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Felt’s Magic Number is Four

Published July 27, 2010

IRVINE, CA (BRAIN)—Felt Bicycles held its press launch yesterday at its company headquarters in Irvine, California, touting several new platforms—four to be exact.

Among the new 2011 product included the 4-inch travel (100 millimeter) carbon fiber Edict—the company’s first true foray into the XC race category, according to John Georger, national sales manager for Felt Bicycles.

The top of the line Edict LTD features a UHC Ultimate + Nano carbon fiber frame and comes spec’d with a SRAM XX drivetrain and RockShox SID XX World Cup 100-millimeter fork. It retails for $8,999. The Edict Pro with a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain retails for $5,499. Both models will also be sold just as frame kits.

“Prior to that our shortest travel bike was the Virtue at 130 millimeters,” said Doug Martin, marketing director for Felt Bicycles. “It’s a full-blown cross-country race bike.”

For those looking for more of an all-mountain offering the 2011 Virtue—with 5 inches of travel—will surely do the trick. The high-end Virtue Team features a carbon fiber frame and comes spec’d with a SRAM X-O drivetrain and RockShox SID RLT fork. It comes in three other models as a complete with the lowest price point being the Virtue Sport at $1,999.

Speaking of price points, Georger said Felt wanted to offer more competitive pricing with its Nine hardtails. For the first time the company is offering two models that come in under four digits at $899 and $599 respectively.

Outside of the mountain bike line, Felt’s F1 flagship road bike saw a serious update as well. According to road product manager Dave Kousel, using a 1k carbon fiber weave instead of a 3k dropped the weight to 800 grams on a 56-centimeter frame. “Much stiffer and lighter than the old frame,” Kousel added.

To take it down to 800 grams, however, entailed a huge investment in tooling. That’s why the F1 will sell for $12,499, but will come spec’d with Shimano Dura-Ace di2 for seamless electronic shifting.

Felt also overhauled its DA tri bike, which will also come spec’d with di2.

“It’s really exciting to have this much launching all in one model year,” Martin said. “A company’s usually going to launch one or two, but this is four all new platforms.”

For more on Felt’s launch including commentary from owner Jim Felt, be sure to read the September issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

(PHOTO: Owner Jim Felt welcomes the media to the company’s Irvine headquarters yesterday).

—Jason Norman

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