Felt FR5 Road Bike 2019 Review
In my opinion one of the best road bikes I’ve seen for a $2000 budget.
- A serious all-rounder
- Really light
- Fast geometry
- Average brakes
- Suited to speed over comfort
User Review( votes)
Felt’s FR5 2019 road bike is part of the FR performance bike series. It’s got the same tubes and shapes as other carbon models in the series, making it a versatile bike for performance, pace and reliability.
The FR5 is built with an 11-speed Shimano 105 drivetrain. The Shimano 105 isn’t quite as premium as the Shimano Ultegra or the professional-grade Shimano Dura-Ace, but it is a top-level groupset suitable for most riders.
With the FR5 made with optimal stiffness and suppleness, it’s reliable and quick, good for both short and intense efforts and longer, fast races.
The 11-speed drivetrain caters for most requirements – it’s good for climbing but also quick enough for sportives and fast rides.
The FR5 comes with a caliper brake system. There is a disc brake version but the price does shoot up. Without disc brakes, the price range is around $2000, making it an affordable, lightweight and high-spec bike that performs well in most scenarios.
Key features include:
Color: Black / White / Red
Frame: Felt Race Road UHC Advanced carbon fiber
Forks: Felt Race Road UHC Advanced carbon fiber monocoque construction
Groupset: Shimano 105 11-Speed
Brakes: Shimano 105 R7000 dual pivot caliper (front), TRP T741 direct mount caliper (rear)
Cassette: Shimano 11-speed, 11-30T
Crankset: Praxis Works Alba, 52/36T
Front and rear derailleur: Shimano 105 R7000
Wheelset: Devox Road RSL3 tubeless compatible 17mm inner width, 28mm depth
Tires: Rubino IV G+ folding, 700 x 25c
Seatpost: Devox UHC Performance carbon fiber with micro-adjust head
Weight: 17.1 pounds
The weight of the FR5 gives it a premium feel when riding, especially at the price point. Because of the weight, it’s a very responsive bike that steers well.
Combined with the all-carbon frame and forks, it feels like a premium bike that climbs well, descends fast, shifts reliably and has quality steering.
The performance is underpinned by the functionality associated with the Shimano 105 drivetrain. The Shimano 105 is well-documented for being ultra-dependable and the FR5 uses a newer R7000, which bridges the gap to the Ultregra even more.
It’s biggest downfall is its stiffness, which makes it far more suitable for speed that comfort. But if speed matters more to you than comfort, that’s not an issue. Particularly on longer rides, it can get uncomfortable.
Given its technical specs, the ‘entry-level’ tag is only in its name. Let us not forget, Felt’s FR range of bikes have seen many pro tour riders take stage wins on the World Tour scene.
Although the more premium models use a higher grade of carbon fiber, the FR5 is still layed up using Felt’s MMC and InsideOut techniques. These techniques mean less weight, explaining why the bike is so light.
The wheels are suitable for racing, but the tires are fairly basic and could be upgraded if you want to improve performance.
The rear wheel of the bike is nicely tucked in to add speed, while the front end reacts well to quick direction changes. That means you’ll get a nice reward when you take on corners or get out of the saddle on tricky climbs.
I think it’s one of the best road bikes I’ve seen for a $2000 budget. Considering it features the Shimano 105, has a frame similar to Felt’s higher-end range, is extremely lightweight and is carbon fiber, there is a lot to like.
The 105 gives you a superb performance for the price. The FR5 is especially suited for those who want more speed and less weight, over comfort. Overall, I’d give it a score of 4.5 out of 5.
Founder of Vivi Nation, the cycling, running and active living brand. Chris is a sports enthusiast, occasional triathlete and experienced cyclist, having led multiple cycle tours across Europe.