Felt TA FRD left side drive olympic track bike

In the lead up to Rio’s Summer Olympics, Felt crafted a very special track bike. It was designed with track-specific aerodynamics and layups, then built with one-off custom parts from HED, FSA, Phil Wood and Stages Cycling. The result is a left-side drive carbon fiber board killer that took home Olympic Silver under U.S. women’s team pursuit squad. And now you can buy it…

Felt TA FRD left side drive olympic track bike

Felt TA FRD left side drive olympic track bike

Building on the Silver medal winning Felt TK1 from 2012, USA Cycling and Felt wanted to see if they could create something to take the team to the next level. The obvious is improving straight line aerodynamics, hence the extremely narrow frontal profile.

Felt TA FRD left side drive olympic track bike

The new HED Disc wheels get proprietary 70mm front and 95mm rear hub widths. The rear’s laid out asymmetrically, which the frame is then designed around, to create a perfectly straight chain line. The rear dropout is tapered, getting thinner toward the rear, which prevents the axle from sliding forward under pedaling forces without requiring external set screws that could interrupt air flow.

Felt TA FRD left side drive olympic track bike

What’s less obvious is yaw. The bikes are only turning left, and there are no crosswinds, so they tested against very specific wind angles that would mimic what’s seen on the track at speed. They found that moving the drivetrain to the left reduced overall drag, as did asymmetric tube shaping. The swapped drivetrain also puts the weight in a better place for a track’s banked surface.

Felt TA FRD left side drive olympic track bike

Felt TA FRD left side drive olympic track bike

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Want one? The complete kit comes with a variety of parts to help you customize the bike to your fitness level and needs. For the princely sum of $25,999, you get the HED Volo Disc wheels w/ Ceramicspeed bearings and a set of Stinger 6 trading wheels, Vision Race crank and chainrings (50, 51, 53, 54, 55) on your choice of 170mm or 172.5mm crank arms, a second Vision Training crankset with matching chainring tooth counts, Phil Wood cogs (13, 14, 15, 16) and lock ring, Ceramicspeed BB bearings and coated chain, Tri All 3 hard cargo case and the frameset. A Stages power meter is attached to the non-drive cranks arms, too.

FeltBicycles.com/PursuitForGold

44 COMMENTS

  1. $26,000???? (deleted). Nice level playing field if you have the bucks. Track racing should adopt “one design” principles used in sailboat and auto racing. I hate seeing talent getting edged out by a competitor on a $20 000 bike with $15 000 wheels.

    I also love seeing Talent on a sub $3000 rig destroy the guy on the $35 000 rig on occasion 🙂

    • Can I afford one of these? Nope. Am I worried that I’m going to start losing races because someone shows up on one of these? Nope. Can I appreciate it for what it is? Absolutely.

      How many of these do you think they’ll actually sell? It’s not going to impact racers at lower levels.

      • I’d give you endless props for that comment if I could. Will never understand why people moan about the price of a bike. Will moaning change anything? No. Will it make you feel better? Debatable but probably not. Like you I can’t afford one but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating it any less.

        Buy what you can, ride and enjoy it. Simple.

    • yeah, look at how accessible that approach has made auto and sail racing… Know anyone that sails? Know anyone that owns a 12m? You could buy every house on my block for less than you’d pay for one, but hey ‘one design’…

  2. I understand the price, it’s after all not a practical production model and it really only belongs under people who aren’t paying for it.

    What I don’t understand is why you’d need a “training crank”?

  3. These “Top Fuel” bikes are interesting and really push a no limits approach, which is amazing, and eventually impact our “street” and “stock” bikes. Admire them for what they are instead of hating on them. I don’t hate on Lamborghini because I drive a Toyota.

  4. while expensive, there is quite a lot of unique hardware included in the package. Given its origins, I wonder if larger sizes are available.

  5. If you buy into the theory then you need a Cervelo T5GB for less than 1/2 the cost since IT must have been responsible for the British team wining the gold medal.

  6. Only reason they even are selling them is because of the requirement to have so many sold if they’re raced at an event. No reason for them to price them lower. They didn’t “really” want to sell them anyways.

  7. This is a sweet looking bike with interesting ideas. However, none of it actually improved real world performance. Second place in 2012 with a “regular” bike and second place again with this thing in 2016. No disrespect to the athletes but even they know, second place is the first loser.

    • I personally know one of the young women on that team of “first losers” and would love to have you tell her that to her face.

    • Actually you can’t that the bikes improved nothing without doing an objective, side by side analysis of the two different bikes (2012 vs. 2016).

  8. ‘The swapped drivetrain also puts the weight in a better place for a track’s banked surface.’ Rider width say 350mm weight say 5500g. Moving drive side crank, say 250g 50mm across center line makes a difference? Science (deleted)!

    • It might be interesting/amusing to run a few races in the clockwise direction to see if/how much slower this bike then goes relative to the competition 🙂

  9. We all win from this technology. It sounds expensive because it is ground breaking.
    Just like when carbon bikes first came out, only the rich could afford them. Now you can buy an even better (reasonable priced) carbon framed bike with amazing components. Embrace this costly technology it will get you a cheaper better bike down the road.

  10. I find the video more than a bit ironic: “what’s it gonna take to beat Great Britain at their own game”–well in the collective mind of Felt it was a better bike (not rider) so doesn’t that mean this bike is a failure–except for a single Silver medal?! Sorry Felt top level riders are still a necessary part of the winning equation, perhaps 50%?

  11. Hed Stinger 6, 2k, Volos 6.5k, Hard Case $600, two Trimax cranks $1.7k, 12 chain rings and 4 cogs 1k, 2 Stages Power $800, saddle, chain bearings $400: Total 13k retail

    That leaves 13k for a hand laid limited edition carbon frame, fork and bar set with a lot of wind tunnel time built into it. Not cheap, but understandable, especially if you consider that a Cervelo California Project was a 10k frame set.

  12. They have to offer these to use them…UCI rules. They don’t want people to actually buy them. Just like their last track bike which was $6k for the frame and bars. The TT bike was $3500 for the frame, fork, bars and integrated brakes.

  13. What bike won the gold? And how much is that thing gonna cost me? If I was looking for a one off aero track bike to be ridden at the Velodrome 4 hours away from me.

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