Felt Bicycles has developed a new road racing bike, the AR, for the Slipstream/Chipotle-H3O Pro Cycling Team, which debuted in last Wednesday’s Dutch Food Classic. Slipstreamer Martijn Maaskant finished top-10 after an aggressive day of racing, including time off the front.
According to Felt, wind tunnel testing has already shown that the AR is not only faster than all other road bikes in its class, in many cases it is faster than a number of available time trial bikes. In general terms, the new AR offers approximately a two-percent saving over a standard road bike when in identical conditions. Depending on actual speed and wind conditions, this equates to a saving of 58 to 75 seconds over the course of a one-hour ride.
“We consider the AR another step in the continued and ongoing development of our road bikes,” said Felt US President Bill Duehring. “With all we have learned from our various time trial related projects, it seemed like a natural progression for us.
“Knowing the AR will now be a big part of the team’s equipment arsenal is really very exciting, especially going into the Tour de France,” he added.
Design highlights include UCI-legal aero down tube, head tube, chainstays and fork blades, aero “wheelwell” conforming seat tube and shielded internal cable routing. The full carbon fiber monocoque design frame is built with Felt’s highest grade of carbon fiber, Ultra Hybrid Carbon (“UHC”). The aero-bladed fork is also built with premium UHC carbon fiber and includes a full length carbon steering column (UHC is a blend of three distinct fiber types (SB60, M30S and T700) each specifically layered and integrated based on their own unique attributes and characteristics).
The new Felt AR frameset also includes Nano technology, a resin-specific attribute which creates an effective “super-bond” in the carbon fiber material. According to Felt, the end result is an even stronger exterior, one which is considerably less susceptible to crack and impact damage, and offers greater compression and sheer strength than carbon fiber without it.