Felt Edict 3 Review – Versatile 29″ Performer

felt-edict-3-sideWhether you are a road cyclist looking to go off-road in the New England area or an advanced mountain bike racer looking to conquer the XC racing scene, the Felt Edict 3 likely offers you a good answer to the question of how to become a better mountain bike rider. The Northshore of MA lacks long off-road climbs and thus also long gnarly downhill descents. Personally, I’ve found that the majority of my trail rides involve a combination of fire roads, twisty single track, and moderate climbs. For this reason, I want a bike that will perform well in all areas, with extra emphasis on handling rocky and root filled single track where I need the most help. The 29” wheel XC platform on the Felt Edict 3 is a clear answer that serves these varying needs quite well.  A quick look around the groups I ride with confirms that I’m not alone – the Felt Edict is a popular choice.

Felt Edict 3 Versatilityfelt-edict-3-rock-shox-reba-rl

The Felt Edict 3 performs well in the most important areas I was seeking and is at a sweet spot price wise ($3700) for many riders as well. It climbs exceptionally well with its long chainstays, light stiff back end and FAST suspension design. The quick handling up front keeps me on the trail and front wheel down while climbing to a degree I haven’t experienced on any other bike. I personally like to sit more than most while climbing, and this bike feels like it was designed purely to climb steep twisty hills while seated. I was surprised at how well this works, the full suspension Felt climbs better for me than any hardtail I’ve ridden. Bruce in our VT store has had similar climbing results on the 27.5” wheel equipped Felt Decree 1 that he has been riding this year. While climbing prowess on a full suspension bike often come with a trade-off on descents, the Felt Edict 3 descends in a responsive and predictable manner. The Felt Edict 3 is a really balanced mountain bike that is at home climbing and descending.

Felt Edict 3 XC felt-edict-fast-suspensionOriented FAST Suspension

The Felt Edict 3 was designed as more of a XC oriented full suspension bike and it has 29” wheels; it is not designed to be most at home on the most technical of descents or bigger hits. For those looking for that type of versatility (what many riders near our VT shop are seeking) with the same XC pedigree, consider the 27.5” wheel equipped Felt Decree series. The Felt Edict 3 uses 100mm of travel in Felt’s proprietary FAST suspension platform. By integrating the suspension into the seatstays, Felt keeps the back end light, laterally stiff and active in all the right ways. It’s like having the low weight and responsive back end of a hardtail, yet the suspension that smoothly rides over roots and rocks effortlessly to maximize traction. The front end floats on 120mm of travel in the Rock Shox Reba RL fork which has a remote lockout button for times you want to jump out of the saddle and hammer.

Felt Edict 3 Components and Wheelsfelt-edict-3-drivetrain

The mixed Shimano XT/Deore 1x drivetrain on the Felt Edict 3 includes an 11×40 cassette. I find the gearing range works well for my riding and terrain and I like the simplicity of the 1x. I can keep the front wheel down with seated pedaling on the steepest twisty climbs, and then grab the bigger gear that I want on those fast downhill sections.

The wheels on the Felt Edict 3 are tubeless ready, and have proven durable and strong performers over the past season. I upgraded the tires to a more schwalbe-racing-ralph-tubeless-treaddurable and wider 2.3 inch Schwalbe Snakeskin and set them up tubeless, which really brought performance up a level. While the factory tubeless ready Alex rims will handle anything you throw under this bike, upgrading to a nice set of ultralight alloy or carbon wheels from Industry Nine, Enve or Mavic would fully bring the wheelset performance in line with the frame and suspension. Yes, the frame works that well.

Felt Edict 3 – Novice or Pro?

From first time mountain bike riders looking for a great platform to build confidence and skills to racers looking for a lightweight and responsive platform that will help all aspects of their riding, the Felt Edict series of bikes is well worth considering. When properly set-up (as required by all suspension systems to reach their potential), the suspension is very effective. For these reasons, I recommend the Felt Edict platform to a really wide range of riders. For how many of us use our mountain bikes, the Felt FAST based bikes in the 29″ Edict and 27.5″ Decree are hard to go wrong with.

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