Felt FR2 Disc eTap
Felt knows what racers want. From the fast-handling frame to the smart parts spec, the FR2 Disc eTap should please those who pin on numbers week in and week out.
The FR series of all-around race bikes has long been one of our favorites on the varied terrain where VeloNews tests bikes. Fortunately, Felt has kept the frame’s great geometry while building in disc-brake capabilities.
With a conventional 73-degree head tube angle, 70 millimeters of bottom bracket drop, and a 980-millimeter wheelbase, Felt’s geometry isn’t radical. But that’s good. It results in predictable, responsive handling that is best suited for fast-pace group rides or the mid-week races. The frame’s short, 135-millimeter head tube can also accommodate low handlebar positions that experienced riders often favor.
Although it is priced at $6,000, the FR2 shares the same UHC Advanced + TeXtreme carbon fiber construction as Felt’s top-of-the-line FR1. This means it’s particularly stiff when you sprint out of the saddle. On the flipside, the FR2 won’t be so kind to your backside if you regularly ride rough roads or dirt.
If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get electronic shifting with hydraulic disc brakes, the FR2 might be your bet. It’s one of the most affordable bikes we’ve found with SRAM eTap HRD. This wireless group is user-friendly and trouble-free, no matter how rainy your winter base miles may be. Hydraulic disc brakes only make it better, and they encourage you to push the limits of this bike’s quick, nimble geometry (in a good, more controlled kind of way).
Felt manages to make this eTap bike relatively less expensive by carefully picking components. Most notably, Felt opted for alloy Zipp 30 course wheels. At 1,650 grams, these are not as light as carbon rims, but they can easily be set up tubeless and give tires a wide profile with 21 millimeters inner rim width. In a pinch, you could race these with some nice rubber. Or, if you’re serious about racing, you might have a pair of carbon tubulars that only come out on the weekends.
Also from the SRAM family, Felt put a Quarq Prime carbon crank on the F2R. This is a “power ready” crankset. So, if you wanted, you could get a $679 DZero power meter spider to upgrade the bike.
Even if you’re not hiding carbon tubulars in your garage or memorizing your power zones, the FR2 is a blast to ride. It corners as hard as you ask it to, it responds to sprints with verve, and the components are very good, albeit not extravagant.
If you get yourself an FR2, the only thing you’ll really need to put on it will be lots of miles.
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