2014 Felt AR Road Bike Review
After two years of development the 2014 Felt AR is ready for prime time.
posts uniform pressure to secure the post is difficult to achieve. However, Felt, in conjunction with Italian parts manufacturer 3T, has created an interesting seatpost for the 2014 AR.
The post is still as aero as a plane’s wing, but what sets it apart from other aero posts is the ability to dampen vibration. Splitting the post on both sides is a grove which allows a degree of dampening. With the post in his hands Koesel was easily able to squeeze it inward showing how it reduces vibration that would normally be transmitted from the frame to the rider. To keep the post from sliding there are two bolts on either side of the post that are positioned in the groove pinching the post on both sides. This clamping system is called Felt’s Internaloc seatpost binder. The pinching uniformly places pressure on the inside as well as the outside of the light-weight post so there’s no fear of slippage.
This seatpost design, according to Felt, takes vibration off of the rider and claims that the damping of the AR falls between the F (their stiffest road race bike model) and the Z Series (endurance model).
Another feature of the post is the 3T created clamp which can be placed in the traditional “laid back” position for the road or if the AR is pressed into a triathlon or time trial, it can be switched to a forward position by simply removing the post and flipping it with the clamp positioned forward. This changes the effective seat tube angle from 72.5 to 78.5 degrees.
The seatpost isn’t the only aerodynamic feature of the AR. The fork crown is formed to meld smoothly into the lower head tube, thereby reducing wind turbulence from the front of the bike. Felt also claims that the larger fork blades not only offer an aerodynamic benefit but also dampen road vibrations.
The back end of the bike are the seat stays, but missing is the rear brake. Instead, the brake is positioned under the bottom bracket. With the rear brake removed from the seat stays weight is further shed by the elimination of the brake bridge. The slim stays are designed to absorb road shock.
The seat tube is also aerodynamically formed so the rear wheel can tuck extremely close to the tube. Felt calls this design the Gap Shield Rear Triangle and improves the flow of air from the frame over the rear wheel. An additional benefit of the foil section of the seat tube is an increase in stiffness to the bottom bracket.
With years spent in the wind tunnel Felt Bicycles has always been considered at the forefront of aerodynamics. The 2014 AR model line shows that this small-sized California bike company is still leading the way.
AR FRD (Shimano Di2) $12,499
AR2 (Shimano Ultegra Di2) $6,199
AR3 EPS (Campagnolo Athena EPS) $5,149
AR4 (Shimano Ultegra 11-speed) $3,499
AR5 (Shimano 105 10-speed) $2,499