Imagine a mountain bike that could do it all; from lightning fast ascending, to jaw-dropping descending. Imagine a guy that has done it all; from World Cup downhills to cross-country gut-busters. Imagine no more… Meet the new Felt Decree, and meet Steve Kitchin – our bike marketing manager. They are both damn hot, on the trails.  Over to you Steve…

 

 

 

Introducing the Felt Decree

The Decree is Felt's newest suspension platform, with 27.5 wheels, and a long and slack geometry. With 150mm front suspension, 140mm rear and a dropper seat post it is aimed squarely at the trail riding shredders.

One thing that sets the Decree apart from most other bikes in this category is weight. This 18" FRD model weights a just over 24lb. OK, so this is the top of the range crazy expensive FRD model; but the Decree 2 at £3,500, is just a couple of pounds heavier, and still one of the lightest trail bikes in its price category!

 

 

There are two things that make the Decree stand out...

The first, and easier to understand, is the front frame triangle. The pictures don't do it justice; it is massively fat (and phat!). Looking down on it from the riding position, it is noticeably chunkier than most other bikes. The reasoning behind the fat approach, is stiffness. This is a solid ride.

 

 

It. Is. FAST

The second thing, and it's a lot more complicated, is the rear triangle. Felt call it FAST: Felt Active Stay Technology. It is.

When suspension reacts, the rear triangle changes shape; this is usually handled by a pivot at the chainstay. However, pivots add weight, flex, expense and wear. Felt FAST technology means no rear pivot. The change of shape is handled by engineered bends in the seat stays.

Felt FAST technology was first introduced in the 100mm travel Edict full suspension bikes a couple of years ago; this is the first time we have seen it utilised in a trail bike though; and the longer travel calls for a lot more bend.

To achieve the extra flex, Felt started with the seat stays bending the wrong way like a bow; they only straighten out at 30 percent travel, the usual preloaded sag. The bow then bends the other way as it moves through the stroke; this has the riding benefit of making the suspension incredibly progressive; meaning it starts super soft for small bump compliance, and then firms up consistently as things reach maximum travel. It works.

The entire Decree range features this technology, with carbon FAST technology rear triangles, even on the entry-price aluminium front triangle equipped Felt Decree 30 (2017) Mountain bike. This film explains it further…

Decree: Design and Engineering from Felt Bicycles TV on Vimeo.

 

 

Suspension tech

The Felt Decree comes with a RockShox Pike fork and a Monarch Rear shock.

Out of the box, the RockShox Pike fork comes without RockShox air token adjusters fitted. These simple rubber donuts fit inside the fork and reduce the air spring volume; changing the progression curve and controlling how the fork firms-up during travel. Out of the box, some tested identified that this doesn’t match the rear shock. Felt quickly realised this, and now include the tokens with every bike. Rest assured - our Wiggle workshop fit these as part of our PDI now. I rode the bike with and without, and the difference is hugely noticeable; the front and rear now feel perfectly balanced.

The RockShox Monarch air shock has there compression firmness settings adjusted by the blue lever on the shock body, Soft, Mid and Firm.  After testing all three, I was so impressed with the pedalling efficiency of Soft I decided to keep it simple and not touch it. This also kept it in perfect balance with the fork.

Flip and Chips

The rear suspension linkage has what Felt call ‘Flip Chips’; essentially aluminium nuggets that can be rotated to adjust the head angle and bottom bracket height. As standard, the bike comes in ‘slack and low’ mode; the bike handled so well I didn’t fell inclined to mess with it.

 

 

The Ride

The first pedal of the Decree hinted at its promised stellar performance; this may be a long travel trail bike, but it accelerates like a cross country machine.

I have had this bike for a few months now, and ridden every kind of terrain; the most full-on being a full-face helmet and body armour uplift weekend, at a get-together for 1990's downhill riders at Bike Park Wales!

The Decree has proven to be incredible fun, the very capable. The suspension travel (150mm F/140mm R), and the 2.4 tyres, allow you to charge through pretty much anything unruffled; yet if you wanted to hop the bike across to any new line or clear a section, the lightweight frame makes it easily possible. 

The Swinley Forest trail centre gave the bike its most all-round test; with every kind of terrain.  This is where its lightness shone; climbing single track with a pace I am certainly not familiar with. It made climbing fun!

 

 

Conclusion

The Felt Decree shows the performance value of new lightweight trail bikes. The FRD frame weighs 4.5lbs, which is ludicrous for a 140mm trail bike.

Would I buy the Felt Decree FRD?  No, it is £8000. But, what makes this bike expensive, is its dream build kit; which includes ENVE wheels at £2,500 value alone. Would I buy a Felt Decree 1 or a Felt Decree 2; who share the same fork and rear shock, and the same innovative geometry? Yes. They are less than half the price; which makes them great value, in my opinion.

 

The Felt Decree range

Felt Decree 2 (2017) Mountain Bike

Top Features:

  • All new Felt Decree all-mountain 27.5" carbon frame
  • Rock Shox Pike RC Solo Air, 150mm
  • Shimano XT 2x11 drivetrain
  • DT Swiss M1900 wheelset
  • WTB Volt saddle
  • Rockshox Reverb dropper post
  • Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyre

 

Felt Decree 3 (2017) Mountain Bike

Top Features:

  • All new Felt Decree all-mountain 27.5" carbon frame
  • Rock Shox Pike RC Solo Air, 150mm
  • Shimano Deore 2x10 drivetrain
  • WTB Volt saddle
  • KS Lev dropper post
  • Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyre

 

Felt Decree 30 (2017) Mountain bike

Top Features:

  • All new Felt Decree all-mountain 27.5" alloy frame with carbon swing arm
  • Rock Shox Revelation RL Solo Air, 150mm travel
  • Shimano Deore 2x10 drivetrain
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • WTB Volt saddle
  • KS Drop Zone dropper post

About the author

Steve Kitchin
Published on: 20 Apr 2016

Steve has been around in the mountain bike world since the early 90's. Downhill World Champ racer, previous manager of the Animal World Cup Team; Steve K knows his stuff when it comes to knobbly tyres!