Marc Pro – Strava will be racing on the new Felt FRD 29″ MTB frame this year. It’s an incredibly light, stiff, and responsive frame, and at under 2 lbs, sets a new bar for the industry. No other frame even comes within 1/2 lb of this masterpiece.
The 2013 frames have been redesigned to accommodate 100mm travel forks and now sport a tapered headtube. Felt claims that the new geometry will make the bike handle better, with the front wheel feeling less “floppy” side to side, and the 1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″ headtube stiffens up the front end. We can confirm that this is an improvement, and that these new frames are indeed more nimble. Especially when coupled with a stiffer 15mm thruaxle fork, the handling through rocky technical terrain is terrific. Another change for 2013 is the narrower 27.2mm seattube, which is intended to soften the ride, but does limit the seat-dropper options. However, Gravity Dropper makes the lightest dropper option, so that works quite well. Internal cable routing cleans up the frame nicely. The new FRD carbon is claimed to be so strong and tightly woven, that a downtube protector isn’t even needed. However, since we ride it in pretty demanding and punishing conditions, we used the thick plastic tape-like protector provided by Felt just to keep it looking nice. The gloss black Felt logos on the matte black frame creates a super trick look, while the black on black checkerboard is good for tic-tac-toe games to stave off the boredom on long rides.
I built my FRD up as a singlespeed, which weighs in at 19 3/4 lbs complete and ready to ride with parts from Enve: XC wheels; Ritchey: Trail bar/C260 stem/Super Logic post/Carbon Streem Saddle; SRAM: Truvativ Noir cranks, XX brakes with 160/140 rotors, 100mm SID XX WC fork; and cages, pedals, big fat 2.4 Tahoe tires, and of course a Bar Fly.
Jamie also has an FRD and built his up as geared race machine that’s completely capable of 3 days of downhill shredding on the awesome trails of Oakridge, OR. (In the foreground of this photo, Glenn is riding this year’s Felt Nine C frame:).
Like Glenn, Matt opted for the slightly more economical Nine C frame. As a singlespeed with a build similar to Conrad’s and with swanky white wheels, it only weighs 1 lb more:
For a more detailed review of the FRD, with close up photos and videos, check out the recent review on MTBR.com: Review of Felt Nine FRD – Ultimate Carbon Hardtail 29er.