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  1. #1
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    reassurance re: Felt ZW4 and 6

    I posted this inquiry in one other forum, but thought maybe you guys would have a little insight, too:

    After tons of research and riding many bikes, I settled, finally, on the Felt ZW4 for women. I measure as a tall in the bike. Since my local bike shop carries Felt and they have been so helpful, of course I went back to them. They also carry Giants and my husband had settled on a Giant Defy Advanced 1. Buying two expensive bikes at the same time meant we could get a few extras from the dealer, too.

    When we finally had the money in our pockets we went down there. My husbands bike was no problem- ordered and on the way- no changes to the factory specs needed.

    My bike, on the other hand, proved more wiggy. All excited I told them the one I had chosen. A quick call to Felt crushed me. The ZW4 was not in stock, in any size, and wouldn't be available until late March- maybe/likely. There was some sort of supply problem with the manufacturer. They had also raised the price on the ZW4 $300. It had already been at my budget at $2999. I guess the bike proved to be more popular than they thought it would be??? Anyway, I was disappointed, but sure that was what I wanted. He tried to sway me with a Giant Avail, but I had already made up my mind for a Felt.

    I was getting prepared to wait another couple months for my bike (I've already waited 6 months for the money) when the bike dealer asked me if I like the ZW6 colors. I do. In fact, I think it is just as nice looking as the ZW4. They said that the 6's were available now and the frame was exactly the same. They could order the ZW6 and switch out the gears for full ultegra gears and brakes (the ZW4 has 105 brakes) plus put on the same wheels and tires as on the ZW4. It would basically be a ZW4 bike in ZW6 colors.

    I took a few minutes to really examine the specs on the two bikes. The ZW6 has a few aluminum parts in the carbon fork whereas the ZW4 is all carbon. The guy in the store said the different in weight was a couple sips of water and that they rode and steered exactly the same. Also, the seat on the ZW6 isn't carbon and looks to be a little different shape. He said the seat could always be changed, but the ZW6 seat matches the frame so I want to keep it.

    He convinced me it wouldn't be that big a deal and that they build bikes all the time like this. I do like the coloring on the ZW6, too. The only thing is that the ZW6 has a big SIX on it, but that is just my ego.

    I tell myself that the ZW4 retail price was really out of my range anyway once they raised the price (grrr). They were able to get me the ZW6 with upgraded Ultegra and the Ksirium Elite wheels within my budget, so that should make me comfortable with everything, but there is that big old '6' on the frame.

    My question is more a need for reassurance that I didn't make a big mistake. Does the ZW6 ride the same as the ZW4? I LOOOVED the ZW4 when I rode it. Do you people regularly switch out stock parts for others? Is the difference in the forks just the aluminum bits? I guess I would have to be a Felt rep to know if the forks are different shapes. It is so hard to tell from the pictures.

    Shame on Felt for running out of the bike I wanted to buy...

  2. #2
    Oh! That British Bloke .. ThatBritBloke's Avatar
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    Most cf bikes were in short supply in 2010 ... the economy downturned ... the demand for nice bikes didn't ...
    Alan

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  3. #3
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    There is a difference between a fork with a carbon steerer or an aluminum. It may or may not be noticeable in the ride to many people, but there is one. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you have an aluminum steerer tube the stack height (the amount of space between the top of the head tube and the stem) can be greater. Many manufacturers of all carbon forks don't recommend going above 40mm. However, given the same design and materials, the aluminum one might be a bit heavier. So, the carbon one is likely to be a bit lighter. In any event, either frame and fork should serve you well. I would guess that the dealer might be paying a bit less for the ZW6. So, I might ask for a discount. I don't think I'd settle for anything less than the labor for switching out parts as free. Hence, I would think you should be getting this bike for a bit less, or receive some other compensation.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I don't believe you'd feel the slightest difference between the two bikes in the real world. However, for 10% more than you were planning on spending and a month and a half more wait, you can have the bike you really want. It comes down to being truly happy with the bike. If you save a couple of bucks but keep thinking of it as almost what you wanted, it really isn't worth it. The extra time and money will be forgotten this time next year but seeing the 6 on the side may bug you far longer. The fact you are looking for reassurance leads me to believe this will continue to bug you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    I don't believe you'd feel the slightest difference between the two bikes in the real world. However, for 10% more than you were planning on spending and a month and a half more wait, you can have the bike you really want. It comes down to being truly happy with the bike. If you save a couple of bucks but keep thinking of it as almost what you wanted, it really isn't worth it. The extra time and money will be forgotten this time next year but seeing the 6 on the side may bug you far longer. The fact you are looking for reassurance leads me to believe this will continue to bug you.
    +1. Of course it depends on your own sensibilities on such matters, but personally, I wouldn't compromise. You could call other dealers within reasonable driving distance and see if they have it in stock. Your LBS should certainly understand you're doing that if they don't have and can't get what you want.

  6. #6
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    The thing is, I did get the bike at a significant savings over the ZW4 retail price. I know I saved money doing it this way and the bike did come under my original budget. There isn't a whole lot of bargaining with bikes because I really don't think bike dealers have much markup because the bike industry is so competitive. I don't think a few grams weight savings is going to matter in the fork. They told me the steering is not effected by the difference in material for that smaller part. The big 6 on the frame may bug me. Thanks for playing devils advocate.

    I like my local bike shop and want to give them my money, not some other place. I know the ZW6 Felt is a really nice bike even if I didn't switch out for better parts and wheels. Now it should be a great bike.

    Still, I am going to sleep on this.
    Last edited by outwest5; 02-10-11 at 06:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I know next to nothing about "fit woman" Felt bikes. Recently, I purchased a 2011 Felt TK2 Track bike. I really liked the look of the 2011 versus the 2010 and I could have had either and saved $100 by buying the 2010.

    i looked at the ZW4 and it looked hot. The ZW6 "not so hot". Must be the colors. Also, the ZW4 costs twice as much as the ZW6 or about $1600. That is a lot of money. And the ZW4's fork looks steeper to me in the pics. IMO, the ZW4 is a very nice racing geometry bike with higher end components including the carbon seat tube and carbon saddle - not cheap stuff.

    I think your intuition to think about this is well founded. Either bike will work in practice except we live in a world of what makes us feel good. Women have great intuition and you should think about this and get what you want.

    My wife is a great cyclist and she sees bikes similar to handbags and shoes. It is something that makes her look good as well as performs well. Men may or may not get that and some women do not care. If the 6 bothers you, you should not have to endure it. It is why we have lots of options. Good luck.

    Edit: I got the part about swapping the better components to the 6. The look and the ride of the bike will not be affected that much by Ultegra v XXX. The wheels are different. Nicer wheels are better looking and theoretically faster.
    Last edited by Hermes; 02-10-11 at 08:12 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    From looking at the two bikes on their website it seems to me the two frames are exactly the same except the color.
    " Felt FIT WOMAN Specific UHC Advanced MMC Carbon Fiber Frame w/ 3KP Weave, External Cable Routing, Forged Aluminum dropouts & replaceable derailleur hanger, 950g" on both spec sheets

    The front fork is different as you said.
    I dunno but if you don't like the "big old six" that will haunt you imo. The color of my bike does me, I wanted black but got blue. LBS said Cannondale was having problems and they offered me an upgrade sorta. I love my bike but.......

  9. #9
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    It must be the color because in the pics the Z4 head tube looks higher than the Z6. It may be my view or due to different fork. I checked the head tubes and they were the same dimension. I guess I like the color better.

    Kr32, I purchased a blue Madone with Ultegra and passed on the Grey with D/A to save money. I liked the bike but regretted purchasing the blue one.


    Eidt: Sorry for not providing reassurance.
    Last edited by Hermes; 02-10-11 at 07:56 PM.
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  10. #10
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Will the dealer (your LBS) not trade with another Felt dealer that does have your bike? Or are they totally out of stock in the country? Even if the shops were far apart, sales reps have been known to schlep bikes back and forth as a favor, as long as they were in his territory.

  11. #11
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    I don't think there is any wrong call here. If you decide to wait, you'll love the bike you get when you get it. If you take the up-graded 6, you'll be happy with the identical ride and likely feel that saving a bit of dough makes up for the less stylish numeral. Heads you win...tails too. Enjoy the new ride whenever and whichever it happens to be.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Hermes---- I have looked at different color bikes online and when I switch colors the look is different. I think it is just the perspective of the picture that makes it look different. I agree with you though that this one did look different too.

    As far as the OP is concerned I would say she is getting the bike she wanted, ZW4, as far as components are concerned but the color and the fact that it is/was a lesser bike,ZW6, as sold.
    All in all she will have a good bike but that nagging feeling of why didn't I get what I "wanted" will be there.

    Like mine, I do love it and ride the heck out of it but I always wanted a black one. Some day when I upgrade, no buy another one to add to stable, to a different bike it may be black, or not!

    OP....I hope you get what you want and enjoy whatever you get. Either one is a great bike...enjoy it and the rides you do with hubby on his new bike.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    Essentially the same bike for a $$ savings, would you still have $$ saved if you included the cost of touch-up paint to cover the 6? Funny thing is I always thought 6 was greater than 4. So are your feathers gonna be ruffled by the bike snobs in your ride group? In the words of Bob Dylan, "you shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you."
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  14. #14
    Oh! That British Bloke .. ThatBritBloke's Avatar
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    I have a cf bike with a steel steerer. Somehow I overcome that knowledge and enjoy myself whilst riding anyway.

    Oh no, that's not right ... I don't even think about it ...
    Alan

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  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    If the frame is truly the same, it sounds like a great deal to me. You could just get a decal to cover the 6 if it bothers you that much.
    Do we swap out parts on our bikes? You bet we do. You will have nicer brakes than on the 4. You may want to consider other options on the wheels. This is not a comment about the wheels you mentioned, just suggesting that you look at what other options might be available. You don't have to match what comes on the 4. You can get whatever you want.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
    Lance Legweak HIPCHIP's Avatar
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    I have a Felt Z-70 and the main difference is that the components are 105's (good stuff) and the frame is aluminum except for the seat stays and fork, which are carbon. I love the bike and the carbon seat stays made a ton of difference in the feel over straight aluminum, but other than that it's supposed to be the same geometry as all the other Z frames, only difference is in the components. Upgrade the components and it's basically the next model up except that it's all carbon and a ton more $. From what I was told, unless I'm riding Cat 1 and am one of the chosen ones, I'll never feel the difference. It sounds like you got a great bike at a really good price. I don't think the difference is that much. If and when you go to sell it you can explain all this to the new buyer and they can see the upgraded components.

  17. #17
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Ask them to swap the stickers/decals as well, so it says ZW4. Apparently, it is the components that differ between the two models, so you are really getting a custom-paint ZW4. Have them make the stickers/decals reflect that.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  18. #18
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Ask them to swap the stickers/decals as well, so it says ZW4. Apparently, it is the components that differ between the two models, so you are really getting a custom-paint ZW4. Have them make the stickers/decals reflect that.
    Could be under clearcoat? I dunno though.

  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I ride a couple of good bikes. They are both build up on frame and forks and Feel very similar to ride. Now if I take the TCR-C on rides I have noticed it gets plenty looks from other riders. Boreas never gets a Glance. Doesn't bother me except to think that if I am being judged as a rider on the bike I ride- I am riding with the wrong people. Yet the TCR-C can be a model 1-2-3 . Same frame- just different components fitted to it. Mine is just a "C"

    But I have another bike that rides almost aswell. Bit older and lowly components but I don't ride it often as it is only an OCR3.

    The 4 and the 6 will probably ride as well as each other and you probably won't notice the difference. But try telling your brain that- You won't have your "Dream" bike- just one that is near it

    But look at the spec of the bike that will be available in March- very often a few little downgrades occur that will not make it the same as the bike you currently want.

    My head is telling me that with the upgrades on wheel and group- the 4 and 6 will be the same but you will be getting it cheaper.

    But will your head think the same?---You want the 4.
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    You guys have all hit on the thing that is bugging me a little. I DID get a better deal doing it this way, I know that. I saved over $500, actually, and even got Ultegra brakes, which is above the ZW4. $500 is a lot of money. But, the money is just money. My dream bike was the ZW4. After all, I have looked and looked and looked.

    I am going down to the bike shop today. They should have my bike and be putting it together. I want to check that they are putting the correct sized crank on it. The womens models have a shorter crank than what they would put on the mens bikes. They had a full ultegra set in the shop, but at the time I did not ask to confirm the crank size. I also want to make sure they are putting 25 tires on it instead of 23's. I also want to eyeball the wheels. The wheels come in black or silver. The ZW4 has the black ones, but maybe the silver ones would look better on it. They had both colors the other day. And the pedals. I want to check out the different pedals.

    I'll let you know what happens. If, for some reason, the bike has not arrived, I may just tell them to scrap it and I will wait. We shall see.

  21. #21
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Outwest - Which Crankset are they putting on the bike? I just looked at the two, and the FOUR has an Ultegra Standard 53/39 crankset, while the SIX has an FSA compact 50/34 crank. I had a bad experience when my bike was built by the LBS and they put an FSA crank on when it was supposed to be a full Ultegra build. They had trouble getting the Ultegra, so they substituted in the FSA. The FSA came apart on a ride (most likely not torqued properly), so I found the Ultegra myself (eBay), and had them take the FSA back for a refund.

    Make sure you get the crank (and the size of crank) you want!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    I just got back from the bike shop. My bike is there and almost done. They just need to switch the 23 tires for the 25's and change the tape. I rode the bike around the lot. It is so sweet! The full ultegra brakes are AWESOME. Stop on a dime! The gears change instantly. The wheels just roll. The bike has a ticking sounds louder than what I am used to. Why is that?

    I decided to have the tape changed from the stock white to black cork. When I saw the tourquoise, it didn't match perfectly. I want perfect. The black cork just blends into the handle bar and felt so comfortable. They put the full ultegra crank on it in the correct size for the bike. It has "ultegra" splashed across it. They really are a good bike shop- very honest. They also are giving me two carbon fiber water bottle holders- those puppies are $. They threw on some nice road bike flat pedals temporarily. They don't match well, so that will be the impedice to get the clips. They thought getting used to the bikes and buying the shoes and clips in a few months was a good idea since we are fairly new to all of this. We will still get the discount for the shoes and clips that they give with every new road bike.

    My husbands bike was there, too! Turns out they were able to get it quicker than they thought. It is beautiful. He is going to love it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by outwest5 View Post
    The bike has a ticking sounds louder than what I am used to. Why is that?
    If you can handle the road subforum crowd, here's a thread on that http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-when-coasting

    Congratulations on the new steeds.

  24. #24
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outwest5 View Post
    The bike has a ticking sounds louder than what I am used to. Why is that?
    Carbon fiber frames amplify noises to a much greater extent than steel frames. The clicking is probably just dirt in the pedal bearings, and it can get maddening, but such are carbon fiber frames.

    Back in 2000, when I was racing, I got a pro deal on a Trek 5200. This was the Ultegra version of the 5500, which was Dura Ace. If you bought just the frame by itself, it would have 5500 decals on it.

    So I just replaced most of the Ultegra components with Campagnolo, which work better anyway, and peeled off the 5200 label. The frames were identical, so what difference would it make what the frame said?

    I have no idea what a Felt ZW4 or 6 are, and I bet most other cyclists don't either, nor do they care. The frames appear to be identical except for fork, paint, and stickers. If you're concerned about the fork, you can always replace it, and it doesn't even have to be a Felt fork. You can have a bike that nobody else has! My bikes are all in a constant state of upgrade; nothing is forever on a bike. The only important thing is if you are enjoying riding it.

    If you are new to cycling, and you really get into it, you will find that this will not be your last bike. For most cyclists, it takes till about the fourth,fifth, or sixth bike before they find what really works for them. In my 40 years of cycling, I have tried to list all the bikes I have ever owned. I stopped counting somewhere in the 20's... Right now, the bike I'm really, really happy with is a modest steel fixie with couplers for travelling.

    L.

  25. #25
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    OOh- Ticking on a CF frame- sounds as though you have to ride it for about 500 miles and try to ignore it.

    Could be several things but the shop will sort it- If not- get earplugs.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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