Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CA State XC Championship

Below is a race report from Nich Ducharme of Mafia Racing covering his race and the race of Anton Petrov. The report is from the CA State XC Championship Cat 1 25-29. Nick and Anton are both engineers here at Felt Bicycles. We apologize for the tardiness of this race report, but the engineers have been pretty busy getting stuff together for the 2012 line and attending Interbike.

After racing all season, I was kinda looking forward to the last big race of the year - the California State Championships at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA. I had raced there once already this year and at the time was battling a cold, so I had struggled in my first attempt. I was also racing on my FRD-100 at the time, as the Edict was not ready for the public eye. So now, with the season winding down and legs feeling tired, I wanted revenge on the course that had beaten me earlier this year. However, my expectations were not very high going into the race.

Anton and I met up at the race, got a warm up in, and discussed the course, as we had done at the pair of Rim Nordic races we had contested in the past month. Anton was a new addition to the Felt engineering family. He had only started maybe 6 or so weeks prior to the race. After a short pre-ride session we both started complaining about the heat. Our race time was set for a little before 2 in the afternoon, which meant it was going to be the hottest part of the day. Race time temps were in the mid-high 90’s and tree cover is barely existent on the Bonelli course. Not fun at all.

Team Big Bear, the race coordinators, had changed the course, slightly, from my last visit to Bonelli. This time all racers would use the World Cup style course used only by the Pro athletes in the earlier season race. The Cat 1 racers would do 5 laps of the 4 mile course. The short race meant higher effort (more acute suffering) for shorter time. At least the race times would be fairly short, so we’d be spending less time in the heat.

I was racing on my Edict this time, as I had been since just after the Sea Otter Classic in April, and believe me it’s a fast bike! I had also just built one up for Anton, so it would be the first time he’d raced one and about the 3rd time he’d ridden that bike at all. In our previous 2 races, I had been able to edge him out thanks to the Edict’s light weight and amazingly confident handling on the more technical Rim Nordic courses. This time, with the playing field evened out equipment-wise, things would be different.

After a tough battle against the short, but very punchy and very fast course I figured I had probably finished somewhere just off the podium and I’d be able to get outta there before the traffic got too crazy. As it turns out, the hard work Anton and I had put in during the first lap had caused a lot of the other racers to crack and we either caught a lot of guys who went out harder than we had or we were able to hold any chasers. We had finished first and second, Anton edging me this time by just about 2 minutes when it was all said and done.

I must say that the result was bittersweet. I had finished much better than I expected to, but then I was only one spot off the top step and owning State Champion status. On top of that, there was a little bit of pride for me, in seeing such an improvement in Anton’s speed and time, just by getting him onto one of the new Edicts. I knew I was on a fast bike (no FAST pun intended) but I had no idea what kind of advantage the bike was offering me until the Edict’s (and Anton’s) wrath was dished out on me.

It was a very tough, but very exciting, race to say the least. I was very happy with the results for the new bike. You can’t get a much better finish than having the only 2 Edicts on course get first and second! Congrats to the CA State, Cat 1, 25-29 Champion, Anton Petrov, And the Felt Edict!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interbike 2010 Gallery

Here are some photos from Interbike - Enjoy!

Above are some shots of the Felt Booth. At any point throughout the demo, we had between 30 to 100 people in or around the booth (yes, things got a bit hectic). You can see here a crowd gathering around the bike check in/out area and onlookers viewing the new DA and Cafe series.

Felt's Doug Martin is seen here giving the Felt team an early morning pep talk. For several of us, this was the first time at Outdoor Demo, and we had no idea what to expect.

With so many visitors, we had to bring a lot of bikes. Here is an arsenal of F2's in the morning. These were a huge hit at the show with the Di2 and new F-series frame design.

The Z2 was really popular the second day, as industry insiders checked out the more upright geometry. Many dealers expect that the Z-series will be a popular line in 2011.

The fat tire crowd loves to test ride mountain bikes, and the Nine Team was a hot commodity at Outdoor. By now, most of you have heard the story on 29ers- riders talk about the improved ability to roll over obstructions, reduced rolling resistance, and more stability.

In this photo, one of our Demo Team is working on getting an F2 ready to ride. Between adjusting saddle height, changing out pedals, adjusting tire pressure, adjusting shock pressure, the oppressive heat, and the fast turnover, working on the bikes was a pretty tough job. Fortunately, our Demo guys were up to the task.

All of our Demo Team posing for the camera. These guys were amazing, and in addition to being excellent mechanics, they are also just really good guys. Felt will be releasing a schedule soon that shows where there will be public Demos. That way, those of you who didn't make it to Outdoor will be able to test ride Felt's latest bikes in your own backyard. More details to come...

Felt-Sponsored Josiah Middaugh is New US Champion

Middaugh aboard Nine Team at EXTERRA Alabama

Ogden, Utah - Josiah Middaugh was crowned the USA National XTERRA Champion after finishing third place in a world class field this weekend. Known as a tenacious competitor, Middaugh has ridden well all season in the XTERRA series, finishing in the top 3 in all 6 races in which he has competed. He has also secured second place in the point series and is the top ranked American for the 6th consecutive year.

Middaugh recorded the third fastest bike split and had the fastest run split in the field. He was able to move into the final podium position within site of the finish line, despite being diagnosed with pneumonia the previous week. "The pro field in Ogden was the strongest I have seen so far this year, and although the race felt like a struggle, I pressed hard the whole way [...]" said Middaugh. "I didn't feel particularly strong, but the proper effort level was there."

Like many in the XTERRA Series, Middaugh races a 29er, and is aboard the Felt Nine Team this year. "I feel very pleased with my performances throughout the series and the Felt Nine Team has proven to be a very versatile bike on a variety of courses."

Congrats, Josiah! Good luck at XTERRA Worlds in Maui!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Interbike 2010

Our lips still chapped from the desert, our voices hoarse from interviews and networking, the Felt crew has finally returned from Interbike in Las Vegas. First, we would like to thank all of you that made it to our outdoor booth. Both days, we had a frenzy of activity ranging from team directors to dealers to media correspondents to enthusiasts. This was our most successful Interbike today and it would not have been possible without all of you who attended. Interbike is a culmination of work that began over a year ago, and it was our pleasure to see all of you enjoying the fruits of our labor.

The thermometers nearly touched triple digits both days, and there were extremely strong winds, but that didn’t stop hundreds of riders from trying out our new 2011 line up. Our demo bikes were checked out continually from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and were met with very positive responses. Particularly popular were the new F2 and Edict which rarely had more than one or two bikes waiting to be tested at any time (the rest were being ridden). We had several riders report back that the "feel" of the F2 was something unparalleled in the industry, with one long time steel rider saying that it was the first carbon frame he is going to buy. The Edict's brand new FAST suspension and light weight was a hit with the fat tire guys and was just recently ridden to victory in the California State XC Championships (more on that in a later entry).

Our showroom area was also quite busy, with puddles of drool collecting around the new DA and Fixie Series. Somehow, we were still able to conduct interviews with several media outlets regarding the 2011 lineup, so keep an eye out on Twitter for links to videos and stories. Additionally, we hope to post some higher res pictures up from our booth soon.

Post outdoor, the crew headed down the road to the Vegas strip for indoor. We were able to get a lot done with vendors and already got the gears moving for the 2012 lineup - trust me, it is already shaping up to be impressive. Additionally, one of Felt's engineers rode a courageous race at CrossVegas, getting pulled with just 2 laps to go in a world class field. Keep in mind, this was after working 9 hours a day on his feet in the desert for the previous two days.

All in all, we had a lot of great exposure to dealers and consumers. Despite the amount of effort exerted during the week, all of us really had a blast interacting with you at the show. I guess we will see you again next year in Anaheim!

See the Gallery HERE