Aug 12, 2012 article & images by Nick Salazar

Felt Bicycles sits in a small inustrial park in Irvine, California.
Felt Bicycles sits in a small inustrial park in Irvine, California.

Nestled into a quiet corner of sunny Irvine, California, Felt Bicycles is home to some of the most trusted bicycles in the road and triathlon world. We had an opportunity to visit the factory and bring you this exclusive gallery. The whole place is buzzing with people who are genuinely passionate about what they do, and many of them ride their bikes in to work. One of the coolest spots in the factory was a small room filled from floor to ceiling with amazing, top-secret prototype parts. I can't show them to you, but I can tell you that Felt takes aerodynamics very seriously.

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  • Felt Bicycles sits in a small inustrial park in Irvine, California.
  • Once a year, Felt invites media out to its facility to announce the products coming up for the following season.
  • Founder Jim Felt is the kind of guy who has a deep, abiding love of the sport, and it shows in his business decisions as well as his personality.
  • One of the most surreal moments in my career as a journalist was being served lunch by the company founder Jim Felt and company President Bill Duehring. These are down to earth people who simply love what they do, and love showing it off to the world.
  • This cadre of bikes was lined up for the media presentation.  However, it's common to see lots of bikes around Felt HQ, as many employees ride in to work.
  • The lobby houses some signed jerseys of Felt's various teams and athletes.
  • Although most of Felt's manufacturing is outsourced, they do a lot of prototyping work in house, and have a well-equipped workshop to do so.
  • An upstairs photo studio is used to take product shots as needed.
  • Various frames adorn the facility, including Dave Zabriskie's gorgeous Captain America DA. Note, this is one of the early prototypes with the curved down tube.
  • I never saw this on the built bike, but there was another Captain America shield centered on the bottom bracket. That star was invisible with the cranks in place.

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