FELT F2 build aka: carbonpornspeedmachine

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Thanks stef. The carbon looks great! Just waiting on Darimo to develop a 38cm bar, and for spokes to be sorted for the rear wheel build.

The frame has never been weighed as this has been a “rolling restoration”. I will measure the entire bike again once i get the darimo components back on. The deep wheels and aero bottles will hurt. Online numbers were limited, but I found 880g size 56, 326g uncut fork. So less than 1200 is a safe bet as I have a 51. Thr f series Frd is apparently 950g (-250g savings). If i ever find a f series frd frame in 51 (or FR frd frame) used, i might jump.

Shaving clearcoat is beyond what i am willing to do however.

Current calculations put it at 13.4lbs in full aero kit, including garmin vector 3 pedal, varia radar, edge 130. Stripped like you might get it from factory (no bottles, electronics or pedals) it will be 12.7lbs. 12.2lbs stripped if i kept the mavic r-sys slr wheels. So 11lbs would be doable with a frd frame, and some high end tubular wheels. Doubt i will go there however, as that last 1lb could get me a fine new tt or aero bike.

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

So why is this bike called the carbonpornspeedmachine? These crappy photos should explain it. Instagram quality stuff with an excess of post processing filters will go up when i get my matching darimo bars and seatpost on the bike.
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Visually i am digging it, but it was almost too much carbon porn. There are obviously finishing touches left to go, but it took my brain some adjusting as the 56mm rims looked more like 80mm at first. Plus the cxray spokes looked like toothpicks compared to the carbon spoke treetrunks of the old mavic wheels.

And no, the casette is not on, and yes, the chain is sagging as a result.

And oh yeah, i need to set up my ee brakes to be sure they fit. These are second gen and should be good to up to 27.5mm rims. I should have a mm margin or so. It will be close. May need low profile pads.

by Weenie


RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Here we go. Some improved pictures. Man this thing is fast! Still waiting on bars, seatpost, and tires.
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hannawald
Posts: 547
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:28 pm
Location: Czech Republic

by hannawald

I really like it:)
How are the bottles? They look great but I have read they don't hold in place very well..

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

hannawald wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:25 pm
I really like it:)
How are the bottles? They look great but I have read they don't hold in place very well..
Thanks, I like it too. I would say it is unique in the world of road bikes with all the matching wide weave Carbon.

The jury is still out on the bottles. They were super firm brand new, to the point where it is work to get them out. I can’t see them falling out, and rattling is currently out of the question, even on rough stuff. That being said, i am sure time will loosen thinks up a bit. Also, no leaking as some have reported. And they require a good squeeze to get the water out. As the membrane stretches and breaks in, things may change. But again, so far, so good.
Last edited by RocketRacing on Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Just a few notes on my first ride of the spring.

Comparing new to old wheels/bottles is lost as 5 or so months have passed, and fitness is up. That being said, still recovering from a cold, and with two weeks off the bike, i was within a second of my pr’s for a few strava segments close to home. Cool temps and higher air pressures probably did not help times. My power meter battery was low and it kept cutting out, so data was crap.

I also made a huge change in tire pressures. Last year i was running 90 to a silly 110psi. This time i ran 65psi give or take! Things felt very comfortable. I went by the sram tirewiz app suggestions based on my weight and tire width (i went between advice for 28c and 25c given my 25c gp4000’s measure 27mm). The app seems to be pretty spot on based on modern best practices for real world road conditions, but i will likely fool around with a bit higher, and a bit lower.

robeambro
Posts: 572
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

RocketRacing wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:23 pm
Here we go. Some improved pictures. Man this thing is fast! Still waiting on bars, seatpost, and tires.

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Dude, and you wanted to also get a full aero tt bike? This mean beast is all you need, can do everything and it's hot! :mrgreen:

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

robeambro wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:01 pm
Dude, and you wanted to also get a full aero tt bike? This mean beast is all you need, can do everything and it's hot! :mrgreen:
Thanks. Hot for sure. It is nice to walk into the prom/club/etc and only be looking at the lady on your arm.

But what had me going was this with 80mm matching wheels:
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But riding in some decient crosswinds today with my 56mm u shaped rims reminded me that I am probably in a good place with what I have. Predictable, but much more would get dangerous. A Felt IA with 80’s would have probably sent me off the road once or twice. A few strong sudden gusts had me saying “oh shit” and pausing. As a friend said, tt bikes look really good on a wall, but most of my friends that got one sold it after a couple of years.

Note to self, my elite bottle did leak a little on the downtube. And when empty it had the slightest of rattle. The rear is still solid as i have hardly used it, so it is still pretty firm. I think time/wear is when the weakness of the bottle design begins to show.

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

More marginal gains:

So i covered up all unused frame wire entry/exit ports with tape. I also did the same for the holes through the crank/bb.
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A few more coments on the wheels: braking is much better than expected (dry). They just have a basalt carbon braking service based around 3k carbon weave brake track. I am using old swissstop race pro pads (yellow king). I sanded them down to ensure there was no contaminate as i had used them a few times on my mavics. Contact points are a mess for one, but new black prince pads will arrive in a day or so... so i will be starting from scratch anyway.

Stiffness: as expected with the rim depth, i can detect no flex. in a hard sprint in the mavic r-sys wheels i had to watch for rub in the rear.

The rims are round and true externally , but the innter diameter is a little less perfect. Apparently it was the hardest rim to lace this year at the shop, but it came out straight and i have only had one spoke “ping” up front in a sprint where my weight was very much over the front tire.

Hubs. So far they live up to the reputation of being loud. But the 56 points of engagement sounds bad assed.

So, latex tubes in chinese carbon rims with top end hubs and spokes, and a very light rider.

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

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A few thoughts:

- my latest photos is closer to instigram worthy, but the bike is not yet done.
- using black prince pads. Did not get low profile evo pads (bike shop error), but i don’t need them with gen 2 ee brakes. Phew
- still waiting on darimo bars, post, post clamp.
- running vector 3 power meter left, xpedo thrust ti sl on right. All fit/position/thickness specs identical, but cleat is not interchangable, so i have different cleats on each shoe. I can not feel any difference when clipped in.
- contemplating twin tubular wheelset for climbing use (1.2-1.5 lbs saved in 40mm and 56mm deep respective).
- This bike is comfortable. Rims are laterally stiff.
- i want a lighter front big ring, but carbon ti and extralite don’t have great reports on shifting quality.
- contemplating thm cranks... but so expensive.
- i no longer want a tt bike. Too much local wind. This bike is enough.
- i have some cool custom vinyl ideas

Alexandrumarian
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:34 pm
Location: Romania

by Alexandrumarian

Looks great! What's up with the cleats, aren't those Expedos on keo too?

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Alexandrumarian wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:10 pm
Looks great! What's up with the cleats, aren't those Expedos on keo too?
Good question. I may not have looked closely as the look were a bit heavier than the expedos.

So far so good. My only issue is that i need another set of road shoes for indoor use (i just want to plug and play, no pedal swapping).

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

So I got a silca pump. Listening to the Marginal Gains podcast, and reading Silca’s blog on the science and importance of tires... i figured tire pressure was pretty key... so why not get a proper pump?!?

My theory is a scientific one. When it comes to data, the old saying in research is “$h!t in = $h!t out”. With many pumps having huge error (+/-5% easy), i figured i needed to start with good data. Plus... even if my pump were accurate, it is not uncommon for the chuck to release pressure upon chuck disengagement.

Enter the silca superpista digital.
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So you can say what you want about price. But i will say, why are you using a 50-100$ pump on your 3000-8,000$ bike? To spend that kind of money money on a bike, you are goi mng for marginal gains, weather you know it or not. A 8k bike is not 4x faster than a 2k bike. Ideal pressures mught be worth that extra 6k.

You don’t put wallmart oil in a Ferrari.

Anyway... this thing is gorgeous. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure buys a smooth feeling pump. Words to not describe, but the pump action is butter smooth. It is like a ford vs a porsche. You don’t appreciate how much better one feels until you drive it.

The design is great also. There is a magnet on the base to secure the chuck, and on the side of the digital screen. And the magnet is strong. Awesome!!!

The hero chuck is all metal, and an easy one hander to put on. The thumb lever locks it in, so no need for a two hand operation. This is BY FAR the best chuck i have ever used by a huge margin!!! And basically no air escapes putting it on, or taking it off (my only skepticism of a super accurate pump). It also needs minimal valve stem to grip on... and apparently it grips to 300psi.

My only criticism is that it does not have a bleed valve/button. But the pump is so accurate, you should not need to do blow off unless you are pumping the thing like a circus monkey!

So now to the pump. It has a digital color screen and an auto on/dim/off feature. You can preset your desired pressure. Visibility is great (no analogue gauge at your feet), and it displays pressures to 0.1. The pump is raited at +/-1% accuracy. Silca told me that that is for 100psi plus. As pressures are lower, accuracy increases. So when i put 3psi in my fat bike tires, accuracy is +/-0.25% give or take! Not bad at all. The joe blow fat pump, and road pump, are going in the closet.
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Back to design. Everything is metal. Except the handle, which is wood. The pump is well weighted in the base, and would be hard to knock over.

Oh yeah, the Silca owner is Josh P. He is an ex zipp engineer heavily involved with their aero rim design. The shaft of the pump is an airfoil shape. I presume this is a “tip of the hat” to his previous work with zipp. Very cool detail.

So i have the most aerodynamic floor pump on the market.

In summary, this thing exceeded my expectations, even for the money spent. The thought put into design, and final execution is impressive.

I was that guy who said “why would anyone spend this much on a bike pump.” I now understand... and have become the guy that would have nothing less. When people are on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th pump in 10 years, this one will still be warrantied for years to come.
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I also got the silca “speed shields”. Marginal gains to the max. Round objects are not aero. And an airfoil shape has the same drag as a round shape 1/10th the diameter. Think about that.

So what i will do here is put on a shorter valve extender that makes my valve stem almost flush with the speed shield. The silca hero chuck only needs 10mm of valve to grip properly.

So why not skip the speed shield and just have minimal valve poking out? The answer is because these are also wheel balance weights. You put the second one opposite the valve stem. You remove small weights inside it until your wheel is balanced. Marginal gains, but pretty cool, and not a bad thing for high speed stability (minimizing vibration - aka wasted rolling energy), and rolling efficiency.

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Marginal Gains:

I think I will wax poetic on this subject a bit.

When I got into "tuning/hotrodding" bikes, I obviously went for low weight. It is a sexy number to chase as it is easy to grasp... and it always generates "oohs and aahs" when you say "my bike only weighs ___ lbs." Other riders also further reinforce that sexiness when they lift the bike in admiration, often calling others over to do the same.

So light is cool. And it it helps performance marginally. So I consitered myself a weight weenie. Then I put a ton of tech on my bike, and called myself a bit of a tech weenie (garmin, radar, etap, power meter, hr). Then the siren song of aero advantages caught my ear, and I began to factor aerodynamics into my decisions. Finally, my drive for a fully matching 18K carbon bike put me in a bit of an ill defined category that I will call "carbon whore."

I the end, I kind of looked at myself, and asthetic desires aside, I had become a "marginal gain weenie", or lets call is a "marginal gainer." (TM)

Looking at my Felt, it is very much a light bike, but also not a pure weight weenie bike. Too many compromises for price have been made, and too many compromises of aero over light have been made. My bike has become more of a hybrid between aero and light. A very light partially aero bike, or a heavier but aero weight weenie bike.

But looking at all of my decisions to date... all have been in the name of performance (with asthetics narrowing down my final choices). Things like the saddle, seatpost, post clamp, skewers, stem, headset, brakes, cables, bars, groupset, hubs... were all chosen for their weight. Even if gains were marginal, it only made sense to shave the weight. Rims, spokes, and bottles, were chosen for aero performance, because the performance gained there could just greatly outweighed performance from lighter weight options. Ok, the crono bottles looked cool. I even point my skewer handles rearward to present a more aero profile (I would never crit race the rears that way). In between were the bars and front brake. In reality, I am quite sure aero options for both would be better performers on a stopwatch (and a tririg front brake is decient weight, even if heavier than my ee brakes). But I wanted bars in matching carbon, and I got my ee brakes as a pair on sale.

But my Marginal Gains approach went beyond the bike. I worked on optomizing rider position (I am rather flexable it seems). I purchased aero/fitted clothing. Those two factors probably did more for my speed than any other bought "upgrade" simply due to the rider being such a big factor in aero (70%-80% drag). I chose lighter shoes, silicone shoe covers, light yet aero gloves, the safest and excellent performing aero helmet (ballista).

Tires and Wheels:

I also did a lot of research on tires/wheels. This was the hardest decision for me. I was not willing to run tires with the fragility (but speed!) of corsa speeds. I told myself that tubular was impractical as an only wheelset (a flat could hamper my riding for a while and I am inherently lazy). The painful part was that the 56mm aero wheels I got could have been had in tubular in 56, or 40mm. With corsa speeds, I would shed a healthy amount over one lbs vs my current 56mm clinchers. That is a lot of weight in the area where you want to lose weight in a bike. Even the 56mm tubular wheels shed about 1lbs vs the clinchers I settled on. It still haunts me at night.

But I could not ignore that 56mm would be faster. And modern clinchers and tubeless are just so much faster than tubular. The best "usable" tubular (corsa G+) on BRR is about 5w/wheel slower than the gp5000 tubless (latex in in same ballpark)! 10W is an easy decision, especially when that kind of resistance is uphill, downhill... all the time. Being on tubular would be like riding ever so slightly uphill... all the time. Because CRR scales like hill slope, the 0.00144crr difference between say tubless gp5000 and tubular Corsa G+ is equivalent to riding up a 0.144% climb whenever you are on the corsas. That seems small, but over a 100km race, that is like climbing an extra 144m over the guy on the gp5000's!!! 288m over 200kms. No joke, the math is correct.

Now, if virttoria comes out with graphone 2.0 tubular tires that make them more comparable in performance/durability as say the gp5000... than maybe I will have an excuse to get a second lighter set of tubular wheels. However, I think that for every step tubular takes forward, clincher/tubless will continue to outpace it. It is the future of tire development.

So here is my hiarchy of the importance of marginal gains:
1. Rider aero/position
2. Tire rolling resistance
3. Bike aero
4. Bike weight.

The Rider:

I will end by saying that I once did an estimate of all the marginal gains I generated on my bike. I estimated that my bike was 10% faster than stock. (this ignores rider position or aero). It is a rough number. Over three months this winter, on a trainer, I increased my FTP by 25%. So, it goes without saying, that in the world of marginal gains, the one gain that is not marginal is fitness. It also happens to be the cheapest (assuming you ignore the money value of your time).

RocketRacing
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Well, early review time.

I took a risk on ebay rims from velocarbon. This is an obvious chinese drop shipper. The same rims can also be found on alibaba, and on a site carbonfan.

I opted to Source my own cxray spokes and carbon ti hubs for lightness and piece of mind for construction.

For reference, i am 59kg.
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Shape:

So my rims are 56mm deep clinchers. They are u shaped with a 17.25mm internal Width, 25mm brake track (the brake track flares out, so they are not paralell). They max out at about 28mm wide. They are a nice aero profile and resemble some of the zip designs to my eyes.

I have 25c (measure 27.5) gp4000s2 on front and back currently. I have gp500 on order, 23/25c which should measure a very aerodynamically ideal 24-25mm up front and 27 in the rear.

Finish:

They are finished in 18k carbon... which is basically why i got them (see the details of my saddle and frame in the photo).

the cosmetic 18k carbon is actually superior to pro wheels (that is the only other wheel
Currently using 18k carbon) simply because the carbon weave is wrapped around the wheel. The weave follows the curve of the wheel, which makes for impressive visual impact. Each side is finished with two cloths of carbon, so weave transitions are minimal. The pro wheels, and older yoleo wheels with the same carbon used four sheets per side, and the weave did not wrap with the wheel. There is some stretch in the weave in places, but it is pretty darn good. I see no surface imperfections in the clear coat.

The drilling looks clean, as does the carbon within the hooks.
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Trueness:

Externally they are excellent and round. internally i found up to a 0.25mm variation between the hooks. They also appear quite true laterally at the brake tracks. The guy who built the wheels felt he saw a bit of a distortion in the aero u shaped profile in one wheel, but i could not see it. It may have been an optical illusion from the transition of two pieces of carbon weave.

The builder said that they were “on the difficult end of wheels” to get true/tensioned during the build... but they came out great. He felt there was some inconsistency in the shape of the inner part of the wheel (spoke side), but that may be due to slight inconsistencies in spoke seating in the carbon.

Weight:

Not the lightest rims, nor the heaviest. You can get them in a lighter tubular however (and 40, 50, 56, 80 depths). I think they were listed at 515g each +/- 15g. So of course each of mine were near 25g over weight. The wheelset is just over 1500g with 20/24 cxray spokes, and carbon ti x hub hubs. So not bad, and about the same as the industry big names. Mind you, i speced some pretty light hubs to stay in the game. I was hoping for 1450g but they were just overweight, as cheap china carbon rims tend to be.

Integrity:

After some hours on the wheels (i estimate 500km), i only had one bery early spoke “ping” in the front during a hard sprint. They have remained true, and combined with the excellent xhubs... are VERY laterally stiff.

Compared to my mavic r-sys slr wheels they replaced... they are at a whole different level. I can set my brakes at a very close clearance without any rub on sprints or climbs.

Braking:

I figured this would be the weak point. They use 3k carbon basalt brake tracks. You can see that it is a 3k layer overtop the 18k finishing carbon.

The vendor had some fancy data on their site about brake temps. Not sure how valid it was, but the max temp seemed comparable to the big brands. Who knows about durability.

At first there was some brake pulsing, but the brakes were not set up (ee brakes with new black prince flash pro pads). Once set up properly, with a bit of pad toe, i am unable to discern brake pulsing... but there might be the slightest pulse. I have yet to decide.

In truth, i live in a more hilly area, and i am only 59kg, so i can really only think of one ride where i even worked the breaks to anything more than a mild sweat (1.5k 7% grade hill on a windy day when i had little interest in descending fast). So i suspect my rims/pads are still breaking in, especially since i only reciently adjusted the toe.

In the dry, the combo stops surprisingly well. No loss of performance vs my mavic exalth aluminum surface. If anything, i once locked the rear (my weight was too far forward however), and i had to adjust to a more relaxed progressive braking. The agressive initial bite was made possible by the trueness/lateral stiffness permitting very tight pad clearances. Toe out made them more progressive, and i call them excellent in dry braking.

So i figured they would be junk in the wet, but again, they did just fine. It just takes an extra second or so to clear the excess moisture. I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, what is due to brake track performance, and what is due to the black prince pads... i am not sure. Maybe they are a very grippy pad compound. I came from aluminum rims so it is hard to say.

Braking is so good in dry and wet, i might not be against a lower grip pad, just to try and maxamize wheel life. That will be an unknown. But so far the wheels have exceeded expectations... so maybe they will last a long time...
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Summary:

Very nice aero profile, nice carbon (not perfect), very true, a bit heavy, cheap. Surprisingly excellent braking performance in dry and wet (note i am 59kg and live in a hilly area so i do not often stess the brakes, but when i have they have been very strong). Not the easiest to set up for trueness/spoke tension, but the final result was spot on.

I would buy them again. If i was 90kg, they might still be fine, but i would probably stick to the tubular version, or stay with name brand wheels for peace of mind.

by Weenie


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