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A great bike starts with great geometry and I immediately felt at home on the Decree. The words I kept hearing from other journalists and the Felt product team were, “balanced” and “neutral.” I would describe the bike as, “composed.” I’m 5’8” tall and with a 50mm stem the cockpit on the medium bike I rode was perfect. The bike can be set up low and slack or steep and high via “Flip Chips” in the seat stays. The low and slack position, which is all I rode, has a 67° head angle (see correction, below), a bb drop of 12mm and a 73.2° seat tube angle. Flipping the chip steepens the angles by one degree and raises the bb height by 10mm. Personally, I would have been happy with a slightly slacker bike – especially since the geometry is adjustable. But there’s a reason the 67° head angle is standard issue on 140 and 150mm trail bikes – it works great. Even though a slacker head angle (maybe 66.5°) would have been nice on some of the steeper stuff I rode, I never felt like the head angle was too steep or twitchy. Even on fast road descents the Decree was felt stable and confident.
Correction: It turns out there was some confusion with the Decree’s head angle and it’s actually 66.5°, not 67° like I original wrote. This is embarrassing for me, although it does explain why the bike felt so mysteriously good to me, in spite of what appeared to be middle-of-the-road geometry. The reason for the mistake is Felt originally intended the bike to be spec’d with a 140mm fork. But when they tried it with a 150mm fork, they liked it so much they decided to stick with the longer fork and slacker angles. I think they did the right thing. The slacker head angle is a big part of what makes the Decree a standout in a sea of fairly vanilla 140mm trail bikes.