IRVINE, CA (BRAIN)—As Felt Bicycles introduced its 2012 product offerings to the cycling media at its Irvine, California headquarters yesterday, the company looks to bring its racing and performance heritage to a wider audience with more options at better price points.
Evidence of this more price conscious attitude for 2012 lies with Felt’s flagship tri series—DA, which had cost consumers more than $10,000 for a complete. Now consumers have three complete models to choose from at $4,999 or below, and a DA 1 frame kit at that same price.
“The dealers are really going to be excited about that,” said John Georger, national sales manager for Felt Bicycles. “We’ve been getting feedback for a long time that ‘the DA is a beautiful bike, but I don’t have that many customers who can afford it.’”
Felt’s sending the same kind of price friendly message on the mountain side, with its carbon fiber full suspension Edict, which was introduced for the first time last year. This race bike with 100 millimeters of travel has received positive reviews, but it was priced out of the market for many last year with an entry level price at around $6,000. Now its flagship Edict LTD (frame kit) can be had for $3,499, while a mid-level complete option will retail for $5,499.
“That’s going to be a game changer,” Georger said of lower price points for the Edict.
Felt will also increase its 29er options for 2012 to seven models—up three from last year. Retail will start at $599 (complete). A full suspension 29er is in the works and will be introduced next year.
Felt has also made major strides in the lifestyle category over the last few years, with introductions of its Verza and Café series. The company looks to grow upon its recent success in this category for 2012.
“We have a lot of dealers who are relying on us to be more well rounded,” Georger said. “They like what they see in the other categories we’ve been in. We really do feel like we have a complete line now.”
Last year’s Verza City appealed to the urban crowd with racks and fenders. This year’s addition—the Verza Path—is a little bit lighter and sleeker, according to Georger. It will retail for $549 - $649.
“Dealers don’t need another inexpensive hybrid,” Georger said. “They have those options from other manufacturers. We’re trying to position the brand a little bit higher [in the lifestyle category].
For more on this story including commentary from Felt president Bill Duehring, be sure to read the August 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
(PHOTO: Bill Duehring, left, and Jim Felt welcome the media to the company’s 2012 product launch.)