After a couple years of iterative updates to their FX carbon cyclocross bikes, Felt has wiped the drawing board clean and created all-new, disc brake only bikes ready to go fast and get dirty.
The very top of the line is the F-FRD (Felt Racing Development), whose frame comes in at just 850g and is sold as a frameset only. More on that one in a minute. Immediately below it is the F1X, which continues Felt’s use of TeXtreme carbon fibers to make the bike lighter and stiffer. Its frame tips the scales at just 950g. And for 2016, that same frame is used on the lower level F3X and F4X level bikes, and all four share the same new 400g fork.
On the prior version, they had morphed the bike from their cantilever brake model over the years, which meant there was still a bridge on the seatstays, and the rear brake caliper was on the outside of the seatstay. To boost comfort, they reworked it to be disc specific and put the caliper inside the rear triangle. That let them do away with the bridge and create one long, thin seatstay that has some intentional compliance planned into the layup…
The frames get new tube shapes that make the bike more robust with more tire clearance.
It uses the BB386 standard to give it a little more room at the chainstay yoke, which let them make the chainstays big enough to keep the brake hose inside it as it passed around the BB and headed back toward the caliper. It also meant the stays didn’t need to be ridiculously tall to achieve the desired stiffness.
The headtube on the SL layup is 11% stiffer, and the BB is 5% stiffer, yet the frame is 150g lighter than before. That’s done through continuous improvements in their layup process and better utilization of Textreme’s capabilities. Subtle geometry tweaks were made to balance the stiffer frame, helping it keep the same feel as the last bike and not become too twitchy. It still has a racy feel, but won’t beat you up or amplify any handling mistakes you might make as a race wears on.
There’s an additional port at the headtube, which combines with the ports on either side of the downtube to open up a space for a stealth dropper post.
The fork gets a slight geometry change and it adds subtle ribs on the inside of the legs to gain 10% lateral stiffness without ruining the compliance. It’s a bit wider thanks to the ribs, but a bit narrower front to back for better compliance.
Tire clearance was bumped up to handle up to a 700×36 for normal riding, and a 40 if you aren’t too worried about eating up the clearance.
The disc brake’s hose pops out closer to the rear for a cleaner appearance. Notice the oversized rubber grommet surrounding the hose at the exit port – Felt found ways to seal all the holes on the frame that could let mud and water in. The cover plate under the bottom bracket, all the cable ports and water bottle holes all have plugs that close up any gaps completely.
Thru axles front (15mm) and rear (12×142), and different grommets for either electronic or mechanical groups.
This F1X build is the top complete bike. It’s a Di2/hydro build that uses a Rotor narrow/wide chainring for a 1x bike with Shimano 785 hydraulic shifter levers pushing fluid to the 785 brake calipers and Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleur. Don’t worry, it’ll ship with both the round and oval 40T chainrings.
Wheels are an exclusive DT Swiss set using a 19mm internal width 29er carbon rim laced to their 240 hubs. Weight is around 1,300g and are tubeless ready, with Schwalbe Racing Ralph CX tires ready to be converted.
The F1X Di2 will retail for $6,999. The other F1X build is a Force 1 (CX1) group that’ll sell for $5,499. The F3X gets a Shimano Ultegra mechanical group with R685 hydraulic brakes, DT Swiss R24 Classic wheelset, 3T cockpit, Prologo saddle and Schwalbe tires for $3,799. The F4X gets Force 1 with hydraulic disc brakes, Novatec wheels and Felt branded cockpit for $2,999.
The F-FRD is sold as a frameset only for $1,999. It’s shown here with a rather boutique build but with one unique feature that will come with it:
On the thru axles, they worked with DT Swiss to create a removeable lever that holds itself into the axle with an O-ring, but quickly pulls out to work for both front and rear. Or take it off for race day to keep it clean and remove any snag points.
Available July and August. The alloy ‘cross bikes will carry over unchanged from the ones introduced last year, save for spec updates.
The 2015 Felt Compulsion got a lot of attention for their colors, so for the alloy models they took it a step further with some wild color palettes for the 10 (shown), 30 and 50.
They’ve switched to a stealth dropper for the 10. The port was already there and is there on all of the models, they just upgraded the KS LEV post to an internally routed version for the top model.
The rear shock tune gets updated for all three models. While I really liked the Compulsion I rode last summer, one concern they heard from customers on the ’15 model was that it lacked a little something in the mid stroke. So they went out with RS for a few rides and refined the tune to add more mid stroke support.