Felt Bicycles is known for its wind-cheating aerodynamic road and triathlon bikes, but founder Jim Felt is an engineer to the core who also loves bow hunting for elk near his northern California home. Enter the Felt Outfitter Bosch-powered e-fatbike, decked out in camo livery licensed from ultralight hunting company Kuiu.
Felt has been an avid hunter as long as he’s been designing bikes, and his engineering mind wouldn’t rest when challenged with the issue of transporting gear into the wild for 10 days of hunting. It certainly helps that his son shares his enthusiasm for hunting, and is a carbon engineer for Hoyt Archery in Salt Lake City. Together they developed a machine to efficiently transport their gear into the backwoods with a mix of human and electric power for the same price (about $5,500) as a gas-guzzling all-terrain vehicle.
The Felt Outfitter has been five years in development, and the bike pictured here is in production (the carbon Hed rims and carbon bars are the only custom touch), slated for December 2014 delivery. The price includes all the racks, bags and lights.
“The key with bow hunting is getting to the spike camp about 10 miles in, and getting the gear off your back is key,” Felt said from the Outdoor Demo in Bootleg Canyon outside Las Vegas. “I customized my B.O.B. trailer to fit the fatter tires and replaced the stock 16-inch wheel with a 20 for better rolling. I’m developing my own trailer to carry 60 to 100 pounds.”
Felt recently introduced its Bosch-powered line of electric bikes (our fave is the Lebowsk-e fat bike, so it wasn’t a huge leap for Felt himself to come out with the Outfitter so quickly. Steve Hed was an eager participant in adding a bling factor with orange spoke nipples, making the Felt Outfitter an easy target for a large crowd of onlookers Monday.
Frame: Double-butted 6061 aluminum; Control Taper head tube; full internal cable routing; 197 x 12mm Maxle dropouts; disc brakes.
Fork: Hydroformed 6061 aluminum blades with an aluminum tapered steer; Maxle style thru axle.
Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 11-speed trigger shifter; SRAM X01 rear derailleur; Felt Electric MTB Bosch-specific forged aluminum crankset; SRAM PC-X1 chain; SRAM 10-42T 11-speed cassette.
Components: SRAM Guide RSC hydraulic brakes; Felt 3F carbon riser handlebar; Felt MTB SL 3D-forged aluminum stem; Felt two-bolt micro-adjust aluminum seatpost; WTB Silverado Race saddle.
Wheelset: Felt double-wall Fat Tire rims with forged aluminum hubs; 2.0/1.8mm double-butted stainless spokes; 150 x 15mm thru front axle, 197 x 12mm rear axle.
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Felt Bicycles develops bikes in nearly every category with worldwide distribution, an impressive feat for a company with a crew of 32 in its Irvine, California, headquarters. Its 2015 launch for more than 30 journalists from around the country highlighted several Bicycle Times-friendly models alongside the standard high-zoot carbon machines, including e-bikes, endurance, commuting, fat bikes and dirt.Tweet Print