2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike

26 Jun

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of my family, a 2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike (I haven’t even named her yet). Cyclocross bikes look a lot like regular road bikes, but allow for fatter tires so they can have better grip on the ground—they also have greater clearance on the forks so mud won’t build up as quickly. Cyclocross races usually take place in the fall and winter over a course that includes pavement, off-road trails, hills, man-made obstacles and mud. This particular from of racing has been around for over 100 years and is usually associated with countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and France, but is growing in popularity here in the states.

2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike

2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike

The 2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike has an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber front fork. The drivetrain has SRAM Apex DoubleTap shifters, a compact 46/36T crankset and an 11-28T cassette with a SRAM 10-speed chain. This bike also has Felt CXR disc rims with stainless steel spokes. To protect you in foul weather, this bike has Felt All-Weather sealed slick brake and derailleur housings.

2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike

SRAM Apex DoubleTap Shifters

Traditionally, cyclocross bikes have used center-pull cantilever brakes which give a lot of brake pad-to-rim clearance that reduces drag when you are riding through the muck. However, disc brakes are becoming more common on cyclocross bikes, and the Felt  F65X uses Avid BB5 disc brakes with SRAM Apex levers. One other note: the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) used to ban disc brakes in cyclocross races, but that ban has now been lifted.

2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike

AVID BB5 Disc Brakes on the Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike

Even though this bike weighs 21 pounds it feels very light and handles like a dream on both pavement and off-road trails. You don’t have to be a cyclocross racer to enjoy this bike—in fact, a lot of the purchasers are commuters who have to travel over both pavement and off-road trails just to get to work.

There were three things about this bike I did not like—the Felt SL Saddle, the Felt Gel Velvet Tape, and the stock Vittoria Cross XG Pro 700c x 32c tires. The stock saddle was lightweight, but it felt like I was sitting on a brick, so I replaced it with a Planet Bike ARS Standard Anatomic Relief Saddle (I have this same saddle on all of my bikes). The handlebar tape was not very comfortable so I asked the guys at the shop to re-wrap the bars with Lizard Skins DSP Bar Tape (my favorite bar tape). The Vittoria Cross XG Pro tires were probably OK, but since I live in an area with a lot of broken glass on both the streets and trails I replaced the stock tires with Bontrager LT2 700C tires (hard-case tires with triple flat protection).

Until a few days ago the 2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike retailed for $1859. However, since the 2014 models will be hitting the showroom soon, I was able to pick up this bike for only $1399.

I purchased my 2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike from Zion Cyclery in Zion, Illinois. In fact, I’ve bought my last seven bikes from them—I don’t even bother shopping around for a better price anymore. If you live in the Upper Midwest you really need to check these folks out. They keep anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 bikes in their store (depending on the time of the year) and they have six full-time mechanics who work all-year long (that is very rare in our part of the country). Thanks to their reputation for building high quality Fat Bikes the mechanics now have a lot more work to do in the winter than they used to!

Important Update Notice (9/6/13): This bike comes stock with an Ashima 6 Bolt 160mm Air Rotor (disc brake rotor). This rotor is great at shedding mud, but I was having trouble with the whole front end of my bike shaking every time I applied the front brake—it was fine on smooth roads at low speeds, but this is a cyclocross bike and I love to go fast when I play in the mud. The problem is apparently common when you have a disc brake on a carbon fiber fork. The guys at the local bike shop suggested that I replace the Ashima Air Rotor with a beefier Avid G3 CS Clean Sweep Disc Rotor—this rotor has more metal and does not shed mud as well, but it stopped the problem I had with the front end shaking.


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56 responses to “2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike

  1. anniebikes

    June 26, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    Excitement! A new bike!

  2. tischcaylor

    June 26, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Very nice!

  3. meganjanicke

    June 26, 2013 at 6:48 AM

    Nice ride!

  4. hughonabike

    June 26, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    Nice bike ,nice price. I’m almost envious……….

  5. barrentoblessed

    June 26, 2013 at 7:09 AM


  6. billgncs

    June 26, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    way cool! be careful on those disc brakes — you don’t want to flip 🙂

    you can go from the fat-tire to this and get quite a different experience over similar terrain

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 26, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      I’ve had disc brakes on two of my other bikes for a lot of years, so I am not worried about flipping. The Fat Bike gives a smoother ride on the same trails, just not as fast.

      • billgncs

        June 26, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        let me know when this bike is up for a give away, I will start polishing my story now 🙂

        I was riding my specialized road bike and switched to my gary fisher mountain bike and flipped about one block from home on the sidewalk — broken hand and concussion…

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          June 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM

          By the time this bike is up for a give-away you and I will both be too old to ride! My biggest fear in life is that after I die my wife will sell my bikes for what I told her I paid for them. 🙂

  7. Dra Martha Castro Médico WMA

    June 26, 2013 at 10:11 AM

  8. cyardin

    June 26, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Super sweet! I like a lot!

  9. Brittany

    June 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Yay Felt – this would be a sweet commute bike!

  10. according2cat

    June 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    It’s beautiful! And it’s a Felt! Great. Another bike to covet.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 26, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      Are you a Felt rider as well? Three of my other bikes are Trek and the other one is a Surly.

      • according2cat

        June 26, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        To date, I could be the poster girl for Specialized. I’ve purchased six of them: two for me, two for my son, one for my daughter, and one for an ex-boyfriend when he wasn’t “ex.” I just think Felt bikes look really sexy. How could you not feel pretty riding one of those bad boys? I have a bit of work to do on me and my riding before I’m Felt worthy (Fuji is another great bike.)

  11. timscyclingblog

    June 26, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Sounds good to me. I am tempted by a similar bike for summer dashes around the countryside (on road 99% of the time). A hard core road bike isn’t for me, too delicate and require more time and dedication to keep in top shape. I’ve not got the funds for the foreseeable future, unless I sell a bike of course, so no then, but I can vicariously enjoy one through your blog lol

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 26, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Believe it or not, I actually did sell one of my bikes to get this one. So for nearly 12 hours I was down to only four bikes — don’t want to go through that again — way to much stress! 🙂

      • timscyclingblog

        June 26, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        Which one and why? I can only imagine how hard it must have been, glad you made it through.

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          June 26, 2013 at 5:16 PM

          I sold my oldest bike, a Trek 4300 (the one I entirely rebuilt last year). It wasn’t really because of the money since I spent a lot more fixing the 4300 than I sold it for. There are several ways of figuring out how many bikes you really need. One method is called “N plus 1” where “N” represents the number of bikes you currently own. The other method of determining how many bikes you need is called “D minus 1” where “D” represents “divorce” — this is when the purchase of just one more bike would lead to a messy divorce (and I think I am pushing that boundary right now).

  12. doctorlynn

    June 26, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Yay! How wonderful to have a new addition to the family!

  13. Nancy L. Seibel

    June 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    We try to stay within what will fit in the bike storage shed. Not easy! Enjoy the new wheels.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 26, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      You could always bring a bike or two into the house — you don’t really need a kitchen table do you?

  14. rantsrulesandrecipes

    June 26, 2013 at 11:45 PM


    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 27, 2013 at 12:13 AM

      Tell him to get it now while it is on sale! It has a really smooth ride.

  15. Alex

    June 27, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Ooh. Pretty. Now I am jelous. 21 lb is still respectable though. How do you find it compared to your old road bike? Does the higher ground clearance for the bb feel different? And what do you make of discs? I must admit that, having had them on the mtbs I wouldn’t go back to V brakes. I can see how this would be a really great commuter though. Damn I am sooo jelous. I wonder if my wife would notice if I raided the bank (who needs food anyway?).

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Food is so over-rated! The Felt is not as light or nimble as my Trek Madone, but considering the tires I have on it the ride is REALLY smooth. The disc brakes are fine, but at the moment I don’t need them as much as I will in the winter. As for the BB, I really can’t tell that much difference. Be careful about taking a test ride — you will probably end up taking one home! 🙂

  16. Lisa

    June 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Congratulations on the new addition! I can’t wait for CX season, mud, rain, cooler weather, and MORE COWBELL

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Out “rain, mud, snow and sleet season” just ended two week ago — so I hope it can hold off for a while! This bike ought to be fun in light mud — but for the really neat mud I want my Pugsley.

  17. Laura

    June 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Welcome to the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Felt. 🙂

    I agree about the saddle (swapped mine for a WTB Freedom Elite) but I love my Vittoria Rubino Tires. The bar tape was fine, but I need to get mine replaced soon.

    Love your new bike, totes jeals!

    • Laura

      June 27, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      Whoops … Wrong bike saddle. I put a Specialized Oura on my Felt, the WTB is on my Peugeot.

      Felt is my favorite bike brand ever. 🙂

      • All Seasons Cyclist

        June 27, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        I like the Felt F65X I bought, but today I took a ride on the Felt Z2 with Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifters (the battery operated shifters). The Z2 was OK, but I think I might end up going with a new Trek Domane 5.9 with the same shifters. The Domane just seemed a bit smoother over the rough road.

        • Laura

          June 28, 2013 at 1:35 PM

          I have a ZW … tried so many bikes before my felt spoke to me on a transcendent level.

          Of course nothing beats my steel bike for smoothing out rough road/cobblestone. 🙂


  18. Jason Pearlman

    June 27, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    That thing is awesome; now go out and get it muddy as all hell. Having raced ‘cross for four years, all I can tell you about CX rigs is that after the second lap and the 15th pound of mud and ice caked onto your bike, a Ridley X-Night is no different than a Scattante!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      I love playing in the mud (that’s why I also own a Surly Necromancer Pugs). If you can’t get your bike dirty you might as well stay home!

  19. kurtbredeson

    June 28, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Love the bike! Last year I converted my commuter to a cross bike for the fall cross season and even managed to ride into winter before switching to my MTB. If my bike ever wears out, my next one will probably be a cross bike. Love the versatility of those bikes. However, this Felt seems to have all the features I’d be looking for: carbon fork, disk brakes (love ’em since MTB-ing), SRAM shifters (double-tap looks amazing). That particular bike is still $1900 in my local shop though.

    I know you take care of your bikes, so I’d be curious to find out how you keep that fine machine in good shape through the winter. When I compare winter bikes at work, all I see is rusty chains, cassettes, and fork tubes (not so much mine, but winter does take its toll regardless).

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      The double-tap shifters did take a few minutes to get used to — but the bike really gives a smooth ride. By the way, the shop I use (the one mentioned above) can you you the bike — and you would save over $400 in the process after you paid for postage.

      • Ed

        June 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

        I like the double tap. I recently added the SRAM chain spotter, which is standard on some of the higher models. It makes a great addition, keeping one from dropping the chain, even in tough terrain or (gulp) sometimes careless shifting.

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          June 30, 2013 at 1:27 PM

          I ride in a lot of tough terrain, but I usually drop chains through my own stupidity! Sometimes when cycling I just get lost in my own little world and forget to shift in time.

  20. simonnurse

    June 29, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    Cyclo-cross is my favourite form of racing bar none and cross bikes are magnificent all rounders. You’re going to have a lot of fun on this….

    Three peaks entry next year? 🙂

    (The bike will be pretty nimble on the road too with slicks).

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Thanks for sharing the link! Three Peaks looks awesome — wish I was in the UK (for the race, not the health care). 🙂

      • simonnurse

        June 29, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        ….as long as you don’t fall off, you don’t have to worry about the healthcare 🙂

  21. the drunken cyclist

    July 1, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    Sweet, sweet ride!

  22. Karen

    July 7, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    I’d like to hear how you like the disc brakes on this–it’s all the rage but I haven’t made the jump yet…..

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 7, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      The main reason I wanted the disc brakes is because in the winter ice builds up around the tire rims and it gets REALLY hard to stop. I am not sure how they will do in the mud, but I can’t wait to find out!


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