2011 Felt Bicycles Launch; Better Than Ever

felt-f1-rear-2011

Yesterday, Felt Bicycles released their 2011 bicycle lines to the media at their headquarters in semi-sunny Southern California. Self-described as “a small company that casts a large shadow,” they introduced bikes from the “four legs of their table.” Owners Jim Felt and Bill Duehring, along with product managers and engineers were on hand to discuss new models in their Mountain, Road/Tri, Lifestyle and BMX lines, although BMX was handled separately.

Their racing heritage was clear as they introduced all new top-end bikes, using unprecedented technologies. Although the flagship models come at a premium price tag, their advances were evident in all the models throughout the lines, trickling down even to the entry levels. Check out details on the new models after the break.

insideout-felt-carbon-frame

In addition to using higher quality, proprietary materials dubbed Ultra Hybrid Carbon (UHC) and Nano resin, Felt is using a new manufacturing process called InsideOut, which employs a flexible internal mold, as well as the previously used bladder, to form the carbon from inside in a more efficient manner. The end result is an extremely clean inner profile that shows clearly how they seem to mimic the butted tubes of metal frames using their layups with almost no wasted material; thicker where needed, and thinner where not.

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felt-f1-2011

This, plus other trick features like a carbon BB30 shell, allow an advertised frame weight of 792 grams for the 2011 F1 frame. This is more than 100 grams lighter than the 2010 F1SL, yet the new manufacturing processes allow the 2011 F1 to yield higher stiffness numbers than the 1200 gram 2010 F1 Sprint. The complete F1, with Shimano Di2 and Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels will cost $12,499.

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Other models in the F-Series will share the same frame manufacturing technology and will have frames weighing approximately 900 grams. The 17.4 pound Shimano 105-equipped F5, will cost $1,999.

felt-da-2011-2

In their completely new time trial/triathlon model, the DA, Felt’s painstaking engineering efforts are immediately apparent. In addition to the new technology used in the F-series road bikes, they used a wind tunnel in conjuction with Computational Fluid Design (CFD) software to develop several key features allowing this to be one of the, if not the, most aerodynamic bikes on the market. “Trips” are built in throughout the frame to disrupt the airflow, to route it around things like the battery pack and rear wheel.

felt-bayonet-fork-2011-da

The Bayonet fork uses smaller bearing and “steerer” keeping the front end to 44mm at the widest. The rear brake, hidden under the chainstay, is a modified V-brake which allows faster wheel changes and easier maintenance. The complete bike will be Shimano Di2 with Zipp 808/1080 wheels, and be priced at $12,499.

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felt-z2-2011

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The InsideOut technology also finds itself used in models within Felt’s pre-existing AR aero road bike line and Z-series road bikes. Rounding out the road bikes is the ZW line, designed specifically for women using modified spec details; 650c wheels in smaller sizes for better fits, smaller diameter tubing, lighter gauge spokes and a unique carbon layup.

The F, Z, AR, ZW and Tri/TT lines all boast a full range of models, some as low as $799.

felt-edict-racebike-personal-2011

After years of development, Felt is ready to release their newest entry into the full-suspension market, the Edict. Using their new Felt Active Stay Technology (FAST) and borrowing carbon technology from its skinny tire siblings, the Edict shaves 1.5 pounds off the successful Virtue frame for a sub-2,000 gram frame. Aimed at the 100mm travel XC rider, this bike will be likely ridden by the World Cup team Felt sponsors in Europe. Engineer Mike Ducharme’s race bike pictured above weighs 19.8 pounds, with pedals.

felt-edict-ltd-frame-2011The FAST technology uses only a single pivot, plus linkage, and relies on the carbon fiber’s flex throughout the travel. The stays are also “preloaded” to approximately the sag point of the frame. This produces the effect of the bike being most comfortable sitting at its sag point, making the suspension more efficient.

felt-nine-trail-2011

Expanding on their 29er line, Felt will be offering five 29er models, most notably a $599 price point model, the Nine Trail. Spec’ed with Tektro disc brakes and Shimano Acera/Alivio, this model brings 29ers into uncharted, affordable waters.

2011-felt-lifestyle-bikes

The day wound down with the final presentation of their growing Lifestyle line; which covers their fixed gear, cafe and cruiser bikes.

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2011-felt-gridloc

The Tea Bar is found on the Gridloc, an unheard of 3-speed fixed gear bike. Retailing at $999, the bike uses a brand new Sturmey-Archer internally geared hub, that offers 3 speeds with a fixed cog. The cog can also be replaced by a freewheel if the rider desires.

2011-felt-cafe-3-women

The Café series offers clean, lightweight bikes with fenders and coffee cup holders to the new (or newly returning) riders in 1, 3, 7, 8 or 24 speed versions starting at $349.

felt-twin-beach-cruiser

Felt’s cruiser line-up has always been known for well-executed theme bikes, and they clearly have a lot of fun with it. The $549 Twin, modeled after a vintage Triumph motorcycle, features the Felt-designed Abraham Linkage fork (a name that got quite a chuckle from the group).

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What was clear throughout the entire day, in each of the presentations, from each of the people who spoke to us, and from each of the people I was able to speak to, is that the badge “DESIGNED IN CALIFORNIA” is applied proudly to their bikes. Things aren’t just ordered from a catalog, they are designed down to the last detail by a small group of folks who ride hard and take pride in the final product they are offering to the consumer. Rider experience is always their main concern.

Look for 2011 Felt Bicycles at your local dealer; many models are already available.

Comments

j - 07/28/10 - 8:04am

overpriced junk.

Tyler (Editor) - 07/28/10 - 8:47am

Amazing that a $2K road bike with 105 comes in at a bit over 17lbs. I’ve spent way more than that on my Pinarello just trying to get it down to 17lbs, and it’s only about four years old…aaaah, progress. Those cruisers are freakin’ sweet. Chris, great job on your first big post!

third - 07/28/10 - 9:27am

All awesome bikes, makes me want to get one. That Twin cruiser is great lookin! Totally reminds me of my old 68 Bonneville.

RalphyJ - 07/28/10 - 10:58am

A MicroShift-equipped bike that looks good. Nice job Felt!

Spencer - 07/28/10 - 11:52am

I agree! I can’t believe how light that $2k bike is.

Spencer - 07/28/10 - 8:51pm

Felt makes crap.

troy - 07/29/10 - 1:55pm

FELT is the best designed bicycle the usa has to offer. SUCK IT trek and specialized! now FELT proved it with the 2011 line.

Chris - 08/01/10 - 6:06am

Love the overpriced junk and felt makes crap comments…. I guess that is why they do so well at road races and triathlon then?

I ride a 2009 AR4 and can’t find fault with it apart from the wheels.

If you are going to put such junk comments on then why not back them up with facts unless of course you are 12 and the nearest you have to a good bike is a poster on your wall

AnonymousChris - 08/01/10 - 4:36pm

Those comments always make me laugh, and it makes me curious what these people ride. Mostly, I wonder if they are aware of the increasing likelihood that whatever they think is “the best” is made in the exact same factory right along side whatever they think is “crap.”

Rob - 08/05/10 - 2:44pm

Have an AR 2,, an “F” Series, and soon a 2011 “Z” series,, felt bikes are beautiful, and very well designed IMO,, wheels were an issue (as I am 240lbs), but nothing else,, folks at Felt will take care of you, and know what thier doing,, feels like dealing with a small company,, not sure if you would get the same value and service from the other domestic “Big Name” bike companies.

More - 08/11/10 - 10:53pm

Just ordered the F5. The 2011 bikes are beautiful and are one of the best values in the market for a serious bike this coming year. Thanks Felt for making a seriously good road ride.

[...] month, we showed you an overview of Felt’s 2011 lines, focusing on the new additions and big changes. Felt’s lines really shine all the way thru, [...]

incompetentbikemechanic - 08/30/10 - 9:18am

We are a felt dealer and I can assure you they have the best warranty department in the business. If there is any problem whatsoever with a customer’s bicycle they immediately take care of the issue no hassle. I can’t say the same with our other brand Cannondale. To me that speaks volumes about a bike company.

The redesign of the F series was needed. I really wanted to like the 2010′s because of the wicked paint jobs and the classic geometry, but the carbon really did have that dead riding carbon cancer. The 2011′s look really sweet and I hope they worked out the carbon issues like their marketing claims.

AlabamaBob - 10/04/10 - 1:05pm

I just got my 2011 Felt F5. When I went to the LBS to see it assembled, it was surrounded by cyclers fawning all over it. And these are the dudes that own $4K and $6K bikes. Like them, I am amazed at the quality and the specs for this $2K bike. It was a 58 size frame, and weighed in at almost exactly 18lbs out of the box. The smaller frames are around the advertised weight of just over 17lbs. It is all you could hope for and more if you can’t afford the big bucks. I’ll upgrade to racing tires when then time is right. Color me happy! Love the Felts.

Paul Deluco - 11/01/10 - 11:32am

I purchased a z100 from my local shop & have nothing but problems. The shop has been great but becuase felt is in california & i’m in PA it takes as long as 2+ weeks for felt to get me a part… Felt should offer warranty service from the east coast office as well…. Jamis & other companys do this.

AnonymousChris - 11/03/10 - 2:30pm

Paul; sorry to hear about your bad experience. Speaking as a shop mechanic in southern CA, I can tell you that warranty is one area of difficulty across the board in the bike industry and Felt’s location probably had little to do with your issue. It can take two weeks for me to get things taken care of from companies (not Felt) whose offices are within driving distance of my shop. You’ve got shop managers/owners, outside reps, inside reps, warranty guys, etc. all trying to have a hand in it…

nj Patrick - 02/10/11 - 8:47pm

Does any one know what make seat that is on the cruiser model? The twinn.
I’m pretty sure it is not a felt seat.

J - 08/19/11 - 7:14pm

I think FELT makes nice bikes but after 5 years of road riding, my frame broke – Crack occurred where the right chain stay intersects the rear derailleur hanger area – at the weld.
Now I am trying to get it warrantied as I am original owner and have receipts and am having NO luck. No one at Felt Canada answers emails and I have taken it to a FELT distributor who hasn’t gotten a response from FELT in 3 weeks. What kind of service is that? Just something to think about before buying a bike…

Brandon - 04/08/14 - 4:09pm

Just bought a Felt 29er. £850. I already have the Felt road bike, which is great. Unfortunately the 29er is causing concern. The chain snapped and then the spokes (5) popped out of the nipples. The wheel has been rebuilt, with new stronger nipples and i’m having the rear wheel done as well as there is clearly a weakness having only ridden a few flat.

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