Weaknesses: everything- this bike sucks if you are looking to do even light freeride or downhill...... ever. The bolts are always falling out or snapping inside the bike and the frame feels like its always just on the edge of snapping in half
Dont ever buy a felt bike
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2011
Strengths: I have the 2010 model (note this is the same level as the 2009 Virtue 4), it has a great black and white design and superb Felt frame and I really like the Equilink setup. weight at around 30lbs is good.
Weaknesses: Shimano hubs don't even seem to be Deore spec.
Wheels needed some truing from new.
Saddle and Saddle Clamb (replaced with a great BBB clamp from Bike24.de ) and Sella Italia saddle.
Great fully suspended bike for the price. No bob when climbing which is great compared to my old Raleigh.
Similar Products Used: I've moved over from a hardtail Raleigh Dynatech (which dates from 1989)
Bike Setup: Pumped the suspension as suggested on this site. Running with Shimano PD-M545 pedals, a bit heavy but means the wife can use the bike. Swapped the awful saddle and seat clamp.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sacramento, CA
Date Reviewed: March 25, 2011
Strengths: This bike has a great feel on the trail. The Equilink allows it to climb hills really well and with the right adjustment on the suspension it just hammers through really rocky terrain. I love the frame even though it won't fit on my bike rack, but its a very well built bike and very well priced for someone who doesn't need to spend thousands on a professional bike.
Weaknesses: The seat is pretty rough but after a bunch of rides you get used to it. Felt did go pretty crazy on the logos but I think it looks pretty sharp. I have the black/white colored frame and its pretty sick looking.
I got introduced to Felt bikes last year by a friend who has a Virtue 2 and I have been impressed. The quality is rock solid. I look forward to riding that bike even more every time i get on it.
a Cross Country Rider
from Maine, USA
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2009
Strengths: relatively light weight, good components for the price, strong frame, good tires, BEAUTIFUL COLOR AND SHAPE, very attractive
Weaknesses: none so far
this is a fabulous bike for the price, the "cola" color is beautiful. i highly suggest this bike for someone looking for a good cross country bike for not TONS of money. good components for this price, good tires, deraillers, shocks, etc. i am thrilled with the bike so far and it is definatly worth the money.
a Weekend Warrior
from Encinitas, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2008
Strengths: Fat frame in the ferrari red, carbon fiber rear triangle makes it super leggera light
Weaknesses: Grips too thin, seat feels like granite, how many website addresses can they fit on this frame? :|
The bike is lightning quick on pavement and smooth on XC trail riding. Great looks to go with it. I bought the 19.5 frame and perfect fit for a 6-3 1/2. Only compliant is the seat – the twins say it's gotta go. Looking into a WTB Rocket or Koobi SI.
Strengths: Virtually no pedal bob at all, climbs extremely well, and the bike is very predictable on downhill sections and over big bumps. The Bike really inspires confidence.
Weaknesses: The tires it comes with are really the only weakness this bike has. A problem that is easily remedied by getting a better set tires. Some people like the Maxxis Ignitors and some don't. I don't really care for them. I just feel like they don't dig in and let you carve corners well enough.
The bike overall is amazing. Felt really hit a home run with the Equilink suspension setup. Give it a try, you just may amaze yourself.
Bike Setup: All stock from the factory so far. Planning on going to a set of Fire XC Pro tires and maybe getting a different handlebar.
a Cross Country Rider
from Quito, Ecuador
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2008
Strengths: No bob
You can adapt to it very fast
Climbs great and on DH it´s very fast.
You can go very fast on tight trails
Weaknesses: The handlebar was too narrow, but I changed when I bought it
It's a great bike, I changed from the Trek ST 120, which I really love, but the improvement is huge.
I adapted to that bike innmediately!!!
I´ve ridden the Specialized S-works and wasn't able to adapt to it as fast as this Felt
a Weekend Warrior
from rocklin, ca
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2008
Strengths: great for climbing - no bob!! moves on downhills too -- absorbs all bumps!! I came from a HT so this is extremely cush. Front and rear suspensions are easy to set up.
Weaknesses: none so far -- but i am not an expert - have not had any problems with front deraileur and did not even notice narrow handlebars (per other reviews)
this bike is a steal at this price -- orig price $2700. love the bike. I came from a Klein HT -- this bike is about 4 lbs heavier -- but you can't really tell -- its very smooth going uphil and its like night vs day going downhill ---very cush!! holds the line very well vs HT. FS is the only way to fly!!
Similar Products Used: rode a few specialized stumpjumper elites
Bike Setup: stock from factory
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2008
Strengths: Rear suspension, fairly light for the price, great looking, great handling
Weaknesses: Front mech, no QR seat clamp.
Bought this 2007 model for £1000 from JE James Cycles in Sheffield. Got it through the ride to work scheme which means I'll end up paying £570. It's a bargain for £1000 but it's obviously an amazing bargain for £570. I've had the bike for less than a month so will attempt to do an update on the bikes long term performance.
Viewed as a £1000 bike the spec of the bike is pretty good. It's light for the price supposedly weighing in at just over 28lbs. It feels lighter than that on the trails though. It pedals great up the hills and because of the smoothness of the rear suspension feels easier to shift than my stolen Cannondale F800 HT.
The rear suspension appears to do what it says on the tin. My mates have been watching me pedal up the hills and can't see any bob at all. The rear shock isn't pro-pedal so any lack of bobbing is down to suspension design. The only requirement from me is that I keep my pedalling smooth which I should be doing anyway.
As stated above my only real criticism is the front mech which seems to have trouble getting into the small ring. I believe I could change it to a standard front mech which I'll get the bike shop to do.
People have mentioned the narrow handle bars but I love them as the handling just feels to precise when doing single track or trying to thread the bike through rocky sections. Everything feels so instantaneous and when I make a line mistake the bars mean I can make quick changes which has saved me a few times so far.
All-in-all it's an awesome bike so far which has awakening my interest in MTBing again. I know find I'm looking forward to technical descents as opposed to dreading them like I did on my Dale HT. If you're in England, maybe looking for your first fullsusser, don't want to ride a Specialized like the rest of the planet and JE James till have any left at the £1000 mark then I'd highly recommend going for it. Even better if you can get it through a ride to work scheme.
Strengths: for the price - carbon fiber stays - good damping, light weight. Efficient, ACTIVE pedaling, stiff rockers. Non-fussy setup. Full length seat-tube. Super customer service - fixed front derailleur problem.
Weaknesses: Narrow handlebars. minor - no quick release seat clamp. Not bad, but might not be as good as some - probably doesn't have that bottomless feel on big hits on the rear end. Front derailleur had a problem that defied adjustment.
just want to say that I think any bike over $1500 or so is going to be pretty nice bike. Observations reflect my PERSONAL tastes – no knock on any other bikes.
My riding – long rides, lots of vertical in the Cascades with challenging descents. Rough and tumble OK, but I’m not into hucking cliffs. Generally not that fussy.
Compared V3 against another major-name single pivot on a bumpy, hard surface descent. For me, the V3 just seemed noticeably better behaved when braking – more active, straight tracking, no drama. On the other bike I had to slow down more –rear seemed like it was jumping around more, losing contact and direction.
V3 works very well on the uphill – quite efficient. There is some bob if you stand up and hammer, but it’s not generally what I consider true bobbing. The kind I’m talking about is when the force of turning the crank compresses the rear. V3 is one of the better designs for minimizing squat without locking out. Most of the time, I don’t even bother with the platform (unless it's a fireroad). RP2 is plenty for me. RP23 would be overkill. You’re paying through the nose for full susp so if you think there should be a better way to solve the problem than disabling the suspension you just paid so much for, give equilink a try.
There are some rather heated debates on the web regarding the equilink design. Nothing wrong with discussion. I would just caution that the main thing is the ride, is it not? Make sure to ride the thing. Kind of crazy to knock it or laud it too much by just crunching numbers when you haven’t even ridden it. For what it’s worth, MBA said simply, “…it works”. My LBS guy said he spoke to a mechanic that decided to put it to the test and removed the dogbone. He said he could definitely tell the difference. So whether it suits you or not is one thing, but it’s probably safe to say that the equilink is not a non-functional gimmick.
Looked at other good rear sus. designs, but most had interrupted seat posts so you can’t lower the seat much. I HATE that. If it’s a long, mostly continuous descent, I like to drop the seat. You can shift your weight quickly in any direction, you can put your foot down when the rear end slides out, and some things are just more feasible with the seat down & out of the way. You can’t crouch down and explode up, or suck up impact with your legs with the seat permanently crammed all the way up your who-ha. Felt did a dumb thing – no quick release. But I got one at a shop for $3 – no big.
Some major-name bikes w rocker arm designs had rockers that weren’t braced properly. You just push on the stays and you can see the rockers flexing. Some might not notice – then no problem for them. Ellsworth uses carbon fiber blocks. Felt uses a carbon fiber plate. It looks flimsy, but maybe it doesn’t need much because unlike most other bikes, the stays are carbonfiber too. In any case, whatever they did is plenty stiff for my size and it may be another reason it pedals and handles great.
If you’re buying one, you should know that the differences between the 4 bikes in the lineup are not just in the trim level. The V1, V2 have thinner diameter frame tubes and slightly longer geometry – more of a racing bike. The V3 and V4 not only have lower trim levels, but the tubing is bigger and the geometry is slightly more compact. More my style - so I got a V3 and will build it up later. Also, if you want bigger travel, they have such animals now. There are 2 new lineups with more travel for heavy hitters. They also have a video on YouTube if you want to see more about equilink.
My bike had ridiculously narrow handlebars. A concession to the euros from what I was told. (they should know not to listen to anyone that spends too much time playing soccer - just joking) Yeah, I could live with it if necessary, but I’m getting new bars this year. If you buy an 08, you might not have any problems. I heard they planned to get with the program and use wider bars.
Summary. If you want something light enough and efficient enough to go on long, demanding rides, have enough squish & ability to enjoy the downhill, want to avoid brake jack AND want a full-length seat-tube, would be worth your consideration. The new 08 stumpjumper and treks might also be worth looking at. They weren’t around when I was shopping.
One warning – I rode two V3’s and the front derailleur was almost non-functional in both cases, including the one I received. It doesn’t seem to respond to any adjustments. I had to send it back to Felt to get it fixed. In their favor, Felt customer support was just super. They shipped the bike back to the factory overnight when we exhausted our options. They were very good maintaining communication and bike came back perfect. V3’s are not made anymore, (though they still have the lineup it belongs to) so may not be an issue anymore. BTW, if you are in the Seattle area, try Bothell Ski & Bike. You will not get better customer service for your bike anywhere. They were just first-class to work with.
Similar Products Used: stumpjumper, trek, cannondale, gary fischer hifi, Marin Mt Vision (gorgeous & good, but much more money, 1 - 2 lb heavier with little potential to cut much more weight)
Bike Setup: stock
a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2007
Strengths: Climbs, climbs, climbs.
Weaknesses: put on a wider bar, and you are good to go
This bike does what it sets out to do. Climb great, pedal great, and have good travel 5+ inches but still ride like a XC bike. Overall very impressive. Technical climbing is on par with the best I've ridden (Maverick, Giant Trance), while pedaling efficiency is at the top too. A good pick for the rider who wants a true trail bike, but likes to climb or do an occasional race. Another plus is the carbon rear end, IS noticable and adds a nice touch of compliance on the chatter bumps.
Similar Products Used: Maverick, Giant Trance, Giant Reign, Blur, Kona Dawg, more...
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Aliso Viejo
Date Reviewed: April 19, 2007
Strengths: The frame on this bike has a very solid feel to it. The suspension works as advertised, and reviewed by various bike mags. A good climber and an easy to tune suspension.
Weaknesses: The bike comes with a narrow handle bar, which is due to the build comming from european specs, newer models will have a Americanized build. I had to replace the seat clamp with a quick release, I don't know what Felt was thinking selling an all-mountain bike without one. The front tire was tooooo small causing me to crash when it slid out on me. I picked up a Kenda Nevegal 2.35 for the front and have stayed upright ever since. I found the seat to be a little too far forward over the pedels which gave me some knee pain on my first few rides, but once I moved the seat back all was fine.
This is a great all around ride, it has a good solid feel on the climbs when you are in or out of the saddle. When desending it is sure footed and well balenced. I have banged it aroud quite a bit in the last few months and it is no worse for the wear. Except for some minor gliches, (see product weeknesses) Felt did their homework in choosing the component package for this bike, all the parts seem well matched and so far are durable enough for the 2 to 4 rides I put in a week. The brakes are shimano LX with a 7 inch rotor in the front, I found this to have a nice balenced feel between the front and rear wheels. Plenty of stopping power when you need it with little on no fade. The fork, a Rockshox Revalation with 5.5 inches of travel was easy to set up using the chart on the shock (what a concept!) and preforms well. The lockout works great for the smouth flats and climbs. The rear shock is a Fox RP2 . Felt has printed a guide on the rocker arm to get you dialed in. The rear shock works as expected, I would have prefered an RP3 but I don't think there is really that much diffrence, you still get the pro-pedel. Couple that with the Equilink suspension and you have the cranking power of a hardtail with the ability to absorb small bumps. This suspension still works very well even if you don't engage the pro-pedel for the rough rutted climbs. The front and rear derailers and LX and XT respectfully. I switched the standard XT for the XT-Rapid-rise just 'cause it's better, if you don't know why you haven't tried it. Shifting is smooth and reliable, the cable routing is exellent for keeping cables clean. I actually won this bike at a raffle at The Warriors Fall Classic XC race and had just picked up an Ibis MOJO a month earlier, and while there is no doubt the MOJO is my favorite bike, most of my ridding time goes to the Felt. Mainly because of it's solid feel and preformance, it's my "training bike", if I did not own the Mojo this bike would meet my needs for a do-it-all bike. If your looking for a bike that can climb like a hardtail (fork locked and pro-pedel on) and desend just about anything out there, this bike should be on your short list, if your a bigger rider you would like the solid feel of this frame Felt made if stiff and strong. I have let some of my larger friends ride this bike and the all commented on how stiff the frame felt.( no pun intended) The only reason I gave this bike a 4 rating is because of the components, with new handle bars, front tire and the seat clamp this bike is a 5 for the price.