Advice needed on Felt AR's

Hi all,

I wonder, if anyone who has experience with these bikes could kindly advise on the below. I currently race and train on 2013 Felt AR5 (older curved downtube AR shape) and while it is a very fast machine, it lacks a little in the climbing department, also the front appears to be too flexy for my liking. Anyway, I have an opportunity to obtain a 2016 AR1 (straight downtube) frame, that I would like to build and spec similar to AR5. Question, would newer AR1 be an improvement (other than weight) over older AR5 performance wise?

Thanks all!

I believe the AR is still one of, if not the most aero road frames. I think it was in the specialized info around the new venge. I believe the new AR came out in 2014 so it would be a big aero upgrade. I rode an AR5 for several years and it was a nice bike, plenty stiff.


I had a 2018 AR FRD. Super stiff and very fast once it got up to speed. I felt it climbed pretty well, but to me it handled like a TT bike. I get the feeling based on what I have read that newer aero bikes like the new Venge are both aero and handle really well. I think that’s where the AR series has fallen behind at the moment.

I liked the bike a lot but wanted more of a do-it-all road bike so I ended up selling it.

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Thanks. Can only dream of FRD, it is miles ahead of AR5. Can I ask what you have got instead, no regrets selling FRD?

I took a completely different route and started using my Santa Cruz Stigmata as my road bike bike. I’m more into cross/gravel/MTB these days and not doing any serious road racing so the Stigmata as my do it all bike works great for me.

I occasionally regret it when I’m on a group ride and things start to get spicy, but it spent most of its time on the trainer which seemed like a waste of a bike that nice.