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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 05-27-16, 05:12 AM   #1
sk1er18
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Felt adventure series bikes (V85, V55)

I'm new to gravel grinding. Have been riding a hand me down road bike for the past few months and have decided I want an adventure/gravel grinder.

Been looking at a lot of bikes, Trek Crossrip/Ridley X-trail/CAADX/Jamis Renegade/Felt V series/etc.

Spec & price wise I really like the Felt V55 and V85, and surprised to not find much discussion about them on forums. Reviews seem great....

Thoughts? Wondering if I'm missing something or if Felt isn't as popular in the road world?
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Old 05-29-16, 05:34 PM   #2
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Hi - I'll chime in since no one else has - I've been looking at these gravel/adventure bikes for a month and the Felt v85 is at the top of my list as i'm looking for a rails/trails/ dirt road bike for rides up to 60 mi ( I try to stay away from hard top roads/cars). It fits me well, is comfortable and has a good component set for the money. I think the Giant revolt is good as is the Ridley but the GT grade, Specialized diverge and jamis renegade expat did not fit me as well or feel as comfortable so it's an individual thing and you just got to ride them. I don't know that much about bike brands but I think Felt is a well respected frame maker as is Jamis, just a matter of which one you like riding best. my only gripe about test rides is they all seem to be short/limited and what i really want to know is how is the bike going to feel after 25 miles, not jsut 15 or 20 minutes. I'd like to be able to rent them for a weekend and really wring them out.

good luck
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Old 05-29-16, 06:24 PM   #3
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Thanks. I feel your frustration with test rides being short. I did ride a V85 for a bit at the LBS and wish they had a V55 there for me to throw a leg over.

Test ride issue is standard across the board though. Just surprised at the lack of buzz about these bikes, which are seemingly great bang for the buck.
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Old 05-29-16, 06:29 PM   #4
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Agree - even when you search the net not a ton of stuff but what's there does seem positive. i think the v85 and v55 share the same frame so the 85 should have given you an idea of fit/geometry/comfort. The 55 was a bit out of my budget so I can't comment on the effect of different wheels/tires/components
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Old 05-30-16, 12:12 PM   #5
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Just got back from another LBS and they only carry the road and CX series right now. The adventure series is so new they're unsure what type of response they'll get since most people that come in ask for CX or road (though all-road/adventure/gravel grinding is becoming more popular). We had a good chat and they took my name/number. He said he'll talk to he person who's in charge of inventory and see if they had a look at the V85 and V55's yet, and will give me a call if they're going to bring a V55 into the store (no obligation on my part). They do have the F55X sitting front & center on the showroom, so it would be nice to have the V55 counterpart there with it.

Have to admit, the F55X looked nicer in person than the pictures. I now have a higher expectation for the V55. Hoping they get one in and I can take it for a spin next week .... will probably bring it home if I like it.
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Old 07-25-16, 02:00 PM   #6
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I purchased the V55 a couple months ago (I had to have it special ordered). I love how versatile it is...which is exactly why I bought it. I only have one bike now, and this covers all aspects of what I need.

Basically, I ride about 6 miles to work on paved roads, but some of those roads are horrible at best (and have blown many road-bike tires). Since it's about a 700ft climb to work, I needed wider gearing than my old cyclocross bike had...plus the disc brakes were a must for that downhill decent on a heavily trafficked road. As an added benefit, I wanted it to still work for my (occasional) longer recreational rides or triathlon.

The only downside is that it weighs a little more than other road bikes in this price range...so I some hard times keeping up with the group in the one group ride that I did. Group rides are not my thing, but I had a new bike and my buddy finally talked me into one. lol

So far, I have only (recently) swapped out the tires with Compass Bon Jon Pass tires (700x35c) for some added comfort.
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Old 10-27-16, 09:15 AM   #7
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Just what I'm looking for...

I think the V55 is just what I'm looking for and your posts/pics have been a great help. My currently bike is great for high speed blasts but not so good for anything over 40 miles... (Fuji Altamira, light and quick but a much more extreme position). Will post on here as and when I get the new steed....
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Old 10-27-16, 12:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RifterAD View Post
I purchased the V55 a couple months ago (I had to have it special ordered). I love how versatile it is...which is exactly why I bought it. I only have one bike now, and this covers all aspects of what I need.

Basically, I ride about 6 miles to work on paved roads, but some of those roads are horrible at best (and have blown many road-bike tires). Since it's about a 700ft climb to work, I needed wider gearing than my old cyclocross bike had...plus the disc brakes were a must for that downhill decent on a heavily trafficked road. As an added benefit, I wanted it to still work for my (occasional) longer recreational rides or triathlon.

The only downside is that it weighs a little more than other road bikes in this price range...so I some hard times keeping up with the group in the one group ride that I did. Group rides are not my thing, but I had a new bike and my buddy finally talked me into one. lol

So far, I have only (recently) swapped out the tires with Compass Bon Jon Pass tires (700x35c) for some added comfort.

Great looking bike!
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Old 10-28-16, 08:20 PM   #9
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I'm more than happy with my V55 (still)! I've probably put on ~500 miles now and it is better than ever...especially with the Compass tires. I was worried the tires would slow me down a tad, but I have not seen a drop in overall speed based on my garmin stats. But de have definitely noticed the added comfort from these tires on my horrible roads (this road construction will probably never end).

Also of note, I am definitely glad that I went with the hydrolic brakes (instead of the mech-brakes that is on the v85 & v100). It's still a bit unearving to hit 40 MPH going down the hill and then having to quickly hit hard on the brakes thanks to idiot drivers. Despite this, the brakes self adjust and has needed no adjustments since I bought it. They also do very well when wet too!
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Old 10-29-16, 05:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sk1er18 View Post
Just got back from another LBS and they only carry the road and CX series right now. The adventure series is so new they're unsure what type of response they'll get since most people that come in ask for CX or road (though all-road/adventure/gravel grinding is becoming more popular). We had a good chat and they took my name/number. He said he'll talk to he person who's in charge of inventory and see if they had a look at the V85 and V55's yet, and will give me a call if they're going to bring a V55 into the store (no obligation on my part). They do have the F55X sitting front & center on the showroom, so it would be nice to have the V55 counterpart there with it.

Have to admit, the F55X looked nicer in person than the pictures. I now have a higher expectation for the V55. Hoping they get one in and I can take it for a spin next week .... will probably bring it home if I like it.
I don't know too much about Felt. I do agree with you 100% on the industry comments. The term gravel is great for a niche product. It does limits the bike's overall appeal. What we call gravel bikes are really the kind of bike most riders need but don't ride.
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Old 12-12-16, 02:36 PM   #11
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After looking for a bike that could connect some really good road-biking roads through several miles of rough gravel roads, I settled on the Felt VR4 (so, about 90% good roads to 10% bad). The Zipp wheels with the ability to take 32mm tubeless tires and a 1x chainring, as it's mostly flat here, are perfect for me.
I had almost settled on the Specialized Diverge, plus had looked at some others, but am so tired of the black-on-black. Usually color is not my big thing but the looks of this red bike was a big factor in putting down on it even though delivery is not until January... I guess there's demand. Just could not find very many of these bikes at all to even test ride. Had to rely on people who made visits to the manufacturers who road and evaluated them.
Well, then my wife got so stoked she put down for a womans Felt VR4W, which is a white model... our Christmas presents.
I've ordered a carbon bar so that, and going tubeless, look to be only changes. I feel Felt is onto something with this model as they look to have done this bike right. Another nice feature that I heard about is the accents and print on the bike are supposed to be reflective. Great safety feature.
Anyone else ridden either of these two models yet? Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-14-16, 12:29 AM   #12
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Awesome, his & hers! I have been thinking about getting a gravel/adventure/whatever bike and have primarily been looking at the Diverge, but when I finally went to test ride the Elite DSW, I was really not impressed with the brakes. The sales guy had me try a Felt VR30 with hydraulic brakes, which felt awesome. I love that it has a 46/30 crankset as well, but I'm worried that without any rack attachment points the Felt wouldn't be as versatile as the Diverge. Anyway, the VR30 seemed super quick and fun, if not quite as smooth as the Diverge. On my around the block test, at least.
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Old 12-27-16, 09:09 PM   #13
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Awesome, his & hers! I have been thinking about getting a gravel/adventure/whatever bike and have primarily been looking at the Diverge, but when I finally went to test ride the Elite DSW, I was really not impressed with the brakes. The sales guy had me try a Felt VR30 with hydraulic brakes, which felt awesome. I love that it has a 46/30 crankset as well, but I'm worried that without any rack attachment points the Felt wouldn't be as versatile as the Diverge. Anyway, the VR30 seemed super quick and fun, if not quite as smooth as the Diverge. On my around the block test, at least.
Thanks for the feedback, that's some great info. One thing that was mentioned in the Felt research I did was that some vibration was noticed in the front on hard downhill breaking. You didn't notice anything squirrely in the braking, did you? Thanks again..
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Old 12-29-16, 12:01 AM   #14
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http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1482990472

New VR4 made it to the shop and got to see it today. So stoked! The red is beautiful, not washed out or orangy at all. What a bike! Now to let them put on the carbon bar and get some pedals.
What's the recommendation for pedals with this? Probably only be on gravel roads about 10% of the time.. ??
I have some old Candy's with the cleats on Shimano shoes, may give that a try.. any recommendations?
Happy New Year !!!!


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Originally Posted by jerman View Post
After looking for a bike that could connect some really good road-biking roads through several miles of rough gravel roads, I settled on the Felt VR4 (so, about 90% good roads to 10% bad). The Zipp wheels with the ability to take 32mm tubeless tires and a 1x chainring, as it's mostly flat here, are perfect for me.
I had almost settled on the Specialized Diverge, plus had looked at some others, but am so tired of the black-on-black. Usually color is not my big thing but the looks of this red bike was a big factor in putting down on it even though delivery is not until January... I guess there's demand. Just could not find very many of these bikes at all to even test ride. Had to rely on people who made visits to the manufacturers who road and evaluated them.
Well, then my wife got so stoked she put down for a womans Felt VR4W, which is a white model... our Christmas presents.
I've ordered a carbon bar so that, and going tubeless, look to be only changes. I feel Felt is onto something with this model as they look to have done this bike right. Another nice feature that I heard about is the accents and print on the bike are supposed to be reflective. Great safety feature.
Anyone else ridden either of these two models yet? Merry Christmas!
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Old 01-01-17, 08:25 PM   #15
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I had a chance to check out both models last week when visiting family for the holiday. I don't have a Felt dealer around me so I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across them. I almost pulled the trigger on the 55 but I was out of space in the van on the way home...
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Old 01-15-17, 06:23 PM   #16
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Leaning towards a Felt V85 or V55. Have an LBS within 5 miles that carry's the brand and even stocks this series. really want hydraulic brakes. I guess I could upgrade at some point and get the V85.
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