Felt FR3

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Ben An­drew

The FR series is an all-new breed of rac­ing bikes from Felt, and Pedal Mag­a­zine had the chance to test out the mid-level FR3. When creating the FR series, Felt set out to cre­ate the light­est, stiffest rac­ing bi­cy­cle it could – a goal that it states has been achieved. The FR3 shares the same frame and fork as the high­est-level FR1, pro­vid­ing all the per­for­mance of the top-flight bike at a re­duced price. Us­ing Felt’s rac­ing ge­om­e­try, which has been re­fined in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Holowesko Ci­tadel Rac­ing Team (whom Felt spon­sors), the FR3 is a clas­sic rac­ing ma­chine, fo­cus­ing on rider po­si­tion and stiff­ness-to-weight as op­posed to aero­dy­nam­ics.

The FR series re­places the F series from Felt, which has had great suc­cess, in­clud­ing win­ning Grand Tour stages. Felt aimed to cre­ate a higher per­form­ing bi­cy­cle while also im­prov­ing com­fort with the FR. Lighter and stiffer are words often used within the bi­cy­cle in­dus­try, but in this case, it is cer­tainly ap­pli­ca­ble. The claimed weight of the FR series frame is 765g in size 56cm. The FR FRD fur­ther re­duces the frame weight to 685g for the same-sized frame. The FR frame fea­tures a car­bon-fibre BB3386 bot­tom-bracket shell along with full-car­bon dropouts, and is con­structed out of TeXtreme car­bon fibre. The frame uses ex­ter­nal rout­ing when built with me­chan­i­cal driv­e­trains, while elec­tronic ca­bles can be routed in­ter­nally.

In us­ing TeXtreme car­bon fibre, Felt em­ploys size-spe­cific car­bon lay-ups to maintain ride qual­ity across frame sizes. Tube di­am­e­ters vary be­tween sizes as well, as does steer­tube ta­per. The FR’s fork uses full TeXtreme car­bon-fibre mono­coque con­struc­tion and fea­tures an in­te­grated car­bon-fibre crown race and car­bon dropouts.

The FR3 tested was equipped with a full Shi­mano 11-speed me­chan­i­cal Ul­te­gra 6800 groupset. This in­cluded shifters, de­railleurs, crankset, chain and cas­sette. The semi-com­pact 52/36T chain­ring com­bi­na­tion is more than ca­pa­ble when rid­ing flat out, while the 36T in­ner ring pro­vides a slightly lighter gear when the road turns up. The FR3 is spec’d with a To­ken BB386 bot­tom bracket. The Shi­mano RS21 wheelset was wrapped with Sch­walbe Du­rano RaceGuard 25mm tires. Other com­po­nents in­clude a 3T Er­go­sum Pro bar, 3T ARX II Pro, Felt UHC Per­for­mance car­bon seat­post and Prol­ogo Nago Evo sad­dle.

The com­bi­na­tion of a top-level frame with Shi­mano’s sec­ond-tier Ul­te­gra com­po­nents re­sults in a fan­tas­tic, lively high-per­for­mance pack­age at a frac­tion of the price of the higher-level FR mod­els. The FR3 feels light and nim­ble, and ex­cels while climb­ing and sprint­ing.

The ride on the FR3 is smooth and pre­dictable, al­low­ing you to fo­cus on the road ahead. The low-pro­file frame de­sign feels very sure in cross­winds and on fast de­scents, while Felt’s re­designed head­tube, which is taller than the F series, pro­vides added stiff­ness when rail­ing cor­ners. The rear brake is hid­den un­der the bot­tom bracket, which is both very aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing and, due to the lack of a brake bridge, re­sults in a more com­fort­able ride.

The FR series fea­tures 10 mod­els in­clud­ing disc-brake mod­els. Builds range from SRAM eTap and Mavic Ksyrium Pro Car­bon SL C wheels on the FR1 to the FR60 alu­minum with Shi­mano Claris.

The FR is avail­able in six frame sizes, and comes in a flashy orange and matte car­bon, ex­pos­ing the large square TeXtreme car­bon weave. The Felt lo­gos on the down­tube, fork and head­badge are done in a re­flec­tive sil­ver, in­creas­ing vis­i­bil­ity if your ride runs late.

Felt guar­an­tees its frame and forks to be free of man­u­fac­turer de­fects with its life­time war­ranty for orig­i­nal own­ers, while com­po­nents and fin­ish are cov­ered by a one-year war­ranty. If you’re look­ing for a top-level ride at a more mod­est price, check out Felt’s new FR series.

The FR3 shares the same frame and fork as the high­estlevel FR1, pro­vid­ing all the per­for­mance of the top-flight bike at a re­duced price.

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