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A waste of time it is is
3,863 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I’m sure there are going to be those that flame me for this and that is ok but I wanted to share this on the chance that I save someone else from a similar situation, or to help those that already find themselves doing the warranty dance with Felt.

5th December 2019 purchased a 2016 Felt Decree 1 frame from Wiggle Aust dot com for $1099A on close out. List price was $3400A
14th December 2019 frame delivered. Not built up until the week between Christmas and New Year, it was a Christmas present for my then 13yr old.
6th June 2020 , less than 6 months of riding time by a now 14year old that weights less than 50kg, the bottom race of the headset collapses up into the head tube, front end washes out and he goes down on his side, loosing skin on his right side and suffering a concussion. This happened landing a “gap” jump of about 2.5m. He and his two riding buddies are all adamant that he landed front wheel first, there was a loud crack and then he went down on his side. The below are pictures looking back up the trail from the landing ramp and also his 12 year old mate mid air on the same jump. The kicker is a little steep for a normal trail jump hence the height he has, they are physically about the same size as each other for scale.




My position is that the bond between the carbon bottom race and the head tube layup has been faulty which led to a catastrophic failure, pressing the bottom cup up into the head tube and de-laminating the cf layers in end section of the down tube that were bonded properly. The damage to the underside of the down tube has been caused once the layers have de-laminated and been weakened and as he has gone down on his side.

MU DSCN2613.jpg

MU DSCN2614.jpg

MU DSCN2616.jpg

MU DSCN2617.jpg





8th June 2020 I sent my first email to Wiggle.

12th June 2020 having no response from Wiggle I went directly to Felt EU. They responded on the 13th telling me I had to go through Wiggle.

13th June Wiggle finally responded. I won’t bore you with the specifics of the numerous emails that were then exchanged over the following 7 weeks chasing this.

24th July finally got a response from Wiggle saying Felt EU had denied the claim because

"this bike clearly took a real bad impact. A frame do not break there like that just because of a jump. This is likely the jump was bigger than what said, and the headset was probably badly tight."

Needless to say this was not acceptable given this is a 150mm “all mountain” bike that should be able to handle a jump that size, we have witnesses that confirm he didn’t crash, the frame failed then he crashed. I also asked them to explain how the headset could be done up tightly enough to destroy a frame and yet still be able to move the handlebar. Felt EU did not respond any further.

28th July I reached out to Felt USA through their website help page and got a reply the following day from one of their service technicians. We exchanged several emails over the following days including pictures of the damage, videos showing no damage to wheel or fork.

31st July I got the following reply from Felt USA

Thank you for all the pictures & videos. This does help give a clear idea of the issue you are describing. Sorry to hear about the crash & glad to hear your son is OK. Also sorry for the delay that you’ve experienced with Felt EU, as for Wiggle I don’t know how busy they are.
I’ll do my best to address the situation. There are a couple of points that I’d like to lay out as to how this could have happened. It’s not definitive, however, I know the limitations of the Decree from personal experience as I own a Decree & I’m a very heavy rider. Plus working 11 years at Felt I’ve seen every type of failure under the sun.

• If the headset cups had to be pressed in as you mention, there’s the possibility even with the proper tools, to compress the head tub too much & compromising the carbon.
• Chances of tightening the top cap bolt too much to compromise the frame is unlikely. I don’t see how that was used as a possible excuse as the headtubes are built up pretty good.
• The jump was just too big for the bike. Let’s elaborate on this a bit;
Here’s a link to the manual where this is located;
Condition 3 –XC – Does not apply.
Condition 5 – Gravity/Freeride/DH – Does not apply.
Condition 4 - All Mountain – Decree is a trail bike in this category. See below;

All Mountain.jpg

Since he’s doing 8ft gap jumps & I’m sure other types of jumps as well, then this type of riding definitely exceeds what the Decree is designed for. It sounds like your son needs to be on a Compulsion or a bigger travel bike. I understand your son is only 110lbs but the force being applied to bike when landing is greater & will still exceed what the Decree is designed for.
What’s interesting is the damage is mostly on the backside of the lower head tube & the cup is angled inward. Consider how the fork is raked out forward. The damage is not consistent with a proper landing where the rear tire touches first & front tire second as you’re rolling forward. Flat landing while moving forward could cause this type of damage.
Ultimately this is something that we cannot cover under warranty. The damage has no consistency with any defects. Felt will not deny a claim if it’s a warrantable failure because the bike was purchased on a closeout. If it was a warrantable failure & we no longer had 1st gen Decree frames we would replace it with a current gen frame.
Since you are the original owner you are still entitled to a replacement frame at a discount. This is our VIP program. You’ll have to work with your local Felt dealer & distributor to get a VIP claim started. They will be able to provide you with pricing & availability.
I hope I was able to answer any questions you had. If you have any more questions please let me know, thank you.

Again, I smelt a rat so challenged this reply. I pointed out that the exclusions he was now using as an excuse where not supplied with the frame. I got an English Decree specific manual that makes no mention of these warnings and a generic looking Felt booklet but in German. The exclusions are in the German owners manual. I also questioned how the bottom race would end up pressed evenly up into the head tube from a flat landing as a flat landing would have the front wheel moving up and away from the main triangle, not back towards it. He passed this issue on to the engineers. This is also when I posted these two polls on MTBR

On the 11th August I got the following reply from Felt US

From the pictures provided the engineering department is confident that this is not a defect. The headset cup is pushed reward into the frame indicating a front end impact. If you have any questions please let me know, thank you.

So that is now the 5th different excuse Felt has used to deny a warranty claim. Again I challenged that asking them to explain how the bottom cup would be pressed up evenly into the frame from a frontal impact? Asking how a frontal impact with enough force to do that damage would not cause any damage to the tyre, wheel or fork, didn’t even loose sealant or break a spoke? Asking how a frontal impact with that much force did not send the rider over the bars or speared into the ground?

As at 22nd of August I have yet to have any further response from Felt.

What is interesting to me, particularly given the exclusions they have claimed and that the jump was too big is that I have subsequently found one of their marketing videos that show their riders doing nearly all of the things that are meant to be excluded.

Yes my son has crashed this bike, going down on his side several times but never having a frontal impact on it. He’s done that on his xc bike and “supermaned”, suffering a double fracture of the right forearm.
All but one of the photo’s show that the bottom race has been pushed up into the frame. On its own, the underside of the down tube photo might suggest a frontal impact but that does not align with what three people said took place, the complete lack of any other damage to the front of the bike, fork nor wheel, and cannot explain how the bottom race is pushed up into the head tube and not away from the front of the head tube.

Wiggle have stepped up, I think even they couldn’t believe the excuses I was getting. They offered us a 2020 Nukeproof Mega Carbon frame, delivered free of charge. Wiggle will see my money again.
I have had several people contact me when I first posted those polls both here and on several FB mountain bike pages, guessing that the manufacturer was Felt. I have heard that Felt rarely honor warranty but could find very little to support that one way or the other on-line. I am commenting from my experience only, Felt will use every excuse they can to avoid honoring their warranty. They will not ever see another cent of my money.

I have not included all emails as this was getting long enough. I am more than happy to share all of these with anyone interested.

1,486 Posts
Thanks for the full report. I would think a frontal impact hard enough to do that would have destroyed a fork too. If it didn't destroy the fork they straight up didn't build the frame strong enough. That should be one of the strongest areas on any given frame.

I'm glad Wiggle took care of you.

Elitest thrill junkie
35,018 Posts
He passed this issue on to the engineers. This is also when I posted these two polls on MTBR

On the 11th August I got the following reply from Felt US

From the pictures provided the engineering department is confident that this is not a defect. The headset cup is pushed reward into the frame indicating a front end impact. If you have any questions please let me know, thank you.
You have to realize that in the mtb industry, we are literally scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to engineering. Anyone worth anything is working for aerospace and earning $. I seriously doubt Felt has an "engineering department".

No good in rock gardens..
4,426 Posts
Good to know Wiggle came to the party.

Not such a good recommendation for Felt...

A waste of time it is is
3,863 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I just want to add two things that I should have mentioned but forgot to.

Firstly the tech I dealt with at Felt head office was great. Whilst I don't like nor agree with what he was saying, he did not even need to engage with me and could just as easily have said I have to deal with Felt EU but he didn't. He listened to what I had to say and took the time to respond along, what I am sure are company lines.

The other thing is my local Felt distributor was also very helpful, I can't but help think if the frame was purchased locally I might have had a very different outcome. He was the first person I contacted, again through the contact tab on the Felt page. This happened about 3 weeks before a three week school holiday and I was looking for a solution before that break. I wanted to check if he could handle the warranty claim but also if there was a gen 1 front triangle still available, at that stage I would have paid up to about $500 to get him riding again quickly. He had no obligation to me but reached out with his mobile number and then spent at least 15 minutes on the phone with me. He also took the time to check both locally and internationally but could not find a replacement front triangle. He also offered to get back in touch with him depending on what Felt EU said.
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