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by Dave Rome
January 19, 2020
Photography by Dave Rome & Tim Bardsley Smith
The Rally Cycling Women’s team opened up its 2020 season at the Women’s Tour Down Under with a win on stage one. And while many of the team’s competitors are riding last year’s race bikes, Rally’s fresh and previously unseen aero bikes stick out like, well, a bright orange shiny bike amongst a field of less bright ones.
The new bike, an expected overhaul of Felt’s AR aero bike, is looking polished and ready for production. Felt is no stranger to producing aero bikes and was one of the industry’s early innovators in the space. However, Felt, along with many other middle-sized bike companies, has seemingly failed to keep pace with the wind-cheating product development of the biggest companies.
This new frame, at least from a distance, seems ready to bring Felt back into the game. Truncated shapes can be seen on almost every tube of the new frame, while the deep seat tube looks to shield the rear wheel. The top tube is kept flat and square in profile, while upfront the fork crown intersects with a scolloped downtube.
The stem shrouds the cables as the enter the frame.
The cabling is mostly concealed at the front end of the bike and runs through a Jabba Sail Barge-replica stem and into the frame. However, the brake hoses on Rally’s bikes do run externally from near the centre of the bar and then poke back into the underside of the stem, and are then kept internal from there. That stem looks huge, but also looks to work with a regular 31.8mm handlebar which should keep customisation options open.
The Rally team is currently racing on a disc version of the bike, and it’s quite likely that the new AR will only be produced in a disc version given how the rest of the industry is trending.
Rally’s team bikes are built up with SRAM Force AXS eTap groupsets, Vision wheels and Time pedals. We haven’t weighed one, because they wouldn’t let us, but given the build and a frame that clearly prioritises aerodynamics, we suspect it’s close to the 8-kilogram mark.
A release date can’t be too far away given the bike is already being raced.
Chloe Hosking has already ridden the bike to a victory, taking stage one of the Women’s Tour Down Under.
The new frame offers one of the most square-profile toptubes we’ve seen in recent memory.
Team bikes are equipped with SRAM Force eTap.
The whole Rally Cycling Women’s team are riding the new bike.
The whole Rally Cycling team rides with Kelly Catlin in their memory.