By Vernon Felton
A few weeks back, Kevin Rouse ran a post from Felt's 2013 product launch. That report focused on Felt's return to the all-mountain market with its 2013 Compulsion LT line (see image above). It's a model and a market that we're happy to see Felt return to.
The lightweight, six-inch travel market has languished a bit during the past two years, due to the explosion of 29ers and the continued viability of five-inch travel bikes. That said, there's something beautiful about a sub 30-pound rig that you can ride (with care) at a bike park one day and on a all-day XC grinder the next. Thus, I've scribbled a few more words about the Compulsion below. We'd be remiss, however, if we didn't talk about some of the other "new and improved" Felt models that will be hitting bike shops in the near future.
Felt unveiled the Edict Nine at Sea Otter, so chances are you've glimpsed this before (if not, check out our coverage of the Edict LTD from Sea Otter), but since this is a bike that makes sense to a huge chunk of riders, I thought we should toss a bit more ink at it.
There'll be five Edict Nine models in 2013--from the high-end ($9,300), carbon fiber-framed, XTR and Fox-clad "LTD" version to the base-level ($2,070) Edict Nine 60 model, which sports an aluminum front triangle coupled with a carbon rear end, on which Felt is hanging a more wallet-friendly component mix that includes SRAM X5 drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.
Though frame materials and components vary the basic recipe it standard on all Edict Nine models: four inches of travel front and rear and a fairly steep and "racey" geometry (that's a 71.5 degree head tube, for instance).
Compulsion to Go Bigger
For 2013 Felt's bringing back their all-mountain Compulsion line (which was was MIA in 2012). In a nutshell, you're looking at 150 or 160-millimeters (it's adjustable, and if millimeter-ese still confuses you, just think "six inches") of rear suspension. The Compulsion LT features a carbon front triangle mated to aluminum stays, 67.5-degree head tube angle (which is slacker than what was featured on Compulsion LT models a few years ago), The linkage and mounting hardware have changed as well, with an aim towards improving stiffness and strength.
All three Compulsion LT models utilize Felt's unique Equilink suspension system, which Felt claims "equals out all negative influences from pedaling and braking."
That's a stiff claim to make--particularly when you're talking about a six-inch travel bike. We'll see.