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.