Following the current trend of rounder, simpler carbon tubes with no visible aerodynamic styling, the Felt FR FRD (Felt Racing Development) joins the likes of the classic-looking and understated Specialized Aethos and Open MIN.D.
The Felt FR FRD Ultimate Dura Ace Di2
The Felt FR FRD is the best-handling, fastest-climbing, smoothest-riding road racing bike in the world. The FR was painstakingly and obsessively honed for the needs of the most committed road cyclists. Felt’s engineers designed the FR from the ground up, resulting in a pure road bike that boasts impeccable handling and a precision-tuned chassis. This ensures riders are fresh for a finish line sprint after a long day in the saddle. Lighter and stiffer than any other bike that’s emerged from Felt’s history of innovation, the FR climbs like an angel and descends like a dream.
Even the 44cm Pro Vibe Carbon handlebar on the 58cm size is a departure from the narrow (and aero) bars more commonly found on high-performance bikes.
PRICE: $12,999 / WEIGHT: 16.1 LB (58CM)
Simplicity and lack of proprietary parts
Adding to the Felt’s simplicity is its lack of visible proprietary parts and its inclusion of traditional ones, including a 31.8mm handlebar, a round seat tube that fits in a 27.2mm seatpost, and a 1-1/8-inch steerer tube (note that this bike has a tapered head tube).
All of this makes for a wider variety of aftermarket parts choices and a more easily upgradable cockpit.
Dura Ace name
The Dura-Ace name refers to the Di2 shifters, front and rear derailleurs, hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless-compatible wheels, and crankset.
If you want electronic shifting in a cheaper package, the carbon FR Advanced Ultegra Di2 costs half as much.
In a slight twist, the Felt comes outfitted with 25mm tires, with clearance for 28s – most modern road bikes can fit 32s.
Narrow rubber aside, the bike delivers an exquisite balance of efficiency, comfort, and control.
In fast corners, it quickly responds to subtle shifts of your hips. And despite the twitchy back end, the front is slower to respond. Resulting in a bike the could dive quickly and confidently into corners without the danger of oversteering.
Traditional race bike
The Felt FR FRD is a traditional, round-tube race bike that offers the performance of a modern road bike. Without the aero tube shaping and proprietary parts that come with it.
It’s light and stiff, with a threaded bottom bracket, round seatpost, normal bar and stem, and tight geometry (40.5mm stays).
At $13,000, it’s not cheap. But it’s also not too out of line with bikes like the Dura-Ace Di2-equipped Aethos with similar parts.
It’s also not the only model in the FR line. So if you like the bike but not the price, consider the aforementioned Advanced Ultegra Di2 or the $4,999 Advanced Ultegra.
WHERE TO BUY: https://feltbicycles.com/products/fr-race-bike
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