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  1. #1
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Stay Away from FELT

    Read the review I posted on the Felt Virtue Frame under the XC Full Suspension Category for more details...

  2. #2
    the fat kid
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    you have any documented photo's to show the failure?
    I ride faster than I should.

  3. #3
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    I wouldn't call it a failure gearhead. It is a serious enough design flaw to know that Felt is not at all concerned about quality. My dinky camera will not take close up picture so you wouldn't have been able to see where the threads cut into the little hole.
    There were other issues I failed to mention such as the cheap bearings...probably the cheapest Felt could find. When I took the rear apart to find the cause of the play, I noticed that the almost new bearings were all pitted. Knowing I was already $1200 dollars into it and I had to fix the frame, I went ahead and bought 8 Max bearings for about $28 and put those in. A huge difference! Felt is not looking good. They hide cheap stuff where you can't see it like the headset bearings....junk! I replaced those as well. The only thing I couldn't fix was the front triangle flex. I think they were trying to make the front end very light to compensate for some of the mass in the rear.

  4. #4
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    Hi - what model year was the frame?

    I just picked up a 2007 Virtue 3. In 2007 it looks like they had two different frames. Virtue1/2 were "XC" (70 degree head angle). Virtue 3/4 were "AM" (69 degree head angle and beefier tubes/gussets).

    Was yours a 2007? If so, which flavor?

    Maybe I should do some exploratory surgery...

    Thanks

  5. #5
    the fat kid
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    I'm going to assume that the same links were used on the virtue, compulsion, and redemption? I am looking at buying an 08 redemption frame and would like to know if this is something i should try to check into.
    I ride faster than I should.

  6. #6
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Mine is a 2007 Virtue R which is the XC. It has the same rear end, so yours will have the same problem. The non-threaded side is on the left. Take off the cranks and unscrew the main pivot which is the only through-bolt (the one with the nut). It is screwed into the right side of the frame, but the left side is unthreaded - this is where the problem is. If you have ridden the bike, move the swingarm out of the way and screw the bolt back in and wiggle it around - this is because the threads have cut into the soft aluminum of the frame.
    Try and see the movememt before you take it apart like I described in the review.

    Gearhead, I heard the 2008 model was different, but I do not know this for sure. If I was you, I would stay away from a company whos designers are so inadequate upstairs. I have taken several mechanics courses and have closely investigated every type of rear suspension design and this one has nothing special. I bought it because it was the only 5" travel bike with such a steep head-angle because I wanted to build a 69er. This frame was the only one that had the right geometry and it turned out to be awesome for that purpose.
    I have done extensive designing on my computer and the DW-Link is the closest to what I came up with. I would suggest looking into Pivot Mach 5(140mm travel) or the 2009 Turner RFX(160mm) for a long travel 26" wheeled bike. Both of those is worlds better as far as quality for a few bills more.
    BTW, don't believe the weights on the Felt website. They are showing the Compulsion 1 to weigh what my Virtue weighs and mine is speced to the max. There is not one heavy thing on my bike except for mabey the Oury grips.

  7. #7
    The Ancient One
    Reputation: Steve from JH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogiprophet
    I have taken several mechanics courses and have closely investigated every type of rear suspension design and this one has nothing special.
    You're wrong about that. While you may be right about poor execution and quality, theoretically the design seems to me to be quite special.

    It manages to produce adequate anti-squat to counter acceleration induced squat and to some extent rider weight shift induced squat without using a rearward axle path and the chain lengthening and pedal feedback such a path necessarily involves. And it does it right through the gear range.

    I could get into a discussion of this with you, but I won't unless you really want to.

    Hint: The physical principle that several trained engineers have missed when discussing this bike is that the red equilink, because it is not directly attached to either the wheel or main frame, has its own separate reaction to the force produced at the rear axle, independent of the reaction produced at the main frame.
    "Don't criticize what you can't understand."

  8. #8
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    While its axle path is unique, I don't believe it has any special properties that are not already addressed by the DW-Link. I did examine the axle path fully with the Linkage Program (mind you, this took a long time since I had to do 14 drawings at 10mm spacings because of the link). It has no special anti-squat (AS) curve. The design I did has a backwards S shape(when viewed from the right) that has a high (relatively speaking) amount of AS - then in the middle portion of the travel (just above sag) it swings sharply to almost no AS (much less that the DW-Link) - then in the last portion of the travel, the path goes backwards for more high speed bump absorption when chain torque is not an issue(because your not pedaling). The Equalink is nothing like this. The DW-Link also does not go to a rearward path at the end except for the new 2009 Turner DHR. Thise links look very similar to the my design (which DW may argue is his design).
    The Virtue came with an overdamped Fox RP23 and the lower shock attachment did not allign with the upper shock attachment, so this caused the shock to bind and it never got full travel and it was harsh feeling. This is a manufactoring flaw, but it may explain why so many people did not like the feel of the Virtue in reviews. I put a DT Swiss EX200 and man what a difference. It now is very active and bobs like crazy without any damping. Even with full damping it still bobs more than my Prophet or Rush. I don't really mind this but I did expect it to have a little more anti-squat from my Linkage analysis.

  9. #9
    the fat kid
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    I've read just about all i can take about the geometry around the Equilink compared to teh DW-link, and so on. What I'd like to work out is on-trail properties and the signifigance of this failure. It seems that there isnt much information at all surrounding Felt's products, and it makes me wonder why.

    Felts claims of a freeride/light DH bike that pedals very efficiently is something I'm very interested in. I like the idea of an "aggressive" AM setup and hoped to hear more about it than I have.

    I still would like to see any kind of photo's depicting the failure....
    I ride faster than I should.

  10. #10
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    OK - I did some exploratory surgery last night.

    The bolt which serves as the 'axle' for the main pivot is indeed threaded along its entire length. The hole in the frame that the bolt fits into (right behind the BB) is threaded on the drive side and not threaded on the non-drive side.

    Now I'll guess about some stuff. Presumably the threads on the drive side are meant to keep the bolt from rotating. The hole on the non-drive side is just a bit bigger than the threads on the bolt.

    So the threaded bolt on the non-drive side is going to be contacting the frame but should not be rotating. I will just be pressing up, down, front, back, as the suspension actuates. I wonder if this eventually chews up the inside of the hole.

    I had originally thought that the failure Yogi described was from a rotating threaded bolt.

    I only have ~30 miles on the bike but I did not see any signs of damage (probably too early to tell...)

    In any event, I'm curious to know which side got chewed up by the threads - Drive or non-drive?

    Sorry if this is long and rambling. I have pictures which I will try to post later.

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    OK - I reread Yogi's post above. Looks my reading comprehension sucked the first time around. He's already answered my questions.

    I'll double my Ritalin dose next time.

  12. #12
    The Ancient One
    Reputation: Steve from JH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogiprophet
    While its axle path is unique, I don't believe it has any special properties that are not already addressed by the DW-Link. I did examine the axle path fully with the Linkage Program (mind you, this took a long time since I had to do 14 drawings at 10mm spacings because of the link). It has no special anti-squat (AS) curve. The design I did has a backwards S shape(when viewed from the right) that has a high (relatively speaking) amount of AS - then in the middle portion of the travel (just above sag) it swings sharply to almost no AS (much less that the DW-Link) - then in the last portion of the travel, the path goes backwards for more high speed bump absorption when chain torque is not an issue(because your not pedaling). The Equalink is nothing like this. The DW-Link also does not go to a rearward path at the end except for the new 2009 Turner DHR. Thise links look very similar to the my design (which DW may argue is his design).
    The Virtue came with an overdamped Fox RP23 and the lower shock attachment did not allign with the upper shock attachment, so this caused the shock to bind and it never got full travel and it was harsh feeling. This is a manufactoring flaw, but it may explain why so many people did not like the feel of the Virtue in reviews. I put a DT Swiss EX200 and man what a difference. It now is very active and bobs like crazy without any damping. Even with full damping it still bobs more than my Prophet or Rush. I don't really mind this but I did expect it to have a little more anti-squat from my Linkage analysis.
    I couldn't see any good way to use the Linkage program to find the axle path on this six bar linkage so I did it the old fashioned way. I rented the bike for two days and did some experiments on it as well as riding it. I mechanically marked out the axle path on a piece of cardboard with the shock and rear wheel removed. What I got agrees with what the Felt website shows: an axle path that starts out rearward and from about the sagged point on is virtually a straight vertical line.

    Although that path is different from any other, what's really special is that you don't compute the anti-squat by using the axle path and its relation to the chain line the way you do on other swingarm and linkage bikes. (That's leaving aside all those designs that have a moving BB relative to the main frame).

    With the Felt bike you can have chain lines that are angled so as to pull upward on the rear axle but the net force acting on the axle will be downward. That's because the horizontal component of the chain's force, which is always much stronger than the vertical. will be acting to move the red equilink downward, overwhelming the upward pull on the axle.

    You can get the low or non-existent pedal feedback of a low pivot bike and the bump compliance that goes with it, without the bobbing.

    I have no explanation for why you are seeing bobbing now. Yours is the first report of such that I have seen. When I rode the bike I couldn't get it to bob at all in any gear as long as I stayed in the saddle. That was with the propedal turned off. Out of the saddle it bobbed less, with no propedal, than my Ellsworth Id with propedal set to 3.
    "Don't criticize what you can't understand."

  13. #13
    Crash Test Dummy
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    Quote Originally Posted by gearhead313
    I've read just about all i can take about the geometry around the Equilink compared to teh DW-link, and so on. What I'd like to work out is on-trail properties and the signifigance of this failure. It seems that there isnt much information at all surrounding Felt's products, and it makes me wonder why.

    Felts claims of a freeride/light DH bike that pedals very efficiently is something I'm very interested in. I like the idea of an "aggressive" AM setup and hoped to hear more about it than I have.

    I still would like to see any kind of photo's depicting the failure....

    I have a Redemption 3. I just upgraded from the Virtue 3. The Redemption pedals just as good as the Virtue. Zero pedal bob, while letting the suspension remain fully active. Even with it's 165mm travel the bike pedals as close to the efficiency of a hard tail as possible. It's really quite remarkable, a long suspension bike pedaling like this and for the suspension to be responsive to small bumps is amazing. It's really like the best of both worlds.

  14. #14
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Man, this must be the most action the Felt forum has seen since the Virtue was released.

    Yes, it is the non-drive. It only took a few rides for me, and since I bought the frame only, I went over all the bolts to check they were properly torqued.
    The bolt is not turning, it is just much harder than the aluminum, so the threads basically cut right into the main-frame.
    One thing I noticed when I took it apart - the thrust washer for the bearing on the non-drive side had also pressed into the main-frame - almost like it was over-torqued (when i checked the torque I just set the wrench to the correct setting and it didn't turn so it could have been overtorqued from the factory). Because of this, it had some side play, which means it was free to move around in the first place which is why it didn't take long for mine. If you don't have the side play it will happen but it will just take longer for the aluminum to give because the bolt it holding it in place for now.
    Check to see if you have an impression from the washer on the non-drive side.

  15. #15
    The Crow
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    Yda, yada... I've owned a 08 Virtue 1 and a FC roadbike, done roughly 1000k's on a demo '07 VIrtue 2, done 8/10 rides on a redemption and 10 on a RXC hardtail...not a single issue with one of them. Only loooong happy miles.
    My riding buddy owned a Virtue 1 as well. He was doing 4/5 foot drops, jumps and lots of other stuff with a "long travel XC" bike...he too never had a single issue. The only reason he sold it is cause he wanted something BUILD and DESIGNED to take those size drops and jumps and the Felt was a little light in the pants. Otherwise he loved it.

    Sure there might be a couple of okes who have an issue with their bike, but that's expected. It's the same with all brands. I now ride Ibis Mojo SL and even though I haven't had any issues there have been some guys who have.

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    And my spirit is crying for leaving

  16. #16
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    I have a 2007 Virtue 3, I've just recently replaced the main pivot bolt behind the BB; the thing just snapped on one of my rides. I wasn't doing anything crazy, just a technical single track and didn't even have 100 miles on the bike. I know the bolt was torqued to spec since I was checking it every ride. It's impossible to find a metric bolt that long, fully threaded in town. Had some on order from ebay and then picked one up from a Felt dealer. Seems to be fine now but I got my Scott Ransom 20 back so I've been riding that mostly and use the Felt for the night rides on simple dirt roads. Not sure how the Virtue 3's labled AM, just feels too flimsy.

    yogiprophet: You said you replaced the bearings, what size are they? All the same? I wanted to pickup an '07 Virtue 3 pivot rebuild kit but the Felt dealer keeps telling me they're not available.

  17. #17
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogiprophet
    Read the review I posted on the Felt Virtue Frame under the XC Full Suspension Category for more details...
    Is there a link to that post and pics??
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  18. #18
    Awesome not Rad
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    Smells like iDrive



    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    I couldn't see any good way to use the Linkage program to find the axle path on this six bar linkage so I did it the old fashioned way. I rented the bike for two days and did some experiments on it as well as riding it. I mechanically marked out the axle path on a piece of cardboard with the shock and rear wheel removed. What I got agrees with what the Felt website shows: an axle path that starts out rearward and from about the sagged point on is virtually a straight vertical line.

    Although that path is different from any other, what's really special is that you don't compute the anti-squat by using the axle path and its relation to the chain line the way you do on other swingarm and linkage bikes. (That's leaving aside all those designs that have a moving BB relative to the main frame).

    With the Felt bike you can have chain lines that are angled so as to pull upward on the rear axle but the net force acting on the axle will be downward. That's because the horizontal component of the chain's force, which is always much stronger than the vertical. will be acting to move the red equilink downward, overwhelming the upward pull on the axle.

    You can get the low or non-existent pedal feedback of a low pivot bike and the bump compliance that goes with it, without the bobbing.

    I have no explanation for why you are seeing bobbing now. Yours is the first report of such that I have seen. When I rode the bike I couldn't get it to bob at all in any gear as long as I stayed in the saddle. That was with the propedal turned off. Out of the saddle it bobbed less, with no propedal, than my Ellsworth Id with propedal set to 3.

  19. #19
    ride hard take risks
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    This is why you should never take a picture of a white bike in the snow.
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  20. #20
    Brentster
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    I'm sorry about your ordeal. I have a Felt F3 road bike and love it.

  21. #21
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    Yogiprophet - if you are still around I have a question for you (or anyone else that might be able to help me). I loosened everything up yesterday and felt the play in the lower pivot you were describing. There are witness marks indicating the bolt biting into the frame.

    The bolt was screwed into the drive (threaded side) and the nut was on the non-drive (non-threaded side). I was wondering how you tightened everything. Did you screw the bolt into the threaded side and torque it to spec - then put the nut on the non threaded side and torque it to spec next?

    Or did you screw in the bolt (not torqued to spec yet), then install the nut (making it snug), then toque the screw to spec?

    I seemed to get different results for each scenario. In the 1st case the bearings on the non-drive side did not even come into contact with the frame... seems to be a difference depending on which side you tighten first.

    Also - I wonder if the screw should really have started on the non-threaded (non-drive) side and the nut on the drive side?? I am not sure if this would change the situation though. The picture on the felt 2008 website of the felt virtue team frame clearly shows the nut on the drive side - but I don't know if this applies to the 2007 frames.

    http://www.feltracing.com/08/image.asp?pid=8791

    I have sent felt an email and I'll let you know what they say.

    Any help/clarification you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  22. #22
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    Some random picture from google images showing the bolt on the non-drive side:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2036/...593d18.jpg?v=0

    I can't swear to it - but I think mine was shipped to me with the nut on the non-drive side...

    If this is indeed correct, then couldn't I get a bolt that was only threaded at the very end - such that the non threaded side of the frame was only in contact with a smooth bolt (vs threads)? Presumable this would protect the non drive side - leaving me with only the threaded (drive) side to worry about.

    Time for a beer.

  23. #23
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDweeb

    Or did you screw in the bolt (not torqued to spec yet), then install the nut (making it snug), then toque the screw to spec?

    Thanks
    I dont own a Felt but does the pivot bolt actually thread through the frame then nutted as a security blanket??
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  24. #24
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDweeb
    Some random picture from google images showing the bolt on the non-drive side:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2036/...593d18.jpg?v=0

    I can't swear to it - but I think mine was shipped to me with the nut on the non-drive side...

    If this is indeed correct, then couldn't I get a bolt that was only threaded at the very end - such that the non threaded side of the frame was only in contact with a smooth bolt (vs threads)? Presumable this would protect the non drive side - leaving me with only the threaded (drive) side to worry about.

    Time for a beer.
    yes, time for a beer...Definitely Felt should have made a friggin bolt that was threaded at the end and done the thing right...but that would have required for someone to actually think about it.

    The nut is supposed to go on the right side. I'm not really sure why the bolt threads through the frame like it does. Have not seen this before because it doesn't make any sense. Once the threads start to bite there is no going back. My frame came to me with the spacer washers already biting into the main frame therefore even when I tightened the nut and bolt to spec, side to side play was inevidable. This made it really easy for the threads to start working on the pivot hole.

    As far as tightening, Put the bolt in the left side and torque to spec. I recommend the red loc tight (The blue just doesn't hold) on the threasd ends. Put on the nut and tighten to spec while holding the bolt with an allen to make sure it doesn't spin.

    Good luck with that. I ended up drilling mine out and adding a titanium sleeve, but I would contact your Felt dealer and get the fix. I think they should the proper bolt by now. When I did it they were talking about making one (or having one made). Get back with us on that, although it is too late for me to use it.

    Yogi

  25. #25
    The Crow
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    Since first commenting on this two of my mates bought Virtuesover and above two owning already.

    Between the four of them one had a bolt coming loose, but was sorted in no time. The others have clocked plenty happy k's on their bikes and swear by it. Three of them say they will definitely replace their bikes with another Felt.
    There's a feeling I get
    When I look to the West
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