Thursday, May 29, 2008

Felt Cafe Deluxe

Felt Cafe 8 Deluxe. MSRP: $599.

Felt calls the Cafe 8 Deluxe "a real-world answer to bicycle commuting and any local store runs."

Specs:

Frame: Butted 6061 Aluminum w/ hydroform top tube.
Rear Derailleur: HG-40 cassette
Crankset: 38T Chainring w/ double guard
Chain: KMC Rustbuster
Wheels: Aluminum Tall Profile Rims
Tires: WTB Pathway 700 x 38c
Saddle: Selle Royal w/ gel-infused double-density foam
Aluminum Handlebar-Mount Cupholder
Rear Carrier
Selle Italia removable clip-on saddle bag
Aluminum fenders
Safety Bell

14 comments:

Ice Piq said...

Super-cool!

I'm glad you profiled my bike. I recently got rid of my 25 miles-per-gallon car for this 25 miles-per-burrito bike, and I really like it. I bought one of these from my local shop after taking a look at their "casual" bikes. I chose it because it's a comfy ride, and included all of the nifty stuff I'd need for riding around town (bag, bell, rear rack, and even a super-slick cup holder).

I've really enjoyed it. It's light, it has a smooth ride, and it's a good price. It's also a nice looking bike!

David said...

SWEET! I want one, and I work here.

ellen said...

I am torn between getting this bike and a giant fcr 3 women specific to bike 3 miles to school and back. A short distance but lots of hills. Would the felt cafe 8 b good for this or should I go with more of a road bike? Obviously, I am new at this and need an efficient ride.

ellen said...

A total of 6 miles per day I mean.

Freewheel said...

Ellen, between those 2 bikes, and considering that there are "lots of hills" between you and your destination, I'd go with the Felt because it has 8 speeds.

Have you considered any of the other bikes featured on this blog?

ellen said...

thanks for your input. I haven't looked at many other bikes, those 2 are my favorite now. The giant has 21 speed and I am wondering if it will be slightly easier to pull up a hill. Do you know other bikes I should consider? I love the felt, but I don't want to regret getting it in the future due to its "cruiser" style....

ellen said...

...meaning it might be a little heavier

Freewheel said...

Whether 8 speeds is enough depends on a bunch of factors, including how hilly your route is and how steep those hills are (do you live in SF?).

The Felt Cafe 8, Raleigh Detour, and Breezer are all aluminum, lightweight frames.

Ice Piq said...

I think the Felt is pretty light. Of the three I looked at at my local shop, it was the lightest there, and it's pretty easy to hoist onto the bus rack.

The 8 speeds are actually pretty handy where I am (Cincinnati), where about anywhere I go, I have to climb a pretty sizeable hill. It's also nice that they're all on one wheel, so you don't have to worry about whether your left shifter is on 1-2-3, and the other one is on 1-7, and which of those are safe to use without slipping. It's just a straight 8 speeds.

Tinker said...

An eight speed internal hub is a nice sort of gearing system for beginners as it requires very little maintenance. Once its adjusted, it will pretty much stay adjusted (no protruding parts such as a rear derailler). Also you can shift while stopped standing or under way by just slacking off the tension on the pedals. (Deraillers have to be shifted moving and if you are forced to make a sudden stop, you will be annoyed to find your self in a high gear).

Light bikes are not the be-all, end-all of the bike world. Sometime (USUALLY) you get a more comfortable ride with the big tired cruiser than you do with a narrow high pressure tired road racer.

Also you will want at least one bike for short trips, errands around town, to/from the grocery store or library, the Post office etc. and this will get a lot more use in that mode than a hardcore road bike.
And no one says you have to buy a bike and STOP! You can buy more if you think one will meet certain needs better than others.

Oh one last maintenance point. * speed hubs are wonderful for winter riding, snow, slush, salt, this drive train is sealed up. 10 dgrees on a bike is not as bad as it sounds if you don't have to stop and thaw your frozen deraillers.

Or you could just buy a used English 3 speed (also a sealed hub).

Anonymous said...

Try the Felt Cafe 24 if you want 24 speeds to deal with the hills. Same frame and accessories. (I have one on order!)

kfg said...

I would think the Felt would be perfect for you Ellen. It isn't the NUMBER of gears that determines how a bike goes up hills, but what the lowest gear is, then the steps between the gears. Total range is also important for the flats and downhills.

There is also the USABILITY of the gears. Are they arranged in a way that makes them easily available to you.

The Felt has a low gear of 34 inches. Now I'm no beginner, but I'm also someone who is suddenly the target of those AARP ads (when the hell did THAT happen) and I could use that gear to haul 40 pounds up a pretty steepish 10 mile hill. The High gear is 93 inches which is pretty comfortable for pedaling down hill at 30 mph. It's exactly the range I would choose for MYSELF for non racing purposes.

Both the number of gears and steps between them are about the same as on a 10 speed, because a 10 speed actually has duplicate gears. The Felt doesn't. They used to ride the Tour de France on 10 speeds.

Which brings up the usability. The ten speed has duplicate gears because the ratio is determined by matching the gear on the back with one of TWO on the front. Sometimes you even have to shift both to get the next gear and you have to remember the sequence of shifts to do this.

The Giant has THREE gears on the front, a NUMBER of it's gears are duplicates and several of them are actually unusable. So it doesn't actually have as many USABLE gears as it claims, plus you have to remember the shift pattern for three rings. All of this to get a gear lower than you'll probably ever use on your short commute, and a higher gear as well that you'll probably never use because it's too hard to pedal unless you're going downhill at 40.

The Felt has a reasonable low, a high that isn't unreasonable, enough gears between them to ride the Tour de France route comfortably and ONE shifter to deal with and hence no "Pattern" to remember.

What more could you ask for other than someone else to pedal it for you? (That the gears be inside the hub. That a dynamo powering the standard LED lights is inside the front hub and a full chain case, but that's called the Breezer Uptown 8; at twice the price)

Rebecca said...

I bought the Felt Cafe 24 Deluxe at the end of last season. I have really enjoyed it thus far. My only dilemma is finding panniers that work with the rack (and don't brake the bank). Any suggestions? I was thinking a "shopping bag" design with a strap that was easy on/off.

Unknown said...

I have the same problem re: the panniers, I have a grocery bag style one and it doesn't work so well - were you able to come up with any solution?