Just how light is light enough for a good trail bike? And how rigid is rigid enough and where’s the line of being too rigid? With the launch of their brand new Decree, Felt have surely unveiled their most ambitious fully to date, proclaiming they’re created the ultimate do-it-all stallion. But what’s really within the realms of this 11.17 kg carbon whippet and what’s the catch, if any? We’ve been out doing the groundwork for the Decree on Lake Garda’s brutally unforgiving and unforgivingly brutal trails.

Das Topmodel Decree FRD setzt auf gedeckte Farben.
The top spec Felt Decree FRD comes in muted colors.

Presenting the Decree, Felt’s new trail bike, just a few weeks after EUROBIKE might seem a little unusual, but Felt deliberately chose this quieter time of year, consciously eschewing the typical launch schedule with the objective of being able to react in a more flexible manner to changes on the market and have time to perfect the line. The Decree offers a mass of 140 mm travel, and each model comes as standard with 150 mm forks, placing the Decree somewhere in the gulf between the Edict xc bike and the Compulsion enduro bike, while posing an alternative to the Virtue 29er.

Das FAST Hinterbau-Konzept entstammt dem XC-Bike Edict.
Das FAST suspension concept is derived from the xc bike Edict…

Since 2006 Felt’s fullys have all been designed to incorporate their own Equilink-Platform. But while this rear suspension design excelled on bikes with up to 160 mm travel, the designers couldn’t stop there, developing another platform in 2011, going by the name of FAST (Felt Active Stay Technology), which they exclusively placed on their Edict xc bike. The Decree is now the second bike to boast the FAST suspension set-up.

Felts FAST Hinterbau setzt auf flexende Carbon Sitzstreben.
… and utilizes flexing carbon seatstays.

The FAST rear makes use of a single-pivot design with a flexing rear triangle from carbon stays. Interestingly, the rear triangle is preloaded in a neutral 30% SAG position. When the travel is extended or compressed, the design of the flexing carbon seatstays creates a force that supports the shock at returning to the neutral SAG position, thereby guaranteeing effective pedaling and responsive suspension simultaneously. Due to this support, the rear shock can be run with a minimal compression tune so it’s particularly adept at small bump compliance. On big hits though, the seatstays essentially support the progressive spring curve to prevent bottoming out.

Die interne Zugverlegung lässt sich mittels austauschbarer Einsätze flexibel anpassen.
The internal cable routing can be customized with exchangeable inserts.
Die große unteren Austrittsöffnung ermöglicht ein leichtes verlegen der Züge und ermöglicht bei Bedarf einen Shimano Di2 Akku im Rahmen zu integrieren.
The large exit near the bottom bracket allows an easy routing of the cables and can hold a Shimano Di2 battery inside the frame.

Much more than just a clever rear suspension concept, the Decree is a trove of tidy details, such as internal cable routing, which has the flexibility for you to configure it as you wish, and end caps to prevent the cables from rattling around inside the frame. If you decide to go for Shimano’s electronic Di2 shifting, the battery can be integrated into the frame under the bottom bracket. Whereas if you’re only after a single chainring at the front, the front derailleur mount can be removed to give the Decree a cleaner look.

Mittels Flip-Chip lässt sich der Lenkwinkel um 1° und die Tretlagerhöhe um 10mm anpassen.
Flip chips can be used to adjust the head tube angle by 0.8° und the bb height by 10mm.

There’s little to raise an eyebrow about when it comes to this trail bike’s geometry as it’s pretty standard for such a bike. The presence of a flip-chip means the slack 66.5° head angle can be upped to 67.3° and the bottom bracket raised by 10 mm. The seat tube has been designed as low as possible to give a low standover height and allow the seatpost to go lower into the smaller-sized frames.


Size S (16) M (18) L (20) XL (22)
Head Tube Angle (slack setting) 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5°
Seat Tube Angle (slack setting) 73.0° 73.0° 73.0° 73.0°
Top Tube 565mm 595mm 625mm 655mm
Head Tube Length 90mm 105mm 125mm 145mm
Seat Tube Length 395mm 430mm 485mm 540mm
BB Height (low setting) 430mm 430mm 430mm 430mm
Chain Stay Length 430mm 430mm 430mm 430mm
Wheelbase 1107mm 1139mm 1171mm 1203mm
Stack 567mm 590mm 609mm 627mm
Reach 391mm 417mm 441mm 465mm
Das Kürzel FRD steht für Felt Racing Development und schmückt ausschließlich das Topmodell mit TeXtreme Carbon-Layup.
FRD stands for Felt Racing Development and indicates that this is the top-of-the-line model with the lightest TeXtreme carbon-layup.
Auf den steifen ENVE Carbon Felgen ist Schwalbes neuer Nobby Nic aufgezogen.
The stiff ENVE carbon wheels come with Schwalbe’s neu Nobby Nic tires in 2,35 width.

The Felt Decree comes in five complete bike models in Germany, with the top-of-the-range Decree FRD featuring a special carbon lay-up that goes by the name of TeXtreme 76. The Decree FRD has succeeded in achieving the same rigidity as the more affordable and 100 g heavier other carbon models. So even despite the mountain of rigidity, the Decree FRD’s frame tips the scales at a diminutive 2.38 kg including a RockShox Monarch Plus rear shock. But such high-tech perfection doesn’t come for free, as this top-end bike retails at 9,999 €. The significantly cheaper Decree 30 takes the carbon rear of the other models and combines it with an aluminium main frame. Both carbon frames are available purely as a frame set too.

Felt setzt beim Decree bewusst auf den bewährten BSA Standard.
Felt deliberately relies on the approved BSA standard.

Felt Decree Specs: Parts, Weights and Prices


Felt Decree FRD

Fork: RockShox PIKE RCT3 Dual Position Air
Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair
Drivetrain: SRAM XX1
Brakes: SRAM Guide Ultimate
Wheels: ENVE 60 Forty carbon/Chris King ISO (US: DT Swiss XMC 1200)
Weight: 11,17 kg (Größe Medium)
Price: 9.999 € / 9.999$


Felt Decree 1

Fork: RockShox PIKE RC Dual Position Air
Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair
Drivetrain: SRAM X01
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Wheels: DT Swiss M 1800
Weight: 11,60 kg (Größe Medium)
Price: 4.999 € / 6499 $


Felt Decree 2

Fork: RockShox PIKE RC Solo Air
Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus R Debonair
Drivetrain: Shimano XT 2×11
Brakes: Shimano Deore M615
Wheels: DT Swiss M 1900
Weight: 12,43 kg (Größe Medium)
Price: 4.250 € (not available in US)


Felt Decree 3

Fork: RockShox PIKE RC Solo Air
Shock: RockShox Monarch RT3 Debonair
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore/XT 2×10 (US: 1×11)
Brakes: Shimano Deore M615
Weight: 12,66 kg (Größe Medium)
Price: 3.499 € / 4499 $


Felt Decree 30

Fork: RockShox Revelation RL Solo Air
Shock: RockShox Monarch RT Debonair
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore/XT 2×10
Brakes: Shimano M355
Weight: 13,22 kg (Größe Medium)
Price: 2.750 € / 3499 $

Riding impressions

Lightweight and responsive, the Decree immediately won us over, convincing us of its climbing powers, greyhound-esque acceleration and ability to climb well even with a fully open rear shock. On slow, tricky descents the bike is a little too stiff, and could be better planted on the ground. Once you raise your game and push the pace the rear end comes to life and willingly soaks up the big hits. The enormous stiffness of the frame and the ENVE carbon wheels on the top-end model mean you’ll smoothly follow your line choices, but it’s not so forgiving if you’re off your game – the aluminium wheels on the cheaper bikes in the range probably show more mercy. Note that the US model is spec’d with DT Swiss XMC 1200. The Decree will definitely suit those riders who have mastered the trails, pouncing on opportunities to ride with some aggressive. Giving its great climbing skills and low weight, it’s a versatile alternative to an XC-orientated bike with less travel. Newer to riding and after a touch more comfort, you’d be better off choosing a more excusing and plusher trail bike such as the Felt’s Virtue 29er.

Das Felt Decree FRD verlangt nach einem aktiven Fahrstil.
The Felt Decree FRD demands an active riding style.

The Decree is expected to reach dealers by mid-December 2015.

For more info check of Felt’s website.

Words: Moritz Dittmar Photos: Robin Schmitt

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