The goal of Felt’s ZW Series is to honestly address the unique needs of women cyclists from both an engineering standpoint and an athlete’s perspective. Many manufacturers introduce women’s bikes by simply switching some parts, such as saddles and handlebars, and changing the frame graphics to set them apart from men’s models. But Felt started the entire design and engineering process from scratch.
The ZW shares some of the ride characteristics of the Z Series. Both feature a longer wheelbase for an extremely confident, assured ride quality. Both offer more handlebar positioning choices, a sloping top tube for superior stand-over clearance and improved vertical compliance that results from a more exposed seatpost.
Those design features contribute to the ZW’s overall ride quality, but to really optimize the bike for women, and to address every anatomical detail, every angle and dimension of the frame was scrutinized. Because a woman’s body has distinctly different proportions than a man’s, simply making a smaller frame is not an effective solution. Essentially, Felt reverse-engineered the geometry to achieve the desired fit.
Constructed from the same materials as the Z Series bikes, the ZW lay-up is customized to improve performance for women. The top-of-the-line ZW model uses Felt’s unparalleled UHC Ultimate+Nano carbon fiber, and in all ZW bikes the materials are carefully optimized for women’s needs. For example, they all feature smaller diameter tubes, thinner tube walls and shorter tube intersections.
As with everything that Felt designs, the ZW is focused on performance. Felt’s Pro women’s team Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 and reigning Olympic Triathlon champion Emma Snowsill have ridden the ZW to multiple victories in some of the most prestigious races in the world. The ZW is stiff enough for unmatched efficiency, light enough to keep the pros flying over hills, and designed with size-appropriate vertical compliance.
Beyond the frame, other ZW women-specific parts and components include slightly shorter cranks and carefully selected compact gearing. The stems are shorter and the handlebar is narrower and shallower. The brake levers feature adjustable reach for smaller hands, and every ZW comes with a comfortable women’s-specific saddle.
So what does it all mean? It means that finally there is a bike you can call your own. A bike that’s comfortable, invigorating, motivating and thoroughly enjoyable.