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A Closer Look at Felt’s 2014 Cyclocross Bikes: F5x, F2x, F1x Carbon, F65x, F24x (Kid’s) Aluminum
Back at Sea Otter in April, we looked at Felt’s 2014 lineup including the F2X, F5X and F65X cyclocross bikes for adults and the F24x for the kids. Our coverage of the F24X bike in particular generated quite a bit of buzz, with inquiries to Felt as to when parents could get their speedy little ones on one. They’re arriving now, but the bad news is Felt says they’re almost sold out already.
Last week we got to preview Felt Bicycle’s 2014 cyclocross lineup again at their press event in Orange County, and we’re bringing you some updates on these bikes now that they’re finalized and ready to hit your local bike shop.
Felt’s F24x Kid’s Cyclocross Bike
“We like kids involved in cycling, and we’ve had kid’s track and road bikes,” Felt has explained to us in the past. “As a racing company, we like to be involved in niche racing like track, triathlon and cyclocross. We thought it was a natural progression: we offer them for road and track, so we wanted to for cyclocross as well. Many of us have kids, and so what tends to happen is we design bikes that will fit them.”
One of only a few dedicated cyclocross bikes available for the kiddies, the F24x has 24″ wheels, tweaked geometry, a proportionately sized cockpit and small tires made by Kenda just for mini-’crossers (the Happy Medium). The frame is a Cyclocross Elite Custom Butted Dynaform aluminum frame, and the bike comes with custom microSHIFT Road Short Reach shifters and a Shimano Sora nine-speed (40/28T x 11-32T). Felt is particularly proud of the short-reach shifters, and has locked up an exclusive deal to be the only OEM bike company to spec them on their kid’s bikes.
Back at Sea Otter, the price was still an unknown, but the price is now set and the F24x will retail for $799. That’s not inexpensive for a kid’s bike that will likely be quickly outgrown, but it’s an attractive option for the youngster starting to ride and race regularly, especially if there’s a smaller sibling or buddy following close behind in the height race.
Felt’s F2x Cyclocross Bike – A Pink and Red-Accented Carbon Racer
The most expensive complete ’cross bike out from Felt for 2014, the F2x retails for $4149, several thousand dollars less than the 2013 F1x. Similar to the other carbon cyclocross models like the F3x, the bike is made with UHC Performance MMC carbon and comes with an UHC Advanced carbon fork with carbon steerer. However, the groupset features some of the latest innovations in disc braking and 11-speed trends with the SRAM Red 22 Hydro disc 11-speed (46/36T x 11-28T) groupset with hydraulic disc brakes. The matte black bike with pink trim comes complete with Felt’s CxR1 tubeless disc wheels, Vittoria Cross XL Pro TNT tubeless tires, 3T Ergoterra Pro handlebars, a 3T ARX II Pro Stem and a 3T Ionic 25 Pro seatpost. The wheels offer AClass’ new Road Tubeless rim, giving racers potentially a low pressure, race-worthy option when paired with tubeless tires, without needing a dedicate set of race wheels.
Felt F5x Cyclocross Bike: Trebon’s Carbon at a Price to Rival Aluminum
Remember back when Ryan Trebon was racing for LTS / Felt? If you pick up the $2400 carbon F5x this season, you’ll be racing on essentially the same frame Trebon was winning on, before he joined Cannodale-CyclocrossWorld, though unless you’re over 6’2″, it probably won’t be the same size. $2400 for a carbon cyclocross bike is an impressive achievement, especially when considering the bike is dressed with SRAM Rival componentry, not the less expensive Apex.
The frame is the same as the F2x: UHC Performance MMC carbon frame, but the company shaves cost at the expense of weight with a UHC Advanced carbon fork with an alloy steerer. The groupset drops down to the SRAM Rival 10-speed (46/36T x 11-28T) but the disc brakes stay, although rather than the hydraulic SRAM brakes, Avid BB5 disc brakes with superlight ASHIMA rotors will provide stopping power. Felt’s CxR2 wheels keep things spinning, and grip on any terrain is handled by the new Vittoria Cross XL Pro mud-oriented tires.
Felt F65x Cyclocross Bike – Return of the Best Seller
The F65x aluminum cyclocross bike is Felt’s best-selling cyclocross bike, and features the same frame as last year’s model, with Superlight Custom butted 7005 aluminum and a BB30 bottom bracket. It’s paired with a fork with UHC Advanced Carbon Fiber blades and an aluminum steerer. It comes complete with a mix of SRAM Rival and Apex, with Avid BB5 disc brakes and Felt’s in-house CxR3 disc wheelset. It’s commuter-ready as well as race-ready, and has rack and fender mounts so it can do double duty. This model is available now for $1699 (slightly down from the $1749 pricetag at Sea Otter), in sizes from 47 to 60cm.
Felt F1x Carbon Cyclocross Frameset
Available as a frame and fork only, the 2013 model has a higher-grade UHC Advanced MMC carbon frame with 3T Luteus carbon fork and can be had for $2199. The company had ambitions of bringing this frame to market as a complete bike with Shimano Di2 and its new hydraulic disc brakes, but after missing its target dates two years ago due to the delay with SRAM’s hydrualic brakes, decided to offer this top-of-the-line cyclocross frame as a frameset only this year. The 3T Luteus fork offers incredible tire clearance up front, accepting many 29er tires, in case racers get so attached to the F1x they do a bit of monster cross conversion and stay on the bike during mountain bike season.
Although Felt doesn’t have the star power of Ryan Trebon anymore, the company aims to have the Keough family and Danny Summerhill back racing its cyclocross bikes this season. Stay tuned as we review a few of the 2014 models in the upcoming months.
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