Recently we had the chance to install some new parts on a customer's Felt Edict cross-country bike. It turned out so nicely that we just had to share....read on.
Below is the bike as it showed up. 2x10 Deore drivetrain without a clutch, quick release Suntour fork, and stock wheels. Gorgeous frame and solid spec throughout, just begging for a few key improvements.
We made several upgrades that shaved weight while making the bike more capable. Up front, we replaced the quick-release Suntour fork with a Rockshox Reba with a 15mm through-axle. The 15mm axle adds a tremendous amount of stiffness compared to a QR, especially on a lightweight 29" suspension fork, and the Rockshox damper is arguably superior to Suntour's efforts.
To complement the new axle, we replaced the stock Felt wheels with Syncros XR-RC wheels, which are rebadged DT Swiss XR1501. This move saved lots of rotational weight, while improving hub engagement and reliability/ease of service.
In the above photo, you may notice the cockpit looks especially clean. Thanks for a complete drivetrain redo, we're down to three cables. But the improvements go much deeper than that. We replaced the stock Deore derailleur with the latest 11-speed Shimano XT, featuring a clutch for vastly improved chain retention. We eliminated the front derailleur and shifter altogether, and replaced the stock stamped steel chainrings with a single machined aluminum Raceface narrow-wide chainring. These rings feature a special tooth profile that eliminates the need for a chain guide. Out back, we replaced the Deore-level cassette with a SRAM X01 driver, which saves weight and increases range.
A nice side effect of the single chainring conversion and the clutch derailleur is a silent drivetrain: The chain no longer bounces around and hits the frame, and there is no front derailleur to rub on, no matter the gear.
And finally....the bike as it left the shop. Lighter, stiffer, more up-to-date, cleaner looks, better features. Coming to a Strava KOM near you.