Felt F1X flagship cyclocross bike has more established several revisions over the years. once BikeRadar 1st reviewed the Felt F1X in 2008 it absolutely was a budget-friendly atomic number 13 bike. Four years later, it’s a no holds barred race machine with a full carbon frame, premium part package, and tag to match.
Ride & handling: Forgiving ride with sure handling
On paper, there’s nothing significantly noteworthy concerning the pure mathematics of Felt’s cyclocross bikes. The Felt F1X blends recent world concepts of cyclocross pure mathematics with a splash of the North yankee inclination toward lower and do-nothing ’cross steeds.
The result’s a motorcycle with handling that’s instantly comfy, sure in most things and needs lowest rider input whereas navigating tight and winding courses.
Unlike several of the new college cyclocross bikes, with do-nothing head tube angles, the Felt F1X doesn’t need to be muscled through tight turns. On the flipside, you are doing need to be a lot of attentive throughout high-speed maneuvers.
The Felt F1X shares identical carbon frame as Felt’s 3 lower-priced carbon cyclocross bikes. the utilization of premium carbon and a molding method that eliminates excess material from the within of the frame keeps frame weight low – our 53cm tester was a really respectable one,100g.
Should you opt to opt for your own parts or aren’t getting to create the leap to disc brakes anytime presently, Felt offers the F1X as a frameset in each cantilever and disc versions for US$2,069 (£1,449 cantilever, £1,499 disc within the UK).
The Felt F1X isn’t the stiffest carbon ’cross bike we’ve ridden, and that’s a decent issue. The frame is appreciably stiff and responsive, however still forgiving enough that it absorbs chatter from rough ANd rutty courses while not skittering around or departure you a lot of beat up than you expected when an hour of athletics.
Frame & equipment: attention-grabbing top-notch build with nice pure mathematics
At first look, the Felt F1X features a clearly cobbled along look. The shiny black legs of the 3T Luteus Team fork exchange stark distinction to the matte carbon frame, the WickWerks chainrings appear mismatched on the SRAM Red crankset, and therefore the Mavic Crossmax SLR wheels would possibly furthermore are stripped off a 29er bicycle to finish the build.
A bit of aesthetic dissonance isn’t perpetually a foul issue, though, significantly once the parts area unit all prime shelf (as they ought to be for the asking price). Upon nearer scrutiny, the F1X has the looks of a motorcycle assembled by the quick guy UN agency turns wrenches at your native bike search to fund his athletics habit – elements rigorously elect for his or her performance, not their visual charm.
SRAM’s redesigned Red cluster is employed for the controls, derailleurs, cranks and container – all of that performed cleanly. Felt selected to use WickWerks chainrings as a result of, in line with company road product manager Dave Koesel, “SRAM ne’er got around to making the 46/36-tooth chainring combination for his or her new ‘Yaw-Type’ front derailleur and X-Glide shifting style.”
An internally routed Di2 setup is feasible
Additionally, the most recent iteration of the SRAM Red crankset places one among the 5 arms behind the crankarm, therefore whereas alternative 46/36T chainrings might have worked, the pin that stops a born chain from lodging behind the crankarm would be within the wrong place.
Felt’s bicycle team uses WickWerks chainrings, therefore the whole could be a logical provider. it absolutely was onerous to recognize to what extent the WickWerks chainrings affected front shifting relative to SRAM’s redesigned Red derailleur. In any case, front shift performance was outstanding, even stressed.
The 3T Luteus Team fork affected US with its large mud clearance and spectacular stiffness. 3T conjointly provides the F1X’s cockpit. The ARX Team stem is paired with 3T’s cyclocross-specific Ergoterra Team carbon bar.
Despite the very fact that carbon seatposts area unit still oftentimes shunned by amateur and professional racers alike, the 3T Palladio Team post proved up to the task. Cosmetically, it’s like every alternative single-bolt seatpost, however within the pinnacle area unit 2 toothed rings, one nesting within the opposite, that regulate the seat angle in half-degree increments.
Dialing in your work could be a little bit of a duty, because the seatpost needs to be disassembled to form angle tweaks. The profit is that when a rider settles on their position, there’s very little to no likelihood that the saddle can shift throughout poorly dead remounts.
Felt placed on stress on creating the Felt F1X obtainable to customers before this season’s cyclocross season got current, once the lighter Avid BB7 terrorist group mechanical disc brakes weren’t however obtainable. The variations between the SLs and therefore the tried and true BB7 Road model embody the utilization of Ti hardware, aluminum-backed constraint and a lighter rotor.
Felt saw suited shave grams by commutation the Avid rotors with Ashima’s abundantly machined AiRotors. Braking performance was acceptable – more or less pretty much as good like Avid’s stock rotors (the trade-off for light-weight rotors that area unit barely there) – however worlds higher than with cantilever brakes.
The portion of the build that raised the foremost eyebrows was the wheelset. Mavic’s Crossmax SLR twenty nine wheelset is appreciably stiff and, at 1,620g, fairly lightweight – tho’ by no suggests that as lightweight as several hollow wheelsets.
“This was a tricky alternative for US,” same Koesel. “The 1st instinct was to use some premium disc hubs and lace them to some carbon rims and drop some hollow tires within the box. when extended feedback from our sales reps and dealers, the thought of a superlight however versatile tubeless possibility was chosen.
“We tested wheels from variety of various vendors and therefore the close to instant engagement of the new FTS-L Mavic freehub and unbelievable stiffness of the Crossmax style created it an ideal alternative.”
Vittoria’s Cross XG professional tires have well-tried to be sensible all-rounders
The Crossmax terrorist group twenty nine wheels were mated to Vittoria’s tubeless Cross XG professional tires and performed with none issues. Weekend warriors would possibly appreciate the flexibility to use one high-end wheelset and swap tires to suit conditions, whereas people who own a 29er might relish having another wheelset in their quiver.
The only part that did not mesh with the feel of a rig designed by a knowledgeable mechanic was the inclusion of SRAM’s XG 1090 container. whereas lightweight, this container features a well-deserved name for its inability to clear mud and dust – the rationale most SRAM-sponsored cyclocross racers choose to run the PG 1070 model instead. The recently introduced XG 1090 Cyclocross container would be a more robust alternative for next year’s Felt F1X.
Overall, the Felt F1X leaves very little to be desired in terms of performance and verbal description. the value is high however no corners are cut in making AN appreciably lightweight, race-ready cyclocross bike.