Felt Z85 Road Bike

4.4/5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $1149.00

Product Description

Frame: Felt Classic Racing Specific Geometry; Felt Superlite custom butted 7005 aluminum; CNC headtube & BB shell; forged dropout & replaceable hanger
Fork: Felt carbon design with 3K finish; carbon fiber blades with 1-1/8" aluminum steerer & aluminum crown
Drivetrain: Shimano 105 STI; 105 clamp-on front derailleur; 105 rear derailleur; FSA Vero compact 3-piece forged aluminum 50/34T crankset; 11-25T cassette
Components: Dual pivot brakes with cartridge brake shoes, stainless hardware & Teflon bushings; Felt 2.3 6061 aluminum handlebar; Felt 2.1 adjustable 6061 3D forged stem; Felt 1.3 carbon fiber seatpost, Felt 2.3 anatomic road saddle with D2 double-density base, custom embossed cover
Wheelset: Alex R500 aluminum rim with machined CSW braking surface & wear indicator; laced 32H radial front/32H 3x rear hubs with Cr-Mo quick release skewer & stainless 2.0mm spokes
Accessories: N/A
Finish: Matte Black
Sizes: 700c x 51, 54, 56, 58, 61cm
Weight: 19.90 pounds (56cm)

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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lane Lombardia a Triathlete

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2015

Strengths:    Great mix of componentry and frame materials. The use of carbon fiber for the fork and seat stem make the Z85 more forgiving on crummy roads than a pure alloy bike, and the $1500 I saved versus a fully carbon bike meant I didn't have to wait another year or two saving up for it. The handling and feel is a close second to the carbon bike I'd been considering; but struggling to scrape funds together for. The ~20lbs the bike weighs, the smooth Shimano 105 hardware, and the very versatile handlebar attachment allowed my bike fitter to accommodate the very low position I had gotten used to from riding an oversized hand-me-down (the only bike I could get at the time). The handling is crisp, and tenacious.

Weaknesses:    The tires are a middle of the road size that might be a trifle wide for faster, more powerful riders. The brakes are average (and I will likely replaced them with Shimano 105 brakes when they wear out).

Bottom Line:   
My previous bike, which I had been using to train for and compete in triathlons, was a hand-me-down 25 year old steel Diamondback that was sized for someone at least 5 inches taller than me, and weighing in at 30lbs. The Z85 saves me 10lbs, has a great fit that I am very comfortable in, whether I'm training, racing, or just out for a long ride. While others seem to have trouble with the saddle, I find mine very agreeable. I've been competing with mine for 2 years now, and it's everything I need (that is, any lack of speed on my part is solely my responsibility and not, in any way, the fault of the bike). I believe my Z85 is a 2013; but this isn't an option on the year pulldown.

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Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Pacific SBR

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by The Baron a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2015

Strengths:    Smooth and very stable ride, lightweight, chews up hills, rides fine in hail/rain, durable, carbon fork and seat post very comfy, relaxed geometry great for long distance

Weaknesses:    No eyeholes for a bike rack, not the fastest ride compared to your buddy's all carbon velodrome special, uncomfortable bike seat, handlebar tape rips up easily, brakes could be improved

Bottom Line:   
2015 Felt Z85

This is my very first road bike, so I'm not exactly a connoisseur roadie...and I'm also a "recreational cyclist", which means I'm looking more for long-distance comfort over time trials velocity. Having said that, my Felt Z85 feels like a Maserati compared to my station wagon of a hybrid bike. To give you an idea, my hybrid weighs in at 30 lbs compared to my Felt's svelte 20.8 lbs. Add road bike gears over hybrid/mountain gears, and my average speed jumped from 10 MPH to 14 MPH...and that's when I'm just slacking. It's like being on a motorcycle.

On my first real long ride, it started hailing all over me for a good half-hour. The Z85 shrugged it off with no problem, and there was no slipping and sliding. I had to take a uphill hairpin turn, and my back tire slipped a fraction, but instantly corrected itself. The stock "Felt All Weather" tires are surprisingly grippy and stable. The 700x25 width isn't fat, but it isn't thin either, and so far, I haven't felt a need to swap them out. The carbon fork and seat post won't prevent bone-jarring jolts on manholes and potholes, but they keep you in control of the pavement. I even took this ride on some loose gravel, and she did well, considered I still have these slick tires on 'em.

The Z's tube stem is significantly higher than the F-series, and the frame is longer. Open two tabs on your browser and compare a Z bike to a F bike, and you'll see the difference immediately. So, you'll cut back on your aerodynamics, but you'll have a ride that's much easier on your back, shoulders, and neck.

Gears are very responsive (Shimano 105 11-gear, can't really complain). The brakes could be a bit more responsive, but they're adequate to the job.

There are no eyeholes for a bike rack, which I hadn't noticed until I bought a rack. Doh'! I had to get a specially mounted rack with c-clamps, which was a royal pain. Also, the saddle leaves a lot to be desired, and I'll be replacing that soon enough. I mean, this is supposed to be a "Endurance" bike, right? So, you'll need to customize the Z85 a bit to make it a true distance hauler. The tape below the hoods ripped up quickly, and I rewrapped these two pressure points with new wrap and gorilla tape, which seems to have solved the problem.

All in all, the Z85 is a superb entry level road bike with very forgiving handling. I was afraid a road bike would feel like riding a unicycle, but the Z85 is very stable and has an almost hybrid-level of balance. I have wiped out once, and that was taking a wide turn at 10MPH with a heavy and badly attached pannier. (I have since purchased a pannier that properly fits my rack, which keeps the bag from swinging out and throwing off my balance).

I LOVE my Felt Z85!!

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Price Paid:    $1100.00

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Disappointed Felt Customer a Commuter

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2015

Strengths:    Looks nice, reasonbly fast and comfortable.

Weaknesses:    Very fragile frame, expensive given the poor material and construction. Felt will not sell end users parts. You are forced to take you bike to a shop for repairs.

Bottom Line:   
I really liked this bike when I first got it but about month after I had it I had a minor crash at about 5 mph. This crash resulted in a bent wheel and a cracked fork. I took it to the bike shop I bought it from and they wanted to chrage me $550+ to fix it. I only paid about $1000 for this bike new. I picked my bike back up unrepaired and tried to order a new fork from Felt but they will not sell end users parts. Apparently they think we are idiots. Maybe I am an idiot for buying such an expensive bike that is such poor quality. Now I am stuck with $1000 dollars of broken bike. I wouldn't waste your time or money buying a bike from Felt,they obviously don't respect their customers.

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Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Bob's Cycle Center

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: April 18, 2013

Strengths:    Value, comfort, performance.

Weaknesses:    Paint (USA - 2012 version ). Brakes - change them immediately if you live in hill country.

Bottom Line:   
One of 3 Felt bikes in my assortment and arguably the one I like the most based on 8500 miles riding experience on this bike during the past 2.5 years. This was my first Felt bike (have also recently purchased an F4 and Z5).

Comfortable and predictable ride, good choice of components out of the box (2012 version anyway). Straight off the sales floor this is a great everyday training bike for the Cat 3-4 racer or the perfect tool for the weekend group rider. The OE build offers both great performance and solid value for the money. Can't add much more to the previous reviews other than to reinforce the positive and say you definitely need to upgrade the brakes. Immediately if you live in hill country.

For someone looking for a long term relationship with this bike note that it is totally worth upgrading the group-set (or individual components) as the stock 105 components wear out. The frame is worthy, even if others might laugh at the idea of putting higer level components on an alloy recreational frame.

I've upgraded my saddle to a Prologo Skratch Pro, the crank to a full size Ultegra 6601, the front and rear mech to Ultegra 6600 and my wheels to Ksyrium Equipe (which came from my F4, which wears Cosmic Carbones). I changed out the brakes to 105 very soon after initial purchase and started riding Conti GP4000s when the OE Vittoria Rubino's wore out. Built up with these components the bike is a very solid trainer or A level group ride bike. You could do a lot worse and might be hard pressed to do better!

The only minor issue I've had is with the paint bubbling-up around the breather holes in the seat stays, seat post clamp area and bottle cage holes. A little irritating since I basically put the bike thru a pro-level cleaning after every ride, but not structural and easily repaired. In fact it probably says a lot about how much I like this bike that I am considering investing in a custom paint scheme in the near future.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul McBride a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2012

Strengths:    Overall value for money. Comfortable to ride, confidence building. Mostly 105 Shimano spec. Wheels. Looks (I bought the 2012 model).

Weaknesses:    Non shimano 105 brakes, crank and bottom bracket.

Bottom Line:   
Great higher-end beginners bike for €1K. Very comfortable for a first time cyclist to start off on and gain confidence with. Good spec with carbon forks and although this isn't a big one, it looks great. I invested in upgraded brakes, crank and bottom bracket with shimano105 equivalents to complete the set. Delighted with it so far.

Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 5

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