Felt Virtue 1 XC Full Suspension

4.57/5 (7 Reviews)

Product Description

SIZES (in)
S (15.5) / M (17.5) / L (19.5) / XL (21.5)

Matte Black

25.68 lbs.

Virtue Lightweight Endurance Full Suspension Featuring Equilink, 130mm Travel, 7000 Series DB Aluminum w/Hydroform TT, Carbon Fiber Sub-Frame, Fully Integrated Head Tube

Fox Talas RLC, 140/120/100mm Travel Adjust, Air Spring, FIT Damping, Rebound & Comp. Adjust, Push Button Lockout; Fox Float RP23 Air, Pro Pedal 3-Position Lever, Rebound Adjust

Shimano XTR RD, FD, Crankset, Rapid Fire Shifters, Cassette, Dura-Ace Chain

Mavic CrossMax SL Disc Wheelset

Avid Juicy Ultimate Carbon Disc Brakes 180mm FT/160mm RR Rotors, Selle Italia SLR Ti Saddle, Easton Monkeylite Carbon Bar, Easton EA 70 Stem & Seatpost, Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 UST Kevlar Tires, 7075/Scandium/Titanium Seatclamp

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Reviews 1 - 7 (7 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Randy Gaebler a Cross Country Rider from Colorado Springs

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2008

Strengths:    *Stable handling in all phases of the ride.
*Fantastic efficiency!(why you should buy it!)
*Rides well with or without platform shock operative, contrary to some reviews out there. Plenty plush for aggresive XC use.

Weaknesses:    *Need to disasemble the frame and put Locktite blue on all 8bolts in the suspension. I did this first, before building the bike, and have had no trouble.
*Not the most nimble (twitchy) steering feel out there, but it is stable for the long haul.
*Doesn't use all the travel in back, but again, it is at the top for efficiency. There are tradeoffs in every design.

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding a Virtue one for nearly a year, having built a frame with parts from my old bike. I run a Minute One up front, with Easton XC one wheels and a slight riser handlebar. Overall, the bike weighs about 26.5 pounds, but the wheels are under 1600 grams, so she's fast on the trail. And that is the main reason to buy this design: every one of my friends who have ridden it notice the same thing I did. The Virtue just wants to go forward, as though every bit of pedal energy winds up on the rear wheel. Not only does it handle well, despite a long-ish wheelbase, it climbs exceedingly well and descends spot-on. I have been clocking record times on my usual rides aboard the Virtue.
I wanted a bike with a bit more travel than the old XC standard 100mm, yet I did not want what is called a trail bike nowadays, because they usually sacrifice efficiency on the altar of plushness. I set the RP23 on its first level of platform, never more, and the bike really flies, yet it has enough give to stay seated most of the time, easily staying in traction while climbing rocks and roots. Downhill, I use no platform unless I forget to take it out, which shows how sweet the ride is overall: you forget your settings and just ride fast. If you set this bike up in full platform, you could ride it like a singlespeed uphill, using big gears and muscles. It would have just enough give to barely absorb rocks and roots. Either way, this bike climbs like no other, seated or standing. Set up right, you can sit on most things that would have made you stand. That leads to further efficiency.
If you want a bike for long XC hauls and even endurance racing, the Virtue is the ticket. Just Locktite those bolts!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Depends on the month

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1095.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   All kinds of FS bikes tested over the years and out at demo days.

Bike Setup:   See below

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by B_Middy a Cross Country Rider from Salt Lake City, UT

Date Reviewed: September 7, 2008

Strengths:    Relatively light, nimble, equilink.

Weaknesses:    Suspension linkage bolt 'unthreaded' itself & came out during rides. Rear suspension doens't feel like 5" travel. MSRP is gaudy. 2 year warranty worries me.

Bottom Line:   
I may not be the best reviewer, as this is my first FS. I've tried my buddies Enduro, and I'll try to use it comparitavely.

Generally I'll say that I really like this bike. First and foremost, the bike is very responsive. In comparison to the Enduro, I feel like I can carve more easily, and am in greater control of the bike.

Second, is the equilink feature. I do believe that it sets out to do what it claims via engineering. I feel as if most of my energy is being transfered to the drivetrain and have limited pedal bob while in the saddle. As noted by another reviewer...out of the saddle is another story, but I'm only out of the saddle hammering about 10-15% of the time max. The bikes relative light weight and this feature have helped me keep up with my buddies who ride heavier bikes but are in much better shape. So if you're worried about wasted energy on your rides, this may be the bike for you.

Now the cons...

First, I experienced the same pivot bolt issue that was mentioned in another few reviews throughout the Virtue's reviews. I would have to check it every so often and tighten on rides, typically while riding uphill. Very annoying. It's possible the cadence & the force of the equilink were causing this. My LBS took care of it by flipping the bolt & haven't had any problems since...but in my opinion, that's poor design on Felt's part to not catch that before production.

Second, from what I can tell, it sure doesn't feel like the bike is taking advantage of the claimed 5" of rear travel. My friends Enduro was definately more plush. This might be related to my 3rd point...

Third, My center of gravity on this bike always seems to be shifted forward more than I would like. I often feel like I may pitch over the handlebars unless I'm hanging well over the rear tire. I'd like to know if anyone else riding the Virtue design is experiencing this.

Finally, what's with the 2 year warranty? Makes me think that Felt isn't confident in their design or materials and I may be sitting on a lemon in a year or two.

So that's me nitpicking the bike. I got a great deal on it for a full XTR group & great wheels. As I said earlier, I do like the bike a lot. There aren't many bikes out there I'd trade mine for...but...If I had to pay full price for it ($6500), I think I'd be more inclined to go with the 09 Specialized Epic (Weighs 21 lbs, from what I've read). I don't think I'd even notice the missing inch of travel (I'm envious of that bike). I'm guessing my bike weighs 28 lbs.

...again, if 'efficency' is your main concern, this bike gets it done.

Oh, and it looks sweet...if that's your thing.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mormon Pioneer

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Bikers Edge

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Enduro '07

Bike Setup:   Stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Iwan Kemp a Weekend Warrior from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2008

Strengths:    Pedalling Platform
OEM Spec

Weaknesses:    If used for what it was designed for, nothing.

Bottom Line:   
This a review of the Virtue Suspension design and not this specific model.
The Equilink is the first suspension design that I've encountered that does exactly what it's supposed to without any fuss or drama. It simply does the job and get on with it. The Equilink works so well that one can afford to run the shock a little softer or, for that matter, exactly where you want to, without it influencing the bike's pedalling. I like a fairly plush bike coming down, but like it hard on my way up. The Equilink can be tuned to be exactly that.

The first Virtue I tried (07 Virtue Two) had a Float R shock which worried me a bit cause I thought I was gonna miss the lock-out on a trail with lots of climbing, but low and behold it was the first bike I rode which I din't want or need to lock out the shock.

As far as value for money goes: in South Africa they are competitively priced and the local agents give GREAT service.

The Felt Virtue is worth every cent and out-performs MUCH more expensive bikes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Eden

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Cycle Factory Store

Similar Products Used:   Spec Stumpjumper, Merida AM 3000 / 5000, Giant Trance, Titus Moto Lite, GT i-Drive

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Norm Douglas a Racer from Geelong, Victoria Australia

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2007

Strengths:    Awesome downhilling... this bike feels like a downhill bike when the Revalations are wound all the way to 130mm
Mavic CrossRides are a little heavy, but the HUBS are awesome and the wheels stay true

Weaknesses:    Build quality... Build quality... Support from Australian distributor

Bottom Line:   
When I first got this bike, I fell in love immediately and felt very proud that I could afford to ride such a machine.
After my first big ride (Otway Odessy) I notice one of the pivot bolts had come loose and fallen out. This was replaced by the local store and I thought nothing of it.
Fast Forward 12 months, and I have tried everything to keep these bolts in and finally think I have arrested the problem. However this is CLEARLY a major issue that I know the FELT factory team here in Australia have experienced too.
Southcott (Australian distributor) have let me down and I fear this is where the problem lies.
Don't get me wrong, this is a kick-ass bike that you will LOVE riding, however I don't think I would ever buy a FELT again. My wife has a new Scott Spark, which I think is an equal bike and the build quality is far superior .

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anglesea

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $4500.00

Purchased At:   Doesn't matter

Similar Products Used:   Scott Spark

Bike Setup:   Changed components to Sram X0, converted Rims to Stans No Tubes, FSA Carbon riser bars.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris Shelley a Cross Country Rider from Palmyra

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2007

Strengths:    Works as advertised! No bobbing while standing, really fast.

Weaknesses:    Handle bar, stem and seatpost spec'd poorly. Bike itself NO WEAKNESSES , wish I would have bought a Virtue One!

Bottom Line:   
I curently ride a Ellsworth Epiphany and got this bike to ride in bad weather (rain, mud, snow)after riding it around the parking lot reallt thought i was not going to like the bike, felt weird. Out on the trail though it rides like a race machine, really hard to describe it, found myself having the fastest laps at my local riding holes and totally forgetting about the bike. It does not have any drawbacks, really the first FS bike I have had that when you pound out of the saddle it really feels like a hardtail(I mean no movement at all!) If you are looking for plush FS this is not it, but if you are looking for a fast, efficient, light, cross country bike (even with 5 inches of travel) -THIS IS IT! Local LBS had the 2007's on closeout and this has been a steal of deal, no regrets!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sherando

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Trek 9.5EX, GF Cake, Ellsworth Epiphany, Orbea Alma

Bike Setup:   This is review is on the Virtue Two, not listed, changes post to a Thomson And bar to a Answer Carbon Riser

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by curtis a Cross Country Rider from bend, OR

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2007

Strengths:    the equalink.... nice componet spec for the money. the revolution fork surprised me, i thought that i would notice its lack of performance on the trail but i never thought about it.

Weaknesses:    handlebar would be be better replaced by a peace of straight pipe. not a bad quality bar but the ergonomics suck. to much sweep and way to narrow for a riser bar.

Bottom Line:   
after ridding the same hardtail for almost 10 years i am extremely skeptical of new suspension designs and this was no exception. with 8 pivots total i was scared but at the same time i knew it would be worth it if the design was as good as both felt and my LBS said it was. i was not disappointed once out on the trail. the design has very minimal pedal involvement and it seemed that the small amount of bob that i was getting was due to the weight of my legs pumping up and down and not the change in chain tension. the design worked so well that i never used the pro-pedal adjustment on the rear shock.

the other thing that blew me away was how well the bike cornered. i have ridden a few F/S bike that felt like two half's of a bike bolted together giving the feeling of the wheels not staying in the same plain. this virtue platform definitely felt solid in the corners so much so that sliding the rear end around was comfortable in the first few miles. i think that in the next couple of years this design will become one of the most sought after on the market.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the one i am on

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Purchased At:   bend bike n sport

Similar Products Used:   darn near everything santa cruz, trek s-ed, giant, kona, rocky mtn etc

Bike Setup:   xt/xtr revolution fork

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Grant Kier a Racer from Missoula, MT, USA

Date Reviewed: March 10, 2007

Strengths:    Extolling the Virtue (two):

For 15 years I have ridden steel hard tails, mostly of the “Handmade in America” variety. For better than half of those 15 years I have been a cross country racer, though I did dabble in endurance events while living in Europe for a few years. I love singletrack, and on the trail I appreciate the tight, responsive feel of a hard tail, and the suppleness of a steel frame. For years friends have been pushing me to join the world of full suspension. The charitable would call me old school, the less generous would shorten that title by a word.

I have tried full suspension bikes in the past, and admittedly, I have enjoyed the novelty of riding over parking barriers, curbs, and down a few staircases in the shop parking lot. However, once out on the trail I have always been disappointed with the performance of full suspensions on anything but technical descents. As hours on the trail pile up, so too has my distaste for full suspension. More often than not they remind me of riding in an old Cadillac, which in turn always reminds me of riding in a boat. The Felt Virtue Two is the first full suspension bike that I have ridden for more than a day. It was just as fun in the parking lot as many others, but it didn’t let me down out on the trail, or in its first race last weekend.

There are few XC full suspensions on the market today that don’t improve comfort, performance, and ultimately speed, when descending. The Felt is no different. With the front fork unlocked, and the rear Fox Float RP3 open, it grabs the trail through rough terrain and has a surprisingly true-feeling geometry as it soaks up the bumps. Easy enough, right? We all know that the ultimate test of an XC full suspension, and where the Virtue Two really shines, is its performance on flats and climbs.

I now have about a month on the bike including a few days of high-end hill intervals and 1 day of racing. This bike climbs! With the rear fork closed down (no full lockout no the RP3), there is virtually no bobbing. However, when climbing over rough terrain the suspension kicks in and I can stay comfortably seated, again without feeling as though there is any effect on my body position or the drive train performance. As a test, I did several threshold hill intervals on a paved climb with the rear shock set at manufacturers specified pressure and varying my cadence between 80 and 115 rpms. Travel in the rear shock ranged from a mere 5-10 mm. In contrast, a seated climbing over rough terrain produced as much as 22-27 mm of travel at the shock. With superb bump absorption on a rough climb, there were many fewer occasions when I felt a need to stand while climbing.

Weaknesses:    However, when chasing a hard tail rider up a long hill, there were a few occasions when I wanted to stand and hammer. Here is the one place where the bike performed less than desirably. It was no worse than any other full suspension I’ve been on, but it wasn’t much better either. There is remains some room for improvement, though I don't think it is limited to this bike. Another thing to note is that the bike comes stock with and E-type XT front derailer. It didn’t take long (about a day) before I realized that this thing needed to be replaced with a standard top-pull front derailer. The standard XT will fit the frame with just a little bit of creativity and it is much lighter and better performing than the stock E-type.

Bottom Line:   
For anything but an ambitious pro rider the Virtue Two is an excellent, race worthy bike. For someone with more ambition and money, the Virtue one will shed a few pounds and offer all the same benefits of this tight climber and plush descender. I don't think anything should get 5 Chili's after only a month of riding, so stay tuned for updates later by visiting http://www.mtbikeracing.com

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   404 Crested Butte, CO

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Red Barn Bicycles

Bike Setup:   Stock with Flight saddle, carbon bar, and standard top-pull XT Front Derailer (see weaknesses above).

Reviews 1 - 7 (7 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

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