First Look: 2016 Felt Decree 27.5 140mm trail bike

Designed to be light and versatile to handle wide variety of terrain

27.5 All Mountain Trail
The Decree Lineup

The top-of-the-line Decree FRD (Felt Racing Development) bike weighs in at just a hair over 24 pounds without pedals (medium frame, North American spec) at a list price of $10,000. For that kind of money you get carbon everywhere including DT Swiss carbon wheels and SRAM XX1 with RaceFace Next SL cranks and chainring. The FRD bike has a 150mm Pike RCT3 Dual Position Air fork up front and a high-volume RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 managing the rear wheel travel. And of course, you get a dropper post — in this case the RockShox Reverb.

The entry-level Felt Decree 30 swaps the carbon front triangle for aluminum to bring the price down.

The entry-level Felt Decree 30 swaps the carbon front triangle for aluminum to bring the price down (click to enlarge).

If the top of the line Decree FRD’s 10 large price tag is out of your range (as it is for most of us), Felt offers the Decree at more affordable price points ranging from $6500 for the Decree 1, to $3500 for the Decree 30. Besides component spec, frame materials are adjusted to offer different prices. The top three models are all made from different levels of TeXtreme carbon, offering the same stiffness at different weights.

The entry-level Decree 30 replaces the carbon front triangle with aluminum to bring the price down even more. However, it still has a carbon rear triangle so the FAST suspension linkage will perform the same. Felt’s product development team was very clear they want the Decree to have a comparable level of performance across the line, regardless of pricing.

RockShox Pike fork on the new Felt Decree FRD carbon trail bike.

The popular RockShox Pike fork comes stock on the new Felt Decree FRD carbon trail bike (click to enlarge).

All levels of the Felt Decree are spec’d with RockShox suspension front and back. Most of the line gets the dominant and ubiquitous Pike fork with a RockShox Monarch in the back. The North American spec bikes all have 1x drivetrains, except the aluminum Decree 30, which has 2×10 Shimano Deore derailleurs, shifters and crankset. All Decree models are spec’d with a dropper post.

That’s an important detail, in my opinion. It says Felt expects the Decree to be ridden hard, no matter what the price point. It was designed for serious riders so they spec’d it for hard charging trail riding – even the entry-level Decree 30.

Conclusion

At first glance it’s hard to see what makes the Felt Decree special. The geometry, specs and general look of the bike are fairly straightforward. But when you start digging deep and talking to the people who helped design, test and build the bike, the subtle details start to add up. With the weight and pedal performance of an XC bike, and trail/DH performance more like bikes with an inch more travel, the Decree is more than the sum of its parts. It’s not obvious at first and the verdict won’t be in until we have some serious time on it, but the Decree may end up being something of a groundbreaking trail bike. Personally, I love the idea of 25-pound 140mm bikes that pedals well and loves rock gardens.

For more information visit www.feltbicycles.com.


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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