Felt AR/FR vs Specialized Venge/Tarmac

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:53 pm

by moock

There aren`t much reviews out there in the www. And review are often older than 2015. As I am interested in the AR or FR series (frameset), I wonder if anyone of you have recent experience on these frame(s).In comparison vs equivalents from Specialized would be epic!
There are some new disc models coming for the AR series.

Posts: 947
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

I have not ridden the specialized bikes. So take what i say with a grain of salt.

I think the big thing about the fr and ar is that they both have chainstay mounted rim brakes. I just got a used fr1 frame, and with sram red levers and ee brakes, i have no issues. They are fantastic. but with flexy wheels, and a more powerful rider, i am sure you could get into rubbing out back. I was nervous about the rear brake performance, but so far so good. Those with ar's that i know have no issues with braking power out back. I think the issue arose with the unique pull ratios of sram, and that most aftermarket brakes are for shimano pull ratios, and sram never made chainstay direct mount brakes. So if you are heavy and run sram, i would try before you buy and spend the time to get a solid brake setup. Or maybe invest in ee brakes out back like i did.

The fr is competative with the best of them for weight at their respective price points. 880g or so for the fr1-3 frames, 660g or so for the frd (plus forks). The textreme carbon is beautiful. For geometry, they are middle of the road for stack and reach. Not super agressive, but not endurance either. The older f series was a bit longer, and lower. But the new fr was perfect for me as it allowed me to hit my position without spacers.

The ar is still among the most aero road bikes period. I doubt the disc update will surpass it. Plus you can flip the seatpost for a more tt position, making it a good dual purpose tt weapon with clip-on aerobars. And for the weight weenies, it is pretty light as far as aero bikes go.

I think the disc brake fr is a great buy. Great value for the di2 setups. I plan to get an ar disc to complement my rim brake fr1 climbing bike.

I do not have a new tarmac or venge disc. The ceo of trainer road got both, and was disappointed that the tarmac was not lighter than the venge. The concensus was to just skip the tarmac and run a venge as an all-rounder. I am not a fan of the bigger brands like spec/trek/giant simply because i like something a little different (my bias is to felt), but it is hard to argue against specialized making good product. I would get a venge disc if the felt ar disc ends up being ugly. I think the new venge looks classy.

by Weenie

Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:05 pm

by rostarun

I've recently gotten a 2019 Felt AR FRD rim break version. Its by far the fastest bike I've ever riden. I've been smoking strava segments by significant percentages. I don't have a powermeter so I can't compare efforts exactly but it is definitely aero in a real way. Stock with zipps it weighs 15.5. My only issue is the breaking on the carbon rims with really steep decents. The bike is light, fast and sexy AF.

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