- Discipline: Aero Road
- Usage: Rapid road riding & racing
- Exceptional frame quality
- Real world aero performance
- Nimble handling characteristics
- Smooth but not the smoothest
- Big gears are best suited to racing
- Wheels are best for training
Updated: 5th May 2017
Class leaders in aerodynamic technology, Felt were one of the first manufacturers to produce an aero bike that was lightweight enough for road racing. In this review, we will be looking at all the models in the AR range, tried and tested race bikes that are designed to slice through the wind efficiently so you can ride faster.
Developed in the wind tunnel and race tested at the very highest level, the Felt AR is stiff where it needs to be for efficient power transfer and predictable handling characteristics. The ride is a lot smoother than you would expect from such a high performance aero race machine, so you can really rack up the miles on the AR.
The carbon fibre composite frame and fork have been designed and refined, using extensive computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and wind tunnel testing at every stage in the development process. The testing includes aero performance from multiple wind directions (yaw angles) just like you get in real world road riding conditions.
The AR frames are made using a modular monocoque construction, which enables the designers to reduce excess material, for a lightweight frame that is both stiff and strong. The AR5 and AR3 are made with a mixture of both uni-directional structural (UHC) carbon fibres and a protective 3k weave which makes it stronger than titanium and stiffer than aluminium. The AR2 takes this one step further with a TeXtreme carbon layer, that further reduces weight, as well as giving the frame its unique checker board patterning.
Choosing an aero road bike shouldn’t mean compromising on handling, and the Felt feels well planted and nimble through the twisty stuff. – Bike Radar
Each model in the AR range is compatible with electronic groupsets making this bike ideal for future upgrades.
Key to the AR’s performance is the UHC carbon seatpost, which combines aerodynamics with vibration damping properties, so you are more comfortable in the saddle as you slice through the air. Aero bars complete the wind cheating package for truly exceptional all-round aero performance.
With a mid-compact 52/36 chainset and 12-25t cassette, you can really put the hammer down on the AR. This is ideal fro racing, although you will need strong legs for the climbs. The AR5 gets the workhorse Shimano 105 groupset, while the AR3 features slick shifting Ultegra. You get the ultra-slick, quick and accurate electronic shifting of Ultegra Di2 on the AR2.
Wheels can make a real difference to aerodynamic performance so, as you would expect with an aerodynamic road race bike, the Felt ARs all role on wheels with dep section aero rims. The AR5 comes with Felt’s own Aero R3/2 wheels while the AR3 gets reliable Shimano RS31s. The Fulcrum Racing Quattro wheels on the AR2 are fast, durable and suitable for both training and racing.
With 23c Continental Grand Prix 4000S II tyres on each model, you are getting the very best road race performance. It’s great to see that Felt have not cut any corners where rubber is concerned.
The Continental Grand Prix 4000S II is one of the best tyres around. – RCUK100
As well as its exceptional aero performance, the Felt AR offers a refined ride on the road. Choosing an aero road bike shouldn’t mean any compromises in handling. The AR feels well planted and nimble through twisty turns, while the oversized bottom bracket area and beefy chainstays offer excellent power transfer when you stomp on the pedals and sprint to the line.
Whether you are racing, training or just like riding as fast as possible, the Felt AR gives you the real-world road race performance you need alongside its exceptional aero heritage.