IRVINE, CA (BRAIN) — Felt Bicycles showed off its 2014 mountain bike line to a group of editors and a handful of retailers at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California, this week. Felt invested heavily in its mountain bike line for 2014, with a goal of growing its presence in the off-road market.
Big wheels are the biggest standout in Felt’s mountain lineup for 2014, with 29ers making up the majority of its offerings — but some 26-inch wheels can still be found at the upper end of the travel spectrum in the Compulsion Series.
Felt brings the middle wheel size option only to its Seven Series, with two entry-level aluminum hardtail models sporting 650b wheels.
The real attention-getter in the 2014 line is the redesigned Virtue Series, featuring longer travel, do-it-all 29ers that replace the brand’s 26-inch Virtue line. Five models will be available, including two in carbon.
The Virtue Nine Series’ 130 millimeters of rear travel is built around Felt’s newly overhauled Equilink suspension platform, which features beefed-up aluminum linkage axles and larger-diameter bearings. All models in the Virtue Nine line come equipped with a 140-millimeter fork and have a 69-degree head angle and 450 millimeter chainstays.
The carbon Virtue Nine 1 employs Felt’s FAST (Felt Active Stay Technology) technology, with seatstays that are designed to flex with the movement of the rear wheel so that an additional pivot in the rear triangle is not necessary (as it is in aluminum models). Felt claims that the top-model carbon Virtue Nine 1 frame, including shock, weighs just five pounds.
The Virtue Nine 1 is also spec'd with a SRAM XO1 1x11 drivetrain and a Reverb Stealth dropper post. All cables are routed internally except for the rear brake. The complete Virtue Nine 1 will retail for $6,199.
Mountain bike product manager Scott Sharples told editors that improvements were made to component spec for 2014, emphasizing that riders won’t feel the need to upgrade components. “Our bikes are ready to roll, out of the box,” said Sharples.