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I Chose The Felt IA10 And This Is Why
Written by Aubrey Aldy
The Felt IA10 2018 is a sleek silver, gray and black speed machine. First, let me tell you how I came across this bike. My longtime friends at the Bike Bistro in Fort Myers are Felt dealers and they have been keying me in to this bike for a couple years now. With the Race Across America coming up just around the corner, this is the perfect time to find the fastest bike possible, get some miles on it, and dial in before the race starts. If you’re not familiar with what RAAM (Race Across America) is, it’s a 3,089 mile bike race that begins in Oceanside, CA and ends in Annapolis, MD. This year we are aiming for the 2-man course record of 6 days and 9 hours. It is non-stop riding, the clock is always running, and the most important tools in this race are the bikes. I’ve had a Kestrel 4000 Pro SL that has been good to me for a few years now. My Kestrel is still equipped with 10-speed components. Rather than update the groupset to 11-speed, I thought this was the time to look into a new bike. 

I was unsure of the IA10 based on the looks alone. I liked the look, but felt that it might sacrifice handling and the general feel of the bike in favor of aerodynamics. I was pleasantly surprised with the immediate feel and handling of the Felt IA10.  I will use this bike whenever possible throughout the race. For the flats and rolling hills there will be no faster machine. In the mountains, I will be on a road bike which is designed for better climbing and descending at high speeds (review soon to follow on the Felt FR2). I also wanted both my road and tri bike to have matching components for easier mechanical repairs in a hurry while on the road, which they do. This bike is outfitted with an 11-speed Shimano Ultegra electronic groupset. Over the past 2 months of riding this bike every single shift has been flawless. I don’t think they could have made it any easier. It has some convenience features that are proving to be valuable, such as an aerodynamic box behind the seat post. This is a very clean and aerodynamic way to store a flat kit or anything else that you might need. Behind the stem of this bike is another storage compartment with a rubberized cover that is a perfect place for anything you might need access to while on the bike, such as food or salt tabs. The aero bars themselves are highly adjustable, the only thing I had an issue with was the length of the extension. Of all of the bikes that I’ve ridden in the past, this has the best pedaling feel. It feels smooth and powerful with every stroke.
It’s a slightly heavier weight than my previous bike setup. I made a few easy modifications to bring that weight down, and the aerodynamics made the bike feel like a sail. As they say aerodynamics always trump weight anyways. I changed out the Vision 52/36 cranks and chain rings that came with the bike to SRAM Red carbon 54/39 because it's a little lighter and stiffer crank, and a larger chain ring to get more torque on the flats and descents. I feel that a 39 is plenty small enough to climb any ascents that I’ll face on a tri bike. I also changed out the aero bar extensions to Zipp Vuka Carbon Extensions, which are a little lighter and longer than the aluminum extensions that come standard. I noticed that with the more expensive version of the IA, Felt has integrated the front brakes into the frame. Starting with the IA10 and down the front brake is exposed. It comes with a Vision Trimax Aero Brake caliper, which is pretty good, the braking quality is solid. There’s some great work done by ERO Sports that tested this exact model with varying brakes and found that the Tririg brake saved in the neighborhood of 5 watts, so I swapped to the Tririg Omega X. I also swapped out the wheels to my existing pair of Fair Wheel Phalanx Wheelset with Vittoria Corsa G Speed TLR tires. All in all, I absolutely love the Felt IA10.  I feel like every watt of power I input into this bike I get in return. I need a bike that I can trust to take me across the United States and after riding the Felt IA10 for the past couple months, I know this is the bike that can do it.
The Bean Team is still in great need of donors to help make this race possible and allow us to support our charity, Operation Homefront. Operation Homefront’s mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities that they’ve worked so hard to protect.
If you can help us in any way please visit us at the links below. Thank you! 

About Author: Aubrey Aldy

After serving eight years in the Army as a combat medic Aubrey Aldy is now focused on triathlon and the team he runs: All Day Endurance. Aubrey enjoys helping people attain fitness goals of all kinds. With Aubrey’s help and experience you can and will reach all of the goals you set-out to accomplish. Aubrey is an All-American triathlete who has competed in 100+ events over the years. Having won several races from half marathons to iron distance triathlons. He currently holds course records on 8 different triathlon run courses form sprint to iron distance. Aubrey is a certified personal trainer through World Instructor Training Schools, USA Track and Field Level 1 Coach, IRONMAN Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 3 Coach. 
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