Felt ZW4 review

Great all-rounder

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,799.00 RRP | USD $2,249.00

Our review

Fun on short rides and comfortable on sportives
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We love the Felt ZW4’s shiny red finish (it’s called ‘Gloss Poppy’). It makes the bike look fast, cool and fun – like a sports car, only without the high petrol consumption and the mid-life crisis. 

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More importantly, the ride doesn’t disappoint. It handles really well, swerving around potholes easily on uneven country roads, without being twitchy. Despite being reasonably light, it feels robust, with a BB30 bottom bracket and tapered head tube adding stiffness where it’s needed.

The BB30 bottom bracket improves power delivery
The bb30 bottom bracket improves power delivery:
Seb Rogers

The BB30 bottom bracket improves power delivery

Felt says its Z series bikes are designed to deliver high levels of ride performance while also being relaxed enough for long sessions in the saddle. This is certainly true of the ZW4. The carbon frame is incredibly comfortable and as at home on a lengthy sportive as it is on a casual commute. We also found the short-reach aluminium handlebar comfortable and, at 38cm, it’s a good width for narrower shoulders.

The tapered head tube, from 11/8 to 1 1/2in, stiffens up the front end to improve steering
The tapered head tube, from 11/8 1 1/2in, stiffens up the front end to improve steering:
Seb Rogers

The tapered head tube, from 11/8 to 1 1/2in, stiffens up the front end to improve steering

Shimano 105 gearing offers typically smooth shifting. The 12-30 cassette combines well with the compact chainset when tackling steeper climbs, while downhill the small frame and slim bar make for an aerodynamic unit that feels safe but speedy, even when you’re faced with sudden sharp bends.

The small frame and slim bar make for an aerodynamic bike that feels safe but speedy, even when faced with sudden sharp bends
The small frame and slim bar make for an aerodynamic bike that feels safe but speedy, even when faced with sudden sharp bends:
Seb Rogers

The small frame and slim bar make for an aerodynamic bike that feels safe but speedy, even when faced with sudden sharp bends

All this combined makes the Felt ZW4 a pleasure to ride – apart from the saddle. While we accept that saddle choice is a very personal affair, the semi-rounded shape of the Prologo Kappa Dea doesn’t seem ideal for a woman’s anatomy, and none of our testers found it comfortable.

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This article originally appeared in Cycling Plus – Women’s edition

Product Specifications

Product

Name ZW4 (13)
Brand Felt

Brakes Shimano 105
Fork UHC Performance MMC Carbon
Frame Material UHC Performance MMC Carbon
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Front Tyre Vittoria Pro Tech 23mm
Handlebar Felt Fit Woman SL
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Tyre Vittoria Pro Tech 23mm
Saddle Prologo Kappa Evo Dea
Seatpost Felt UHC Performance carbon
Stem Felt Fit Woman SL
Weight (kg) 8.08
Wheelset Shimano R501