Feltís FRW2 race bikes hit the mark with a stiff carbon frame, race-tuned geometry, and smart component package (like a Pioneer power meter) purpose-built for competition. We are happy to see Felt offer a premium race bike for women with the same attention to detail and frame features as its menís line. In fact, the FR2W frame is identical to the menís version.
While the debate is still out about womenís-specific geometry needs, we enjoyed the FR2W aggressive, long-and-low geometry. A 73.5-degree head tube angle and 73.5-degree seat tube angle scream racer while the shorter back end with 405mm chainstays make for a snappy ride in and out of corners. The bikeís stiff BB386 bottom bracket provides immediate feedback for hard efforts.
With such a race-focused design and build, we expected the FR2W to feel a little harsh over rougher roads. But we were pleasantly surprised with a gentle ride that didnít leave us shaken at the end of the day. Feltís TeXtreme carbon layup ó which includes various types of carbon in various locations throughout the frame to tailor the ride quality and stiffness ó helps absorb some road chatter while maintaining stiffness at the bottom bracket and head tube.
Felt nails the FR2Wís Shimano Ultegra Di2 build by including secondary sprint shifters. They make shifting during sprints more efficient and safer since you can keep a secure grip on the drops. Theyíre also nice for tricky descents, making it possible to shift on steep switchbacks without moving your hands or fingers.
Adding to the FR2Wís smart components package is a Pioneer power meter. Since most racers train with power, Felt simplifies the bike purchase and build process by including the power meter already installed. If you prefer a different power meter type of donít want one at all, look to a different FR model as the FR2W is the only one that comes with the Pioneer included.
From top to bottom, the FR2W is a fantastic value for serious racers or riders who want a premium bike without the premium price tag.
Component Highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain with 52/36 crankset and 11-28 cassette; Pioneer Power Meter, Shimano Ultegra brakes; Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels