wanna ask views from those who ride Felt AR4 2009. How is the ride on the bike? and what are the upgrades recommended?
never ridden one but looks lush
Hi, Ive got one (and reviewed it http://road.cc/content/review/7883-felt-ar4). It rides very nicely, smooth especially above 30-35kph and it handles twisty flat roads with ease.
I have upgraded the bars (because the heavy so-called aero ones were too wide and with a big lump of a rider behind them I felt that a nice set of ITM volo carbons would suit me fine). I have also played about with a variety of wheels, not to say that the ar wheels that come with them arent good but trying other wheels does change the character of the bike. I think my personal preference is a shallow (only slightly aero) front rim line a zipp 303 combined with a deep rear like a zipp 808 or sram s80. You still get the benefits of lightweight, carbon shinyness but while making the aero package of the bike work well.
And yes SPAM Naval...they do look lush!
As Jon said, on the whole they are a very good bike with a well rounded finishing kit. The choice of bars may not be to everyones taste but aren't too bad. I've ridden the AR2 and AR1 and they are a very planted bike which feels very stiff and stable underfoot. I've got a Felt F-series and the AR didn't feel as lively as that, but that wasn't a bad thing. They descend and corner brilliantly and you can feel that all of the power is going to the wheels when out of the saddle, either when climbing or sprinting. I can't honestly say that I've ever ridden one with the standard wheels on, only a variety of Zipp's but I have used the standard wheels on a Felt TT bike and they are certainly good enough for most uses, they aren't exceptionally heavy and spin smoothly.
As far as upgrades go, I would only really change the finishing kit if it does not fit you perfectly, a lightweight Ritchey bar and stem will lighten the front end you can buy the right size for you. Other than that its only really the saddle and wheels that may be next on the list. From purely an aesthetic point of view, you could change the shifters to the new style shimano ones, or the sram shifters as the bike looks a lot better with the cables under the bar tape and then just going straight into the frame