I got a loan of this from my mate Pedro at Flying Fox Bikes in Alva. The Felt AR5, or ‘felt arse’ as it has affectionately come to be known locally, is an aerodynamic road bike designed to slice through the wind.
I’m no product tester, having only ever ridden a carbon bike once before, ‘d hesitate to venture into the subjective area of equipment reviews. But it’d be a shame to have tried a machine such as the AR5 without giving it a mention on the blog, so here goes.
I was going to say, ‘the frame felt stiff’, and break all the rules of this post on Inner Ring. All four of my bikes are aluminium – I’m aware that carbon absorbs more vibration and tend to expect a bit of sponginess but there was nothing of the sort with this. Let’s say the bike felt stiff.
I mainly rode it on flat roads, and I felt like I was gliding- maybe the psychological effect of being on a bling machine but maybe the highly aero frame. This build costs about £2k but ‘only’ with Shimano 105 or Sram Rival – most of your money is going on the frame. I could see it as a machine for someone mixing road races and time trials, but without the budget to splash out on two high-end bikes. Put some clip-on tri bars and deeper section wheels on this and you’d have a worthy TT bike.
The branding is a bit blatant, but generally I like the look of the bike- internal cable routing is neat and the white decals, spokes and hubs, with matching tape and saddle are classy. This is not to be ridden in the Scottish winter.
Footnote- the unusual setup with Sram levers and Campag brakes isn’t sold- just the kit that was available in the shop at the time of the build.