Felt partners with Kenda USA Mountain Bike Team

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Felt Bicycles has partnered with Kenda USA to become the official bike for the Kenda-Felt mountain bike team in 2010. The team’s four riders—Colin Cares, Amanda Carey, Judy Freeman and Andy Schultz—will compete in a variety of national and international cross-country and endurance events. The riders will have their choice of several different Felt models including the Nine Team, Felt’s flagship carbon fiber 29-inch hardtail.

“I’m really excited to be racing for Felt,” said Schultz, the 2005 U.S. Under-23 National Champion from Tucson, Arizona. “Felt has a great pedigree in racing and a history of sponsoring great racers. I’m honored to have this company’s support.”

Cares, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the current Under-23 U.S. National Champion. Carey, of Victor, Idaho, focuses on ultra-endurance racing and finished second at the prestigious Leadville 100 in Colorado in 2007 and 2009. Freeman, a new recruit to the Kenda-Felt team, is coming off a stellar 2009 season in which she represented the USA at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Australia.

Schultz and his teammates will target the Pro XCT series and other premier off-road events in North America. The team’s diverse roster reflects the broad range of endurance events that make up the current competitive cross-country landscape. From short-track to ultra-endurance races and festivals, Kenda-Felt will have a presence.

“Our partnerships with teams like Garmin-Transitions as well as top-tier Olympic triathletes and others have helped put Felt bikes at the forefront of people’s minds in those disciplines,” said company namesake Jim Felt. “And we’re happy to be expanding our support in off-road racing, where we have some incredible new products coming to market.” 

Among those products are the Nine Series bikes, Felt’s 29-inch wheel hardtails, which have gained a major following among endurance racers. “I think the Nine will be the weapon of choice for Leadville,” said Cares.

“Felt is on the cutting edge of carbon frame technology and I’m really looking forward to riding the Nine Team bike for most of my races next year,” added Schultz. “The research Felt has done to achieve the optimal geometry for a 29-inch bike, and the use of UHM carbon fiber in the frame, is sure to make it one of the fastest bikes on the race scene.”

In addition to the Nine Series bikes, Kenda-Felt riders will be involved with the development and prototype testing of a new, yet-to-be-named Felt carbon fiber full-suspension XC bike, which is targeted for 2011 consumer availability.

“Felt bicycles are the perfect platform for the complete range of Kenda tires.” says Jim Wannamaker, North American Marketing Director for Kenda USA.  “Our 29” Nevegal , Karma and Small Block 8 tires will give our athletes plenty of options for their new rigs, while the new Slant  Six will be available for 26” and 29” applications later this year.”

The Kenda-Felt team is owned and managed by Quick Release Racing, Inc., of Ann Arbor Michigan. Kenda USA manufactures a complete line of tire products covering every facet of the sport. Other team sponsors include Wick Werks, cranks and chain-rings;  The Hayes Bicycle Group, which will supply Stroker brakes, Black Flag wheels, Manitou R7 MRD forks and S-Type shocks; Voler team kits; Pearl Izumi shoes; SDG saddles; Uvex helmets Finish Line lubrication products; and the Joan C. Banfield Foundation of Dexter, Michigan, which will host the team for a number of clinics targeting health and wellness in the school system.