Felt Redemption 2 – First Ride review

Much redeemed ride

GBP £2,000.00 RRP | USD $3,121.80

Our review

Much better than last year’s effort, but the bottom bracket is far too tall
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When we reviewed the first generation Redemption, we were less than complimentary about it. Felt are back with a tweaked version for 2009, so has the Redemption redeemed itself? Felt have done a great job of getting the front end right this year and the bike is much more rideable as a result, but it’s let down by a tall bottom bracket which makes it a handful in the turns.

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Ride & handling: Sketchy cornering spoils an otherwise decent trail bike

Felt have pulled a masterstroke and fully sorted the steering angles, cockpit length and bar set up of the new Redemption. The head tube angle came in at 68.1 degrees on our test bike and felt great.

On singletrack and downhill the Equilink performed fluidly as long as the ProPedal switch was off. Climbing worked better with the pedalling platform on, as you would expect from a 165mm (6.5in) travel bike.

The steep, forward-shunted seat tube requires the saddle to be moved right back on the rails to get the correct pedalling position. Even with the post cut down, the interrupted seat tube only allowed us to drop the saddle by 95mm (3.7in), which isn’t quite enough. 

But it’s the bottom bracket height that’s our main beef with this bike. We were amazed to find that Felt has increased it to a towering 36.9cm (14.5in) – fine for North Shore-style freeriding, but this is sold as an ‘aggressive all-mountain’ machine. Through singletrack and fast descents, you feel perched on top of the bike, making quick cornering sketchy.

Felt’s new tyres grip well in the soft and wet, but are slow rolling. Also, the Lyrik fork has a linear feel, which matches the rear, but does mean it dives under braking.

The bike’s potential is diminished by the towering bottom bracket height: the bike’s potential is diminished by the towering bottom bracket height
Russell Burton

Frame: New geometry is a vast improvement

The new frame is very similar to the first incarnation, but with rearranged geometry. An oversized hydroformed tubeset with a square section at the front end adds torsional stiffness and impact strength. These monster tubes are mated to an equally meaty 1.5in head tube, giving a huge weld area for extra strength.

Felt’s patented Equilink also makes an appearance (it’s the red anodised strut attached to a short link between the chainstay and bottom bracket shell). Pedalling forces drive this link downward and, in turn, the Equilink pulls on the shock’s rocker arm, which resists compression of the shock.

This helps to dampen out any bobbing action caused by a low pivot point and the movement of your legs when pedalling.

The 1.5in head tube and massive hydroformed tubes scream ‘hardcore’!: the 1.5in head tube and massive hydroformed tubes scream ‘hardcore’!
Russell Burton

Equipment: Superb brakes, big name suspension and SRAM gearing

We were instantly pleased with Felt’s super short 50mm stem and trail worthy 680mm wide bars. RockShox are on up front duty with the new Lyrik 2-Step, while a Fox Float RP2 XV air can sits out back. SRAM take care of the gear department, while Avid’s superb new Elixir R brakes handle stopping with aplomb.

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The bike rolls on a set of hefty and heavy duty WTB Dual Duty rims, shod in Felt’s own branded XAM tyres, which have a huge carcass size given their 2.3in width.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Redemption 2 (09)
Brand Felt

Available Colours White
Rear Hub Deore FH-M525, 6-Bolt Type Rotor Mount, 9 Speed Cassette 32 hole, with Alloy Quick Release
Year 2009
Wheelset Dual Duty
Stem XAM All Mountain stem, 3D Forged Alloy, 4-bolt design, 31.8 Bar Bore. Sizes 70mm
Shifters X-7 1:1 Trigger Shifters 27-Speed
Seatpost Alloy All Mountain Micro-Adjust, 100% Black, 6061 Low-Profile Forged Head & Extruded Rail Clamps, 30.9x350mm (CEN)
Saddle Devox XAM Saddle Wide Nose, Broad flat rear with soft tissue relief channel. 2mm Gel Endurance layer, Rear "Jewel Safe" crush zone, Kevlar protected edges, Stitch free top, smooth leg chafe protection. 7mm heat treated Hollow Cr-Mo Rails
Rims Dual Duty FR Disc Doublewall, 26 x 1.5 x 32H, 28mm Width Presta Valve with Eyelets Black Anodized
Rear Tyre Size 26x2.3
Rear Shock Float RP2 XV Air 8.5 x 2.5, Tuning Range Adjustor with 2 Pro Pedal Position, DOHC Pro Pedal with 2 Position lever, Rebound Adjust, 213 Grams
Rear Derailleur X-9, long cage
Available Sizes 15.5 Inches 17.5 Inches 19.5 Inches
Handlebar XAM All Mountain Handlebar Butted Oversize 6061 Aluminum, 31.8mm clamp diameter, 25mm Rise, 8 degree bend with 4 degree sweep, Width: 680mm
Front Tyre Size 26x2.3
Front Hub 20mm Thru Axle Cold-Forged Aluminum Body, 32 hole Disc Brake
Front Derailleur Deore FD-M531 Bottom Swing Dual Pull
Frame Material Felt Equilink "Aggresive All Mountain" Full Suspension, 6061 Double-Butted Aluminum Front Triangle & Sub-Frame 165mm Travel, Oversized 1.5 inch Head Tube & 34.9mm FD, 34.9mm SPC, Seat Tube, Standard 135mm Axle, Compatible with Felt ISCG Mount, Replaceable Derailleur Hanger, Disc-Brake Specific
Fork Lyrik 2-Step IS U-Turn 115mm - 160mm Air Spring design. Forged Hollow AL66 Crown 35mm Upper tubes, Magnesium Lowers with Maxle 360 20mm axle, Motion control damping ,External rebound, low speed compression, 5.52lbs
Cranks STYLO 2.2 AM Dual Ring with Bashguard, 2-Piece Crank Giga-X-Pipe External Bearing Design
Cassette SRAM PG-950, 9-Speed Cassette, 11-32 tooth range
Brakes Elixir R Hydraulic, Rotors: 203mm/185mm
Bottom Bracket Giga X Pipe XR, Super Oversized Heat Treated Cr-Mo Included with Crank
Brake Levers Avid Elixir R