The top-of-the-line European spec Decree FRD (Felt Racing Development) provided to journalists at the launch weighed just under 26 pounds with pedals and ENVE M60 carbon wheels. However, the North American-spec FRD bike will have lighter DT Swiss carbon wheels for a complete weight of just 24.06 pounds (sans pedals). That’s a real world weight, too. Product manager Rob Pauley made a point of telling us that listed weights come from real bikes he weighs himself after they’re photographed.
Felt uses different versions of their carbon fiber to hit different weight goals and price points. The FRD model is constructed from UHC Ultimate + TeXtreme, their lightest carbon fiber. The next step down, the Decree 1, uses UHC Advanced + TeXtreme carbon, which Felt says has the same stiffness but weighs a bit more. It’s still super light, though – the complete Decree 1 (North American spec) weighs just 25.57 pounds and costs $3500 less than the $10,000 FRD.
I was really impressed with the Felt Decree. Because there’s so much travel time involved and I don’t get to go to Europe very often, I stayed in Italy for a couple of extra days. That meant I got more time on the bike – possible more than anyone besides Felt employees. I spent two days riding it on the test trails Felt set up for us, in both wet and semi-wet conditions (there was no dry riding on this trip).
I also rode the classic Tremalzo Pass shuttle ride with a friend from Germany. That was a very interesting adventure, with a lot more variety than the trails in Torbole offered. We started at an altitude of 5500 feet in fresh snow and descended all the way to Riva del Garda, on the lake, at about 250 feet. The trail varied widely, from rocky World War I military roads to leafy singletrack, to steep rocky creek beds I later found out were ancient mule trails. My point is – I got to experience the Decree on almost anything you can think of. Everything but the “normal” flowy Western US trails I’m used to, anyway.
Feel free to take my first impressions on the Felt Decree with a grain of salt. I’ll be the first to admit I’m probably still basking in the post Italy trip / new bike glow. And it’s really hard to find much fault with any top-of-the-line $10,000 carbon fiber trail bike. My preference for a follow-up, long term test would be the $6500 Decree 1 as I think it’s a more realistic bike (yes, I agree that’s still a lot of money) for regular working folks. Regardless, I really enjoyed the bike and was genuinely surprised at how well it performed on Garda’s sketchy trails.
For more information visit www.feltbicycles.com.