announced their 2014 mountain bike line at their headquarters in Irvine today. Bikes with 29-inch wheels make up the bulk of the offerings with 27.5-inch wheels being offered on two models in the new Seven Series line. You have to look all the way to the long-travel Compulsion Series until you find a 26-inch wheel. Here is a sampling of the bikes we were able to rip out of the Felt crew's hands and shoot against their loading dock.
Some of the Felt Crew (from left) Nick Ducharme, Eddie McDonald and Scott Sharples take members of the cycling media through the changes and additions of the Felt 2014 line-up.
The cross-country race Edict Nine line was Felt's mountain biking breakout in terms of sales in 2013. With upgrades like 142x12 rear axle, post mount rear brake and a direct mount front derailleur (check out how close they can tuck it in to the chainstay now), it will remain a popular bike as it jumps up to a new level of performance. This Edict Nine3 is the entry-level carbon fiber framed option (Felt has two aluminum versions in the Edict Nine line). The top dog Edict NineFRD (Felt Racing Development) uses Felt's highest grade carbon fiber and carbon fiber molding technique that is claimed to shave weight and provide a big jump in lateral rigidity. All offer 3.9 inches of rear wheel travel. The Edicts use Felt's FAST feature (Felt Active Stay Technology), a one-piece
carbon fiber chain and seat stay (can we call it a swingarm?) that is
engineered to flex enough to eliminate the need for a rear pivot.
While early "flex stays" from other brands were almost impossible to
tune, we have had great results with FAST. And unlike many brands that label their cross-country bikes for racing only, Felt encourages the use of their Edicts for riders who might not race but are looking for a high-performance trailbike. Prices for all the bikes are listed below.
We were drawn to this aluminum framed Virture Nine20. It wasn't just the gold treatment. Aluminum makes sense for 5.1-inch trailbikes. Ride them hard and put them away wet. Felt's Equilink rear suspension gets dual-row cartridge bearings and larger diameter aluminum hardware to deliver increased lateral rigidity.
The Virtue Nine1 asks the question: Do you want to cross-country race me, enduro me or use me as your do-it all trailbike? You don't have to pick, because this bike can handle all of the above. The internally routed cables use interrupted housing, a big plus if you like super crisp shifting performance. The RockShox Stealth Reverb dropper seatpost is a sweet touch. Mountain bike product manager Scott Sharples explained that Felt wants their bikes ready to roll without forcing the riders to upgrade components. Note that this frame has carbon flex stays, similar to the FAST rear suspension platform.
The 7Sixty is one of only two 27.5-inch wheeled bikes offered for now (both aluminum hardtails). Although nothing official was announced, the Felt crew made it clear they are seriously considering a switch to 27.5 wheels for other models, but they do not expect their customers to be test riders. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon, expect a bike designed to optimize the 27.5 wheels.
Felt would probably like you drooling over their $4499 Nine1 carbon 29er hardtail, but this $1499 Nine50, with its WTB Prowler SL brown-wall tires and RockShox XC32 Solo Air fork just look like too much fun to pass over.
Jim Felt (left) and Bill Duehring are the heart and soul of Felt Bicycles (which is the heart and which is the soul is up for debate). While Felt Bicycles have a strong reputation on the road (winning four stages in the Tour de France this year) and at triathlons, the acceptance of the Edict line may finally turn the tables and get the dirty products the recognition they deserve.
The suggested retail reflects the price that Felt Bicycles suggests their shops to sell their bikes for. This number is not carved in stone. Use this price as a general average of what the bikes sell for. Some popular models (like the record-breaking Edicts) may be hard to find at any price while shops may be willing to deal on some other models.
NINE SERIES...Suggested Retail
Nine 1 $4,499
Nine 3 $2,699
Nine 5 $1,999
Nine 50 $1,499
Nine 60 $1,049
Nine 70 $699
Nine 80 $599
Frame Kit Nine FRD $2,999
Frame Kit Nine C $1,499
EDICT NINE SERIES...Suggested Retail
Edict Nine FRD $8,999
Edict Nine 1 $5,499
Edict Nine 3 $3,599
Edict Nine 50 $2,799
Edict Nine 60 $2,099
Frame Kit Edict Nine FRD $3,999
VIRTUE NINE SERIES...Suggested Retail
Virtue Nine 1 $6,199
Virtue Nine 3 $4,149
Virtue Nine 20 $3,799
Virtue Nine 50 $2,799
Virtue Nine 60 $2,199
Frame Kit Virtue Nine 1 $3,499
COMPULSION SERIES...Suggested Retail
Compulsion LT 3 $3,999
Compulsion LT 50 $2,999
7 SERIES...Suggested Retail
7 Sixty $1,049
7 Eighty $599