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Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc review

All-round carbon race machine

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £2,249.00 RRP | USD $3,499.00 | EUR €2,749.00
Pack shot of the Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc road bike

Our review

Great-value race machine with a classic frame design
Pros: Wonderfully quick handling; great-value package
Cons: Narrow tyre clearances; middling tyres
Skip to view product specifications

Felt’s three-model road bike line-up consists of the aerodynamically focused AR; the endurance smoothy that is the VR and the FR, the brand’s racing all-rounder with a lightweight chassis that majors on stiffness and fast handling.

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The frame looks decidedly classic and its diamond shape is a breath of fresh air. This mechanical 105 version has external gear-cable routing, something I’ve not seen on a new bike in several years. If you opt for an electronic drivetrain, the wires run internally.

Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc frameset details

Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc road bike does not have internal cabling
It’s unusual to see a new bike without internal cable routing.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

This entry-level model’s frame is lightweight (under 900g) and shares the same tech as the flagship bikes in the FR range.

Both the frame and fork are made with Felt’s own UHC (ultra hybrid carbon), which combines three fibres that each have useful properties such as elasticity, rigidity and impact resistance.

These fibres are bonded together with a resin that contains tiny particles of carbon. Felt says this adds strength.

This strength is then bolstered even more with the use of TeXtreme carbon. Felt says this creates a much more uniform and compact weave than traditional carbon fibre weaves, and it also has far superior strength-to-weight properties and better impact strength.

This frame design debuted around 2017 and it has aged well, apart from its now-conservative tyre clearance (just 28mm). You’d need to be careful if you upgrade to a more modern, wider rim than the Devox RDS.A1 specced as standard.

These simple and well-put-together wheels are based around a 23mm-deep alloy rim with a 19mm internal width. The rims are tubeless-ready, but are fitted here with Vittoria’s workhorse Rubino tyres in 25mm width.

Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc spec details

The Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc road bike is equipped with Vittoria Rubino IV 25c tyres
The workhorse tyres are the only part we’d consider upgrading.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

In-house brand partner Devox provides the lion’s share of the FR’s build, with an alloy stem, compact drop alloy bar (nothing integrated here) and a nicely finished carbon seatpost.

The post is topped by Prologo’s excellent Dimension saddle with its smart, short shape, pressure-relief channel and smartly placed padding.

Shimano’s 105 groupset is quite simply superb. The shift quality matches its more expensive mechanical siblings, and the feel of the brakes is pretty much indistinguishable from Ultegra.

The only downside is that you don’t get the slick, temperature-controlling Ice-Tech rotors of the more expensive groups, but the steel 105 rotors do a great job and gave only the slightest murmur after a long sequence of heavy braking while I was descending on a particularly wet ride.

The Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc road bike is equipped with own branded Devox cockpit
In-house brand Devox provides the cockpit.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The 52/36 chainset and wide 11-30 cassette suit the FR’s sporty intentions without being under-geared when the road veers sharply uphill. In fact, it’s when things get steep that the FR really shines.

Despite its modest overall weight, the FR is a superb climbing companion, and the feathery chassis, steep angles and short wheelbase all add up to a bike that’s very responsive to your efforts.

This is down to some very racy numbers in the bike’s geometry. My large test bike had steep 73.5-degree head and seat angles and a short wheelbase of 986mm. These, along with a low stack of just 572mm and long reach of 394mm, produce a long and low ride position.

The steep head angle, combined with a short fork offset of 43mm (47mm on smaller sizes to avoid toe overlap), produces a low 56mm trail figure (the smaller the trail, the faster the handling).

Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc geometry

XXSXSSMLXLXXL
Seat angle (degrees)75.2574.57473.573.573.2573
Head angle (degrees)70.571.572.257373.573.7574
Seat tube (mm)405425465505525555595
Top tube (mm)495512530548563583604
Head tube (mm)90100115135155177205
Fork offset (mm)52524747434343
Bottom bracket drop (mm)72727270707070
Wheelbase (mm)9659679699809861,0031,021
Standover (mm)657676710747767790828
Stack (mm)499512530550572594621
Reach (mm)362369377385394405414

Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc ride impressions

The Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc road bike is equipped with a Shimano 105 drivetrain
The 105 groupset performs flawlessly.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The FR’s speedy responses feel almost telepathically quick. It’s a bike you want to be on when the going gets technical, flicking around potholes, smashing into corners at speed or threading through traffic.

The stiffness in the chassis helps the FR’s sharpness, but you do lose some front-end comfort – the bike has a bit of buzz up front on poor surfaces, such as chip seal or frost-damaged tarmac.

At the back, however, it’s a very different story. The skinny, flattened seatstays combined with a quality carbon seatpost and excellent saddle make the rear end feel smooth.

Male cyclist riding the Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc road bike
The FR excels on the climbs with its light chassis.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Felt FR Advanced 105 Disc bottom line

Over the past couple of years, huge pressures have been put on bike pricing. Shipping delays and big cost increases, parts shortages, supply-chain issues and import woes have all affected bike brands’ bottom line.

So it’s good to see the FR Advanced is competitively priced. Yes, I’d be tempted to upgrade the tyres at some point to something that better suits the responsive chassis than the hardy but dull Rubinos, but overall it’s a very sharp riding machine.

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The FR design may be showing its age a little compared to the latest race bikes and their generous tyre clearances. However, the bike is stiff, responsive and rapid. I couldn’t want for more when it comes to a competitive bike at a competitive price.

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €2749.00GBP £2249.00USD $3499.00
Weight 8.7kg (L)
Brand Felt

Features

Available sizes XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Brakes Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-30
Chain Shimano 105
Cranks Shimano 105, 52/36
Fork UHC + Textreme carbon
Frame UHC + Textreme carbon
Handlebar Devox DBar.A1
Rear derailleur Shimano 105
Saddle Prologo Dimension
Seatpost Devox carbon Post.C2
Shifter Shimano 105
Stem Devox StemR.A2
Tyres Vittoria Rubino IV 25c
Wheels Devox RDS.A1