Felt Da Design

Felt Da Design And Development Over The Years

Felt Da Development Overview

Overview

The Trek Domane 2.0 Compact Road Bikes
The Trek Domane 2.0 Compact Road Bikes

FELT BICYCLES is not only known for its track bikes, particularly the TK1 that carved its name into history, but also for its time trial or pursuit bikes.

Every bike is designed in a way that the riders’ as well as the machines’ aerodynamics is fully optimized. Apart from improving overall fitness, cutting back on the aerodynamic drag is plausibly the best way to boost the riding speed.

Wind tunnel testing has been a crucial part in developing any new type of bicycles, along with focusing on aero resistance. That being said, aerodynamic development has seen a tremendous improvement in the bicycle’s overall quality; however, concentrating on wind resistance ignores other attributes of equal importance.

Difference between triathlon bikes and time trial bikes

At a glance, it would be hard for anyone to tell the difference between the two bicycles. In fact, they look identical as both are designed with aerodynamics for performance, and they are slender in terms of appearance.

Aspects Time Trial Bike Triathlon Bike
Comfort ●     Solely designed for speed

●     Heavy frame

●     Stiff and fixed position

●     Go long distances

●     Rides on hilly terrain

●     Able to cover up to 112 miles in races

●     Light frame

Seat Tube Angle ●     Saddle nose of the seat tube must be 5cm away from the center of the bottom bracket

●     Riding position helps reach maximum speed from the power of legs

●     Steep seat tube angle

●     Relaxed riding position

Aerodynamics ●     Better aerodynamics thanks to the steeper seat tube
Multipurpose ●     Time trials must meet certain restrictions in terms of construction (According to the ICU)

●     Maximum length and width is 185cm and 50cm

●     No elbow or forearm resting pads

●     Fixed handlebar

●     Flexible, riders can choose whatever type of bike they prefer

One thing that both of these bikes share is the aero-bars, which allow riders to lean forward while having their heads down to save them valuable seconds.

Felt DA Specifications

The Schwinn Volare 1400 Hybrid Road Bikes
The Schwinn Volare 1400 Hybrid Road Bikes

Let’s take a look at the construction of Felt DA – the world’s fastest time trial bicycle ever tested in the Wind Tunnel.

Specs Numbers
Size (cm) 650c x 48, 50

700c x 52 / 54 / 56 / 58 / 60

Weight (lbs/ kg) 16.95lbs / 7.7kg
Color Semi matte clear coat
Handlebar Devox Bayonet nano-carbon base bar with carbon aero extensions
Frame New Felt Custom Designed TRI Modular Monocoque Frame (with UHC – Ultra Hybrid Carbon)
Fork New Felt Custom-Designed Monocoque Bayonet leading aero edge Fork with Ultra Hybrid Carbon

Carbon Dropouts

Bayonet steering system

Adjustable stem

Drivetrain Complete Shimano Dura-Ace Group

Shimano Dura-Ace Crankset 53-39T for 700c chainrings, 55/42T for 650c chainrings

Wheelset 700c: Zipp Carbon Zed Tech Z99 Tubular Wheelset; Dimpled rear Disc; 82mm deep front

 

650c: Zipp Carbon 909 Tubular Wheelset

 

Vittoria Triathlon Evo CS tubular, 700 x 21c (48/50cm: 650c)

Components Zipp Vuka Carbon base bar, extension bars with levers

Felt Bayonet Steering System

Adjustable stem with 3 stem extension lengths

Felt 3.1 Team Issue TRI Saddle with Carbon Injected Base

Extended CRN/TI Rails and White/Carbon fibre cover

Felt 3.1 Carbon Aero Seatpost with Double offset Adjustment

Jim Felt, founder of FELT BICYCLES, along with the engineer team, spent countless hours doing research on their super-fast DA in the wind tunnel, and yielded fruitful results in return. The monster DA that Felt created has won Olympic gold medals and the team time trial at the Giro d’Italia.

Featuring the Shimano’s top-notch Dura-Ace components, wicked-fast Zipp deep-dish carbon wheels as well as feathery nano-carbon aero bars, the Felt DA is one of the world’s fastest pursuit bikes.

Jonathan Vaughter, the American former professional racing cyclist, expressed:

“Felt bikes are fast, durable, light, and make sense from an engineering standpoint. The guys love them, they test fast in the wind tunnel and they don’t break. It’s refreshing, and we’re thrilled to work with such a superior partner.”

On top of that, apart from providing sponsorship for Team Slipstream’s road team, Felt also sponsors the track team and the junior development program. The track team that once won the 2008 Olympics in Beijing features three riders from the USA elite talent pool.

Felt Da Design And Development

Felt DA Design

The Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bikes
The Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bikes

Let’s break down the components of the Felt DA bike.

Chassis/ Frame:

While the frame is built with lightness and aerodynamics, it is restricted to one type of fork.

FELT BICYCLES have made extensive uses of leading-edge fork design. For example, the Bayonet 2 system is not only super-aero, but exceptionally practical. To be specific, they are the conventional brake position and the adjustable angle stem lengths, which measures 60mm, 80mm, and 100mm respectively.

In fact, the DA is probably the only Felt Bike that uses ultra-high-strength UHC (Ultra Hybrid Carbon) Nanoparticle-enhanced carbon fibre for the frame and fork. The reason for that is to keep the weight to a minimum extent.

What’s more interesting is that there are 5 different wheeled frame sizes for the 700c version alone and plus 48cm and 50cm for the 650c version. That’s a valuable investment from Felt to guarantee that cyclists choose one best suited.

FRAME ●     Double-scooped tire

●     Tapered flat to tall oval top tube

●     Internal cable routing

●     Narrow tapered chainstays

●     Conventional teardrop seatpost

Ride & Handling

In short, the technology used yields great aero efficiency, giving a friendly ride with maximum comfort.

The leading-edge Bayonet 2 fork is attached to a 60mm stem which has a low 110mm head tube, whereas the super-steep seat angle, which is roughly 78°, positions the riders’ shoulder right over the steering.

FELT BICYCLES, particularly the Felt DA, have shown the long-standing experience of the company in making effective yet comfortable bicycles. Whether cyclists are steering steep corners, flicking through mini roundabouts, or tackling rough terrains, they will never feel unbalanced and uncomfortable.

Equipment

The Sixthreezero Hybrid Bike
The Sixthreezero Hybrid Bike

As surprising as it may be, the Felt DA is in fact a fully-equipped bike without any weakness, which lists itself as one of the best value full bikes.

With the use of ultra-high-strength Ultra Hybrid Carbon Nanoparticle-enhanced carbon, Felt was successful in reducing the weight to a minimal extent. On top of that, Felt DA is one of the few bikes that makes use of this technology.

Felt’s own Devox kit is another story. To be more specific, the flat base bars are stiff and robust while the rubber-hooded horn covers feature small end humps, which are similar to conventional brake hoods, to increase efficiency on steep descents or in harsh weather conditions.

Moreover, the shallow S-extensions fit right through the bar body whereas the flat, square armrests can be fully adjusted. Not only that, there also comes an optional zip-tied crossbar and the stem that brings out full and complete control over the angel.

Lastly, the soft-nosed saddle has waterproof features, resisting water while riding in wet conditions, and the carbon fibre shell inserts and rails to allow for position tuning, and the seatpost for full saddle cradle positions.

To sum up, Felt’s finishing kit is mainly what makes the Felt DA so successful, aside from the effortlessly excellent Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain.

Riding Experience

There are some aerodynamic tri bicycles featuring a narrow front end, which reduces the frontal surface area and possibly even wind drag. These tri frames are flexible, and the headset and aerobar spacers help increase the bendability; thus, having flexible front ends.

Felt Bayonet 3 fork joins the fork blades with the aero bar attachment system with a view to decreasing aerodynamic resistance. Reinforcing the head tube also strongly coagulates the front end of Felt DA.

That being said, this peerless machine swiftly flicks through corners wobble-free and sway-free by either accelerating out of the saddle or leaning into a tight bend. In short, the Felt DA has unique features and characteristics that turn it into an unbeatable monster.

Felt DA comparison

The Schwinn Discovery Hybrid Bike
The Schwinn Discovery Hybrid Bike

Let’s take a look at different versions of Felt DA over the years, particularly the three versions in 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively.

Outwardly, all of them look identical, with matte black being the main finish and several red and white touches. However, there are improvements that, though subtle, make one better than the other.

Felt DA 2009

Features Product details
Chain Front: Zipp 808

Rear: Zipp 1080

Tires Vittoria Triathlon Evo CS tubular, 700 x 21c

 

48/50cm: 650c

Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace

10-speed: 11-23

Handlebar Devox Bayonet nano-carbon base bar with carbon aero extensions
Handlebar stem Felt Bayonet 2, integrated with fork
Saddle Felt 3.1 Team Issue Tri/TT with titanium rails
Brakeset Shimano Dura-Ace
Frame Tubing Material Felt UHC modular nano-carbon
Shift Levers Shimano Dura-Ace, bar-end

Felt DA 2010

Features Product details
Chain Front: Zipp 808 Tubular

Rear: Zipp 1080 Tubular

 

650c: Zipp 404, clinchers

Spoke brand SAPIM CX-Ray
Hubs Zipp
Tires Vittoria Triathlon Evo CS Tubular, 700 x 21c

 

650: 48/50cm

Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace

10-speed: 11-23

Handlebar Devox Bayonet nano-carbon base bar with carbon aero extensions
Handlebar stem Felt Bayonet 2, fork integrated
Saddle Felt 3.1 Team Issue Tri/TT with titanium rails
Brakeset Shimano Dura-Ace
Shift Levers Shimano Dura-Ace, bar-end
Frame tubing material Felt UHC modular nano-carbon

Felt DA 2011

Features Product details
Chain Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7901 10-speed
Hubs Zipp
Tires 21mm x 28 Vittoria Triathlon Evo CS Tubular
Frame material Carbon
Cassette 10-speed

11-23 teeth

Handlebar Devox Bayonet UHC Nano base bar
Saddle Prologo Nago TTR
Brakeset Felt Integrated Aerodynamic brakes

Shimano Dura-Ace levers

Frame tubing material Felt Aero UHC Ultimate-Nano MMC
Bottom bracket Felt BB30 RED Zero CNC
Rims Front: Zipp 808

Rear: Zipp 1080 (16-hole/ 20-hole)

Spoke brand Sapim CX Ray Stainless
Fork brand & model Felt Bayonet 3 UHC Ultimate-Nano MMC
Crankset Shimano Dura Ace, 53/39t teeth
Headset Felt Bayonet 3
Seatpost Felt Aero UHC Ultimate
Fork material Carbon
Shift Levers Shimano Dura-Ace

Felt DA 2009 and the victory in Criterium International

Danny Pate, an American professional cyclist, was the second runner-up in the Criterium International – a two-day bicycle stage race held in France annually in Spring.

For the optimization of aerodynamics and steering stiffness, the nano-carbon frame, fork and aluminum were incorporated into one unit, which features an integrated design.

Furthermore, the internal routing entering the frame right behind the stem keeps the cables out of the wind whereas the chainstay-mounted brake, aero seatpost, horizontal rear dropouts and even rear wheel cutout also underwent some renovations.