Felt Ar5 or Giant Propel advanced 3?

by JackBuxton   May 16, 2014  

Asking on behalf of someone else, which one should they buy?

The Felt is unbelievably aero, and cheaper than the Propel. However, all reviews say the rear wheel flexes under power, meaning a new Wheelset would have to be bought as well. He would also like to go for a Power Meter (Probably stages) so the additional cost of a Wheelset and power meter makes the price a lot less lucrative.

The Propel doesn't seem to have any problems in the reviews i have read, with a great frame and great wheels, but it is priced at £1999, as opposed to the Ar5's £1799.

So, what do you guys think? personally i think he should go for the Propel.

Thanks in advance! Smile Smile Smile

9 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

The Felt. Giants wheels are in my experience not all that and I've had numerous spoke tension issues with them on both TCRs I've owned in the past. A friends Defy has also seen his wheels constantly go out of true and his rear hub packed up too. Ergo the stock wheels are going to need upgraded on either IMO. The Felt is by all accounts an ASTONISHINGLY good bike. The AR1 frame is on my shopping list.

The Giant is, well it's a Giant. The epitome of meh.

posted by ajmarshal1 [402 posts]
16th May 2014 - 14:17


I would probably take the AR5 because it is frankly incredible, however the Giant is just about my favourite looking modern bike so it would be quite a tough one from that perspective.

posted by TobiasStables [2 posts]
16th May 2014 - 21:59


I have an AR5 2014 and I'm really impressed with it. to be honest they're both pretty bikes but the felt edges it - hence my purchase choice. its true that the rear wheel flexes when really pushed (and was a bit annoying when i got out the seat), but one of the reasons i chose the felt is because of the more agreeable price, meaning i had more for a budget to buy wheels (Reynolds Strike). have done a century on it and felt fine. Seriously fast on the flats too!

jimhammer's picture

posted by jimhammer [7 posts]
18th May 2014 - 19:50


I've had the pleasure of owning 2 Felt bikes and all i can say is that they are most comfortable bikes i've ridden and the build quality is brilliant.

I like the Giant mind so its a tough decision but ultimately it has to be a Felt. If there is a Felt in stock at your LBS then go for it otherwise be careful as Saddleback are notoriously slow in getting bikes delivered and the summer could be over before it arrives.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3235 posts]
19th May 2014 - 8:53


I had a similar issue while choosing my upgrade, i went for propel simply because it indeed is the most aero bike with aero details looked up right to the T for instance aero brake calipers, Giants own PA-2 aero wheelsets. To me overall the bike looks slightly more proportionate compared to other aero options like AR5 or BMC time machine. Propel surely is more value for money as well

posted by PropelRider [1 posts]
6th June 2014 - 13:55


Ride both bikes and choose the one that fits you best. I did the same thing and ended up with the Felt AR4...didn't worry too much about the wheel flex as I was going to switch them out anyway. Bike rides like a dream!



rnarito's picture

posted by rnarito [55 posts]
6th June 2014 - 22:13


I am seriously considering a felt ar4 as my n+1.
I bought an f85 in the sales last year as my commute and after over 3000 miles I am very impressed with it. I just need something to tip me into the purchase - probably the sales again !

posted by arfa [650 posts]
7th June 2014 - 18:21


My partner has the Envie (Female Propel) and it is a fantastic bike, if i was in the market for a new bike and i had those choices i would go with the Propel no questions asked, i think it is very aero but also is extremely comfortable over long distances!

bikemadjo's picture

posted by bikemadjo [74 posts]
8th June 2014 - 14:59


Ok, I've tried both bikes as my LBS stocked them.

The giant and felt are great bikes both comfortable stiff and responsive.

I was really attracted to the look of the Felt when I first saw it in the shop and loved the way they had gone for the black and white (like the previous years AR4) but there where a couple of things that put me off.

Didn't like the rear brake position nor the brake release which is ugly as sin! Also I found the seat post a bit flimsy. Ride was good but with a bit of wheel flex out of the saddle.

They shop had only just built and put the propel out on display the day I went in to buy the AR5 so I thought I would give it a go before deffo going for the felt.

The Giant is lighter (Sub 8kg) at stock and to be honest I didn't like the orange colour on the frame when I first saw it. The frame looked really nice and under power the wheels did not flex as much as the felts I liked how the cables where routed etc and though the aesthetics of the bike just edged past that of the Felt.

So I bought the Giant...Is it worth the extra £200? That's the question. You do get a lifetime warranty with the frame against defects etc which is always a bonus, it has head turning looks(due to the orange no doubt which I really love now by the way Big Grin ) it's stiff, it's fast and it does what it says on the tin. Also Aero bike of the year (if you go offa the reviews that is).
So what's the bad points? The brakes are crap...fiddly to adjust to get the pads equidistant (takes an age to get them central) didn't inspire confidence,spongy..etc etc. I upgraded to a pair of Fourier BR-DX005 (these have gone up by another 50 euros!!) very expensive BUT amazing compared to the standard TRP!
The wheels though light are not the best but what set are at this price range they are round and aero and do the job.

I found the Giant a better ride overall but it's not perfect and if budget is an issue go for the Felt but know that the Giant has a better frame.

I have paired the bike with a set of Mavic Cosmic SLE with the Exalith braking surface, a carbon crankset and Elite stealth bottle cages.
It truly is thing of beauty, like a unicorn walking though a dew drenched sunlit forest,is as good going uphill as down and also slices through the wind like a knife through butter.

I love riding my Propel but I'm sure people like riding their AR5's just as much (even though the Giant is better Big Grin ) So get out on both bikes and make your choice from there!

posted by Slipperysquid [1 posts]
13th June 2014 - 22:47