Love the look or hate it, Felt’s new IA 2.0 is shaped that way for very important reasons. The IA 2.0 is not only supposed to be faster than its predecessor, there are also more storage options and the ride quality would be improved thanks to a new anti-vibration seat post… which does not did Daniela Ryf no harm as she stormed to her fifth Ironman World title in St. George yesterday.
“AI 2.0 is the fastest bike we’ve ever created, so you can become the fastest version of yourself,” Felt says. The IA 2.0 has been in development for over five years and its new optimized aero shape is certainly bold and unmistakable.
Felt shared the results of its wind tunnel testing, providing statistics on unweighted comparisons between the measured aerodynamic drag of the new IA 2.0 and the previous generation IA at specific yaw ranges. From -20 to 20 degrees the AI 2.0 was 1.9% faster, and at -12.5 to 12.5 degrees it was 4% faster.
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“These data are not only incredibly significant on their own, but also because contemporary research studies show that a cyclist spends the vast majority of their time (~90%) riding at yaw angles below 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 cyclist cycling alone, such as during a solo training scenario, an effort individual racing like a triathlon or time trial, or when a road cyclist attacks in a race and leads.
Comfort is also important for going fast and Felt says he has ensured the IA 2.0 offers the widest fit of any bike he has ever created.
The mounting bar is height and angle adjustable, while the extensions are width and length adjustable. The arm rests are adjustable fore and aft, as well as width, and the base bar handles are also height adjustable.
The AI 2.0 front end system can also be adapted to work with most aftermarket systems, so you can always opt for your base bar or favorite extensions; Both Daniela Ryf and Braden Currie paired their AI 2.0s with custom cockpits at Ironman Worlds yesterday.
The AI 2.0 can be configured with electronic or mechanical, 1x or 2x.
If you prefer a 2x drivetrain, 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 52t chainring and opt for a sleek front derailleur plate to help “maximize the most marginal gains by forgoing a superfluous front derailleur hanger”.
The front also includes an integrated cover to conceal either a SRAM BlipBox drive unit or a Shimano electronic junction.
“All the benefits of advanced front integration mean nothing if the bike is difficult to fix, adjust or transport,” Felt acknowledges, and that’s why the brand has ensured that the cable management system of AI 2.0 is intuitive, simple to use. Quickly work and disassemble to store in a travel case.
Felt’s InternaLoc 2.0 seatpost clamping system promises to deliver “unparalleled security, adjustability and comfort.”
The double-bolt clamping mechanism is designed to allow precise adjustments to your riding position while preventing slippage while riding.
It also features Felt’s new co-molded sleeve with a carbon layup that’s been tuned to dampen high-frequency vibrations, and the brand claims this means the IA 2.0 delivers the smoothest ride quality of them all. the triathlon bikes it has ever created.
Storage for nutrition, hydration and tools
Nutrition and hydration characteristics have also been the focus of attention. The previous generation IA featured Felt’s CALpac top tube mounted storage system, and this has been updated for IA 2.0.
Now with 0.2 liters of storage space, it’s designed to store a full day’s assortment of energy gels, nutrition bars and other small items.
“Everything about the new system is designed for speed, including a refined version of the easy-access top slot that lets you quickly grab the fuel you need in the moment, while securing your leftover items and your waste,” Felt explains.
“Flip-down connecting bolts hold the top cowl in place, allowing for quick pre-race storage compartment filling.”
The IA 2.0 also features the all-new THIRSTpac hydration pod that sits below the CALpac storage compartment along the top tube, and can hold up to 0.9 liters of fluid.
“Its one-size reservoir for all frames means that every triathlete, no matter what size frame they compete on, has access to the same amount of fluid capacity,” Felt points out.
A drinking straw connects the THIRSTpac to the cockpit of the bike, and it’s designed to give you instant access while you keep your eyes on the road and your body in its “primary aero position”.
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It has a quick-fill port so you can fill it up quickly, and its unique cover design is supposed to help prevent any spills or sloshing around.
The THIRSTpac was designed in conjunction with the AI 2.0 aerodynamic paradigm, and according to Felt, that means it’s seamlessly integrated into the frame for “all hydration function without any compromise on speed.”
Two water bottle holders are positioned inside the IA 2.0’s front triangle, giving you additional hydration storage options as well.
AI 2.0 also protects you from annoying mechanical issues. Its ITSpac (Inside The Seat tube) storage compartment is accessed via two fold-down connecting bolts, as is the top tube-mounted CALpac storage system, and provides access to a tool kit, spare inner tube , tire levers, a CO2 cartridge, to deal with a quick repair.
The bike comes with a soft bag that was custom designed for the unique shape of the IA 2.0 frame by the bike accessory maestros at Silca. “This ensures that all of your items are protected, held securely in place, and always within reach,” Felt says.
How much for this beautiful beast? Well, pricing starts at £8,999 for a Shimano Ultegra Di2 version and goes up to £13,499 for the SRAM Red AXS 1x version with Zipp 454 NSW wheels – head over to Felt’s website for more info.
Are you on the “everything fast is beautiful” camp, or is AI 2.0 just too much? If AI 2.0 is looking too radical for you, wait until you see what new men’s Ironman World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt was riding…
Picture: Cadex Bike
You can read a bit more about that in our Tech of the Week roundup.