IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — The Lebowsk-e, a 2015 model-year fat bike sporting a Bosch motor first peeked at OutDoor Demo last year, is guaranteed to grab dealers’ attention at Eurobike and Interbike 2014. But it’s just one of dozens of models that Felt highlighted Tuesday at a media launch as the new model year gets into full swing.
While Felt is introducing a five-model line of e-bikes for the U.S. market this fall, the Irvine, California, company is also betting on a new line of “adventure” road bikes—dubbed the V Series.
It offers dealers price-point options to attract new customers or offer a great upgrade for casual cyclists. “This is where the growth in the marketplace is going,” said Dave Koesel, Felt’s senior product manager for road bikes.
The five-model line features retail prices from $569 to $1,399. For example, the top-end V85 drop-bar model has an aluminum frame with carbon fork, TRP Spyre disc brakes, and Shimano’s 11-speed 105 group with compact cranks running on 700 x 28c tires.
The V110F, on the other hand, is a simple flat-bar bike spec’d with a mix of Shimano’s Altus and Acera components, TRP brakes and Vittoria Zaffiro 700 x 32c tires at $569.
Still, the tri market is a key factor in the company’s overall success. And the IA4 is a tri bike that ranks high on performance and at a price triathletes can afford. The $5,499 IA4, spec’d with Ultegra 11-speed and Felt’s integrated aero brake system, is what Koesel called an “obtainable” model for many tri enthusiasts. And it can be upgraded to Shimano’s Di2 or Campy’s ESP systems thanks to electronic compatible internal cable routing.
And for the first-time triathlete competing on a limited budget, the S32 (available with 650c wheels) features an AeroLite custom butted aluminum frame, carbon fork and Shimano’s 105 11-speed drivetrain at $1,299.
Other model highlights include the F Series, first launched by Felt in 2003 and which includes the Dura-Ace spec’d F1PR ($4,999), and the 2015 endurance road Z Series — a line that will attract long-distance riders and gran fondo enthusiasts with price points ranging from $799 for the Z100 to $4,999 for the Z2.
Felt’s mountain line for 2015 sees a greater presence of 1 x 11 drivetrains and Schwalbe tires, and hydraulic brakes reaching down to lower price points, among other changes.
The Compulsion model, previously a 26-inch-wheeled trail/enduro bike with 150/160 millimeters of adjustable travel, has been redesigned for 27.5-inch wheels and a dedicated 160 millimeters of squish out back via Felt’s long-running Equilink suspension design. Previously available in alloy and carbon versions, the Compulsion is offered exclusively in hydroformed 6061 aluminum at three spec levels for 2015, ranging from $2,699 to $4,499.
The Virtue Series trail 29er gets a new FRD (Felt Racing Development) version for 2015, featuring lightweight but durable TeXtreme carbon previously found only on Felt’s Edict Nine FRD suspension and Nine Series FRD hardtail cross-country frames. With its distinctive checkerboard appearance, TeXtreme also trickles down the next level to the Virtue 1, saving a half pound of weight while increasing stiffness a claimed 20 to 25 percent, as well as to the Edict 1 and Nine 1.
The Virtue Series carries over the Equilink suspension and gets 130 millimeters of rear travel with 140 millimeters out front. It’s available in three carbon and two aluminum versions ranging from $1,999 to $9,499 for the top-end Virtue FRD with XTR group, RockShox Pike RCT3 and Easton Haven wheelset.
Featuring Felt Active Stay Technology (FAST) — a single-pivot suspension design with flexing stays that act as a leaf spring — the 100-millimeter-travel Edict Series sees no significant design changes for 2015 and comes in one aluminum and four carbon versions ranging from $1,799 to $8,999.
Felt is also introducing its new Fit Woman mountain line with two aluminum hardtails on 27.5-inch wheels and a carbon 29er hardtail, priced within reach of entry-level and intermediate female riders at $619 to $1,499. Spec includes lighter spokes and tubes as well as handlebar widths, stem lengths and saddles proportioned for women. The top-end Nine 6 W carbon 29er, with RockShox XC28 fork and Shimano Deore/Alivio components, is available in sizes down to 14 inches.