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The Felt VR bikes cover a broad spectrum of price points and this bike, the Felt VR6W is most affordable women's carbon disc brake model and it equipped with a 20 speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain and hydraulic road disc brakes.
VR6W Frame and Fork
The Felt VR30W is constructed of butted, hydroformed aluminum tubing, with a carbon fiber fork. The bottom bracket is of the BB386 PressFit design that provides for a wider, and thus stiffer, bottom bracket area of the frame.
All shifter cables are routed internally on the as is the hydraulic brake hose to the rear brake. The carbon fork is tapered, with a 1.125″ bearing at the top and a 1.5″ bearing at the bottom to maximize lateral stiffness.
This is feature that is becoming more of a standard on adventure bikes and increasingly common on road bikes as well. As a result, the front end of the VRW bike is 23% stiffer than the bikes from the previous generation.
This not only improves handling and control on rougher surfaces, such as dirt and gravel roads, but also on paved roads.
The seatstays on the aluminum frames in the VRW line now surround the outside of the seat tube instead of just attaching to the back as most Felt alloy bikes have done in the past.
The result is that the seat tube is not as firmly buttressed from the rear, allowing more movement of the seat tube front to back, for additional comfort.
The bike will feel more complaint and smoother, particularly over rough surfaces, because of it.
VR30W Drivetrain and Brakes
With the exception of the crankset, the entire drivetrain and brake system on the Felt VR6W is from Shimano. The shifters are Shimano RS505, the first level of Shimano STI that offers hydraulic brakes and mechanical shifting.
The front and rear derailleurs are Tiagra and the chain and cassette are also Shimano. The cassette has an 11-32 gearing.
The flat mount hydraulic brake calipers are Shimano RS505, with a 140 mm Shimano Ice-Tech rotor in the rear and a 160 mm Ice-Tech rotor in the front.
Braking on the Felt VR6W, once the pads have been bedded in of course, is very strong with minimal lever effort and very good modulation.
Wheels and Contact Points
The remainder of the components on the VR6W are by Felt. The seatpost is carbon fiber, to dampen shock and vibration. The stem and handlebars are aluminum.
The wheels are by Felt, featuring 28 spokes front and rear, with a 19mm internal width tubeless ready bead rims.
The hubs are Felt alloy with centerlock brake rotor mounts for use with the best rotors from Shimano.
Like all bikes under $3000, the wheels are not exceptional and are the first item to upgrade if you want to enhance performance and take off significant weight.
The stock Felt wheels are well built and have been proven durable. Tires are 700×28 Vittoria Zaffiro and the saddle is a Kappa from Pro Logo.
Depending on the size, the Felt VR6W weighs between 21 and 22 lbs. While the weight is not superlight, it is very good for a disc brake equipped bike.