Felt Q920 review

Classic cross-country hardtail

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £999.00 RRP | USD $1,512.00

Our review

Simple and reliable take on the classic cross-country hardtail that does everything except excite
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The Q920 tops out Felt’s Q range of ‘do-it-all’ hardtails, which spans from entry-level up to enthusiast. The pricier SIX series covers racetrack duty, which leaves the Q920 in an odd position with a spec that doesn’t quite match up to its top-of-the-line billing.

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Ride & handling: Reliably safe ride, if a little lacklustre

The Q920 is balanced, steady and keeps its head when stuffed into most trail corners. We found overwhelming it with poor line choice hard despite the sketchy tyres, but while it never allowed us to get into too much trouble of our own making, it lacks the lustre that would make it stand out.

It’s not immediately boring, but we can see how it might get that way a few months down the line. That said, if you’re looking for a calm bike that’s not going to spring any nasty surprises on you when finding the edge of your limits, then it will take you right up to the precipice without abandoning you over it.

Felt Q920
Felt q920: felt q920
Russell Burton

Frame: Hydroformed detail abounds, and results in a noticeably stiff chassis

Double-butted 6061 aluminium has been pushed, pulled and shaved to make the Felt’s Q920 frame. The hydroformed top tube is immediately obvious thanks to the slightly odd, eye-catching ‘twisted coffin’ shape – the frame is noticeably stiff with tight, direct steering so the flared profile clearly works.

The semi-integrated headset will let you drop the bars right down should you so desire but there’s enough rise as standard to stop the cockpit feeling cramped.

Mudguard eyes and rack mounts indicate Felt’s practical outlook and might be of use if you’re planning on making it double up as a commuter bike or touring machine.

Hydroformed detail abounds on the Felt
Hydroformed detail abounds on the felt: hydroformed detail abounds on the felt
Russell Burton

Equipment: All adequate kit, but we’d swap the tyres

The plastic trouser guard seems incongruous on an off-road hardtail, but can be removed swiftly enough with a hex key. RockShox’s Recon SL fork is functional enough but the weight and pedestrian damping is a drag.

Felt’s Tar XC tyres also do their bit to hobble the frame: we’ve tried them on a couple of test bikes and never found the pressure sweet spot at which they’ll balance adequate traction on loose trail surfaces with pinch-flat resilience through the rocks, and the hard compound is unpredictable in the wet.

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Elsewhere, start/stop duties are taken care of by a standard Shimano Deore drivechain, Avid Juicy Five brakes and Felt finishing kit, including a saddle that has more than a nod to the classic Fizik Gobi about it.

We struggled with Felt’s Tar XC tyres
We struggled with felt’s tar xc tyres : we struggled with felt’s tar xc tyres
Russell Burton

Product Specifications

Product

Name Q920 (09)
Brand Felt

Available Sizes 13.5 Inches 15.5 Inches 17.5 Inches 19.5 Inches 21.5 Inches
Saddle Felt "RXC" Race, Low Side Profile Look with Wide/Flat/Plush Top, Double-Density Base, Satin Steel Rails
Seat Tube (in) 14.76
Chainstays (in) 16.61
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 11.75
Weight (lb) 27.3
Year 2009
Weight (kg) 12.4
Stem 31.8mm Oversized 6061 Alloy, 3D Cold-Forged + CNC,1-1/8 inch Threadless 4-Bolt, 5 Degree Rise. CP Hardware
Shifters Shimano Deore SL-M530 Rapidfire Plus 27 Speed
Seatpost Felt Alloy Micro-Adjust, 100% Black, 6061 Low-Profile Forged Head & Extruded Rall Clamps, 27.2mm x 350mm
Seat Angle 73
Rims Mavic XC-117 Disc Doublewall, 26 x 1.5 x 32 hole, 23mm Width, Presta Valve, Disc Brake-Specific, Black Anodized
Bottom Bracket Bottom Bracket-ES25 Octalink Bottom Bracket 118mm
Rear Hub Shimano FH-M475, 6-Bolt Type Rotor Mount, 9 Speed Cassette 32 hole, with Quick Release
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore XT "SHADOW" Top-Normal Version RD-M772
Head Angle 70.5
Handlebar Oversized 31.8mm Butted Aluminum Riser, 35mm Rise, 8 degree Bend, 4 Degree up sweep, with Felt Laser Logos. Widths: 640mm
Front Hub Shimano FH-M475, 6-Bolt Type Rotor Mount, 32 hole, with Quick Release
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore FD-M530 Top Pull
Frame Material Felt 6061 Double Butted Aluminum, Fully Hydroformed Top Tube A-Style Seatstay Design, Oversized Semi-Integrated Head Tube, Replaceable Derailleur Hanger, Rack & Fender Mounts, Basta-Lock, Disc Brake Specific
Fork Rockshox Recon SL Solo Air with TurnKey lockout , Forged 6061 T-6 aluminum, Alloy Steerer, Magnesium lower, Stanchions 7000 series 32mm straight wall aluminum. 3.86 lbs, Disc Brake Specific
Cranks Shimano FC-M442-L Non Series 3 Piece crank, Melt-Forged Aluminum Arms, with Shimano Printed Logo only, includes Capless Axle Bolts - 44/32/22 Tooth Steel chainrings with chainguard
Cassette SRAM PG-950, 9-Speed Cassette, 11-32 tooth range
Brakes Avid Juicy 5 Hydraulic, Twin piston,
Top Tube (in) 22.75