Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekend Warriors

The good people responsible for designing, engineering, marketing and selling Felt products know one thing for certain: You can only accomplish so much from the confines of the cubicle. Because we’re a fairly small crew, there’s never a shortage of work that needs to get done, but staying connected to cycling—the activity that brought us together in the first place—is just as important as making a dent in that teetering mountain of paperwork.

Riding breeds inspiration. It creates some questions and answers others. It spurs on dialogue about making better products. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a cruiser ride to the cafĂ© or a lunchtime hammerfest—riding bikes generates ideas.

Competitive riding can be especially instructive for guiding product development. Before any performance product from Felt hits the market, it has been tested and retested not only by our sponsored pro athletes, but also by engineers, product managers and other Felt cubicle dwellers who morph into weekend warriors just like so many of the people who buy our bikes.

Case in point: Two weekends ago three of the Felt fast guys competed at the District Track Championships in San Diego. Marketing staffers Pete Coulson and Jake Duehring, along with Road Brand Manager Dave Koesel, traveled south to San Diego to compete against other top track athletes in the Southern California and Nevada regions. They came home with a nice collection of titles.

Jake crushed it in several events and won both the individual pursuit and the kilo championships. He also won the team sprint but was ineligible for the title because one of his teammates wasn’t a resident.

The Felt crew scored several other podium finishes during the weekend, too. Dave and Jake powered their team pursuit squad to second, even though they had only three riders (instead of the usual four). And Dave just missed out on winning the scratch race, finishing second, with Pete right behind him in third. In the Madison, Pete and Dave were on their way to winning until Pete flatted late in the race. The duo still managed to finish third.

It was clearly a successful weekend, and just one example of the cycling passion that exists within the walls of the Felt USA headquarters. It’s the experiences of riders like Jake, Dave and Pete that help make Felt products better.

Unfortunately our usual Tour de France-quality pro photographers were busy shooting the ,um, Tour de France that weekend, but we did get a couple of snapshots from San Diego.

Here’s one of Jake taking gold on the podium…

And another of Dave K leading the team pursuit squad to second place.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Swiss Vacation

It seems a certain Felt AR-2 took a little European holiday while we weren't looking. Gear guru Jay Prasuhn of Triathlete recently blogged about a sweet ride on an AR-2 through the Swiss Alps.

Check it out:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From the Rumor Mill...

It appears that infiltrated our national sales meeting and obtained some spy shots of 2010 bikes. The buzz has begun.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dave Z's Aero Advantage took a close look at the sleek Felt AR bike that Garmin-Slipstream rider Dave Zabriskie has chosen to ride during this year's Tour de France. As the author James Huang points out, DZ is something of an expert when it comes to aerodynamics. Check out his form here as he rides the AR in Stage 6 of the Tour. And check out the link to get the full scoop.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The evolution of the details

Attention to detail is something that we always pride ourselves on at Felt. However, sometimes the engineering behind the scenes on a product, goes far above what would normally be expected. Take for instance our “Dingle guard” that protects the downtube on our carbon frames from rocks and impacts.

Most companies would be happy to just make a down tube rock guard that does just that, and protect the down tube. But here at Felt we like to envision the needs of the consumers and account for their individual needs.

First and foremost we use it to protect the down tube of the Carbon Six and Nine series mountain bikes,

Here is the guard on our frames in its intended position

But what happens if you play soccer? Here you see the old and new versions in testing, it was determined that both version provided adequate protection from errant tackles.
In place ready to protect

What if you were trying to protect the anonymity of the head of Felt Engineering? You will see that the older black/red weave version draws less attention to the subject, and therefore the new version fails in this role

Old Version

New version

Finally, with the popularity of small dogs, many owners find that their animals undercarriages are rather close to the ground. Therefore we have found that with the new color matched “Dingle guards” work perfectly with Bichon Frise’s, miniature poodles, and Dachshunds.

So when you pick up your new Nine or Six carbon bike or frame, get an extra “Dingle Guard” you never know when you may need it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fast forward to 2010

Felt invited the whole sales gang to its U.S. headquarters in Irvine over the weekend, and all those in attendance got a nice look at what's in store for 2010. Ooohs and ahhhs were plentiful as Felt's engineers, product managers and marketing folks opened the curtain to reveal a collection of insanely beautiful new bikes and components just itchin' to hit the roads and trails.

As with any sales meeting, there were power point presentations and some numbers talk...

...but there was also lots of eye candy to scope out:

Most importantly, the three-day get-together went way beyond the typical meeting or show-and-tell session. It was a chance for a sales rep to have a beer with an engineer. A chance to share stories and experiences about Felt bikes and components, and the people who ride them.

It was a chance for the eggheads to school us on the latest, greatest tech developments in carbon fiber, suspension and aerodynamics, and also a chance for the people who interact with customers to get some hands-on experience with the new technology.

It all went down with an informative yet casual format--sales reps went from one station to the next, learning about all the different categories of new products with focused presentations and discussions. After an hour or so, the bell rang and it was off to the next class.

With an avalanche of hot new stuff ranging from super-affordable carbon road machines, to the fastest 29-inch-wheel MTBs on the market, to exquisitely crafted new cruisers and high-end Devox components, it's impossible to narrow it down to just a few highlights.

Just keep your eyes peeled. It will all be showing up at your local Felt dealer soon enough.