degree seat tube, and 436mm chainstays and will be sold in 16, 18, 20, and 22″ frames. The frame uses a hydroformed double butted 6061 aluminum front and rear triangle with a tapered head tube, internal dropper routing, threaded 73mm bb, and 142×12 rear axle.
Felt wins the award for best use of an empty front derailleur direct mount with their bottle opener cover. Machined from a piece of aluminum, the clean looking cover adds some functionality to what is becoming a seldom used mount in the world of enduro. Felt has no plans for production of the bottle opener cover, but we think they should – it’s better than just a flat cover.
Available early 2015.
Fans of the show American Pickers will be familiar with the fact that Mike Wolfe is a bike nut, but may not know he actually has some deep roots in the industry. According to Felt, he has been a shop owner, a rep, and can now throw bike designer in his repertoire after working with Felt on the limited edition Red Wolfe Cruiser.
After approaching Felt himself to do a collaboration, Mike apparently knew exactly what he wanted his bike to look like from the tires, to the color. The result is the Red Wolfe Cruiser which pays tribute to his Antique Archaeology shop and the number of vintage cruisers that he has found and restored over the years.
Featuring a hydroformed steel tank frame and a double crown fork, Mike chose 50mm color matched rims laced to a 3 speed Shimano coaster brake hub with 12g stainless spokes, all wrapped in Felt’s 26×2.125 Quick Brick tire. Offered only in red and in an 18″ frame, the cruiser will be limited to 250 pieces and retails for $749.
After making a splash with their Fat-E bike at Interbike last year, Felt was back with some big changes to their fat electric bicycle now amusingly called the LebowskE. What’s changed? For starters, instead of an offset 135mm rear end, the bike now uses a 190x12mm rear axle and a 150x15mm front axle – the same standard as the new Rockshox Bluto. While the LebowskE won’t come stock with a Bluto, the frame does feature a headset that will allow for a switch to the suspension fork that accounts for the change in geometry.
The rear end can be designed around a 190mm axle thanks to the fact that the Bosch Power system applies power through the crank rather than a rear hub motor. This also means there is much less rotational weight for a bike that actually pedals somewhat like a normal bike if you remove the battery pack.
Thanks to the Bosch Happy Hour at Laguna Seca, we had a chance to ride a Felt FatE and while it wasn’t the revised frame, it did give us a pretty good impression of what a Bosch Powered fat bike is like. Blasting around the track at Laguna Seca was fun, but the real test came when I attempted to ride up the corkscrew on the extremely loose runout on the side of the track. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it is steep. And Loose. Even with the fat tires, the wheels dug into the loose gravel but I was able to make it to the top. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible unlike the electric mountain bike I attempted it with. So there does seem to be some merit to a fat e bike whether it’s helping you climb super steep, loose slopes, or just providing some extra juice. With that said, the bike is extremely heavy and probably won’t be cheap. Was it fun though? Absolutely.