Felt Launches Bayonet 4 Fork
article & images by Nick Salazar
Aug 13, 2013
A couple weeks ago, I visited Felt Bicycles' headquarters in Irvine, California. The bike manufacturer holds an annual event where they showcase new product. And although there is quite a bit I can't talk about just yet, the Bayonet 4 fork is game for immediate publication. The new fork is much like the previous fork on Felt's latest DA bicycle, launched a couple years ago, and refreshes the lineup in a great way. The DA is already a very slick bike, and competitive with the best bikes on the market. But the new fork adds a really good centerpull brake, shrouded by a frontal cover that acts as a fairing to the fork. It helps clean up the frontal profile and eliminate just a little more drag.
Although not pictured, I had a chance to see the brake's internals, and Felt definitely went the right way with a rollercam/wedge setup. That's the same type of mechanism used in the Trek Speed Concept, the TriRig Omega, and others. In my opinion, that's a much better way to go than side-pull V-brakes, used in some other 'integrated' brake setups these days. Felt also elected to use a nice big U-shaped return spring to bring the brake back open after use. That's the way the Omega works, and the only real alternative to an internal compression spring, like what's found on the original Speed Concept. The U-shaped spring provides a bit stronger return than a small internal compression spring, which is why I like them better.
Notably, the Bayonet 4 brake does not contain independent stance width adjustment per brake arm, as you'd find on the Speed Concept and Omega brakes. Trek obviously likes the idea, because their new Speed Concept model adds that adjustment metric to the rear brake, where the original SC had it only on the front.
I'm not sure whether the Bayonet 4 will be available as an upgrade for existing DA owners, or only available on new bikes. Check with your Felt dealer for that one. And yes, I'll be writing another article about my trip to Felt, coming in a week or so. Keep your eyes peeled.