First Look: Felt Decree

Oct 15, 2015 at 10:54
by Paul Aston  

Torbole, located at the head of Lake Garda in Italy, was the location where Felt chose to launch their new trail bike platform. Renowned for its treacherous rock slabs, rolling 'baby head' sized stones and usually great weather, it's is one of the most popular destinations for the German-speaking mountain biker. Greeted by unrelenting rain, we headed down to the hotel lobby to take a first look at the all-new Decree, Felt's 140mm travel trail bike which uses flex stays and promises impressive weight to stiffness figures

Introduced to bridge the gap in Felt's mountain line up between the 130mm/29" Virtue and the 160mm/27.5" Compulsion; the 27.5"/140mm travel Decree arrives into the ultra-competitive trail bike sector at a strange time of year. Felt say they have done away with the traditional model year schedules that can often see corners cut in the mad rush towards Eurobike, allowing the brand to perfect products, and introduce new technologies as they become available.

According to Rob Pauley, Felt's product manager, "After meticulous refinement of every detail and refusing to be constrained by typical industry schedules, we exceeded our goals for stiffness, weight and travel. Our team was able to develop a trail bike that shines across a wide spectrum of riding conditions."

Felt Decree
• Intended use: trail / all-around
• Travel: 140mm
• 27.5" wheels
• FAST Suspension Technology
• 67° head angle
• 431mm chainstays
• 12 x 142mm rear spacing
• Threaded bottom bracket
• Sizes 16", 18", 20", 22"
• Price: $3499 - $9999 USD
Felt Bicycles

The Decree will come in four complete builds and two frameset options. The cheapest Decree 30 bike sees an alloy front triangle, whereas varying grades of carbon fiber are found across other models. Starting at $3499 for the 30, big bank balances can head all the way to $9999 for the Decree FRD (Felt Racing Development) which boasts top-level RockShox Pike and Debonair damping, SRAM XX1 and Guide Ultimates, an Easton carbon cockpit and a DT Swiss XMC 1200 wheelset. This abundance of carbon allows the bike to come in at a claimed weight of 24.07 pounds for a large size.

 2015 Ronny Kiaulehn - All rights reseved. Publication of this image in any form without explicit permission is strictly forbidden Please contact Ronny Kiaulehn Photography Hochriesstrasse 19 D-85560 Ebersberg Germany 49 171 4481562 Italy 39 380 5070935 rkiaulehn
Internal cable routing for all your needs.
 2015 Ronny Kiaulehn - All rights reseved. Publication of this image in any form without explicit permission is strictly forbidden Please contact Ronny Kiaulehn Photography Hochriesstrasse 19 D-85560 Ebersberg Germany 49 171 4481562 Italy 39 380 5070935 rkiaulehn
Geometry adjusting flip-chips.


Felt haven't jumped on board with all the modern trends as there is no Boost, Plus or Press-Fit to be seen. Instead, there's 12x142mm rear hub spacing, a 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket and an internal top and external lower headset. There's internal routing for all cables, including stealth or external dropper posts and the cable port under the bottom bracket also doubles as a Shimano Di2 battery holder. A replaceable derailleur hangar, ISCG tabs and a removable, high front derailleur mount. Carbon fiber grades vary across the range, with the top of the line models using 'UHC Ultimate + TeXtreme' carbon fibre, the chequerboard weave allows fewer layers of fiber to be used while maintaining strength.

 2015 Ronny Kiaulehn - All rights reseved. Publication of this image in any form without explicit permission is strictly forbidden Please contact Ronny Kiaulehn Photography Hochriesstrasse 19 D-85560 Ebersberg Germany 49 171 4481562 Italy 39 380 5070935 rkiaulehn
Integrated chainstay protector.
 2015 Ronny Kiaulehn - All rights reseved. Publication of this image in any form without explicit permission is strictly forbidden Please contact Ronny Kiaulehn Photography Hochriesstrasse 19 D-85560 Ebersberg Germany 49 171 4481562 Italy 39 380 5070935 rkiaulehn
Removeable front derailleur blanks.


'Long, low and slack' is touted by numerous bike brands including Felt and is open to interpretation depending upon riding style, preferred terrain, fore/aft balance and comparison to previous steeds. The Decree's main numbers include a 67° head angle, 73.2° seat angle, 431mm chainstays and a 12mm bottom bracket drop.

Size specific numbers for an medium frame are a 417mm reach, 1139mm wheelbase and a 430mm seat tube. There are flip-chips at the seat stay/rocker link pivot which will raise the bottom bracket around 10mm and steepen the head angle around one degree compared to the stated numbers. Felt mentioned that during the prototyping phase one sample was delivered with an incorrectly welded, slacker head tube, which they found improved the handling, so they stuck with that for the final version.
felt decree

FAST Suspension

felt decree
Felt Active Stay Technology. The flexing rear triangle is moulded in the 30% sag position, which means that when riding along on smooth terrain there should be no flexion of the stays. If the suspension is extended or compressed, the force created in the flex wants to return to the sag point. Felt say that this can improve pedalling efficiency, combined with 'ideal anti-squat values.' To absorb large impacts, a decreasing leverage ratio is used, combined with the additional spring force of the flexing stays. For small bump sensitivity at the start of the shock stroke, the force required to compress the shock is reduced because the stays want to move towards the flex point, this means less compression damping can be used at the beginning stroke. The Decree's shock tunes are the same across all models regardless of component level, although the tunes do not differ between frame sizes.

felt decree

As mentioned earlier, geometry tastes come down to a number of factors and the same is true for cockpit setups. Going into 2016, I think the 740mm handlebar on a trail bike is too narrow for the XL size I was riding; at least a wider bar could be cut down if necessary. The 70mm stem could be shorter as well, especially since the bike's reach number is long enough that a stem measuring 50mm or shorter could comfortably be run without any issues.

Climbing certainly 'felt' efficient, and the bike does sit around the sag point well when pedalling with minimal bobbing. Perhaps one disadvantage of this is I like to use the different compression modes on a shock to help the bike sit higher when climbing in order to move my weight further forwards between the wheels and put my hips more over the bottom bracket. With the FAST suspension, whichever compression mode you choose you still sit at 30% sag. This could also make setup a little more complicated, as a changing of shock pressure can't be easily regulated by reading the sag figure, and will need to be set more by feel and trial and error.

The Decree was lively and responsive out on the trail, and could easily be maneuvered around when quick direction changes were required. Support from the rear shock was good for a 140mm bike along with the compression, but going from my usual Solo Air Pike with 3 or 4 Bottomless Tokens to a Dual Air system made it feel like the air spring had been replaced by a small blancmange, although now that Bottomless Tokens are available for the Dual Air this would be a simple issue to fix. One thing we did notice was the shock would never extend to full travel under its own force, so it loses a few millimeters of travel from the outset. Also, with all the shock pressure released, or with the shock removed completely, the travel seems to have some friction, but was hard to tell if this was from the pressure in the stays, or the large amount of rotation at the top shock mount

Overall, the Decree seems to fit in nicely between the Virtue and the Compulsion, a light and stiff trail bike that's available in a wide range of sizes and parts kit, but we need to put in more saddle and setup time to give a solid opinion on the ride characteristics.


  • 53 1
 Looks kinda sick
  • 12 0
 rather sexy for a felt , I agree
  • 8 39
flag glenno (Oct 15, 2015 at 17:31) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like a transition Id rather have my transition scout Haters go hate Im gunna drink beer and ride my transition That is all
  • 4 3
 if i rode this bike the far triangle would be done
  • 8 2
 Not like a transition, not a Horst link. More like a carbon giant stance with the flexing seat stays that scare the shit out of me.
  • 4 0
 WEIGHT: 11.17kg / 24.63lb (medium, no pedals)
  • 2 1
 $3995.00 for the frame alone!!!!
  • 1 0
 ^ Cost is high. If they don't have a 4800.00ish model it will flounder. It's crazy that Santa Cruz, the people who pioneered the "way too expensive bike craze" has the cheapest carbon entry points with the C level.
  • 2 1
 The entry level complete is 3500, that seems pretty affordable to me.
  • 2 0
 ^ 3400 is for aluminum
  • 2 0
 With a carbon rear I think. Either way that's extremely competitive pricing.
  • 48 3
 But can you rampage it?!?
  • 17 2
 came here to ask the same relevant question
  • 16 1
 why is this on pb at this time
  • 13 0
 rampaaage! ramppaa-...I'm sorry, I thought I was somewhere else.
  • 4 0
 Bizet could rampage it.
  • 22 0
 Looks like Felt have finally made a good looking bike.
  • 10 1
 And it looks like a Norco Sight
  • 14 0
 I bet they Felt good about it.
  • 6 2
 @Smallbright ahahahahaaahahha f*ck you killed me
  • 18 2
 cool. but where are the rampage bikes? 200mm or NOTHING hahaha
  • 6 0
 i do like the checkered carbon look tho.
  • 16 1
 Thats the coolest carbon weave i've seen.
  • 14 6
 I'm no engineer, and I've never tried this bike, but none of these flex-pivot designs sit well with me philosophically. It already takes some trial and error to dial in a shock's pressure and r/c adjustments; wouldn't adding a completely separate spring curve throw a bit of a monkey wrench into that tuning process? Can anyone with such a bike speak to this? I'm curious.

Either way, kudos to Felt. This bike looks modern, refined, and sturdy; I also notice that the Reverb remote's where it should be for once. Well done. Looking forward to a full review!
  • 2 1
 I don't have that specific bike, but I once broke the bottom bracket shell right off the frame of a trail bike.. It was definitely harder to tune after that. So, help that helps. lol
  • 1 1
 That reverb remote is 'correct'? Wat? With proper brake lever positioning + matchmaker or whatever its called, mine is nearly horizontal :/
  • 2 0
 I've always felt the same way about flex stays. It's essentially an un-tunable part of the suspension which means people who are on the extremes of the weight spectrum could see an impact. I rode a first gen Yeti 575 with this design and didn't dig it back then and I don't dig this now.
  • 2 0
 @probi - Angle is personal preference; I'm like you. I was talking about the fact that it's under the left side of the bars instead of on top of the left or right. A lot of companies miss that little touch; a one-by bike's spec should take advantage of the missing shifter.
  • 3 0
 It acts as two springs in series so it won't feel like two separate springs. Tuning should work as normal. I like these long, low and slack trail bikes. They make much more sense than enduro bikes most of the time.
  • 5 3
 Felt's fullys are pretty terrible, I'm afraid. I worked at a Felt shop for years, and could never get on board with their Mtn range. Equilink is garbage, this sounds like more of the same. When he mentions the friction without the shock mounted, that is also present on the their Equilink bikes, too. It was surprising how much force it took to activate the shockless suspension linkage.

They're creating a set up that works against the shock set up... and it creates very poor small bump sensitivity, with mediocre performance through the rest of the curve. I will say that at the very least, they pedal pretty nicely, but that's because their suspension doesn't work. So is it worth it? Nope.

On the other hand, I really like their road/tri range. Excellent bikes at very solid prices, I love the value of the brand as a whole, with quality that suits riders up to the highest level of competition. Their carbon hardtail 29er is pretty baller, too. But their FS bikes, not great.
  • 8 0
 "Felt haven't jumped on board with all the modern trends as there is no Boost, Plus or Press-Fit to be seen"

Can't help but think Charles is responsible for steering Felt away from the hype.
  • 5 1
 Why oh why are they still putting 740mm bars and 70mm stems on bikes like this.Have they not learned, read and listened? A 50mm max stem and a 760mm min bar length would transform the ride of this bike.
  • 5 0
 Maybe now the robot can finally get somewhere close but definitely not onto the podium.
  • 1 0
 The robot hit his limit a while back...
  • 3 0
 On the second pic the cable guides look quite aggressive to me.
You know,
- style
  • 1 0
 This bike looks so clean with all that internal routing, but it reminds me: lets see some hydro brake quick disconnects. Some lines you just leave in the frame with disconnects that go on the brake hose at the head and in the back where it comes out by the rear triangle.
This bike looks so clean with those hoses going into the frame, but having done a reasonable bit of internal routing I can say it isn't fun. Routing some solid lines in the frame would make it so much easier.
  • 3 0
 mmmmmmm...blancmange.....sounds so disgusting, tastes so good (when you're high)
  • 8 5
 can we just file this under "who gives a crap it's all about rampage now" category?
  • 3 0
 Tell me more about bottomless tokens for dual air pikes. Do they work for 2014 and 2015 dpa pike forks?
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure you can get some aftermarket for dpa pike
  • 1 0
 Another bike that proves manufacturers don't care about tall dudes... how high is that seat relative to the bars?....Why does an XL have a lower stack/reach ratio than a Small???
  • 1 0
 Because they use the same fork for both sizes?
  • 2 0
 Its not the fork size......The head tube length is the key determinant...can somebody tell me why they don't just scale these up proportionately? Is there some technical issue?
  • 3 0
 Engineered flex is a good thing?
  • 4 0
 As they say (and say and say) in the road world, "laterally stiff yet vertically compliant" Wink
  • 3 0
 Shut up and take my money!
  • 2 3
 Another bike Felt advertising and you probably can't get as always in the UK. Been after a Felt Edict FRD frameset and none at all till April/May 2016 year but the US get them in November absolutely shocking why support just one area an leave the rest waiting just annoying. Like dangling a carrot then taking it away from you ????
  • 1 0
 I have a brand new in box large Edict 1 I'll sell you. PM me
  • 3 0
 looks beefy
  • 3 0
 Robot approved?
  • 1 0
 FAST: Felt Active Stay Technology.... that is some serious marketing speak, looks like a nice the bike tho.
  • 9 0
 Felt Uber Control Kinetices, that would be a good marketing thrust, right?
  • 1 0
 'Felt Advanced Rear Travel' for friction-free movement
  • 3 1
 looks very Devinci Troy-ish with the flip chips.
  • 2 0
 Looks nice. The real question is will Charlie pose for pictures on one?
  • 2 0
 Felts checkerboard carbon looks sexy, it's super impressive in person
  • 1 0
 I hate when my air shock is replaced by a blancmange...
  • 2 1
 If you keep flexing something at the same point doesn't it break? That's all I wonder on these.........
  • 2 0
 Not a problem with carbon if done right. A good rock strike and that may change though...

Also, it helps that it's an "area" of material that flexes, not a "point".
  • 1 0
 Putting "First look" text between the relationship from preparations to annual Red Bull Rampage is what you cold TIMING Big Grin
  • 2 4
 just wondering why sooooooo many companies use this same basic design.... Not saying it's a bad thing, it's just soooo very common. We sell Transition, NS Bikes, Marin, KHS, Niner, Ellsworth, Santa Cruz (just to name a few).... only Santa Cruz has a completely different design (VPP).... when people are shopping bikes, it kinda gets old trying to point out the differences.... errr ahhh, this one goes to 11 man.
  • 3 0
 What are you talking about.
Santa Cruz uses VPP, yes. However niner's cva and others are similar, some argue that DW-link and vpp perform similarly.
Transition, ellsworth, and others use basically horst link designs,
There's other popular designs out there as well.

However this with the flexing stay is different. VPP is certainly not the only unique design out there.
  • 1 4
 Just a tick off point....was just starting there's a lot of designs copying out there.
  • 3 0
 I've always wondered why each bike manufacturer feels the need to make their own unique suspension linkage design. To me it seems like a lot of companies are making their own, simply to be making something different but not necessarily better. Look at moto. All five of the major brands use pretty much the exact same thing and no one cares. And when KTM was doing their own unique design without linkage, the industry came down on them non-stop until they developed a linkage system like all the other Asian brands. Mtb is different, I get it, but I really do think that some of these unique designs are different without a purpose.
  • 1 1
 I was riding one of the first generation "mono shock" on a Yamaha when it first came out -- a, that was cutting edge.... HA!!! and that "Powerband" would put you on the ground if you weren't paying attention...

I think it's funny in a way, Ellsworth hasn't changed their designs hardly at all over these many years.
  • 5 7
 Oh cool, a flexible carbon rear end that is an integral part of the suspension design? Yeah, Marin does that. It works pretty well. I guess you guys can use it too if you want. Wink
  • 3 5
 It is almost a "Carbon COPY" of the MARIN!!!!!! Sweet Still tho!
  • 8 1
 FYI: Marin's came out in 2014. Felt has been using it since 2011. I'm sure they have no problem with it, especially when it's not done as well. Wink Wink
  • 1 5
flag seraph (Oct 15, 2015 at 18:20) (Below Threshold)
 Well I was just kidding, but ok. And I'd say that Marin does it the same if not better than Felt. But that's highly arguable, as with anything on the internet ever.
  • 1 0
 What the h is blancmange?
  • 1 0
 I wouldn't mind being Felt up.
  • 2 0
 Great looking bike
  • 1 1
 Too small bike to be shown right now. Come on PB, it's all about the biggest guns these days.
  • 1 2
 haha..... Felt........ hahaha. That's be like saying "well I'm finally grown up and serious and i want a Kia because of the reliability and build quality" lol
  • 1 0
 Still basing frame size on seat tube
  • 1 1
 I wonder what the resell value of that 10k version is after one season
  • 3 1
 Less than $10000 surely
  • 4 0
 If you have $10k to drop on a bicycle, you're not worried about resale value.
  • 1 0
 People who have $10k to drop.. got the $10k from understanding resale value.
  • 1 1
 what do you felt after riding felt?
  • 2 2
 looks like the giant reign but hotter haha
  • 1 1
 not really a long reach is it
  • 1 1
 No time to look at bikes!!! RAMPAGE!!!!!
  • 1 1
 $9999 for the top of top spec?!
Nope nope nope.
  • 2 3
 Id love to try a felt. They are so euro though.
  • 2 0
 I had a felt hard tail some time back, It felt like a soft tail. SOO fast, SOOO comfy. I wouldl ove to pick one of these up for a weekend rip.
  • 1 0
 lol this site is so weird, how do I get down voted for saying I like the bikes? Ive never seen them being sold in my area, And the seem like an extremely Euro brand.
  • 5 0
 I find that this phenomenon is localized to this site. PB's average viewer must be in the late teens because never have I seen so many unfounded comments, except for on Facebook.

Take it from an experienced rider who has owned many different bikes from different companies who is also a previous owner of a Felt. These bike are certainly one of the unsung gems of the bike world and worth every gram of their salt. I had to go back to riding a Specialized after I broke my frame ( completely my fault ). And they are very Euro, their a German company after all.
f*ck the haters....Buy a Felt!!!!
  • 1 2
 Also, who uses 30% sag in 140 mm travel bikes?
  • 1 0
 I do on my Turner 5 Spot.
  • 1 2
 70mm stem and 740mm bars?? that is so 2010 cmon felt get enduro yo!!!
  • 1 2
 70mm stem and 740mm bars? that is so 2010!!!! FELT DO YOU EVEN ENDURO?
  • 1 0
 Duplicate posts are so n00b, do you even interwebz?
  • 1 2
 @Chader09 sorry i guess I spend more time on my bike than my computer!! my bad
  • 4 7
 Felt mountain bikes do nothing for me.

I like their road/cross bikes though.
  • 1 2
  • 1 4
 Mcdonald edition? not sure..
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