Just read through the full thread, really impressed by Dave's honest and open approach to this new bike. As has been said before many other big manufacturers should take his example and connect with the consumers at this level. It really makes the difference. As other have said before I always kind of glanced over Felt bikes and didn't pay them much attention, but I am now realizing the error in my ways!
I'm looking for a new aero frame for next year, one that I can road race and TT on, so the AR looks like it is one of a few that fits that bill. I think this was touched on earlier in the thread, but just looking for clarification.
Is the frame (in terms of layup etc) different between the AR5 105 and the AR1 frameset only version? I have a top end of £1500 for my new frame for next year, so would I really notice much difference between buying the AR1 frame only and buying the AR5 and stripping off the groupset?
Thanks for your kind words, glad our brand has caught your attention. I'm a bit behind the posts and all the private messages because of the trade show circuit all September. I'll do my best to get all the answers to the questions posted here and privately.
The frame is a bit heavier in the AR5 lay up (UHC Performance) vs. the upgraded UHC advanced material on the AR1. Both frames feature mechanical or electronic cable routing options and both are built with size specific tube profiles and absolute stiffnesses that are the same. In short, you get the same stiffness on an AR5 as you have with the AR1 but it takes a bit more material to get us there. I also updated the hubset on the AR5 to be compatible with 11 speed shifting systems even though the bike comes with Shimano's 10 speed 105 drivetrain. This allows the wheelset to remain useful in your stable for more than a season or two.
One last anecdote I've been sharing:
The 2014 AR5 bicycle is lighter, stiffer, more aerodynamic, and offers more cockpit compliance than the 2013
The 2014 AR5 bicycle is less expensive than the 2013 AR1 frame
and it comes with a free 105 kit, wheels, tires, etc!
Perhaps it was a good thing you've ignored Felt until now, you'd have some buyer's remorse if you had a 2013 in the garage.