By Kevin Rouse
Felt Edict Nine – $9,800-9,900
Felt introduced the all-new Edict in 2011 to some pretty positive reviews. It featured one of the lightest frames in its class and an innovative, updated suspension design--Felt Active Stay Technology (F.A.S.T.). Two years later, Felt has migrated the formula over to 29-inch hoops. Dubbed the Edict Nine, we caught our first glimpse of it back in April at the Sea Otter Classic. And, to our eyes, it looks to be an extremely capable no-nonsense race platform for riders seeking some serious, all-out performance.
Felt’s ControlTaper front-end features prominently on the Edict Nine and tapers from 1.125 to 1.5 inches. It also provides plenty of real estate for a massive junction with the head and downtubes.
Seeking to replicate exactly the agile feel of the quick-footed 26-inch Edict, a few tweaks to the frame were necessary beyond just enlarging it to engulf a pair 29-inch wheels. These included a curved seat tube--which was necessary to position the bottom bracket to allow for maximum stability and to maintain a low center of gravity--and redesigned, asymmetric 17.7-inch chainstays for increased tire clearance. A slightly steeper headtube angle (71.5-degrees) also helps keep the handling as quick as the Nine’s smaller-wheeled sibling.
Felt’s F.A.S.T. XC-specific suspension design is race-tuned, featuring 100 millimeters of pedal-friendly travel. Notice the lack of a rear pivot--Felt engineered flex points (which are tuned to flex evenly throughout the bike’s travel) into the chainstays, eliminating the need for the pivot (and extra weight) entirely.
Introduced in 2011 on the 26-inch Edict, F.A.S.T. is essentially a single-pivot design. F.A.S.T. 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, increasing efficiency. It’s also considerably lighter than their Equilink suspension design, thanks in part to the fact that it has one less pivot.
The top-of-the-line Edict Nine LTD features Felt’s UHC Ultimate carbon construction which features an optimized layup and NanoTech resin, which increases the bond strength between the individual carbon fibers, allowing for thinner tube shapes while increasing stiffness. Felt also produces the Edict Nine in their second-tier UHC Advanced carbon, and a Carbon/Aluminum combo frame which features an aluminum front triangle and, starting at $2,299, a much more attainable price tag than that of the LTD.
The top-end Edict Nine LTD features, in addition to a top-notch component spec and Felt’s finest carbon, titanium hardware and pivot axles as well as Titanium-nitride coated pivots for reduced weight and improved suspension performance.
Look for the Edict Nine LTD to become available in August.