Felt NINEe Review

Felt Ninee Electric Bike Review 1
Felt Ninee
Felt Ninee Mid Drive Motor
Felt Ninee Removable Bosch Powerpack 400
Felt Ninee Bosch Display Cockpit
Felt Ninee 15 Mm Thru Axle
Felt Ninee Bosch Gen2 Centerdrive
Felt Ninee Performance Grips With Lockers
Felt Ninee Rockshox Fork Remote Lockout
Felt Ninee Shimano Deore Xt
Felt Ninee Wtb Thinline Saddle
Felt Ninee Electric Bike Review 1
Felt Ninee
Felt Ninee Mid Drive Motor
Felt Ninee Removable Bosch Powerpack 400
Felt Ninee Bosch Display Cockpit
Felt Ninee 15 Mm Thru Axle
Felt Ninee Bosch Gen2 Centerdrive
Felt Ninee Performance Grips With Lockers
Felt Ninee Rockshox Fork Remote Lockout
Felt Ninee Shimano Deore Xt
Felt Ninee Wtb Thinline Saddle

Summary

  • Ultra light-weight hardtail electric cross-country / mountain bike with efficient 29er wheels and premium components
  • Capable off-road or as a rugged commuter, seat stay bosses for adding a rear rack, remote lockout for front suspension fork to reduce bobbing, 15 mm front and 10 mm rear thru axles for increased stiffness
  • Efficient centerdrive motor system from Bosch is capable for climbing and makes wheel maintenance easy

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Felt

Model:

NINEe

Price:

$4,699 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Drivetrain and Electronics

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

38 lbs (17.23 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.5 lbs (2.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

Double-Butted 7005 Aluminum Alloy (Hydrofrom Top Tube and Seat Stays, Control Taper Headtube, Full Internal Cable Routing)

Frame Sizes:

14.5 in (36.83 cm)16 in (40.64 cm)18 in (45.72 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)22 in (55.88 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

XS 14.5" (Head Angle 71 mm, Seat Angle 73.5 mm, Top Tube Horizontal 561 mm, Head Tube Length 90 mm, Seat Tube Center to Top 368 mm, Bottom Bracket Drop 65 mm, Chain Stay 483 mm, Wheelbase 1094 mm, Standover 679 mm, Rake 46 mm, Reach 385 mm, Stack 595 mm), Small 16" (Head Angle 71 mm, Seat Angle 73 mm, Top Tube Horizontal 586 mm, Head Tube Length 90 mm, Seat Tube Center to Top 406 mm, Bottom Bracket Drop 65 mm, Chain Stay 483 mm, Wheelbase 1115 mm, Standover 714 mm, Rake 46 mm, Reach 398 mm, Stack 614 mm), Medium 18" (Head Angle 71 mm, Seat Angle 73 mm, Top Tube Horizontal 605 mm, Head Tube Length 100 mm, Seat Tube Center to Top 457 mm, Bottom Bracket Drop 65 mm, Chain Stay 483 mm, Wheelbase 1134 mm, Standover 760 mm, Rake 46 mm, Reach 415 mm, Stack 623 mm), Large 20" (Head Angle 71 mm, Seat Angle 73 mm, Top Tube Horizontal 625 mm, Head Tube Length 110 mm, Seat Tube Center to Top 508 mm, Bottom Bracket Drop 65 mm, Chain Stay 483 mm, Wheelbase 1154 mm, Standover 794 mm, Rake 46 mm, Reach 432 mm, Stack 623 mm), XL 22" (Head Angle 71 mm, Seat Angle 73 mm, Top Tube Horizontal 645 mm, Head Tube Length 120 mm, Seat Tube Center to Top 559 mm, Bottom Bracket Drop 65 mm, Chain Stay 483 mm, Wheelbase 1175 mm, Standover 823 mm, Rake 46 mm, Reach 449 mm, Stack 642 mm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gloss Black Pearl with Grey and Hex Orange Accents

Frame Fork Details:

RockShox Reba RLT, Solo Air Suspension with Remote PushLoc Lockout, Alloy Tapered Steerer, Magnesium Lowers, 100 mm Travel (80 mm Travel for XS Frame Size), Adjustable Rebound, 15 mm Maxle Thru Axle, Post Style Disc Mount

Frame Rear Details:

10 mm Thru Axle, Easton X4 Black Hub with Sealed Cartridge Bearings

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus 11-36T

Shifter Details:

Shimano SLX Rapid Fire on Right Bar

Cranks:

Felt Electric MTB Bosch-Specific, Forged Aluminum, 15T Cog: XS-SM = 170 mm, MD-XL = 175 mm

Pedals:

MTB Aluminum Platform, Toe Clip Compatible

Headset:

FSA No. 42 1.125" - 1.5" Integrated, ACB Water Sealed Bearings, Felt Tornado Aluminum Top Cap, Custom 1 x 7.8 mm Curved, 3 x 5 mm Straight Washers

Stem:

Felt MTB SL Design 3D-Forged Aluminum with 4-Bolt Handlebar Clamp, 1-1/8" Threadless: 31.8 mm Handlebar, 7° Rise, Black CrMo Hardware XS = 70 mm, SM/MD = 80 mm, LG = 90 mm, XL = 100 mm

Handlebar:

Felt MTB 6061 Butted Aluminum Riser: 31.8 mm, 15 mm Rise x 9° Sweep, 720 mm Width

Brake Details:

Shimano Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Ice Tech Front Pads, Shimano BL-M615 Levers

Grips:

Felt XC Trail Single Aluminum Clamp Lock-On, Wing-Style

Saddle:

WTB Silverado Race with DNAX Padding and CrMo Rails

Seat Post:

Felt 2-Bolt Micro-Adjust Butted 6061 Aluminum

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Easton EA70 XL Wheelset

Spokes:

Easton X4

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Rapid Ralph Evo, 29" × 2.25”

Wheel Sizes:

29 in (73.66cm)

Tire Details:

Tubeless Ready, Folding

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Other:

KMC X10 Chain, Custom Felt Internally Routed Shift Cables with CNC Aluminum Ferrules

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Gen 2 with Shift Detection

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

60 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

400 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

65 miles (105 km)

Display Type:

Removable Backlit Grayscale LCD

Readouts:

Speed, 4 Assist Levels, Battery Voltage, Odometer, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad with Tactile Feedback

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Combined Torque, Cadence and Speed), (Eco 50%, Tour 120%, Sport 190%, Turbo 275%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Felt NINEe is the lightest weight, stiffest, highest quality electric 29er I’ve tested to date. It delivers everything you might expect from a premium Felt bicycle with the addition of an advanced motor pedal-assist system from Bosch. It performs wonderfully on trails, mountainous terrain and urban environments thanks to the large efficient wheels, remote suspension lockout and rear rack bosses. You could totally commute with this thing. My favorite aspect is just how “bike like” the NINEe is. All of the motor and battery weight is low and center, the front and rear wheels offer quick release and the battery is removable so transport, maintenance and even riding in non-electric mode is a breeze. Weighing in at ~38 pounds (varying by size) it’s not a burden to lift up stairs or hazardous trail points such as drops or rivers. In my view, it’s the ultimate hardtail on the market right now but it does cost a bit extra… as one might expect.

The motor assisting you is a 350 watt geared mid-drive design from Bosch. Weighing in at ~6 pounds and operating with a sort of electronic whir, this thing is very powerful and in Turbo Mode (the highest drive setting) will take you up the steepest hills you can find. In my experience, the rear wheel will begin to slip before the motor even gets close to giving up (as long as you’re pedaling along). The centerdrive mounting position of this thing keeps weight low and center but might expose the casing to more trauma on rocky or wooded trails. The plastic casing is designed to protect the system and the two year electronics warranty adds peace of mind. So it’s powerful and durable but most importantly… it’s responsive. With two sensors embedded in the motor and one at the rear wheel this bike is constantly measuring your pedal force, cadence and bike speed for instantaneous activation and deactivation. This is especially important for technical off-road riding and Bosch nails it.

Powering the motor is a 400 watt hour Lithium-ion battery pack with premium Samsung cells. It mounts directly to the downtube and is so narrow that it won’t touch your legs when pedaling or get in the way. It provides just enough space that a bottle cage mount is present on the seat tube which isn’t the case for many ebikes with mid-batteries. The pack can be charged on or off the bike and includes a solid metal core lock (by ABUS) for security. And if you’re transporting the bike with a rear hang-style bike rack for your car, I love that the straight top tube and open triangle combined with the light weight frame mean you can still carry additional bikes without so much concern for overloading the rack. Considering how light this bike is to begin with, if you choose to remove the 8.8 pound battery you can enjoy riding in non-electric mode just as you would with a regular bike. Doing this, the bike would weigh ~30 pounds depending on frame size… that’s about 5 pounds heavier than comparable aluminum alloy hardtails.

To activate this bike you simply connect a charged battery and then press the power button at the lower left corner of the LCD display unit. The large backlit console is mounted front and center for easy viewing and offers several readouts with a constant show of speed, battery and assist level. I love that the display is removable in case you’re locking up in a crowded space or leaving the bike outside in glaring sun. To cycle through menus there’s a button at the top right of the display marked with an i and this button is duplicated on the remote button pad at the left grip for easy access. It lets you see overall distance, trip distance, max speed, average speed, estimated range, and time. My favorite readout is range because it dynamically adjusts as you arrow between four levels of assist and factors in remaining battery capacity. This lets you plan rides and avoid getting far, far from the parking lot on a trail ride only to run out of juice half way home. You can expect to get great range however, up to 65 miles in the lowest level of assist, and that’s not an exaggeration. I’ve commuted with the Bosch system on other bikes with a round trip of 10 miles over several days and still had half a pack left. Cycling through assist levels is very easy using the button pad and you can literally click through without taking your hand off the grip and without even looking down. It’s a great design that lets you focus on riding the bike vs. interpreting menus and it’s native to all Bosch Gen2 systems. In my time riding off road I tend to stay in Eco mode and then click the system off if I’m passing pedestrians (to eliminate motor noise and avoid questions or concern from them) and then when I’m climbing steep stuff I’ll arrow up to Normal mode to climb without leaving the saddle. This tactic has worked with even the steepest terrain I’ve encountered.

There are a lot of little highlights for me with this bike but most of it is stuff that a normal mountain biker would expect… In a sense it’s just bringing that level of quality to an ebike platform and the price is comparable to a higher end build, though you might expect carbon fiber. The upside of aluminum here is strength, likely required for the battery and motor system weight and force but the downside is vibration and weight. You’ve got name brand tubless-ready tires that are folding for reduced weight and easy transport (if you’re bringing spares) and the remote suspension lockout plus multiple frame sizes. Nothing mind blowing here but it’s not very common outside of a few select brands in the ebike space right now. The 10 speed gear range might concern non-ebike riders but it’s good enough when combined with the mid-drive and keeps the drivetrain simpler and tougher, you drop the chain less frequently and tuneups are simpler with a single derailleur. The real beauty is just how light this thing is overall for being electric and that the drive system and battery are low, center-mounted and sophisticated. You won’t end up flustering your local bike shop when coming in for repairs because the wheels, hydraulic brakes and cassette are all standard bike components… no extra wires there, no distractions. It’s a solid bike, a true bike that’s just more sophisticated and perhaps fun for people like me who have knee injuries or only get out on the weekends but still want to go far or keep up with friends.

Pros:

  • Large 29″ wheels deliver improved rolling efficiencies, higher attack angle and overall smooth ride
  • Remote lockout for RochShox suspension fork complements the remote button pad for motor control, everything can be adjusted without taking your hands off the grips
  • Capable in cross country, trail and mountain environments with knobby tires and thru-axles but also great for commuting with rear rack bosses present
  • Bottle cage bosses on the seat tube make it easy to bring hydration but you can also use a CamelBak or other system
  • High-end drivetrain, Shimano Deore XT with KMC X10 chain for toughness, important when paired with a mid-drive for off-road use
  • Quick release wheels, front and rear, as well as seat post makes this bike easy to transport and service
  • Grips have lockers to avoid spinning, saddle is upgraded for comfort and reduced heat
  • Awesome fit! Your choice from five frame sizes, each also has an adjustable seat post height
  • Felt is a mainstream performance brand known for high quality bicycle builds, strong emphasis on frame and component quality
  • Gel saddle provides added comfort on longer rides and bumpy terrain, designed to stay extra cool in hot temperatures
  • Battery pack is removable for convenient charging and to reduce the weight of the frame during transport, for security the battery has a built in locking core made by ABUS
  • 10 speed rear cassette offers decent cadence range for climbing or reaching higher velocity on paved tarmac, motor cuts out at 20 mph
  • Bosch display panel is removable for safe storage, backlit for night use and includes a breakout button pad that clicks when you press down so you don’t have to take your hand off the left grip or eyes off the road to navigate menus or change assist level
  • Purpose built frame (CNC Aluminum Ferrules) conceals most wires for shifting, braking and motor systems on the bike
  • Having the battery and motor mounted low and center on the frame improves balance which is great for unstable terrain like trails and mountain
  • Pedalec system is extremely responsive (measuring pedal torque, cadence and bicycle speed) cuts out quickly which is important when riding off-road terrain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power while minimizing hand fatigue in off-road environments
  • Solid two year warranty on drivetrain, components and electronics with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a good reputation from Felt

Cons:

  • No throttle mode available here, this is a pedalec only and requires rider pedaling input to activate the motor
  • This is one of the pricier hardtail 29er electric bikes I’ve reviewed but you do get quality and a solid warranty, for $700 less you can get the Bosch system on a Haibike 29″ which weighs 7 lbs more

Resources:

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Comments (19) YouTube Comments

Dan Martin
5 years ago

I’ve been commuting on a 2014 NINEe since the beginning of November, and it works beautifully. Mine is setup with large Schwalbe Marathon tires, rack and bags, integrated Supernova lights, and fenders. The odometer will roll past 2000 miles during tomorrows ride into the office.

The NINEe has seen some pretty cold weather, and I can report that extreme cold definitely affects battery life… I fabricated a neoprene wrap for insulation, which really helps. But even battling cold, snow and headwinds, it has enough power to handle my 35 mile trip. In the cold I’ve taken the charger along so I can recharge at work, though I think I’ll be able to handle 70 miles round trip on a single charge in warmer weather.

I looked at a bunch of bikes and researched online quite a bit (watched many of your reviews!) before buying the Felt. I have absolutely no regrets, as I wanted a peddle assist bike durable enough for a large number of miles but that would still feel like riding a bike. The quality components and frame on the Felt have been truly impressive so far! I’ll post back at the end of the year when I will have logged over 15k miles.

I hope the growing awareness and popularity of e-bikes leads more people to use them seriously for commuting as an alternative to driving. For me, the NINEe has improved my fitness, reduced my stress, and makes it possible to commute by bike five days a weeks. Keep up the awesome reviews!

Regards,
-dan

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Cool cold-weather upgrades Dan! I just checked out your blog post and love the neoprene wrap. So glad to hear the bike is working well for you and appreciate the update. It’s always a big step laying out thousands of dollars on new technology but it sounds like you’re very happy and I appreciate the “real world” feedback on distance and cold impacting battery performance. Ride on and be safe!

  Reply
Faunus
4 years ago

Sounds great! I’m looking at buying this bike in August and have a few questions… Hope you can answer! I like to ride in a more upright posture. Can the h/bars be adjusted? I would like to add a sprung seat post. Should that be a problem? I have ridden a few e-bikes since 2009, both hub and mid drive, but nothing over $2K. This bike seems to be a long ways ahead of where I’ve been and I’m looking forward to it!

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hi Faunus! The Felt ebikes are all very high quality… both the frame and the drive system (by Bosch) are top notch. This bike is a bit less “upright” and more designed for trail riding but you could always add a new handlebar with more of a swept-back design (like a cruiser) and yes! You could also swap out the saddle. Alternatively, if you wanted to save money and get something that’s purpose built for relaxed riding then I’d recommend one of the Easy Motion city bikes like the Evo City or Evo Street which are ~$3k. They are made well, have a solid warranty and come with relaxed bars, comfort saddles and fenders, lights and racks for utility around town. The Felt NINEe is more for trail riding but could be fun for around town as well if you like that more aggressive style :)

  Reply
Derick
4 years ago

Hey Court, I bought the felt NINEe (2016 model?) from a local dealer and It’s a world of difference form my 26″ hardtail. I’m using this to commute about 43 miles a day (round trip). It has cut a hour out of the daily trip to and from work. Small point: there are no bottle cage bosses(i.e. no space for them). I am growing to be rather attached to this bike, because it is everything you have reported it to be. While nothing is perfect, I do have to be careful of the battery charge due to the very steep hill I live on. So I’m getting about 45+ miles per charge. I just wanted to thank you for your help in selecting this bike. When I wear this battery out, I hope there will be a higher capacity one available. Again Thanks.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Great feedback Derick! Yeah, it seems like batteries are getting slightly better with each passing year. The Bosch Powerpack 400 was used for a wide range of models and even for different brands so I believe it will be supported longer than most and we may see a higher energy density option at some point. Thanks for sharing the range you’ve been getting and commenting on the lack of bottle cage bosses. Ride safe! I’m hoping to review more Felt ebikes this coming year :)

  Reply
Andy
3 years ago

I noticed on the video there are bottle cage bosses on the seat tube, but on the Felt Web site, there are none. Are they no longer available?

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Andy! It’s difficult to say… I have seen some bikes change slightly throughout the year (like when a company makes a minor update on a second or third batch). Sometimes their stock photos are taken with pre-production hardware and never updated, that’s why I like to go into the field vs. reviewing at trade shows. I can’t say for sure but I’d guess that most bikes do have the bottle cage bosses.

  Reply
John Appleby
3 years ago

My Friend just bought two of these bikes yesterday. A medium frame and an extra large frame. The medium frame does not have the water bottle cage bosses. With the battery installed there is not Enough room for a water bottle to fit on the down tube. The extra large frame does have the cage bosses.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Cool, thanks for clarifying John!

  Reply
Dan
3 years ago

For the Nine e… The Racing Ralph tire set-up…. Are they tubeless? Do you know which Racing Ralph version is used: Snakeskin, Liteskin, Double Defense? Any experience how the Racing Ralphs feel, work on pavement? It sounds like the Marathons were a great choice for pavement. Many thanks, appreciate your guidance, Dan

  Reply
Derick
3 years ago

Update, While I now have over 6000 miles as of a about1.5 weeks ago. I am happy with the bike overall, a couple of issues have come to light. One is the Easton EA70 XL wheel set; it will throw spokes if you don’t regularly check them before every ride, so be careful and do. These are 28 spoke wheels and I have lost a few to the point the wheels were replaced with 32 spoke WBT/DT Swiss custom built(courtesy of United Parcel Smashers). Around 3000 miles I began to notice the battery was losing range. I believe some of the cells are dying, but I will have that looked at when I have the drive train rebuilt again at about the 7000 mile marker(first time was around 3500 miles). Besides the change in wheels, I have upgraded the rear brake disc to a 180mm. This is due to I go through a set of brake pads about every 6-8 weeks. So I am commuting around 150 miles a week, so far it performed well, but not flawless. We will see how it holds up as the miles pile on. Maybe Felt should hire me to be a durability tester, just a thought.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hey Derick! Thanks for the feedback about the Felt NINEe… sorry to hear about the spoke issue? I’ve heard of them getting loose on some ebikes when there is a lot of bumpy riding or heavier weight involved (this is why cargo bikes often have thicker spokes and smaller wheels). Some people have suggested to me that using Loctite Blue to keep them from coming loose can help but what do you mean exactly by “throwing spokes” what happens?! It sounds like you’ve gotten just a ton of ride time and range out of the bike! For battery lifetime I hear companies quote 1,000 cycles for warranty or ~2 years, whichever comes first. I wonder how many full cycles you’ve had, not sure you can actually check without going to a dealer… I think there is a Bosch software update they could help you with as well to improve performance.

  Reply
Yannis
3 years ago

Thank you for the meticulous report you shared. One thing its not clear is whether the brake levers cut down the motor. (i.e. do they have an embedded switch that cuts the power from the motor when braking). Keep sharing your great reviews.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Yannis! The brakes on this ebike (and most other Bosch powered models) do not have motor inhibitors built in. The motor is so responsive (measuring torque, wheel speed and pedal cadence 1,000 times per second) that they do not include inhibitors. The brakes are also hydraulic so they can overpower the motor pretty well on most assist levels and in most situations. I realize it’s weird to see this braking cutoff feature on some ebikes and not others, I try to list it as a feature but many bikes these days are forgoing it altogether based on the new fancier motors. The key is to stop pedaling when you need to stop. Hope this helps you out :)

  Reply
Melany Edge
3 months ago

Hi Court,

I’ve had the Felt Nine E since they came out with it nearly, and I have really enjoyed this bike. My battery is now beginning to show some weakness and I was wondering if the newer Bosch 500 wh battery could be installed on this bike?

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Hi Melany! My understanding is that YES, the PowerPack 400 and 500 use the same case and interface… they also operate at 36 volts, so they are interchangeable. You should be able to find one at any local Bosch ebike dealer or possibly get one mailed from a national shop if you don’t have a local dealer. Hope this helps and keeps your bike one the road! Keep in mind, storing your battery between 20%-80% and in a cool dry location vs. hot or cold will keep the Lithium-ion cells lasting longer :)

  Reply
Speedlearn
3 months ago

Is it possible to install wider tires to help with shock absorption? I’ve been riding and loving this bike for 2 years, but the broken pavement and gravel road ruts I routinely encounter are brain numbingly rough. Wider tires and the newer Bosch battery would be sweet.

Thanks!

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Great question, I’m a fan of fatter “higher air volume” tires for comfort reasons, as you suggest. Not all frames will work with them however, due to the fork and rear seat stay / chain stay widths. I cannot say for sure with the Felt NINEe because I don’t have it in front of me, but a shop would be able to help make an educated guess about the widest tire that would fit. The default Schwalbe Rapid Ralph Evo, 29″ × 2.25” are already decent, but maybe a 2.4″ would fit? You can also lower the tire pressure a bit to improve comfort, just don’t go too low or you could get a flat. The recommended PSI range for this tire was not recorded by me when I covered the bike in 2015 but it is something I always look for now. Sorry I cannot be of more help, look at the tire sidewalls for a PSI rating, it may be something like 35 PSI and here’s a page which seems to have more info on it.

  Reply

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