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1st Fat bike options

Old 02-18-21, 07:08 AM
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hls811
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1st Fat bike options

So, I've been fat bike hunting and have narrowed my options (and availability) down to 2 bikes:

1) Used 2017 Felt DD70. This one is used, seems to be in good condition and has pretty much just been a winter rider. It has since been updated to Avid BB7 Brakes, 1x XT drivetrain and a carbon fork (He's not sure what brand). Schwalbe Jumbo Jim tires


2) New 2019 Cannondale Fat CAAD 2, Shimano SLX 1x 11 drivetrain, SRAM Level Hydro brakes. Maxxion Minion 4" wheels. From what I can tell there was no true 2020 version, they just kept the 2019 into 2020 before changed it up a bit for 2021.

The Cannondale is about $500 more, but also 2-3 years newer and will come with the standard warranty. I found a few reviews on both, but nothing really in-depth (seems like the CAAD 1 with the lefty stole the Cannondale spotlight).

When new the Felt was "only" a $1200 bike, but its hard to judge the value with the upgraded components. I'm guessing a few years older XT is probably equal a newer SLX anyway. The Cannondale new is a $2000, but I know as a former Cannondale road bike owner thats partially paying for the name.

Any feedback on either? I've only had Cannondales from my road bike days and loved then. I never had a Felt, I know on the road they are great bikes and I assume the quality is there for their mountain bikes as well.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:00 AM
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Brett A
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I actually own a Felt DD70. The thing is a tank. I bought it new/leftover stock at my LBS for $750 2019.

I bought it just to be able to get out occasionally in the winter but now regret not spending more to get something lighter. I mean, this thing is heavy. The upside is it will fit actual 5" tires and the components are of solid quality (came stock with Race Face cranks, for instance). I removed the largest chaining as I will never need it where I live and ride.

I couldn't get the brakes to stop squealing and squawking when the least bit wet. I swapped the calipers out for a set of Avid BB7's that I had in the barn but that didn't help. It must be the rotors. The stock Cane Creek leavers were small and spongy too, so I changed them out for a pair of Avids from the mid 90's

The rear brake cable has a single, uninterrupted casing that's routed up at the end to reach the caliper. This easily gets water in it and freezes and renders the brake unusable. I've filled it with light machine oil and sealed it with a glob of grease so it's not as bad, but still an issue. The generic rims couldn't be constructed more cheaply. They are crude and heavy with visible seams that do not inspire confidence.

The Jumbo Jims were the stock tires, BTW.

I know some of these issues don't apply to the bike you're looking at, but some do/might.

If it's in excellent shape, I'd say it's a good $500 bike, maybe $600 as you describe that one. Just realize you may want to sell it for something better before too long.

Last edited by Brett A; 02-18-21 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Brett A View Post
I actually own a Felt DD70. The thing is a tank. I bought it new/leftover stock at my LBS for $750 2019.

I bought it just to be able to get out occasionally in the winter but now regret not spending more to get something lighter. I mean, this thing is heavy. The upside is it will fit actual 5" tires and the components are of solid quality (came stock with Race Face cranks, for instance). I removed the largest chaining as I will never need it where I live and ride.

I couldn't get the brakes to stop squealing and squawking when the least bit wet. I swapped the calipers out for a set of Avid BB7's that I had in the barn but that didn't help. It must be the rotors. The stock Cane Creek leavers were small and spongy too, so I changed them out for a pair of Avids from the mid 90's

The rear brake cable has a single, uninterrupted casing that's routed up at the end to reach the caliper. This easily gets water in it and freezes and renders the brake unusable. I've filled it with light machine oil and sealed it with a glob of grease so it's not as bad, but still an issue. The generic rims couldn't be constructed more cheaply. They are crude and heavy with visible seams that do not inspire confidence.

The Jumbo Jims were the stock tires, BTW.

I know some of these issues don't apply to the bike you're looking at, but some do/might.

If it's in excellent shape, I'd say it's a good $500 bike, maybe $600 as you describe that one. Just realize you may want to sell it for something better before too long.
Thanks Brett.. Thats excellent feedback and definitely helps. I'm always concerned with buying anything used because you don't know the issues you're taking on so I've been leaning towards the Cannondale anyway. Neither of these seemed like there was a broad appeal as I don't see many reviews/posts - Fat bikes in general are a niche market and unless its a Farley, ICT or Mukluk there aren't a lot of write-ups about them. Based on the market I don't have the luxury of finding a bunch of bikes in stock and test riding, its somewhat of a leap of faith at this point.
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Old 02-18-21, 10:41 AM
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The felt will ride better and be lighter than the cannondale because it has the carbon fork upgrade.

Otherwise both are good bikes.
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