Felt Nine Elite review
Even though I have no rep with MTBR I thought I would share my experience with the Felt Nine Elite. I have been a recreational trail rider for about 15 years almost always on FS XC bikes.
Being my first 29" bike I had big expectations after reading all the hoopla on this board and talking to local riders....I was not disappointed. It really did roll faster and over obstacles easier than my other bike. I found the gearing to be set up fine for my style of riding and trails (very recreational/slug ride). I am 5'8" with a 29.5" inseam and chose a 15.5" frame which turned out to work great with a couple of exceptions (see bad). The Juicy 3 brakes stopped well and never seem to have me wanting more power. I am used to Magura HS33 hydraulic rim brakes that have also been more than adequate, so that's my reference point.
My ride was done in mucho decomposed granite mixed with some sand. After a bit of rain it's like sandpaper, unfortunately it hadn't rained so it was very loose and dusty. The Maxxis Ignitors worked great on this terrain. There was no crazy rocks to climb on this loop, but what was there was cleared without issue. I did find the steering to grip very well, but it was a bit too quick for me.
Lastly, coming from an old school Amp B5 I was expecting to have to have my colon looked at, my teeth repaired and my spine realigned after my first ride...WOW was I wrong. I'm guessing that that mass of air in a 29" tire really REALLY does wonders for absorbing shock.
The weight was high on the scale (27# ride ready) but unnoticeable once on the trail. It felt fairly light and nimble while climbing.
Hopefully this doesn't come off as too critical. I understand that this is not an expensive bike and was built with certain compromises, but here is what I didn't like.
The seat is reminiscent of a bike I had in the '70s that had a bright blue banana seat. This thing is crazy long and way uncomfortable for someone used to using their seat for sitting. This didn't even make it on the ride as I found out how horrible this was while making adjustments riding up and down my street. I put on a cheap, but new Titec Pluto on it and all those problems were solved. While not as fancy (or brand popular) as a Selle Italia, my butt couldn't make out the difference at this point. The seatpost is about .5" past it's limit, so a 400mm post has been ordered to make it a bit safer.
Handlebars were way too narrow for someone with normally proportioned arms. 580mm is just ridiculous. Then, there's the stem. The 90mm length is the primary cause of the lightning fast steering, but it's just too fast for me. I have already ordered longer bars and a longer stem to remedy this. I think these bars and stem are only spec'd on the 15.5, so the larger frames may not have this same deal.
This next one is just weird. It has an XT rear derailleur and Deore shifters. I have an XT derailleur on my other bike and don't have this same complaint. This thing shifts SOOOO slow. I don't know if it's the shifter or whether a 29" wheel turns a lower RPM causing the shifting to feel slow. It didn'nt cause any issues, just more of an observation.
Love it. There's some amount of "new toy" that needs to be factored in to my review, but there's also a great deal of well designed/good functioning toy too. I've made/am making a bunch of adjustments to make this frame feel longer (longer stem, moving seat back on post, longer post) which might have you thinking that I have too small a frame. I tried a bunch of 17-18" frames and I couldn't deal with the standover heights. So I think after some tweaking this will make for a very fun (and hopefully long lasting) HT.
Last edited by TBarnaby; 08-29-2008 at 07:41 AM.
I'm glad you like your Felt! I picked one up just short of a year ago now, and I'm loving it. It was also my first 29er, and I don't think my next hardtail XC bike could possibly be a 26.
When I bought it, I had my shop replace the Shimano back mech & shifters with SRAM X-7 components. Just personal preference really. I found the shifting to be clean, but not as fast as I was used to either. The X-7 cracked mysteriously on a ride, and I replaced it with a X-9 short cage.
I found the short cage to help increase the shifting speed dramatically. You may want to try it out.
I'm also about to replace the Ignitors for a set of Panaracer Rampages. I hear they offer unsurpassed grip, and should help my turns in the loose stuff where the Ignitors have a whole lot of fun going FAST, but leave turning as an afterthought.
btw, my 21.5" (I'm 6' 4") Elite came with a 620mm bar and 120mm stem.
Cool, sounds like you had some similar experiences with yourís (good and bad). Iíve made a couple of changes that seemed to help a little on mine. I converted to a 1x9 so I was able to chuck the front shifter and front derailleur. I also swapped the bars and stem with a longer stem and wider bars (110mm stem and 680mm bars that were chopped about .75Ē on each end) and a proper length seatpost. And finally I changed out the rear shifter with a grip shift, just my preference reallyÖI could never get used to the triggers. While the shifting is not ridiculously slow, itís just a bit slower than my 26Ē bike. That said, now that I only have 9 gears a short cage might be a good upgrade. Iíll keep an eye out for a closeout.
I also have a set of Rampages waiting to go on. The Ignitors seem pretty solid on my normal rides, but an extra bit of traction can never really hurt.
After seeing the Ď09s on here Iím kind of glad I bought an í08. I donít think a carbon framed bike would be in my price rangeÖ.they sure do look nice though.
How much does one of these normally run new?
They no longer make this model.....but it was $1499 new. They have replaced it with:
Originally Posted by rckhopper87
Nine Comp $1349
Nine Race $2349
But if you can find a shop with your size... I just got mine for 1100.
Felt Nine Elite
forte stem & carbon handlebars
full Ultegra groupo
I bought a Nine comp and love it.
I bought a thudbuster lt for it but havent installe dit yet.
I have been playing with the stem height and length but havent exactly found what i like best yet.
I'm 59" and went with the 15.5 frame.
The 29er felts seen to run big.
>>The 29er felts seen to run big.
Yes for smaller riders the tt length of most 29ers is often an issue but the real problem (for some) in the >> small sizes << in the felts is the height of the head tube.
Even though the long head tube may be very stable in the small and medium Felts, small riders who like to get their position "race" similar to their 26ers may want to run a 10 or 15 degree drop stem.
Chris of Pivot had this issue in mind when designing the pivot 429 note head tube on those frames when at (3.84 and 4" in small and medium dual suspension frames.)
Sette goes even further with the design of their new niner hardtale (3.14 & 3.5 copying Niner bikes hardtales) they don't go 110 mm till their large size. At least the felts have an integrated headset (I think) so you get back several mm.
I just noticed the felt carbon's head tubes are 100mm in the small size. Once you add in the IS headset that is a bit more than another 20mm drop you can get which would be awesome. Why the hell would you design your stiffer alums with a 110 length headtube ?
I really see why everyone is loving on the lightweight hardtale 29ers now. My build came in at 26.8 pounds and I'm pretty sure I could get it to 26 !
Last edited by ghawk; 05-12-2009 at 05:23 AM.
I threw on a new stem, 84mm, -8 degree rise and some flat"ish" carbon handlebars... it has made a ton of difference in the fit and feel. I was really enjoying it before, but it seemed less responsive than I wanted it to. Not anymore, she seems very quick and some of the tighter turns I was taking a bit wide seem easier to navigate now.
I will agree that the bike seems to run big. Part of that may have had to do with the original stem as well. The cockpit seemed really long.
Felt Nine Elite
forte stem & carbon handlebars
full Ultegra groupo
Nice Review on the Elite, Seat-post recommendation?
Last week I found a closeout '08 Felt Nine Comp at my LBS. They had it on clearance for $700, so I just couldn't pass it up. I am 6' 1" with a 32" Inseam and 205lbs. The only one left had a frame size of 17.5" and I was worried it would be too small but standing over it I only had about 1.5" clearance. I think if I would have went any taller (19.5") there would have been clearance issues.
I have taken the bike out on a couple of rides at Lake Rebecca MTB trail here in MN. The bike rides nice and fits me well. On the downhill sections I noticed that I roller a lot quicker then my friend on his 26" Giant. Had to slow a lot to prevent rear-ending him.
However I am noticing one issue, it seems that the seat-post height might be a little short. Like the initial reviewer of the Nine Elite, I think a 400mm post might do the trick, or one of those taller on the fly adjustable posts.
Anyone have any suggestions for a taller post for this bike?
My current stock setup:
Frame = 17.5"
Stem = 100mm
Bar width = 600mm
Post = 30.9mm x 350mm
Crank arms = 175mm