Felt's consumer catalogue lists two variants for its F1 carbon road racer flagship: the sub-900g F1 SL and the 300g-heavier, but much stiffer, F1 Sprint. For Garmin-Transitions sprinter Tyler Farrar and the rest of the squad, though, there's just the one 'Team Edition' model that blends aspects of both into a single frame.
Felt road product manager Dave Koesel says the team-only frames are built with a "beef/chicken" hybrid lay-up with characteristics taken from both F1 versions. Though company director of research and development Jeff Soucek says the team edition frame "costs a bunch more to make", he says the end result is a frame that weighs just 1,000g but offers the same stiffness as the consumer-edition Sprint, albeit with a little less crash durability.
The other major difference between team bikes and consumer models is the fork. Garmin-Transitions forks use the same carbon blades, crown, and steerer as the standard version but sub in alloy tips instead of the usual carbon fibre ones - not for issues of weight or durability but rather speed (and not in the way you'd think).
"We use alloy dropouts on the team's F1s so we can CNC machine the tips without lawyer tabs and have them all 100 percent exactly the same width so the quick releases can be preset for the fastest possible wheel change," said Koesel.
"The compression moulded carbon dropouts are lighter, but there is a slightly greater tolerance on the width and they have moulded in lawyer tabs. The team puts up with the heavier alloy fork tips as most of them are still at 6.8kg and they'd rather have the two-to five seconds saved on wheel changes.
"A skewer is M5x.8 thread pitch so that means one turn of the skewer nut only tightens the wheel by 0.8mm so divide that in two to 0.4 because of the two dropouts, and you can see the tolerance of each dropout's thickness becomes very critical for the team," Soucek added. "So 0.4mm is only 0.015 of an inch for one turn tolerance of the skewer.
"They want them perfect, so we machine them to a 0.002" thickness tolerance. We then provide a couple of sets of alloy machined dropouts wired together that the team uses to set up the skewers on the support car. When it's time, they can just slam them in, lock and go."
Otherwise, the rest of Farrar's machine is a decidedly standard setup. Shimano provides most of the running gear with its full Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical drivetrain, brakes, Dual Control levers, and pedals; rolling stock comes courtesy of Mavic's versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels and Vittoria Corsa EVO CX tubulars; 3T provides its bar, stem, and seatpost; and Farrar continues to soldier on on his preferred fi'zi:k Pavé CX saddle.
Additional bits include Ceramicspeed bearings in the bottom bracket cups, a pair of Arundel Mandible carbon bottle cages, an AceCo K-Edge chain watcher, and Garmin's latest Edge 500 GPS-enabled computer.
Even under a strong sprinter like Farrar, total bike weight is still just 7.07kg as pictured.