The new Felt Decree is a statement against the typical bike release schedule. Rather than rush to get it ready in time for the trade show season, Felt held back on their Decree until it was exactly the bike they wanted – a super light but still very capable trail/all mountain bike.
Now the longest travel example of their FAST suspension system, the Decree looks to set the bar when it comes to weight, suspension performance, and frame stiffness…
Felt is definitely not the only company to rely on a flex stay to replace the rear pivot, but the engineering involved to make it perform the way they wanted it to is pretty unique. Rather than placing the carbon fiber at rest at top out, the neutral position for the FAST system is actually at sag. That means for top out the rear triangle has to compress, and at bottom out, it has to extend. By engineering it this way the suspension is able to achieve better small bump compliance and mid stroke support all without the use of a rear pivot. No rear pivot means fewer parts for less maintenance and a stiffer frame.
It also makes for a lighter frame which is how they got the FRD frame with UHC Ultimate+Textreme carbon fiber to just 4.5lbs including rear RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir shock. That of course is a 140mm travel 27.5″ wheeled frame that is as light as many XC frames.
Geometry is meant to be long, low, and slack in accordance with popular trends. The frame does include a flip chip that alters the head angle by +/- 1º and changes the bottom bracket height by +/-10mm.
In addition to the FAST (Felt Active Stay Technology) suspension, the frame sticks with a 142x12mm Syntace rear end, ControlTaper head tube, post mount disc brakes, a 73mm threaded bottom bracket, and a 30.9 seat tube with a lower height for better fit of dropper posts for more riders. Cabling is all internal with a clever system that adapts to just about any drive train. Cables and hoses enter the frame through the head tube ports and exit through the down tube plug which also doubles as an internal Di2 battery holder. Of course the rest of the cabling system is also Di2 compatible should you choose to upgrade. All models are front derailleur compatible with a removable mount that includes a plug for the hole it leaves.
As usual, the Decree FRD represents the top of the line with an equally impressive build for the UHC Ultimate + Textreme, MMC carbon frame which results in a crazy light 24.07lb (11.17kg) build weight. The bike combines a 150mm Pike RCT3 DPAir fork and a SRAM XX1 drivetrain with DT Swiss Carbon Wheels and Easton Haven/Rockshox Reverb cockpit for $9999.
The Decree 1 also uses Textreme carbon but with additional UHC Advanced, MMC carbon for a still impressive build weight of 25.57lb(11.59kg). The 150mm Pike RC DPAir fork combines with a Monarch Plus Rc3 Debonair rear shock, Reverb and a SRAM X01 drivetrain for $6499. Both the FRD and 1 will also be available as frames.
The last of the full carbon Decrees, the 3 uses UHC Performance MMC carbon fiber construction. The build kit includes a 150mm Pike RC Solo Air, Shimano XT 1×11 drivetrain, Shimano brakes and a KS LEV dropper post for a $4499 bike that weighs 27.18lb(12.32kg).
Finally, the Decree 30 moves to an aluminum front triangle but keeps the UHC Performance MMC carbon rear triangle for the FAST suspension. The aluminum front means cable routing is external and the bike is the only one in the line up with a 2×10 Shimano Deore drivetrain. The $3499 price tag results in a bike around 29.15lb(13.22kg).
Felt Decrees will start shipping in November 2015.