Felt F1 Bike Review
We put this stunning superbike from Felt through its paces in our Four Ride review.
Stealthy is one way to describe the F1. Each frame is handmade, which is complimented with high-end kit: Shimano’s electronic Di2 groupset, ergonomic carbon bars and an aluminium stem from Felt’s component arm, Devox. It rolls on some high-performing Dura-Ace C24 clincher wheels and the weight without pedals is just 6.37kg. Out on the first ride, the bike felt nimble and taut but we knew the electronic shifters would take some getting used to.
The bike responded really well over longer efforts. Power transmission from pedal to road was almost instantaneous. The butch bottom bracket and chainstays gave the bike a planted feel. Flat sprints were a joy because the cockpit stayed totally rigid. The only time we sensed some give was under extreme load in short uphill sprints from a standing start. But given the lightness of the set-up and the size of the rider, we were expecting a lot more flex and twist.
Its acceleration uphill was sensational, and seated efforts saw the bike surge forward. Gears went as low as 39×23, but given the excellent power transfer it wasn’t a struggle until gradients hit about 15 per cent. On steep inclines, the bike was nimble and danced uphill. Here we experienced the only downside of the bike – the tyres. We got a lot of wheel spin on damp gradients above 12 per cent, which isn’t good enough on a £7,500 bike, but the problem’s easily fixed.
The comfort of the frame was its best feature. The combination of power transmission, light-touch electronic controls and classical bars meant hunkering down was a pleasure. The bike soaked up road buzz without any loss of power. Over a stretch of stony tar in which we usually feel every pebble, we felt like we were floating over the worst of it. Best of all was the feeling that almost every watt of power produced at the pedal was put on the road.
Contact feltbicycles.com; saddleback.co.uk
Weight 6.37kg (14.04lb)
Sizes 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61cm
Frame and Fork Felt UHC Ultimate + Nano DMC carbon fibre/Shimano Di2 ready/Felt UHC Ultimate monocoque
Seatpost Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio
Stem New Ultimate
Transmission Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace 7900
Chainset Shimano Dura-Ace 7900
Saddle Devox team issue
Wheels Shimano Dura-Ace C24 clincher (tubeless ready)
Tyres Vittoria Diamante Pro Light
Cockpit Devox VS UHC Ultimate + Nano DMC carbon fibre bars, Devox 7050 aluminium stem
This review was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.
You’ll find loads more triathlon gear and kit reviews in triradar.com’s Gear section
on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 5:00 am under Bikes & Cycling Gear, Gear, Triathlon Bike Reviews.
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Tags: Bike Reviews, Felt, First Ride Bike Reviews, Triathlon Gear Reviews, Triathlon Plus Magazine