Z Series endurance road bikes
The one totally redesigned road bike in the 2012 Felt line is the Z Series. Available in both men’s and women’s options, Felt updated the Z2 and ZW2 with an increase in stiffness to give the rider improved performance while still maintaining the same level of comfort.
The women’s version of the Z-Series, the ZW, not only has women-specific geometry, but the smaller women’s options also incorporate narrower head tubes so that frames don’t ride as stiff as the larger men’s bikes. Felt pushed its fork offsets out to 52mm from 50mm to fit 700c wheels on the two smallest sizes that previously used 650c wheels.
Another defining refinement is the creased fork and headtube. On both the Z and ZW the fork has a crease that runs up the outside of the fork blades and meets the headtube’s crease. Felt frame engineer, Jeff Soucek explained that the crease keeps the frame stiff when out of the saddle sprinting and climbing, but allows the front end to flex front-to-back and absorb bumps, slow squirrels, curbs, and the like.
The carbon line of Z frames ranges from the $1,760 Z5 to the $10,329 Z1. Each frame in the line utlizes the same design, but a different grade of carbon. The Z2 builds were on-hand Monday. At $6,000 with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and Shimano’s electronic satellite climbing shifters, the Z2 is likely to be the most popular of the line (Felt is including Shimano’s sprint satellite shifters on its $4,750 F3 bikes, too).