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Recently Mtbr was in Torbole, Italy, on the shore of Lago di Garda for the launch of Felt’s latest mountain bike, the Decree – a 140mm 27.5 carbon trail bike with adjustable geometry that weighs in at just a hair over 24 pounds (FRD model, US spec, size medium). An international launch at a glamorous location like Garda is a new move for the Southern California company. But if you’ve got a brand new trail bike you feel really good about, you couldn’t pick a better spot to show it off.

Lago di Garda is a huge lake located at the southern foot of the Italian Alps. It’s one of the most popular mountain bike destinations in Europe because of its dramatic beauty and steep, technical trails. In fact, Garda is one of the most challenging places I’ve ever ridden. The operative word for Garda mountain biking is “loose.” The trails are covered in fist to baby head-sized rocks interspersed with big steppy chunks of limestone that feel like someone rubbed soap all over them. You do your best to pick a line but ultimately the trail makes the decision for you. Honestly, most of the riding at Garda is pretty scary.

The author, Photo-John, getting a good taste of Garda rocks, on the new Felt Decree. Photo courtesy of Johan Hjord