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Felt’s world-beating triathlon and time trial bikes are what brought attention to the brand years ago, but the Felt AR Series of road bikes open up the company’s aerodynamic tech to roadies, as well. While the AR series won’t shoot up the climbs quite as quickly as the company’s superb F series bikes, it is a powerful weapon beneath those who seek all-out straight-line speed without compromise.
Felt’s AR series (for Aerodynamic Road) is based loosely on the company’s ultra-fast IA series of road bikes. Felt’s engineers recognized the different needs of off-the-front soloists and sprinter-finishers, and tweaked the platform accordingly. The head tube is a bit taller, the seat tube is angled a bit less aggressively, and you’ll find a lighter, traditional single-crown fork at the front end, rather than Felt’s ultra-aero, nose-cose-equipped Dagger fork. Otherwise, the AR package provides nearly the same blistering speed as the IA series, only in a more versatile platform intended for drop bar applications.
The AR comes in a few model configurations, with three different types of carbon fiber, depending which level of frame. The AR FRD model comes in UHC Ultimate carbon fiber, the AR1 and AR2 come in UHC Advanced, and the AR3 and AR5 models come in UHC Performance carbon. Ultimate is the most fiber-dense version, allowing engineers to use less of the material to achieve the same level of stiffness as on the less dense Advanced or Performance versions of their carbon. While Performance is the least dense of the carbon types, it is still remarkably strong and light – a testament to Felt’s many years of meticulous carbon fiber engineering. The Advanced-level carbon strikes the optimal balance between cost and performance. Regardless of carbon level, however, all three utilize Felt’s Textreme carbon creation process that brings together varying moduli of carbon, via their proprietary Nano resin, to achieve excellent durability and vibration absorption.
The AR series stands at the intersection of Felt’s cumulative technological and performance achievements. It is incredibly aerodynamic, stiff, comfortable, light, and comes in a sufficient variety of build options that should satisfy nearly anyone’s budget. Again, it’s true that it won’t climb as well as Felt’s legendary F series, but for those who want the most efficient machine possible for solo or sprinting efforts, the AR is nearly impossible to beat.