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Felt mum on new Decree MTB line at product intro

Published July 14, 2015
Details to come in October; in the meantime, Felt takes the wraps off new 27.5-plus hardtails dubbed Surplus.

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Brian Wilson, Felt’s product developer, wants to break the news on a new mountain bike category Felt will launch in October in Europe. “I can’t tell you more or the boss will … ,” and his voice trailed off as he explained what would happen if he said too much.

But what he did say was this: The category will be called “Decree.”

“It will be one of the hottest products in the hottest category,” Wilson said. The Decree will be available worldwide around launch time, he added. 

And with that Wilson, in an interview with BRAIN, said Felt is fully committed to the mountain bike category. “There’s a perception that there’s an imbalance since Jim (Felt) founded the company with road. But I can tell you that this office is filled with mountain bikers,” he said.

And if there is a category that Wilson said has a future it’s 27.5-plus, and Felt is rolling out two models in the wheel size: the Surplus 30 and Surplus 70. It’s fair to say that the name “Surplus” was universally applauded for its creativity. The Surplus will roll on 3-inch-wide tires that effectively offer the same tread diameter as a 29er, Wilson said.

But the bikes are essentially simple hardtails rolling on fat rubber. “Some people look at a fat bike and think that it’s too much, but a true hardtail is too harsh. They don’t want a full suspension, so this is simplicity — it’s lightweight and you get some suspension. It’s right in the middle,” Wilson explained.

The 27.5-plus is an emerging category in the market, and Wilson said it could appeal to a larger cohort of consumers. As for the Surplus, it’s spec’d with a 1-by drivetrain with a Race Face 30-tooth crankset driving a SunRace 10-speed cassette with an 11-40 cogset.

The entry-level Surplus 70 will retail for $1,499 with a Deore rear derailleur. The Surplus 30 will offer similar spec except for an XT-level rear derailleur and other parts upgrades. It will retail for $1,799. Both offer Boost 148 rear axle spacing, giving engineers some clearance room to play with. 

The Surplus line will feature 1-by drivetrains for now. Once direct-mount front derailleurs exist for 27- and 24-speed drivetrains, the bikes can be spec’d more affordably, Wilson said. 

As for fat bikes, Felt is bullish on the category with three models for 2016. “It’s taken off in Germany and is outselling fat bikes in the U.S,” Wilson said. But Felt, adopting its new philosophy of “The Living Line” rather than traditional model year introductions, is making no frame or spec changes to its fat bikes from its 2015 models.

Prices range from its entry-level DD 10 ($1,499) to the DD 30 ($1,999) and the Bluto-equipped front suspension DD 70 ($2,999). While the tire spec is for 4-inch-wide rubber, the bike has sufficient clearance front and rear for 4.8-inch tires. The bikes have a 197-millimeter rear axle and a 150-millimeter front axle.


Prototype of the 2016 Felt Surplus 27.5-plus hardtail

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