TIPS & TRICKS: FELT SECTOR FRAME TEST
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Back on track with an all-new design


The Felt Sector name may not be new to BMX but this completely redesigned frame is. Felt designed the original Sector frame back in 2001, which was raced by riders such as Phil Delezia, Alan Foster, Paulie Lange and Olympian Teagen O’Keefe. For years the frame went on unchanged and began to fall from popularity because riders simply became bored with the design. Felt was pretty straight forward about the Sector frame, saying their engineers designed the bike to be as light, fast, stiff, strong and affordable as possible and to change anything about the design would compromise one or all of the other fields. Not willing to compromise price or performance, the frame carried on as was still a great frame with each passing year, but one racers had quite frankly grown bored with. But as technology advanced over recent years, the overlap of price and performance finally occurred and seemingly overnight, the 2013 Sector was born.

MOVING FORWARD
Knowing what we know about Felt’s design criteria, we were really excited about seeing what they had to do to maintain or improve upon their strength, speed, stiffness and speed and all while keeping the price relative. With this in mind, we had a very hard time moving past the $309 price tag. How could a pro-level performance frame retail for such a low price and stiff be competitive with the other big name brands on the track that are making similar performance claims for about $200 more. So we started digging. The Sector frame is made from 6061 aluminum; same as the old design, but this is where nearly every similarity drops off. The frame now features an hour glass tapered, integrated headtube, complimented by a butted downtube and a taper-walled, Hydroformed top tube. An ovalized seat tube provides added support to the Euro bottom bracket shell, while boxed chainstays and ovalized seat stays lead back to forged, 3D dropouts, complete with integrated tensioners. The frame kit includes an IS2 headset, alloy seatpost and to suit your set up needs, both a hex head bolt for the seatpost clamp, as well as a quick release bolt.

THE BUILD
Felt wanted to build us a frame that was to the team rider’s spec, so no expense was spared. Our test bike featured Profile Racing’s new Elite cranks and Hubs, Along with TRP brakes, Tioga tires, Eleven forks and a mix of Felts own race products, including their new race bars and cam-locking stem. With high end, off the shelf parts, our 3.5-pound Pro XXL frame built up into a feathery 19-pound complete, which is very good for a $309 frame, built with affordable parts you could have in your mailbox tomorrow.



ON THE TRACK
Felt was very straightforward about the fact that they didn’t mess with the geometry, outside of the chainstay length, which is all right by us. The chainstays are 14.84-inches to the center of the dropout, which is a perfect match for the frames 21.5-inch top tube length. Seeing the tend moving towards longer chainstay lengths, Felt also left plenty of room in the dropouts to hit the 15.25” mark, just in case you prefer the SX style set up many of the Elites are moving towards. On the track the Sector provides instant speed and accelerates like many of the bikes we have ridden with much higher price tags. The frame feels much stiffer then the previous model, even with its sleeker lines, thanks to details like the flared seat tube at the bottom bracket, boxed chainstays, the unique overlap of the seat stays at the seat tube junction and the new Hydroformed top tube. The new top tube design not only allows for improved knee and leg clearance over the frame while riding, it also maximizes the tubes interface with the headtube and seat tube thanks to a form that allows for maximum interface at both ends of the tube, a feature that was never possible with round tubes. While we have felt stiffer frames out of the gate, the Sector was still no slouch. It was responsive and very quick thanks to its lightweight but large riders may find the first two cranks out of the gate a tiny bit soft. Once up to speed the Sector was insanely fun to ride. The balanced top tube to chainstay length felt just as home in the air as it did diving into deep rhythm, while its nimble geometry ate up tech sections of the track. In and out of turns the bike felt very solid, waving off any flex we were feeling with dead stop acceleration. The frame held its own and we must say, drew a lot of compliments during the course of our riding.

OUT OF POCKET
For minimal money out of pocket, the Felt Sector is rally amazing. As we stated earlier, the Sector’s price tag is in some cases hundreds of dollars less then the competition without any compromise in ride quality. The only real shortcoming we can find is that the frame isn’t heat treated, which accounts for a large portion of the price difference. For the average rider this will make no difference in ride quality. Heat treatment processes help frame designers save a little weight in materials and increase the strength of the frame slightly, but for the money saved its not a huge concern if you don’t anticipate this being the last frame you ever buy.

OVERALL IMPRESSION
We really dig the new Felt and feel it is a very worthy product to carry on the Sector name and Felt’s design theories of maintaining a perfect balance between price and performance. This is an ideal frame for amateur level riders in search of a pro level frame at a real world price, especially when you consider it comes with a headset, seatpost and clamp. Available in six sizes, from Pro all the way up to Pro 24”, it is a great aftermarket frame for a wide variety of riders and riding styles. The Hydroformed top tube really sets this frame off both visually and performance wise, adding to the overall stiffness and uninterrupted range of leg motion while riding. While it may lack some of the new features we are finding on a lot of other top of the line frames hitting the market like a tapered headtube or new oversized bottom bracket shell, we found this to be a great performing ride that is ready to put you and Felt Racing, back at the front of the pack.



HEAD TUBE: 74 degrees
SEAT TUBE: 70.5 degrees
TOP TUBE: 21.5” (Pro XXL tested)
CHAINSTAY: 14.84”
WEIGHT: 3.5lbs (frame only)
PRICE: $309

HITS
• Lightweight
• Responsive
• Looks great
• Great price point

MISSES
*    Chainstay length a little short

TAZMANIAN PARK PROBLEMS
CLICKING HEADSET, IN LAOS
AMERICAN OR MID BEARINGS
RIDER AREA VERSUS TOP TUBE LENGTH

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