Love the look or hate it, Felt’s new IA 2.0 is shaped that way for some very important reasons. The IA 2.0 is not only claimed to be faster than its predecessor, there's also more storage options and the ride quality is said to be improved thanks to a new vibration-dampening seatpost... both of which didn't do Daniela Ryf any harm as she stormed to her fifth Ironman World title in St. George yesterday.
“The IA 2.0 is the fastest bike we’ve ever created, in order for you to become the fastest version of yourself,” claims Felt. The IA 2.0 has been in development for over five years and its new aerodynamically optimised shape is certainly bold and unmissable.
Felt has shared the findings from its wind tunnel testing, providing some stats on the unweighted comparisons between the measured aerodynamic drag of the new IA 2.0 and the previous generation IA at specific ranges of yaw. From -20 to 20 degrees, the IA 2.0 was found to be 1.9% faster, and at -12.5 to 12.5 degrees it was 4% faster.
“These data are not only incredibly significant on their own, but also because contemporary research studies show that a rider spends the vast majority of their time (~90%) riding at yaw angles less than 12.5 degrees (positive or negative),” Felt says.
“Note that this is a conservative estimate, as most studies focus on the efforts of an individual rider cycling alone, such as during a solo training scenario, individual racing effort such as a triathlon or time trial, or when a road cyclist is attacking in a race and is off the front.”
Comfort is also important for going fast and so Felt says it ensured the IA 2.0 provides the broadest fit of any bike that it has ever created.
The riser bar is adjustable by both height and angle, while the extensions are adjustable via both width and length. The armrest holds feature fore-aft adjustability, as well as width width adjustment, plus the base bar grips are also height adjustable.
The IA 2.0’s front-end system can also be adapted to work with most any aftermarket system around, so you could always opt for your favourite basebar or extensions; both Daniela Ryf and Braden Currie paired their IA 2.0s with custom cockpits at the Ironman Worlds yesterday.
The IA 2.0 can be set up with electronic or mechanical, 1x or 2x.
If you prefer a 2x drivetrain, then the IA 2.0 can accept up to a 42-tooth inner ring. If you’re a 1x enthusiast, you can fit up to a 52-tooth chainring, and opt for a sleek front derailleur plate to help “maximise the most marginal of gains by forgoing a superfluous front derailleur hanger”.
The front-end also includes an integrated cover to conceal either a SRAM BlipBox control unit or a Shimano electronic junction.
“All the benefits of advanced front-end integration mean nothing if the bike is difficult to repair, adjust, or travel with,” Felt acknowledges, and that’s why the brand has ensured the IA 2.0’s cable management system is intuitive, simple to work on and quick to disassemble for packing into a travel case.
Felt’s InternaLoc 2.0 seatpost clamping system is promised to provide “unrivalled security, adjustability and comfort”.
The dual-bolt clamping mechanism is designed to allow for fine adjustments to your riding position while also preventing slippage while riding.
It also features Felt’s new co-moulded sleeve with a carbon layup that’s been tuned to mitigate high frequency vibrations, and the brand says this has meant that the IA 2.0 provides the smoothest ride quality of any triathlon bike it has ever created.
Nutrition and hydration features have been much of the focus too. The previous generation IA featured Felt’s CALpac top tube-mounted storage system, and this has been updated for the IA 2.0.
Now with 0.2 litres of storage space, it’s designed for stashing a full day’s assortment of energy gels, nutrition bars and other small items.
“Everything about the new system is built for speed, including a refined version of the easy-access slot along the top that allows you to quickly grab hold of the fuel you need in the moment, while also securing your remaining items and refuse,” Felt explains.
“Flip-up connector bolts hold the top cover in place, making it a speedy process to fill the storage compartment pre-race.”
The IA 2.0 also includes the all-new THIRSTpac hydration module that sits below the CALpac storage compartment along the top tube, and this can hold up to 0.9 litres of liquid.
“Its one-size-fits-all-frames reservoir means that every triathlete, no matter the frame size on which they compete, has access to the same amount of fluid capacity,” Felt points out.
A drinking straw runs from the THIRSTpac to the bike’s cockpit, and this is designed to give you instant access while you keep your eyes on the road and your body in its “prime aero position”.
It has a quick-fill port so you can top it up quickly, and its unique cover design is said to help prevent any spilling or sloshing.
The THIRSTpac was designed in conjunction with the IA 2.0’s aerodynamic paradigm, and according to Felt, this means that it’s perfectly integrated into the frame for “all of the hydration function without any compromise to speed”.
Two water bottle mounts are positioned inside the IA 2.0’s front triangle, giving you additional hydration storage options too.
The IA 2.0 also has you covered for annoying mechanical issues. Its ITSpac (Inside The Seat tube) storage compartment is accessible via two flip-up connector bolts just like the top tube-mounted CALpac storage system, and allows for access to a tool kit, spare inner tube, tyre levers, a CO2 cartridge, for dealing with quick repair.
The bike comes with a soft bag that’s been custom-made for the unique shape of the IA 2.0 frame by the bicycle accessory maestros at Silca. “This ensures that all of your items are protected, held securely in place, and always right at hand,” says Felt.
How much for this beautiful beast? Well, pricing begins at £8,999 for a Shimano Ultegra Di2 build and goes up to £13,499 for the SRAM Red AXS 1x build with Zipp 454 NSW wheels - head over to Felt's website for more info.
Are you in the ‘anything that’s fast is beautiful’ camp, or is the IA 2.0 just too much? If the IA 2.0 is too radical looking for you, wait until you see what the new men's Ironman world champ Kristian Blummenfelt was riding...
You can read a bit more about that in our Tech of the Week round-up.