Felt Decree 1 27.5 trail bike review

Light and efficient with trail taming slack and low geometry

27.5 All Mountain Trail
The Felt Decree 1 is a 140mm carbon trail bike (140 rear/150 front) with low, slack geometry that weighs just 25.5 pounds, out of the box. This is a glamour shot of my personal bike in the Wasatch Mountains, above my home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Felt Decree 1 is a 140mm carbon trail bike with low, slack geometry that weighs 25.5 pounds.

Lowdown: Felt Decree 1 27.5 Trail Bike

Mountain bikes have changed a lot over the past five years and what used to be fantasy has become reality. Carbon technology, slacker trail-oriented geometry, and amazing suspension mean we now have sub-30 pound bikes that perform almost like cross-country bikes on the uphill, and descend like the 35-plus pound freeride beasts of the past. The Felt Decree is one of these next generation bikes – a veritable unicorn of all-mountain/trail performance. So does it live up to the hype? And how does it hold up over a season of hard riding? Read on to find out.

Stat Box
Frame: Felt UHC Advanced TeXtreme carbon Chain: SRAM X1 11-speed
Fork: 150mm RockShox Pike Solo Air Bars: Felt flat top carbon, 760mm
Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Stem: Felt forged alloy, 60mm
Shock sag: 35%-40% Grips: ESI Racers Edge
Wheels: DT Swiss M1800 27.5 Seatpost: 30.9mm RockShox Reverb Stealth
Hub spacing: 100x15mm front, 142x12mm rear Saddle: WTB Volt cr-mo rails
Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5×2.25” Headtube angle: 66.5/67.3 degrees
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC Chainstay length: 430mm
Rotors: 180mm front/160mm rear Seat tube angle: 73/73.8 degrees
Shifters: SRAM XO1 BB drop: 12mm
Front Derailleur: N/A Wheelbase: 1139mm
Rear Derailleur:SRAM XO1 11-speed Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Cable routing: Internal Colors: Matte TeXtreme with orange highlights
Crankset: SRAM XO1 32t 1x Weight: 25.6 pounds size medium
Bottom bracket: SRAM 73mm MSRP: $6500 ($3000 frame/shock)
Cassette: SRAM XG1175 10-42t Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 out of 5

Pluses
Minuses
  • Very light for a 140mm trail bike
  • Unreliable Schwalbe tires
  • Fun, responsive trail geometry
  • Short wheelbase can be bit twitchy at speed
  • Slack 66.5-degree head angle
  • Pivots and shock mount bolts loosen up
  • Adjustable geometry
  • Rear suspension can get overwhelmed
  • Short chainstays
  • Crappy grips
  • Efficient flex stay suspension
  • Non-Boost spacing may hurt resale
  • Incredible rear wheel traction
  • Stiff, durable TeXtreme carbon fiber
  • Top-shelf RockShox suspension
  • SRAM XO1 drivetrain

Review: Felt Decree 1 27.5 Trail Bike

Last fall, I attended the Felt Decree bike launch in Italy. It was an excellent trip and I was really impressed with the Decree (read my first impressions article here). It’s really light, pedals very well, and seemed to be able to handle nearly any kind of descent. You can’t really do a fair review after a trip like that, though. You don’t get enough time on the bike to really know and understand it, and you’re usually riding unfamiliar trails. Plus it’s nearly impossible to separate the bike experience from the glamour and excitement of an overseas trip – especially when you’re in Lago di Garda, Italy, one of the most spectacular riding destinations on the planet. So it was very important to me that I follow up with a long-term review of the Decree, based on a few months of riding the bike on trails I know intimately.

What Is It?

The Felt Decree is a 27.5 carbon 140mm rear/150mm front full suspension bike that walks the line between trail bike and all-mountain — and even flirts with cross-country a bit. It’s incredibly light (25.6 pounds, size medium) and thanks to the simple, efficient FAST (Felt Active Stay Technology) suspension, it pedals very well. That’s what I mean by flirting with cross-country. The Decree is one of best pedaling bikes I’ve been on.

Continue to page 2 for more of our Felt Decree 1 27.5 trail bike review »

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About the author: John Shafer

John Shafer, a.k.a. Photo-John, is a respected photography expert and adventure photographer. He’s been an Mtbr forum member and contributor since 1999 and you can find his writing and photography across the Web, in mountain bike magazines and on his own Web site, Photo-John.net. John loves big mountains, rocky singletrack, low-visibility powder days, 6-inch trail bikes, coffee and tacos. Look for him pushing his bike uphill, carrying an inappropriate amount of camera gear in an overloaded backpack.


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  • Nick says:

    Although boost has been pushed mainstream, 142 rear spacing very valid for a non-fat 650b trail bike. For die-hards like myself, it’s nice to be able to use wheels I already own and not have to invest in another hub standard. At this current point in time, considering 142 to be a minus for this bike is laugh-able. Sure standards will change, but if you have no desire to go “plus” there is no downside to 142.

    • John Shafer says:

      I totally agree, Nick. Personally, I have no issues with my bike being non-Boost. That said, I do wonder about future wheel upgrades and resale value. But for performance, it’s not a problem at all. in my opinion, Boost is only important for 29ers.

  • Dean says:

    Nice review. I thought it was fair considering you were biased enough to buy one. Your point about there is no one bike for everything is spot on. Reviewers who say there is either are bobbing for advertising money or believe in unicorns. I am interested in one of these rigs as soon as I sell a kidney.

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