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.