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...