Felt. Is. Fast.
Felt is fast.
This is the marketing campaign behind Felt Bicycles’ latest offerings. Appropriate.
I mentioned in another post that any time spent in cycling culture, one learns things. I don’t recall the why’s and how’s of this mysterious and profound knowledge, but I know Felt to be a name synonymous with speed, engineering, and stunning looks. Any time spent in triathlon circles especially, two bike brands stand out; Felt is one of them.
At the 2020 UCSD Tritonman Triathlon, I had the chance to connect with Sean Kneale, Southwest Territory Manager for Felt Bicycles, Time, and Pactimo. Solid dude. Humble. Competent. Felt is the bike sponsor for UCSD Triathlon. The connection is through UCSD Triathlon coach, Michellie Jones. Felt athlete and x2 ITU Triathlon World Champion, Olympic silver medalist, and 2006 Ironman World Champion. Lucky UCSD. With the relatively recent purchase of Felt by Rossignol, I was curious about the state of Felt Bikes.
Side note: Michellie came over while Sean and I were chatting and I had the pleasure of meeting her. I quickly recognized her as the lady yelling at me to dismount headed into T2. She is warm, full of life, and inviting. Except when she’s yelling. . .
Without giving away company secrets and stuff cooking in the witches pot of magic, Sean tells me there is some cool stuff in the works. With the change in ownership came an infusion of capital and a refocused marketing strategy. For 2020 and the foreseeable future, triathlon, road (including e-road), and gravel, are the markets Felt will play in. The renewed vision affords greater resources and focus to fewer projects. The result, logically, is a better product.
Quick Bike Observations
I have an aversion to carbon bikes. I just do. They should be metal. Like what I raced the Tritonman on. With that said, Felt’s AR, Aero Road, is absolutely stunning. The sharp edges and defined geometric tube shapes look inspired by Russia’s Constructivist style from the early 20th century. While probably not true, the AR is bold. It is aggressive. It is a machine and doesn’t look afraid to take on the heavyweights in the cycling world. The style is big departure from current trends of round and bowed tubes seamlessly integrating into others. The AR design is altogether different and a welcome change. Like all things aero these days, cables are hidden.
The outlier on the rack was the Breed. Curiously, it was aluminum. A welcome sight! While the gravel thing isn’t for me, it sported some fat 650b tires and looked ready to tackle mountain roads and trails of the Southwest. There is a 700c version for the tamer roads.
Last, for those paying attention, the four IA’s on the rack below all have rim brakes. It was the first thing I noticed when checking out the bikes. They seem very five years ago and out of place on a bike that looks this fast. Sean mentioned this model was the only one without disc brakes and that rim brakes lower the barrier to entry by a few hundred dollars. Fair. A day is coming when rims brakes will be abandoned altogether. That day is soon.
Pay attention to a new carbon gravel model coming to the masses soon. In the meantime, allow yourself to ogle at the images above. Better yet, go get one.