By: Kevin Rouse
Photos: Ryan LaBar
For 2011, Felt has hit the ground running with a re-vamped lineup that includes more than a few highlights. Felt introduced several new carbon flagships for 2011, most notably the new 2011 Edict, a full suspension cross-country bike. Also new are full carbon versions of the five-inch travel Virtue, and a full lineup of hardtail 29ers that start at a very reasonable 600-dollar price point.
Felt brings a strong entry to the flyweight full suspension category with the four-inch travel Edict. Weighing in at a paltry 4.4 pounds with shock, the frame is one of the lightest in the category to date. The Edict marks a departure from Felt's five-bar Equilink suspension design; instead it utilizes their new, lighter Felt Active Suspension Technology (FAST). Essentially a single-pivot design, FAST incorporates flex into the seatstays in order to eliminate the need for a rear pivot located at the dropouts. Felt has engineered the stays so that as the bike goes through its travel, they are attenuated to keep the bike at its sag in order to increase efficiency. The top-end SRAM XX-equipped Edict LTD commands an $8999 price tag and tips the scales at 21.1 pounds. The XT equipped Edict Pro retails for $5999 price tag and weighs in at 23.5 pounds.
Also new for 2011, is a full carbon Virtue, Felt's five-inch travel do-anything bike. As with the Edict, the Virtue features Felt's Dynamic Monocoque Construction, allowing for a frame weight of 5.5 pounds with shock. Complementing the full carbon Virtue LTD is the Virtue Expert, which features an aluminum front triangle and a carbon rear triangle, and the all-alloy Virtue Trail. Aluminum Virtue models have been heavily re-worked for 2011, sporting a new hydroformed construction. An interesting new feature for all models is a one-bolt rear-travel adjust, which allows the rider to choose between 120 and 130 millimeters of rear travel. Each Virtue models comes equipped with a 120-millimeter fork, making for a headtube angle of 69 degrees (headtube angle changes to 68.5 degrees with a 130-millimeter fork). All of Felt's full suspension models will feature a 1 1/8" to 1 1/2′ tapered headtubes for 2011.
Felt is rolling out a full range of 29er hardtails for 2011. At just $600 (complete) the Nine Trail features a 4.1-pound frame and the same geometry of Felt's race-oriented Nine LTD carbon hardtail. The Nine LTD features a feathery 2.4-pound frame and retails for $2299 (for frame only).