Michael demo’ed the Felt Edict Nine 1 before I did and he wouldn’t quit bugging me about it until I rode it too. Oh man, what an awesome bike! For both of us the Felt was the hands down favorite of everything we rode.
The Edict Nine is Felt’s signature 29er full suspension racing bike. As such, it is incredibly fast on pretty much any XC trail.
Felt has employed some dark magic here that results in this bike not feeling like a 29er at all. It handles like a 26er in tight stuff, but still rolls over drops and ledges like a true 29er. The 2×10 XT powertrain accelerates smartly and the 4″ Fox front and rear suspension are as smooth as silk. XT disc brakes with Ice Tech rotors round out the going and stopping bits.
Our test units did not have the wheels and tires listed on the Felt spec sheet. I don’t recall the wheels but the tires were WTB Bronsons and they were excellent in both rolling resistance and cornering traction.
I had not looked up the specs on the bike before riding it, so I was surprised when I noticed the fairly steep 71.5° head angle. This bike definitely descends like it has a slacker angle. When I mentioned it to the Felt rep he said that with Fox releasing a fork with a 46mm offset, it allowed them to “do some interesting things with the fork trail.” I’ll say! This was the smoothest and best handling bike I rode the whole weekend, and it devoured all the technical stuff with ease, up and down.
I was able to ride about 30-40% faster (not exaggerating!) than on other bikes I demo’ed over the same section of trail. I intentionally pushed it well beyond my comfort zone, and the Edict Nine held its own through everything I threw at it.
Now for the bad part: as tested this bike retails for $6,100. That’s $100 more than I paid for my 2003 Volvo V40 that got us to Moab and back …
Fortunately, Felt also offers a model with the same carbon frame and SRAM/Rockshox/Avid component group for $3,600. Even further down they scale, they also have two aluminum frame models that start at about $2,000. But given the different frame materials these bikes may or may not ride as well as their carbon brethren.
Bottom line: With 29ers like this, who needs a 650b! And yes, I would trade my current Anthem X 29er (and a kidney) for this bike.