Posted by Editor on 03/30/16
Felt has three models in their DD (Double Double) fat bike line up, with the DD 70 we tested the entry level offering. All three models come with essentially the same 6061 aluminum double butted frame. The DD 70 and DD 30 (next model up) have the same Felt Fat 6061 aluminum fork, while the top of line DD 10 is equipped with a RockShox Bluto RL suspension fork with 100mm of travel. Either the 30 or the 70 can accept a suspension fork.
The DD 70 offers a solid but not fancy spec, with Tektro Novella mechanical disc brakes, a Shimano drivetrain of Deore shifters with SLX front and Alivio rear derailleurs, plus a RaceFace Ride SM triple crankset. The tires are the same across all three models - Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 26x4.0 - and are a great choice. We have said it repeatedly: fat bike tire choice makes a huge difference in the ride, and it shows here.
The 4.0" tire width is pretty much in the middle of the fat bike range, and provides a good balance between handling characteristics in soft or sloppy conditions, and still retaining maneuverability at speed. This is a fairly lightweight all-around tire, so if you are planning on riding in really sloppy, muddy conditions you will have to run the tires a pretty low pressure, or swap them out for something else.
The geometry of the DD 70 is closer to that of a cross-country bike then a trail bike, which makes this bike more of a pleasure then many fat bikes on tight and narrow singletrack trails. Some of that can be no doubt traced to the steeper then normal headtube at 70 degrees, which makes this a much quicker steering bike then many fat bikes. If you are looking for a bike with ride characteristics similar to a traditional XC bike, then the DD series will fit the bill.
At $1699, the DD 70 offers good value, however, I would suggest upgrading to the DD 30 at $2199. For the extra outlay you get considerably superior Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes, plus a Deore front derailleur and XT rear.