Felt Racing, LLCF is a California-based bike manufacturer that makes bikes for the domestic and global market. The name of this bicycle company comes from the founder, Jim Felt.
This company is not only good at making the ordinary road and mountain bikes but it has also pushed the envelope by introducing other bikes like the electric ones. Felt comes with some innovative technologies that help improve the bikes’ performance.
Over the years, Felt has built an enviable reputation in triathlon and time trial competitions.
Felt was founded in 1994 but it disappeared for years before it was re-launched in 2001. During the early years, Felt bikes were distributed by Answer Products. A disagreement with the distributor saw their 7-year marriage come to an end and the company almost got washed out of the domestic market.
Felt Bicycles was acquired by Rossignol group in 2017. At the time of acquisition, the company’s revenue had grown to $60 million.
The company has plenty of technological features to boast about. Felt’s full-suspension mountain bikes come with the Equilink suspension system-it holds the bike’s pedaling efficiency in any gear combination thus insulating and suspending the rider from rough terrain.
Felt also comes with Bayonet Fork technology for the triathlon/time trial bikes; this technology adds aerodynamic efficiency and stiffness by using an external steerer in the headtube.
The company gets most of its production from Asia and all designs are assembled in the USA.
You can assemble your Felt bike all by yourself with the help of their Owners Manual that also talks about assembly; it’s cheaper than dealing with Amazon or paying your local shop. These changes are important when replacing worn out components or upgrading your bike.
Felt is keen about the safety of its consumers and they have established a return policy that demands the return of all faulty bikes. For instance, they noted that the fork steer tube of the 2009 Felt B12, B16 and S32 road bikes were faulty and hence they’ve issued a recall.
The company offers a wide variety of bike models to pick from. They include: cyclo-cross, road, triathlon, mountain, fitness, time-trial, cruiser, track, electric, bmx and living line. Felt also makes biking clothing that helps the rider remain comfortable while still matching with his or her bike.
Felt has been part of the world-famous Tour de France by providing the Union Cycliste Internationale teams with bikes. The company sponsors some pro race teams like Team Twenty 16 and Hincapie Racing.
The American company has sponsored many professionals like triathlon athlete Daniela Ryf– the 2015 and 2016 Ironman World Champion, Sarah Kathryn Hammer— a specialist in track racing who won eight world championships and Olympic silver medals. They have also sponsored the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Champion Mirinda Carfrae and American triathlete Tim DeBoom who won the Ironman Triathlon World Championships held in 2001 and 2002.
The Garmin–Slipstream team benefited from a supply of frames from Felt in a sponsorship deal that was signed back in 2009. Hincapie Sportswear Development Team from the US also had a sponsorship relationship with Felt in 2014.
In 2007, the Slipstream–Chipotle bicycle team also benefitted from a sponsorship deal with Felt. The 2013 Tour de France was special for Felt after Marcel Kittel won four satages; he was representing the Felt-sponsored Argos–Shimano.
Generally, most consumers have sent back positive reviews regarding Felt bikes. Felt has pointed out that their bikes have great responsiveness, they’re light & stiff and they have great features like the UHC Advanced carbon fibre frame. They’re also really effective when commuting. Let’s see some reviews.
Steve Cooper said this about the Felt AR4,
“The Polaris Arm warmers are decent, although the RBS logo and reflective strip lasted a couple of weeks / washes.” On the other hand, Rejourda said that he used this bike to commute on a 35 mile round trip and he loved it. “It is light and responsive and I found the ride really comfy, personally the only thing…”
Frogg had this to say about the Felt VR endurance disc bike, “They are already on wiggle … Joules1975 is right, international brand prices, TexTreme carbon … My opinion, at 2417£ the VR3 is very interesting, the VR2 with Di2 out of my reach.
The concept is right; i have a Spesh Tricross for years. Just changing tyres for winter (Hutchinson 700x32c) and Conti all season 28 otherwise. I’m commuting 25 miles everyday for almost 5 years now , i can’t outgrow my 42/39 crank and 12/25 cassette.
I have a question; is the pattern of carbon only visible in sunlight ? i love that.”
Little known facts about the company
Well, did you know that the Felt bike company would probably never exist if motocross star Johnny O’Mara had never asked Jimmy Felt to come up with a time trial bike that suited him? Yes, this happened in the late 80s as Johnny prepared for motocross by competing in triathlons.
Jim Felt, a seasoned mechanic and a serious age-group triathlon competitor himself, took up this challenge. He put his energy on maximizing aerodynamic efficiency by optimizing rider position.
This new improvement produced immediate results and Johnny’s wins was all the evidence Felt needed to know that he had come up with a great product. By 1991, Felt was in the bike manufacturing business, making bikes mainly to suit the various needs of the top athletes.
The company expanded after ten years with the entry of new investors. This has helped it grow into a global brand that can produce bikes to be consumed by people from different parts of the world.
Felt mountain bikes
On mountain bikes, they make Enduro, kids, trail and fat bikes. These mountain bikes are built for tough terrains and they have built a name for themselves thanks to Felt’s involvement in many world championships. The trail bikes are the most popular.
Felt bikes are good and they come with good prices – expert level mountain bikes cost around $12,5k.
The 2017 Scott Spark RC 700 SL 27.5 – XC Full Suspension MTB is the top level bike which costs £8,793.99. It is the lightest Spark ever with a weight of less than 1800 grams; it has SRAM Level Ultimate brakes, FOX 32 SC Factory Air fork and rear shock.
Felt road bikes
Felt road bikes are offered in form of endurance, Race and Aero bikes. The race bikes are light and stiff while the Endurance bikes are sporty and versatile. On the other hand, the Aero bikes are great performers against wind; they have great stiffness, aerodynamics and weight.
The Felt VR2 2017 – Road Bike is the top brand going at £3,594.10. It has a UHC Advanced carbon fibre frame. The carbon layup and endurance-tuned compliance ensures that this bike produces a very smooth ride even when the rider is riding on rough surfaces. When on long rides, the rider is protected from fatigue by the front triangle and carbon fork; this is done by mitigating road vibrations.