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Flet Ar5 and Kuota Kharma

DarkmereDarkmere Posts: 32
edited October 2010 in Road buying advice
I think ive narrowed down my Bike to these two.

Im hopefully going to be able to test ride the Felt when they come out on Halloween but the nearest place for me for Kuota is 2hrs or more away so will be hard to get down.

Is the AR frame a lot better then the Kuota?
The AR is 2k but I can get the Kuota with Reynolds Assault wheels for £200 more.
If the frames are close to each other the Kuota would be better for the wheelset.
Then again Im not clued up on all this hence me asking :}

Id be doing 1hr to 2hr speed runs on mixed terrain

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/fel ... e-ec024394

http://www.epic-cycles.co.uk/Kuota_Kharma.html

Cheers

Posts

  • I have a 2005 Karma.

    The Karma is a good all round frame, plush comfortable ride, responsive, ok going up hills. They tick all the boxes and would be the best for riding that doesn't involve racing, and includes longer rides over rough roads.

    The AR is an aero frame. Never ridden one but had an aluminium soloist frame. Think you will find it is very different from the Karma - it will be very responsive and stiff, maybe too stiff for some.
  • you can get the 2010 AR4 for £250 cheaper than the AR5 from Merlin at the moment; better spec, less money;

    http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Bike+Shop/Bikes/Road+Bikes/Felt+Bikes/Felt+AR4+Road+Bike_FELT-AR4.htm
    CUBE Agree GTC Pro '10
    Giant Defy 2 '09
  • I've got a 2011 Kharma Race you can see here

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12730713

    Why Fat Head thinks a Kharma wouldn't be suitable for racing is beyond me. Its plenty stiff and light enough for racing as well as having a comfortable ride. The Kharma now also has aero features to the frame and I was told by Epic that its very popular with triathletes which kind of supports its aero credentials.

    I can confirm that in the flesh the Kharma with the Reynolds Assault wheels looks like the absolute dog danglies.

    Have a word with Epic because although they don't stock Felts I think the staff there may have some experience with the AR series and might be able to tell you what the ride is like- I seem to recall reading somewhere its a bit stiff and buzzy
  • Cheers for the replies!!

    Cheers Thinbo ive seen them and was tempted but feel im best getting it from a shop then Online as need to get the fitting right E.S.P with the amout of mony im going to spend.

    Just wish Epic wasnt so far away. I think my best bet is to give tham a call and see what they say and nip to Evan's in Manchester to ride the Felt. I know if I drive down to Epic I want to come home with a bike as I doint want to travel 2 hrs for nothing :}

    I think it's a stiff bike im looking for as I want the power to transfer nice and fast

    I doint intend really to upgrade unless somthing goes wrong so want to get it right first time

    Cheers again
  • twotyred wrote:
    Why Fat Head thinks a Kharma wouldn't be suitable for racing is beyond me.

    I didn't say that. Why you would think I did is beyond me :D
  • The Karma is a good all round frame, plush comfortable ride, responsive, ok going up hills. They tick all the boxes and would be the best for riding that doesn't involve racing

    Can't think why!
  • Darkemere if you are Manchester based there are Kuota dealers nearer to you than Epic. Have a look here

    http://www.dhwagencies.com/regionmap.htm#northwest
  • Yer ive look at them. The sites have iver gone , under construction or doint look good at all which does'nt fill me with confidence.

    Ill try the 80 mile journey and hopefully get a bike and a decent fit as Epic seem good and get good reviews online. Its just getting the time to sort it :}

    Actually I might just stretch an extra £300 and look at the Kebel with the Spinergy Stealth wheels. Hhmmm but thats where my budget definitely stops!!
  • If you are interested in the Kebel I was advised by Epic that the Kebel is an out and out race bike with a much harsher ride that the Kharma. Best make sure you have a test ride of both.
  • After 3 months and a few hundred miles on the Kharma on fast sportive rides of around 100 miles I'd drive 2 hours to buy another one should anything happen to the one I have.
    Fantastic bike, probably helped by the handbuilt rims and hope hubs the frameset runs on.

    I also considered an AR4 but was put off that it wouldn't be as good an all rounder as the Kharma.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Is the Felt AR5 with electronic shifting going to be called the Felt AR5E?

    I hope so.
  • I intend to bore them with loads of Questions , Test Ride and go with what feels best. Takeing all the advice on board.
    Just hope Ill decide as im a censored shopper :}
  • Come back and let us know which way you went in the end.
  • Im booked in at Epic on the 18th. Ill be testing the Karma and Kebel and will look at anything they might recommend.

    Oh my poor bank balance ;}
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    The Kharma is a great bike, I've had one for a couple of years now, but at £1525 it's not a great buy IMO. If its the same as my 2006/2007 model then its no lightweight and personally I wouldn't pay over £1500 for a bike with Shimano 105.

    I've just upgraded to a Planet X Nanolight. It cost about the same (with the standard Model B wheels), but has a much better (and lighter) groupset. The price has gone up £200 since I bought it, but its still a better buy than a Kharma IMO.

    Of course the P-X isn't hip and Italian though :wink:
    More problems but still living....
  • glasgowbhoyglasgowbhoy Posts: 1,341
    amaferanga wrote:
    The Kharma is a great bike, I've had one for a couple of years now, but at £1525 it's not a great buy IMO. If its the same as my 2006/2007 model then its no lightweight and personally I wouldn't pay over £1500 for a bike with Shimano 105.

    The price has gone up £200 since I bought it, but its still a better buy than a Kharma IMO.

    Of course the P-X isn't hip and Italian though :wink:

    Think the 2010 and 2011 models used different carbon weave from the earlier models and my Kharma came with Ultegra although you can specify what you want inc SRAM.
    The stock wheels are censored , but so are almost all the stock wheels on bikes and upgrading them to handbuilts with good hubs make the bike so much better.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    So your small Planet X is a couple of pounds lighter than my large Kharma

    As you've said the PX is now £1700 so costs practically the same as a Kharma with full Ultegra whilst only the shifters and mechs on the PX are SRAM Red.

    Plus the Reynolds Shadow wheels on the Kharma are much better than the Fulcrum Racing 7 that come as standard on the PX.

    Also the PX can't take 25mm tyres which is what I use and unless you live next to Rotheram you can't get a test ride on a PX.

    To me the PX isn't looking like such a bargain
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    twotyred wrote:
    So your small Planet X is a couple of pounds lighter than my large Kharma

    As you've said the PX is now £1700 so costs practically the same as a Kharma with full Ultegra whilst only the shifters and mechs on the PX are SRAM Red.

    Plus the Reynolds Shadow wheels on the Kharma are much better than the Fulcrum Racing 7 that come as standard on the PX.

    Also the PX can't take 25mm tyres which is what I use and unless you live next to Rotheram you can't get a test ride on a PX.

    To me the PX isn't looking like such a bargain

    SRAM Red is way ahead of Ultegra though. The CNC brakes are great as well. The basic Nanolight build is only let down by the crankset, bars/stem and the wheels, but if you're happy with a 175mm standard double then its only about £35 to upgrade. I upgraded to carbon cranks, carbon bars and CNC stem for less than £100 more. And mine came with Model B's which are going to be my winter wheels so I wasn't really bothered there. Are the Reynolds Shadow much/any better anyway though? They're pretty lardy at 1800g and I haven't seen any reviews for them.

    The P-X may not be a bargain at full RRP, but then neither is the Kuota. Don't get me wrong though - I'm definitely not saying its a bad bike.
    More problems but still living....
  • glasgowbhoyglasgowbhoy Posts: 1,341
    amaferanga wrote:
    twotyred wrote:
    So your small Planet X is a couple of pounds lighter than my large Kharma

    As you've said the PX is now £1700 so costs practically the same as a Kharma with full Ultegra whilst only the shifters and mechs on the PX are SRAM Red.

    Plus the Reynolds Shadow wheels on the Kharma are much better than the Fulcrum Racing 7 that come as standard on the PX.

    Also the PX can't take 25mm tyres which is what I use and unless you live next to Rotheram you can't get a test ride on a PX.

    To me the PX isn't looking like such a bargain

    SRAM Red is way ahead of Ultegra though. The CNC brakes are great as well. The basic Nanolight build is only let down by the crankset, bars/stem and the wheels, but if you're happy with a 175mm standard double then its only about £35 to upgrade. I upgraded to carbon cranks, carbon bars and CNC stem for less than £100 more. And mine came with Model B's which are going to be my winter wheels so I wasn't really bothered there. Are the Reynolds Shadow much/any better anyway though? They're pretty lardy at 1800g and I haven't seen any reviews for them.

    The P-X may not be a bargain at full RRP, but then neither is the Kuota. Don't get me wrong though - I'm definitely not saying its a bad bike.

    Based on the above you're splitting hairs and the only real performance gains will be based on the riders ability. Both good bikes but I'd still rather have a Kuota than a Planet X
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    Are the Reynolds Shadow much/any better anyway though? They're pretty lardy at 1800g and I haven't seen any reviews for them

    Well here they suggest 1540g.

    http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bikes/show/100151079-reynolds-reynolds-shadow-aero-wheelset

    I suppose I could take the tyres and cassette off mine and weigh them but I can't really be bothered.

    Like GB says, in the real world there's not much difference between the bikes performance wise and any meaningful difference will be down to personal preferences like fit and ride feel.

    Also I'll admit I prefer the look of the "hip and Italian" Kuota to the PX.
  • Well I went down on Monday and took the Kharma and Kebel for a spin. Took the Kharma out first then the Kebel. I really liked both bikes and couldnt really tell much differance between the two apart from I felt a bit more comfortable on the Kebel.

    In the end I went with the Kebel in White/Red with,
    Mavic ksyrium elite wheels
    Sram Force Goup

    I didnt like the 105 or Ultegra Set that was on the Test bikes and I didnt notice any differance between the two.

    Epic were Great and put up well with all my lame clueless questions I was putting to them so a big thumbs up to the place. Im glad a traveled all the way down there.

    I wont get the bike for a few weeks as they needed to order in the Force Group Set but its a happy wait :}
  • Epic have a great range of Kuotas to see and test ride. They're really helpful and really clued up.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    Nice one Darkmere. Kebel was out of my price range but glad to know there's not much difference with the Kharma. When I was there Epic had a black and white Kebel with spinergy wheels on the wall which looked looked great. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

    People travel from London to Epic the service really is that good.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,162
    I have the Kharma. I am surprised you say you didn't notice much difference between the kebel and the kharma (not that you are wrong) - For me the Kharma excels in comfort - not stiffness - but I am comparing it to my old die hard racer Pinarello. I would have gone for the Kebel for the extra stiffness - but the year I was buying they did pretty censored colour schemes for the Kebel.

    Make sure you budget for some top notch tyres on your Kebel - as MPR3'S really brought my kuota to life
  • glasgowbhoyglasgowbhoy Posts: 1,341
    Just a pity the roads and the weather are in the mucky, wet and miserable late autumn season.

    My Kuota is back in it's glass box till the spring :(
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    Just having a look on their web site now. The 2011 versions of the Kharma and the Kebel look great. They also have a different model I've not seen before named the Kult. Does anyone know anything about it?
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,162
    The Kult was introduced last year (2010 - but you know what I mean - we are now are 2011 bikes). ,.....And your right the Kult looks a cracker.....from memory it comes in at a much higher price that Kharma\Kebel though.
  • TMRTMR Posts: 3,986
    kingrollo wrote:
    The Kult was introduced last year (2010 - but you know what I mean - we are now are 2011 bikes). ,.....And your right the Kult looks a cracker.....from memory it comes in at a much higher price that Kharma\Kebel though.

    Where does it fit in terms of use? The Kebel is the race frame, the Kharma is the relaxed, Sportive frame. What niche does the Kult slot into?
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,162
    I reckon it would be race - sort of a kebel on steriods - ask Kouta for geometrey spec - and you can decide for yourself.
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