Felt Nine 1 Details:
The Nine was Felt’s first 29er and the success of the Felt Nine among devoted fans of 29er bikes pushed the team of designers to expand into dual suspension mountain bikes. Their were technology changes that were designed by suspension fork manufactures offering fork offsets that are 29er specific which prompted the opportunity for engineers to update the Felt Nine hardtail geometry. So now the 2013 Nine models have slacker steering geometry that is mapped around a 100 millimeter front fork, to move on from their past 80 mil fork they had. The Felt design is very fresh as well, with newly sculpted tubes and junctions that reflect Felt’s Convex composite construction. The seat stays now wrap around the seat tube to direct the stress into the top tube, each tube junction flows nice into the large bottom bracket. They changed out the seat tube to a smaller diameter reducing it down to 27.2mm to allow more flex over the bumps.
MTB Frame: carbon construction with UHC, head tube tapered.
Front Fork: Fox Float 32 CTD, 100 millimeters of travel, 15mm through axle.
Drive: XT Shadow Plus rear derailleur and 2 x10 cranks with 11 – 36 rear cassette.
Disc Brakes: XT, 160 rotors.
Components: Felt carbon handlebar & post, WTB Stryker C. C. wheel set, Kenda 24-7 tubeless tire.
Weight: 21.52 pounds
Carbon sizes : 14″,16″, 18″, 20″, 22 ”
Retail Price: $5169, $1549 for the frame only
The Felt Nine 1 frame is a masterpiece with its Convex profiles. At the front section of the frame it flows nicely into the tapered head tube to give reinforcement. And to look at what they did with the wrap around seat stay area. Its hard to depict from the photo but the stay sits into a molded depression in the top tube which added strength.
The weight of that Felt frame is at 1,000 grams. If this is not light enough and you have a pocket filled with money, they built the Felt Nine FRD Felt Racing Development, using a new TeXtreme carbon fiber. This carbon is derived from ultra high modulus, which is a fiber that is engineered and woven with a checkerboard design. This technology essentially has the strength of two layers of carbon fiber in the thickness of one layer. All most all the Formula one builders utilize this technology and Felt is now the first bike maker to ante up to the patented system that is reported to cost 400-percent more than similar carbon quality material. The Nine FRD frame weighs 900 grams, and is noticeably more rigid and retails at $2899.
TeXtreme Carbon Technology by Oxeon. The TeXtreme checkerboard pattern reveals the layup schedule of Felt’s Nine FRD hardtail mountain bike frame above.
This Swedish company developed a way to weave thin unidirectional strips of ultra high modulus carbon fiber in such a way that the finished product leaves very little excess resin. The product is TeXtreme, and it has solved the difficulties that engineers have in most designs that require opposing wraps of unidirectional fibers. The definition for unidirectional is the carbon material has every fiber running parallel. The advantages of this style of material is that it leaves a minimal amount of excess resin leftover and can be built into a stronger shape that is less weight. For comparison, woven carbon cloth is made from bundles of loose fibers shaped into yarns and then woven into more conventional fabric that is later liquified with resin. This carbon is called’ 3K’ or ‘5K’ that gets most utilized in the industry, which cannot be constructed from the strongest carbon because the bending stress of the looms will break the fibers. Additionally each warp creates dead pockets of resin in conventional carbon fabric that adds weight and reduces the objects strength.
Oxeon developed equipment that can form thin tapes with a high fiber density, and those are wove into a checker board pattern that is almost as thin as one layer of UD cloth. This process is the highest strength of all the materials, and its value is saving layup time, and increase impact resistance, and to reduce the weight of ultra-high-strength carbon fiber bike parts.
TeXtreme Carbon Technology
Here are some details with the TeXtreme checkerboard used on the 2013 Felt Nine 1 mountain bikes.
Details of Felt’s Nine FRD 29er hardtail frame reveal that the nature of Oxeon’s technology lends itself very well to molding high-modulus carbon with complicated curves. The Nine FRD details are a bottom bracket cable guide. Felt also used a chain protector that snaps into the rear derailleur cable stops, and with a closer look the cable housing stops bolted to the bottom of the top tube.
Felt reveals that part of the higher expense of TeXtreme fabric is that the raw material first comes from Toray of Japan, and the material is then sent to the Oxeon plant in Sweden to be processed, and then it gets sent to the US at Felt where they impregnate the fabric using a nano particle resin. After that the pre-impregnated material is shipped at 0 degrees Fahrenheit to the Felt factory located in Asia, and it will then be layered with unidirectional material. Resulting in race-level mountain bike and road bike frames.