As one of the new breed of so-called superbikes, the 2011 Felt DA has been one of the most hotly-anticipated new offerings of the last couple years. But the bike has appeared in a couple different versions between its prototype debut in the Pro Tour, and what Felt is now showing on their website. What will the final production version be like? Will it keep the S-shaped downtube? Fixed stem? Adjustable stem? Internal Di2 routing? What's going on?
We had a long chat with Felt engineer Ty Buckenberger, who gave us the skinny on this very slick machine. First off, Buckenberger let us know that the S-shaped downtube will not see production. "Basically, it's going to look like a straight downtube, with the existing curved 'coutout' shape intact," Buckenberger noted. "It came down to an interpretation of UCI rules that changed from when we first showed our design to the UCI and the time we went to production. Essentially, it came down to a 2mm discrepancy that the UCI decided was against their rules. So we had to do a lot of retooling."
Next up, the stem. Felt had a production version of the bike's front end on display at Interbike, and we really like what they've done. The bike's stem will work nearly identically to that of the existing DA, with an adjustable-angle Oval stem, which is available in several lengths. And although it looks rather low, Buckenberger assured us that the stem sits at nearly the exact same stack and reach location as the existing DA. So migrating from the old to the new DA should be a snap. But Felt has another trick up its sleeve. The snazzy fixed-angle stems, with internal Di2 routing that the Garmin team rode this year, WILL be available to riders, in at least two sizes. We don't have the final word on those yet, but it's good news for anyone who wants a greater level of integration in their DA.
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