New Felt Bicycles Logo

Out with the old and in with the new. Starting today, Felt is ditching its classic bubble font for this new stylized logo. Although fans of the wing shield needn’t worry, as the company plans on keeping the design.

In addition to the updated logo, the brand is eliminating model years and is introducing its new Living Line concept. As Michael Forte, Felt’s general manager explained it, this means that product will be launched only when it’s ready, not necessarily on a yearly cycle…

Felt Cycles Logo

The former Felt logo

Felt will no longer rush to launch a product for a specific event or withhold the release of new items to better coincide with industry trade shows. Instead, development and the launch will be done when it’s ready and the product will be continued for as long as it remains relevant. That means no more updating products just to update them. Only real innovation.

Eliminating the constant cycle of minor revisions and constant color refreshes will free up Felt to create better overall products. Other big advantages for consumers and dealers will be increased availability and inventory management.

With the current model year system used by many brands, new colors and updates are introduced mid Summer. In the US, where the riding season traditionally begins around May (when things begin to thaw), shops start building their inventory.

When brands release new model year colors and updates two or three months down the road, the inventory shops have sitting on their floor is suddenly devalued. Conversely, if a specific model is moving quickly, shops may want to order additional inventory, only to find the manufacturer no longer has inventory because they’re waiting for the new product year.

For anyone who has grown tired of the trivial model year updates and increasingly high prices of modern performance bikes, this move may have some exciting ramifications.

Felt Bicycles

29 COMMENTS

  1. Having been in the bike industry for 25 years in retail as well as wholesale, this is a great move by Felt. Along with Cervelo (and who else is doing this already?) hopefully we will see a gradual shift to more buying confidence from the consumer (knowing their bike won’t be out of date in 6 months – I know it’s silly but it’s consumer mentality driven by the marketing people). Along with this it would be good to see less discounting at the retailer end as well as the wholesale end. This should be good for everyone in the industry. Not to mention more profitability for the manufacturers as their R&D dollar goes further. Hopefully the more brands that do this the more will follow suit. As Gary said when the Gary Fisher Collection got announced “I’m excited!”

  2. Let’s just hope this isn’t marketing hype. I’d love to be able to order the bike I see online without waiting 3 months for it to be released, or find that it’s already sold out. Personally, I don’t think bikerumor (or any other website/magazine) should publish one word or picture of something you can’t order that day.

  3. Show me the “new” SHIV… That’s 10-min faster than the new Felt IA! Come on big S… Show me the money!

    Oh and can big S go with two versions per calendar year. 2015 old and 2015 “new”

  4. Code for “Too hectic of a schedule for us to keep up with. Plus, we only need one engineer, whereas we currently have 52. Downsizing helps you, the rider, since our bikes won’t cost as much since we are only paying one dude $12K/year (he’s an intern, so he works cheap). We love our riders, which is why we’re doing this. In fact, we’re cutting down on all models, and offering only one rigid hardtail with Shimano Alivio spec. So much cheaper and easier to fix. No suspension, no Di2 batteries to fiddle with, no messy hydraulic/mineral fluid. Just a nice Felt-branded rigid hardtail.”

  5. ‘Merika has obviously never been in the industry (and as if changing component spec to whatever is cheapest and paint to whatever is in vogue requires an engineer…). And to say that Felt doesn’t at least try to innovate in the era of open mold frames is just ignorant. On the other hand, ‘Good move’ has it spot on with the reality of the current situation.

    Good move by Felt. Also helps the buyer as the 2nd hand value doesn’t plummet due to model years.

  6. Love it! I’ve always been a big fan of Felt for their value and affordability. This should move things further in that direction.

  7. “Merika you’re out of your element. Love this. Baby steps toward the future… Kudos Felt. Y’know how software updates happen automatically? Hardware is not far behind.

  8. While I believe that this a good move especially on the bread and butter models that range from $500.0 to $1500.00 I would like to see how it will work with the more expensive road and mountain bikes.

    You cannot have an unlimited supply of upper end bikes for shops to just order when they have a sale. While that would be great it is not realistic. Plus component lead times at the very least with Shimano and SRAM are a minimum of 90 day usually pushing 120 or 150 days.

    And the bicycle frame manufacture does not control the rest of the industry when it comes to components and wheels so when those companies change every year the non – model year bikes on the upper end that you still have will unfortunately be dated. Plain and simple. Customers paying top dollar want the latest and greatest and I do not expect that to change.

    Plus will this be the end of close out priced bikes? Shops usually need a balance of inline and closeouts because the way the customer has been conditioned and that is not going to change either.

    Unless Felt is going to a business model on their upper end bikes like the smaller boutique companies do by offering several built kits and bikes built to order so when newer components and wheel become available and is what customers are asking for I am not sure how this at least for the upper end product will work.

    Again bread and butter bikes its a no brainer. I don’t know many people that care what components, wheels, etc come on their hybrid or even what model year it is but on the upper end the consumers usually knows more about things that are about to become available before the shops do.

    Hope it works for them.

  9. Anyway, this will save my LBS the embarrassment of trying to sell that *2012* 60cm Felt road bike. We can go back to the days of trying to decipher production dates from serial numbers, we just need that magic decoder ring… (“Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.”)

  10. Since I live in Felt’s backyard, I’m happy for their changes. I know a few Cervelo shops who are happy to not have a model year. I know Felt has had their supply issues, but the issue is global manufacturing. I doubt someone buying a hybrid is worried about waiting for their size to come in, but someone ordering a $5000 tri bike wants it soon. Personally, I think bike companies need to move more manufacturing back to the states. It might into profit margins, but it helps increase available supply. All it takes is one storm, one strike, or lost paperwork to delay the delivery of your bike. I grew up near Waterloo when all of Trek’s bikes were made there. A global economy has it’s place, but you also need to balance the needs of the customers.

  11. Please note my previous post has errors…I’m a professional writer who is used to having all of my work checked by professional editors. AKA, get your thoughts down and worry about someone correcting it later…;)

  12. @postophetero
    Yes I used to be a Surly seller at one point and even though they do change colours from time to time, having a previous season Surly was never really an issue, and hardly a reason to discount. In fact we often said, “hey we can offer you a colour option”.

    If enough bike manufacturers start doing this we may see component manufacturers coordinate their new product release with them. I mean, Shimano have worked on very consistent product cycles since at least the early 1990’s. A groupset is introduced, it stays current for 2 years, then may have some options added, then on the third year it is updated. All bike brands need to do is work together with them.

    So as far as @Daves comments above, I don’t really agree with this. Sure the component manufacturers develop new parts however many changes are due to demand at the frame manufacturer level. Here are some examples: Press fit BBs, Hub Widths, Disc Rotor Sizes, Headset Sizes, Derailleur mounting, etc. So if the bike manufacturers slow down their product cycles, so too will a big degree the component manufacturers.

    I can see the only people who will lose out from longer product cycles are the credit card companies and finance companies. Everyone actually in the sport or industry of bikes will be benefit.

  13. @ Good Move,

    Can only agree with you there! Also working for over 25 years in the bike industry, and what has unfortunately been established in recent years with the cyclin Publication, annoys me a very long time! In particular, the American bike giants like Trek, Cannondale and Specialized, are rude in the sense very dealers and customers. How can it be the new models for 2016 already appear in April or May, although there’s not even the half of the 2015 season has been reached? FOCUS, for example, brings out only the majority of their new 2016 models from September or October. Exceptions Cycle Crosserdie available on the net for a month. I hope that more brands are trying again to bring more peace into the market !?

  14. Good move by Felt. This company has never been concerned with following the herd and makes better bikes because of it. This automotive industry style push for new model years has gotten absurd. As Steve J hinted at, it’s no longer about differentiating product spec and updates, it’s a marketing tool to keep people buying the “latest and great”. I’m expecting Trek to drop the 2018 Madone any day now, while Spec. Ed. will follow with the 2019 Venge by December of this year. Higher numbers are better!

  15. As nice as axing the year model scheme sounds, it’s not really taking a major change to get it done because for some manufacturers people see through it already as mere labeling.

    Most people get that Giant updates their bikes like every 4 or so years. The CAAD10 is expected to stay how it is until the ever-clearly named CAAD12 comes along. If Felt keeps their AR frame for about 3-5 years, they’re going to update the group packages (like if SRAM wireless releases in that timeframe) and colors down the road; all companies do this. And if someone asks about a particular package and color scheme, the year model is going to come up anyway.

  16. I don’t know what this means for their production but AFAIK they’ve had issues with supply and demand for the top-tier models.

    I was glad to have ordered the 2015 AR3 last yr “on time” as Felt Canada only stocked less than 5 of my size. I was surprised with this number. I was also to order an entry-level MTB although with no issues for supply.

    As for spares for those who are curious: they were able to supply a derailleur hanger within 2 days of ordering it.

  17. I’ll take the contrary view. I really like the model years. There was an excitement around TDF and I’d go check out the latest offerings from all the name brands. Even if they are small tweaks or just color changes, they are welcome changes. Not doing anything to optimize inventory seems a little lazy to me.

    There was also a sense of predictability, you could plan your purchases of a bike with a new group set knowing roughly when stuff would be announced. How do you know that what you buy today won’t be obsolete in a week after you buy it?

    It also leads to interesting problems of how do you identify a bike model. When they do change, are they going to change the name or will I need to identify the model by a given year. And within the model year, you might get changes to components, what then?

    As a consumer, you could also pick up nice deals on previous model year inventory as well.

    I wish they would rethink this…and so would Trek and others.

  18. I gotta say, from a marketing perspective it’s a boneheaded move. If I’m a consumer shopping around, do I want a current model year bike (with what would presumably be the latest tech) or do I look at the Felt bike that has gone unchanged for 3 years…

    This approach works well with limited model boutique brands, of which Felt is not. “Oh welcome customer, here are our bikes available for you to buy. Yes, those two are on sale because they are 2014 models. This Felt here? Well, been sitting here for 2 years, but it’s not on sale…they don’t do model years”. I just don’t get it. Anybody else hear that SC is moving toward a more conventional model year system? That’s because they felt the exact opposite, that not having a set model year caused potential customers to sit on their hands contemplating whether or not to pull the trigger, because they never knew when/if the latest SC revision would drop.

  19. You all realize that most companies already do this, they just roll the “old” bikes over to the next year and relabel them. There are MANY 2015 “bread and butter” bikes from Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, etc. with 2016 price tags on them now.

    It’s time to just kill the model year.

  20. With all the talk about model years (yay, Felt!), did anyone notice that their new logo is nearly identical to Fuji’s current logo? Looks like the same font was used for both. If your name is the same number of letters as your competitor’s and it starts with the same exact letter, you might want to avoid the font they used. Or at least pick a cooler brand to copy…

  21. Same logo as Trek (and Fuji, as Giuseppe H pointed out.) Not original but it’s a formula that works. Strong, bold, practical and, dare I say, manly.

  22. I applaud the strategy. Its a smart and considerate move. There’s a bubble out there and the bike industry is running over one another to burst it … I will definitely look at Felt more closely in the near future.

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