Brand new from Felt for 2015 is a line of adventure road bikes, a replica of the company's Paris-Roubaix race machine, thru-axles on carbon cyclocross racers, and an alloy 'cross chassis – just in time to hit the barriers this coming season. Felt has also refined and upgraded its core AR, F and Z-series models with weight reductions, improved ride quality and better parts.
Mid-range improvements to AR and F; new Z Disc
Felt will carry over into 2015 the existing frame molds for its aero AR, lightweight F and endurance-focused Z platforms. However, the distinctive checkerboard TexTreme woven outer layer will now make its way into the mid-range AR1, AR2, F1, F2 and F3 models – a feature previously reserved for the company's halo FRD (Felt Racing Development) division.
Check out more of our Felt 2015 coverage.
Many mid-range models will get the TexTreme treatment for 2015
According to Felt, TexTreme's higher strength as compared to more conventional carbon fabrics allows the company to use less material underneath, along with stiffer interior fibers. For riders, this means that those upgraded frames should now be a bit lighter than before while retaining similar levels of rigidity and durability.
All AR models save for the flagship FRD also get an upgraded seatpost head that was co-developed with 3T. Seemingly similar to the Biofloat seatpost design we showed you in 2012, the new design uses the same single-bolt clamp mechanism as before but it's now embedded in a high-density elastomeric bezel. Coupled with the novel seatpost's unusually thin and flexible sidewalls, Felt says this new head improves comfort while only adding 25g.
Felt's aero road range is topped by the AR FRD
New for 2015 is a less aggressive 5mm offset size to accompany the standard 25mm option; both can also be flipped forward for riders seeking an especially forward position.
Notably, Felt is clearly moving away from its long-standing F-series platform in favor of the AR. According to Felt, the aero benefits of the AR outweigh the slight weight advantage of the F for most riders so there are now more variations of the former and fewer of the latter.
That said, Felt is still introducing a new F model for 2015 called the F1 PR, which is essentially a replica of the bike used by the Argos-Shimano team at Paris-Roubaix last year. While most of the F1 PR's carbon chassis is shared with the standard F1, the PR version uses unique dropouts that extend the chain stays by 20mm while also dropping the bottom bracket slightly. Going along with this is a unique fork with increased offset and longer blades. Long-reach brake calipers are used at both ends.
Want to ride the same bike as the pros do in Paris-Roubaix? Here's your chance
In total, the changes yield a more stable chassis with generous tire clearances. Officially, Felt says the F1 PR will easily accept a 28mm casing but the development bike on hand at the press event cleared a 32mm knobby cyclocross tire.
Much of the Z and women-specific ZW range of endurance bikes is essentially carried over but a few models will now feature disc brakes for 2015, complete with 135mm rear hub spacing. All Z and ZQ bikes will also get wider rims (19mm internal width) to better suit higher-volume tires.
The 2015 Felt ZW3
Meet the new V range of adventure bikes
New for 2015 from Felt is the V collection of adventure road bikes, all of which will come with butted and hydroformed aluminum frames, stable handling characteristics and very upright rider positions, clearance for 38mm-wide tires, generously wide gear ranges, front and rear rack mounts, and "approachable" price points.
Felt is launching a new range of adventure road bikes
According to Felt road product manager Dave Koesel, these are meant to "introduce road cycling to a brand-new customer" by removing many of the objections new riders might have to more traditional road models.
Most of the new V bikes will come with drop handlebars but some will come with flat ones instead. All but the least expensive version will be built with disc brakes, too.
Common features on the V-series of adventure road bikes include wide-range gearing, disc brakes and upright positioning
More disc-equipped cyclocross bikes
Felt was one of the first mainstream companies to offer disc brakes on a 'cross bike and the company is investing further in the technology for 2015. Three disc-equipped carbon bikes will be available and all of the aluminum bikes will be disc-only.
Felt's premier cyclocross bikes will be disc-only
Carbon frames are carried over but disc models will get a new 'Dynamic Monocoque' carbon fork where the tapered steerer and driveside leg are molded as one piece with the non-driveside leg added on later.
Felt says this asymmetric design is better able to resist the twist that disc calipers can induce under hard braking thanks to the unusually big and hollow crown. Thru-axle dropouts will lots of thread engagement are standard, too, to further keep things in check.
Disc cyclocross forks now use thru-axles and a novel asymmetric assembly process. Tire clearance is still pretty tight, though
Aluminum cyclocross frames are completely new for 2015, featuring internal cable routing with full-length liners to protect against mud and water, sleeker hydroformed tubing, and an extra-wide BB386EVO bottom bracket shell – a first for Felt, who previously had championed BB30 and PF30 layouts. In this application, the wider shell allows the chain stays to be pushed further apart to boost mud clearance.
Alloy cyclocross bikes are all new for 2015
Slight tweaks to ultra-aero IA and DA models
As with the AR aero road bikes, the triathlon-specific IA frame shapes are carried over from last year but with upgraded carbon materials on mid-range models to decrease weight. Seatposts get the same elastomer inserts, too, to improve ride quality.
Felt says the tri-specific IA is so aero that it's akin to cheating
The UCI-legal DA, meanwhile, has practically been killed off with just one complete model for 2015 – no surprise given that Felt no longer sponsors a WorldTour team and the apparently substantial lower-drag advantage that the IA gives to triathletes in comparison.
That said, the 2015 DA1 still gets an upgraded lay-up schedule along with a new Bayonet 4 fork, which uses the same fully internal front brake design as on the IA.
The 2015 Felt DA1 gets the latest Bayonet 4 front end with a fully enclosed front brake
Key specs, claimed weights (where available), and retail prices for the complete US-spec Felt road ranges are as follows (UK models and prices are TBD):
· AR FRD (US$12,999): Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group; Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher wheels
· AR2 (US$6,299; 7.49kg / 16.4lb): Shimano Ultegra Di2 group, Shimano RS81 wheels
· AR3 (US3,499; 8.27kg / 18.1lb): Shimano Ultegra 6800 group, Shimano RS31 wheels
· AR5 (US$2,599; 8.08kg / 17.7lb): Shimano 105 5800 group; Felt Aero Road R3 wheels
· AR FRD frame kit (US$3,999)
· AR1 frame kit (US$2,499)
· F1 PR (US$4,999): Shimano Ultegra/Dura-Ace group, TRP RG957 brakes, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels
· F2 (US$4,999; 7.08kg / 15.5lb): Shimano Ultegra Di2 group, Shimano RS81 wheels
· F3 (US$2,999; 7.73kg / 17.0lb): Shimano Ultegra 6800 group, Shimano RS11 wheels
· F5 (US$1,999): Shimano 105 5800 drivetrain; Shimano dual pivot brakes, Felt Road RSL3 wheels
· F75 (US$1,399; 8.89kg / 19.5lb): Shimano 105 5800 group, dual pivot brakes, Felt RSL3 wheels
· F95 JR (US$799; 8.67kg / 19.0lb): MicroShift/Shimano/FSA/SunRace drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Alex R500 wheels
· F24 (US$799): MicroShift/Shimano/Felt/SunRace drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Alex DA22 wheels
· F FRD frame kit (US$3,999)
· F1 PR frame kit (US$2,499)
· F1 frame kit (US$1,649)
· Z2 (US$4,999): Shimano Ultegra Di2 group, Shimano RS81 wheels
· Z3 (US$2,999; 7.87kg / 17.3lb): Shimano Ultegra 6800 group, Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels
· Z4 Disc (US$2,499): SRAM Rival 22 HRD group, Mavic Aksium ONE Disc wheels
· Z5 (US$1,899; 8.53kg / 18.7lb): Shimano 105 5800 group; Felt Road RSL3 wheels
· Z7 (US$1,499; 9.03kg / 19.9lb): Shimano Sora drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt Road RSL3 wheels
· Z75 Disc (US$1,499): Shimano 105 5800 drivetrain, TRP Spyre brakes, Felt Road RSL3 Disc wheels
· Z85 (US$1,349; 9.46kg / 20.8lb): Shimano 105 5800 drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt Road RSL3 wheels
· Z95 (US$929; 9.81kg / 21.6lb): Shimano Sora drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt Road RSL3 wheels
· Z100 (US$799; 9.99kg / 22.0lb): Shimano Claris/FSA drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt Road RSL3 wheels
· Z1 frame kit (US$2,799)
Women-specific endurance road
· ZW2 (US$4,999): Shimano Ultegra Di2/FSA group, Shimano RS81 wheels
· ZW3 (US$2,999; 7.73kg / 17.0lb): Shimano Ultegra 6800/FSA group, Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels
· ZW5 (US$1,899; 8.03kg / 17.6lb): Shimano 105 5800 drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt WRSL3 wheels
· ZW7 (US$1,499; 8.66kg / 19.1lb): Shimano Sora drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt WRSL3 wheels
· ZW85 (US$1,349; 8.83kg / 19.4lb): Shimano 105 5800 drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt WRSL3 wheels
· ZW95 (US$929; 9.20kg / 20.2lb): Shimano Sora/FSA drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt WRSL3 wheels
· ZW100 (US$799; 9.48kg / 20.9lb): Shimano Claris/FSA drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt WRSL3 wheels
· ZW1 frame kit (US$2,799)
· V85 (US$1,399): Shimano 105 5800 drivetrain, TRP Spyre brakes, Felt RSL3 Disc wheels
· V90F (US$999): Shimano/FSA/KMC drivetrain, Tektro Auriga brakes, Felt RSL3 Disc wheels
· V100 (US$849): Shimano Claris/FSA drivetrain, Tektro Mira brakes, Felt RSL4 Disc wheels
· V95F (US$799): Shimano Sora/FSA/KMC drivetrain, Tektro Auriga brakes, Felt RSL4 Disc wheels
· V110F (US$569): Shimano Acera/SR SunTour/KMC drivetrain, Tektro RX1.0 brakes, Felt RSL4 wheels
· IA FRD (US$13,999): Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group, Felt Aero Brake System, Zipp 404/808 Firecrest wheels
· IA2 (US$9,999): Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group, Felt Aero Brake System, Felt TTR1 wheels
· IA3 (US$6,999): SRAM Red 22 drivetrain, Felt Aero Brake System, Felt TTR1 wheels
· IA4 (US$5,499): Shimano Ultegra 6800/MicroShift drivetrain, Felt Aero Brake System, Felt TTR3 wheels
· IA FRD frame kit (US$6,999)
· IA1 frame kit (US$4,499)
· DA1 (US$4,999): Shimano Dura-Ace 9000/MicroShift drivetrain, Felt Aero Brake System, Felt TTR3 wheels
· B2 (US$3,699): Shimano Ultegra Di2/Vision drivetrain, aero dual pivot brakes, Felt TTR3 wheels
· B12 (US$2,999): Shimano Dura-Ace 9000/Vision/MicroShift drivetrain, aero dual pivot brakes, Felt TTR3 wheels
· B14 (US$1,999): Shimano Ultegra 6800/FSA/MicroShift drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt TTR4 wheels
· S32 (US$1,299; 9.52kg / 20.9lb): Shimano 105/FSA/MicroShift drivetrain, dual pivot brakes, Felt RSL3 wheels
Stay tuned for our second round of news from Felt's 2015 media launch, where we'll cover the new collection of mountain bikes.