Felt VR3 Road Bike
If you are looking for a bike to ride all day without the extra pain, the VR3 is for you.
- Supreme comfort
- Shimano Ultegra components
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Easily spin up climbs
- Generous tire clearance
- Poor top speed
- Price – around $3,699
User Review( votes)
The Felt VR3 road bike, part of Felt’s VR range, is designed for long-distance riding. It’s got an impressive 30mm tire clearance, a 48/32 rotor crank, and a comfortable, upright geometry.
The Felt VR3 combines two things in one: a multi-surface touring bike and an endurance road bike. Felt describes the VR3 as ‘a lightweight bike that can tackle any ascent, even after a full day in the saddle’.
The specifications speak for themselves. Alongside the 48/32t rotor 3D30 crank, you’ll find 11-speed Shimano Ultegra shifters, derailleurs, and hydraulic disc brakes, 28c Vittoria Rubino Pro tires, and a carbon fiber frame (with a sloping top tube).
These features mean the VR3 packs a punch and are well-equipped to help you get over steep gradients, uneven terrain, maintain a riding position for lengthy periods of time, and more.
The VR3’s geometry not only provides enhanced comfort, but also more confident handling for long days in the saddle. Additionally, a tapered head tube and robust bottom bracket shell ensure the VR3 has the same performance credentials associated with the Felt brand.
Key features include:
- Weight: 17.8 lb. (56cm)
- Frame & fork weight: 960g & 380g
- Style: Endurance road biking
- Casette: Shimano 11-speed, 11-34T
- Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra
- Cable routing: Internal
- Material: UHC Advanced Carbon fiber
- Wheel size: 700c
- Tire clearance: 30mm
- Suitable for: Long multi-surface rides
- Brakes: Shimano hydraulic disc
One of the main benefits of the Felt VR3 is its ability to cater to various riding styles. Unlike most road bikes, which can be uncomfortable during longer cycles, the VR3 is perfectly suited to those who prefer endurance, testing rides over a variety of surfaces.
In essence, the bike is more suited to someone who prefers distance and comfort over pure speed. That makes the ideal rider someone who loves an all-day ride, going over road, gravel, and dirt paths.
The subcompact crankset (48/32) is designed to perfectly help you get up steep climbs without a massive effort. It has fewer teeth on the crank, which means less power is needed per pedal stroke, saving vast amounts of energy compared to cycling with a bigger crankset.
You do sacrifice the speed associated with racing road bikes, but from an efficiency point of view, it is extremely valuable. The VR3 isn’t slow, but it’s not going to hit the heights speed demons would want. The good news is the bike can actually accommodate a 46/30 crank and up to a larger 53/39, so caters for all.
The VR3 comes with a lightweight, beautiful Variable Road UHC Advanced + TeXtreme carbon fiber frame and fork, and Shimano Ultegra derailleurs, brake levers, and shifters, plus Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
The bike features an 11-34t cassette, it’s got tubeless-compatible DT Swiss E1800 wheels, with 20mm inner width, and a 420mm Devox Road Endurance handlebar.
If climbing hills are your thing, this bike is perfect. Regardless of the gradient, the 48/32 Rotor 3D30 crank allows you to spin in pretty much all ride situations.
It’s just not for those who want to race up climbs. Even on particularly tough climbs, you’ll unlikely need to get out of the saddle, and you can say goodbye to the pain associated with steep gradients.
Unfortunately, because of the speed sacrifice, you won’t be able to make full use of descents as you’ll simply run out of gears. Mid-range speeds are fine but if you love sprinting then you’ll find it annoying.
From a braking point of view, the Shimano Ultegra R8070 hydraulic disc brakes are a dream in all weather conditions, providing excellent performance.
Additionally, the 700x28mm Vittoria Rubino Pro tires play a big role in helping absorb excess vibration (really useful if you stray away from the road), and internal cable routing ensures the bike looks clean and professional, as well as prolongs the lifespan of your cables.
The VR3 sits in the middle of the VR Endurance Road Bike 2018 range. There are a few other carbon fiber models in the VR family, including the VR3, with the VR2 and VR2W sitting above the VR3, and more expensive, and the VR5 and VR5W sitting below.
The main difference between the VR3 and the more expensive VR2 and VR2W is the addition of the superior Shimano Ultegra Di2, instead of the VR3’s Shimano Ultegra. Comparatively, the VR5 and VR5W are equipped with Shimano 105.
Since the creation of the VR3, there have been a number of additions to the VR family, with the VR Advanced being the premium model and the VR60 is the budget option.
Clearly, the Felt VR3 is not meant for racing. It’s meant for long rides. And if you take it for that alone, it’s hard to beat. The comfort of the bike, handling, and responsiveness is really impressive. But if you want to maintain those top speeds and sprint it out, you’ll be left wanting more.
It really is a question of what you are looking to cycle for. The Felt VR3 certainly ticks all the boxes for adventuring, hill climbing, commuting, and all-day cycling. Felt say the ‘VR3 is the ideal companion for any complete day of adventuring or spirited road riding’.
So, if you are looking for a bike to ride all day without the extra pain, the VR3 is for you.
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.