On The Road With the Felt F75
2007 F75 SPECS
- SIZES (cm): 50 / 52 / 54 / 56 / 58 / 60 / 63
- COLOR: Semi-Matte Black
- WEIGHT: 18.4 lbs.
- FORK: Felt Custom-Designed High Modulus Carbon Fiber 1.3 Fork with Carbon Steerer
- DRIVETRAIN: Shimano Ultegra Rear Derailleur/105 20-speed Shifters and Front Derailleur, Shimano 2-PC Crankset with 50/34T Crankset, Shimano cassette and Chain
- WHEELSET: Shimano 500 wheelset with Aero Spokes, Vittoria Rubino slick tires
- Limited Edition Only Custom Amgen Tour of California white and gold commemorative paint finish
- Limited Edition Only Custom embroidered Amgen Tour of California seat
By Ian LurieSure, you've seen the F75 Special Edition on the Tour of California web site. And the idea of owning a limited-edition bike just makes your palms itch. But is it worth it? We took a Felt F75 out for a spin, just to make sure.
Author's Note: I didn't ride an F75 TOC Official Bike. A local shop courteously let me do an extended test ride of this year's F75, though. I promise, the only difference is the paint. I rode a 58 CM frame.
The PartsIf you're a non-ferrous nut, this bike is a dream: Aluminum front triangle, carbon-fiber seatstays, fork and steerer. Plus Felt threw in a carbon seatpost for good measure.
Internally routed brake cables give the bike a super-clean look, and the pleasantly chunky Shimano shifters lend some aggressiveness that I like.
The Good: Climb Like Spiderman, Descend Like SupermanI headed for a short but steep climb up California Avenue in West Seattle. My legs started burning with mid-winter dread. I'm too macho to use the smallest chainring on my road triple, and this hill usually kills me.
Pleasant surprise: The Felt's compact crankset provided the best of both worlds. No embarrassing drop to the tiny third chainring (because there isn't one), but the gearing provided by this setup left me with torque to spare. And, the short-cage rear derailleur shifted crisply, even under pressure.
Going back down the same hill, the F75 jolted me a few times but it held a line perfectly, without any of the wobble you'll sometimes get in a superlight aluminum frameset. It felt comfortable while I was in a tuck at around 40 mph.