Felt FR2 Disc screams 'made for racing'
The only way you could make the FR2 Disc more of a racer would be to wrap it in flashy Lycra. Its geometry screams “made-for-racing,” with a short 155-millimeter head tube (size 56cm) and aggressive 73.5-degree seat tube angle that positions the rider forward, over the pedals, for the big push. Short 405-millimeter chain stays make for quick, agile steering when diving in and out of the peloton. This is one of the most responsive bikes we have ridden this year.
With the bike’s race-oriented design, you might expect to be abused by the end of a long ride, especially over rougher road surfaces. Not so. The FR2 didn’t leave us cracked or shaken even over harsh pavement. Felt uses UHC Advanced + TeXtreme carbon (adopted from aerospace and Formula 1 applications) to construct the FR2. This strong, light, and impact-tolerant flat-woven carbon adds compliance to certain areas of the bike like the seat stays, while providing ample stiffness to the bottom bracket and head tube. It improves pedaling efficiency and steering. In conjunction with other proprietary construction methods, Felt is putting more fiber and less resin into a given space, thereby reducing weight and allowing for a more tuned ride. In our opinion, they hit the mark with a well-balanced, nimble ride quality.
Our lab test revealed an uninspiring 0.76 millimeters of deflection at the bottom bracket. (Compare that to Giant’s TCR, for example, which has 0.41 millimeters of deflection). We didn’t notice the flex on the road, though. When we sprinted out of the saddle or charged up a steep climb, the BB386 bottom bracket felt responsive, with impressive power transfer and acceleration.
The ever-reliable Ultegra Di2 keeps the bike from being prohibitively priced. Electronic shifting is a luxury that we’d take over most any bike feature. The instantaneous, crisp gear changes are ideal for split-second decisions when you launch an attack or sprint. Plus, accessory shifters are handy when sprinting in the drops or powering up steady climbs. Surprisingly, Felt doesn’t include these additional shift buttons with the FR2 Disc like it does with other FR models. But it’s a quick and easy upgrade to make on your own.
We commend Felt’s decision to add Shimano hydraulic disc brakes to this capable race bike. We expect to see more all-around rigs sporting these reliable, well-modulated stoppers in the future. Even with the additional weight of discs, the FR2 comes in at a svelte 16.12 pounds.
The components spec includes a 3T stem, and carbon handlebar and seatpost — all are light and simple to adjust. A DT Swiss FC 1600 wheelset completes the build.
On each of our test rides, a fellow rider complimented the matte sky blue and red paint scheme. It’s eye-catching in all the right ways.