Felt's Supercharged Decree LE - Sea Otter 2016

Apr 16, 2016 at 3:26
by Richard Cunningham  
Sea Otter 2016

Felt Decree LE


Felt wanted to offer a different take on their premier mid-travel trailbike - so they began with its top-line lightweight carbon Decree chassis and then pumped up its performance from its intended role as an xc/marathon racer, into the realm of all-mountain with a more capable component selection - one that we would expect to see on fancy custom builds. The suspension is all DVO, with a 150-millimeter Diamond fork and with a Topaz shock that produces 140-millimeters of wheel travel via its flex-stay "FAST" rear suspension.


Felt Decree LE 2016
SRAM's ultra-wide-range 12-speed Eagle 10 x 50 cassette.
Felt Decree LE 2017
DVO Topaz shock and matching Diamond fork.

The DVO suspension's green theme is carried through to the component build, with a Spank Oozy Trail stem and 760-millimeter handlebar up top. Its KS LEV dropper post has a matching anodized seal head and its Spank Oozy 27.5-inch wheels are laced to green-anodized hubs and 35-millimeter id aluminum rims. The Decree's Textreme carbon fiber chassis is finished off with a green tinted clear coat to accent its signature checkerboard layup. The Decree LE's transmission is SRAM's over-the-top Eagle 12-speed ensemble. Felt says that the Decree LE will be sold for $6,499 USD and is available in four sizes: Small, medium, large and X-Large. Actual weights were not available, but the LE should weight around 26 to 27 pounds, based upon the upper-end builds that Felt offers with the standard Decrees.

Felt Decree LE 2017
Sturdy Spank Oozy Trail 345 wheels with Maxxis Minion DHR II tires.

Felt Decree LE 2017
Oozy Trail stem and Oozy 760 Trail handlebar
Felt Decree LE 2017
Spank color-anodized matching hubs.

Felt Decree LE 2016
LEV dropper has color accents too.

Felt Decree LE geometry
Four frame sizes and good numbers all 'round.
Felt Decree LE 2017
Front-loading cables and hoses don't scratch the finish.

bigquotesWith the Decree, you can very easily ride cross-country trails, and you can very easily ride more aggressive terrain. We wanted to fit the new Decree LE with components that are targeted a little more towards all-mountain or enduro riding. So, the Decree LE was designed specifically to take more of a beating. - Felt Product Manager Rob Pauley





67 Comments

  • 23 1
 How good does that fork look? Green crown, black legs... Wow! All green is over the top but I love this!
  • 26 16
 Flex stays. Work of the lazy devil. Something il never accept. It's a compromise to the life of the bike and the ride quality. I know carbon can flex happily over and over it does it in aircraft wings ect but there much larger to spread the load and built to a much higher standard than the back end of a spindly bikes. Few extra grams and some Bush or bearings over the years is much better
  • 6 4
 Yeah i would be always be worring about when my bike was just going to break. In there defense the build spec is pretty killer and color coordinated.
  • 10 2
 It works great in the Yeti ASRC
  • 11 2
 I was always put off from flex stays, esp. metal ones. But then I sat at a window at the wing during a flight and go over it quickly.
  • 6 2
 Maybe for an extra $3000 they can throw in some chainstay pivots.
  • 6 1
 Do agree and i prefer pivots but you'd be suprised how little movement a chainstay pivot on a mid travel bike uses. On my old 14 gt sensor the chainstay pivot only had 3 degrees rotation and that was only in the top of it's travel.
  • 6 0
 Ok $4000 for some pivots.
  • 31 2
 What are you some kind of mechanical engineer who specializes in full suspension bicycle design? No?? Sit down then.
  • 8 1
 You can tune carbon to flex any way you want it to, depending on the layup schedule, that's the beauty of carbon. You can tune everything from the way a high-end fly rod flexes and casts, diffuser on an F1 car, the stays on a bike. Principle is the same, difference is in the execution.
  • 2 1
 Get a room.
  • 5 1
 And you base this opinion on your years of experience as a materials engineer, I'm sure.
  • 18 0
 @rckon03: No worrries. The stays flex very little. The stays are preloaded in the fully extended position, not loaded at all in the center of the suspension's travel, and then they are bent about 2 degrees at full compression. The loads are so minimal that the stress would barely register on an FEA display.
  • 4 0
 Are you a mechanical engineer, expert in carbon, or have any other form of expertise? Then you don't really have any basis or knowledge to make those claims at all and no idea how it impacts anything.

When designed well CF can take a stupidly massive amount of bending load and have no lasting effects or deformation (it's one of the reasons it's such a useful material). I'd wager a finite element analysis on this would reveal there's not a whole lot of excitement going on in the chainstay pivot. I can't imagine it flexes more than 4 degrees, which is pretty damn low loading on something that has to take much higher forces (from, you know, riding).

EDIT: Didn't see @RichardCunningham's reply until now, 2 degrees is nothing to get your panties in a wad about especially given how it's designed.
  • 20 0
 @Uberbob102000: I'm a mechanical engineer, who focused in composites. I took classes with Boeing structural engineers also learning about composites (yikes?). I'd be 100% OK with having flex stays, especially if they are composite. Metals have a fatigue life where they will eventually break. (yes even steel loaded below the endurance limit will most likely fracture). Composites on the other hand that are made with a void % below a certain level have no measurable fatigue life. Additionally you can design a composite to be stiffer in one direction than another. I'd take a flex stay any day over a pivot. One less thing to break and it's a much laterally stiffer joint.

TLDR: Composites are superior to metal in flexural fatigue, and vastly superior to a pivot joint.
  • 9 1
 Not scientific but my yeti asr 5 with flex stays is 4 years old, has done loads of black run style trails and off piste. Fingers crossed but so far so good. Now if only it was boost and 650b. Here's to obsolete but reliable
  • 4 0
 In defense of flex stays, I know a bike designer/ welder/ engineer who designed a flex stay bike, welded the frame and rides it, regularly, as his personal bike.

If he rides it as his personal bike, I am not going to worry about it, but with the price of new bikes today , I would need to demo ride it first.
  • 4 0
 Quite a few companies putting out bikes with flex stays now. I suppose there must be something to it, or why else would they set themselves up for a warranty issue?
  • 4 0
 I'm sure 99% will last the warranty period. It's after the warranty that it's gonna be a problem. If they do life time warranty on the flex stay that would help but couple of years isn't gonna cut it for me
  • 2 0
 'Supercharged' With the latest technological gadgets :electronic shifting, electronic suspensions, gearboxes, carbon parts, new standards day by day, 'supercharged' seems quite rational.
  • 1 0
 Sweet! Felt needs to up there warranty on a design like this though. On the flex stays the wording pretty much leaves you with the feeling that the carbons only going to work this nice fir so long and then u have to replace the whole rear end. And its not like they are very specific. Makes you feel like when u come back with a warranty claim they will just be able to point to the part saying it's meant to wear out and leave you hanging in the breeze...
  • 1 0
 Ridden the snot out of the Decrees in both 1 and 3 level -- they're unreal. Rocked fast, basically a trailbike that pedals like it has 125mm of travel but has deep legs and low, slack AM geometry for when the riding gets rough. Truly does it all (though make no mistake, it's a trailbike). The bike is also wicked playful... Can't recommend them enough. I work at www.parkcitybikedemos.com and half of our staff is now on them after trying them. The flex stays are totally awesome, blown away with the design especially after a bunch of us are getting off wicked efficient dual-pivot designs...
  • 4 3
 OK. For the longest an AM bike was 150 to as much as 165mm.

Then they started calling those Enduro bikes.

Then they started calling 140mm bikes Trail bikes.

But now Felt calls 140mm's AM?

WTF?
  • 2 0
 This just proves that there really is no real definition of the terms they use anymore.

I agree...a few years ago All mountain bike had certain specific attributes to the bike that made it more than an XC but still less than a DH rig.

Now with new terms like "Enduro" or the really confusing one "Trail" is starting to blur the lines of which bike is for which use. Especially to any new comers to the sport.

I consider the term "Trail" to be too broad where as "All mountain" I felt like that term meant it can handle just about anything but wasn't perfect for DH and too heavy and slow for XC.
  • 6 2
 @LiquidSpin: You know what the idea is?
90 to 110mm - xc race bike
120 to 140mm - trail bike, for lazy xc and comfortable slow AM
140 to 150mm - am bike
155 to 170mm -enduro bike, for crazy fast am pro riders
Smile
  • 1 0
 That's always been called like that in continental Europe.
  • 11 0
 Here's an idea: a bike's feeling and intended purpose is defined by a few more things than 10mm of travel.
  • 2 0
 @bishopsmike: agreed. But the amount of travel is the general idea. Sure, you can have a race enduro bike with 150mm, you can have a slopestyle bike with 110mm that lands big jumps and stuff and gets abused like crazy. But this is geometry, this is suspension kinematics, this is the parts of the whole build. We were talking only about travel in general here Smile
  • 1 0
 @hitarpotar: In "MY" perfect world... 0-140 Still XC/Trail ~ 140-170 Am/Enduro ;p
  • 2 0
 @Jaybirdy: there are several bikes with 140mm of travel at the back. Together with their agressive geometry and being specced with a 160mm forks, they are far away from being xc/trail worthy. Wink
  • 3 0
 @hitarpotar: There are plenty of 140 and 150 travel bikes that are touted as trail bikes.

Also, the length of the suspension doesn't equal discipline. Plus bikes and 29ers have shorter travel but are made to hit just as hard as any AM bike or enduro bike.

There's more to it. Just saying.
  • 2 0
 @LiquidSpin: agreed with you as well. I was talking about the situation in general. Of course there are a few different bikes out there which bend the rules, but most manufacturers follow them. There are few experiments from the brands, engineers change their thinking during time, technologies go further, athletes become better and better. Everything is connected, for example a Whyte G 150 2015 is a better race enduro bike than a Giant Reign X 2009 despite having less travel. My point was that most manufacturers follow the unwritten rules of suspension travel for their bikes, but this doesn't mean these rules aren't bendable. Hope you understand what i mean, cause my comment became long and complex. Hah Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @hitarpotar: Ahhhh, I get what you mean now, my bad Smile

No worries about posting a long and complex post, the whole mountain bike industry is super complex these days haha

Although I ride a trail/AM bike I will sometimes take my bike and ride it at the bike park. Of course I'm not pushing the limits and going all out on certain trails but I know my bike well enough and confident enough that it can handle a little more than what it's intended for. *Knock on wood*
  • 2 2
 Everything is good color-wise with the exception of the silly 12 speed. Anybody noticed that the monstrous twelve speed has gear gaps that are more appropriate to a 8 speed (42 to 50, yikes, what a waste of gears!).
  • 6 0
 42 to 50 is a smaller gap percentage wise (what actually matters) than the 10-12 gap at the smallest end of their cassette
  • 1 1
 I did not think a 140mm travel am bike was a "xc/marathon racer". Sure you could do that on it but I could also do that on a v10 and I still wouldn't call that a xc or marathon racer.
  • 3 0
 That's not a rear hub.
  • 2 1
 That bike is the sexiest thing ive seen in a while... the color on the carbon is just insanely beeautiful!
  • 1 0
 That transparent dark green over the carbon is just WOAH!
  • 1 0
 Perfect hipster bike to sit in your lounge room and never be ridden, yet look awesome at the same time.
  • 1 0
 Blindingly hideous, yet I want it...
  • 3 2
 Well that's a hideous way to do internal routing...
  • 1 0
 That bike just looks fast.
  • 1 0
 i wouldn't buy it-for a lot of reasons-but it looks killer
  • 1 1
 Yet another bike priced more than my car.. I Guess I should start applying to dental schools cuz I see how this is going
  • 2 1
 Can I order this thru Costco and pay invoice instead of msrp?
  • 1 0
 Sorry,but lime green is sooo last Friday????
  • 2 2
 no way I would put that much money into something with flex stays
  • 3 3
 1139 wheelbase on 18"... wut? Did 2000 called to get the geometry back?
  • 1 1
 I see felt still does 18k weave checker board carbon. Bleh
  • 6 0
 ICAS^^^ Not 18 K weave. Textreme is a super thin unidirectional pre-preg carbon product that is made from 20mm wide strips, of high modulus material. The strips are woven, so that thin layer can be placed in contours and also places where omnidirectional strength is required. The advantage is that Textreme requires fewer layers and thus results in a more compact, stronger structure when cured. It's pretty pricey, so you wouldn't want to use it without a damn good reason.
  • 1 2
 you can't ride a long dropper, you wont get it deep enough in the frame.... who the heck designs such a bu*****t ?!?!?
  • 1 0
 nicve layout in gear
  • 1 3
 They should of made the main colour of the frame black, then it would look awesome!
  • 3 0
 Hell no, man! That dark transparent green is WAY cooler than just basic black! Adds a lot more character to the bike and really makes it something special.
  • 1 3
 That derailleur cage is almost dragging on the ground. And not even in the biggest cog.
  • 1 0
 It's closer to the ground in the gear it's pictured in than any other gear. Put it in the biggest cog and the cage will be rotated about 30 degrees counterclockwise.
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