This article was originally published on slowtwitch.com
The new Felt IA appears to be a leap forward over the previous DA. Without even looking at the improved aerodynamics of the frame, the ability to integrate storage and fuel is enough of a change to make it a great choice. Felt made the decision, like many of it's competitors, to ditch their 650c offering. I understand the simplicity of keeping the entire line on 700c wheels and avoiding the resistance that many consumers have with purchasing a bike with 650c wheels. In my opinion, smaller bikes are better fit with 650c wheels, but I'm also not running a bike company.
Is it a good choice for Rinny? I'm a huge believer in decreasing resistive forces. Putting myself in her shoes, based on her options, I'd have a hard time turning down the new technology. My only area of concern would be handling...mainly in Kona. As long as she trains on her race wheels and becomes comfortable with the handling characteristics, she will be fine.
Just looking at the IA, there's a lot of wheel under that frame. The low seat stays probably enhance this effect.
Discussing the process with Rinny
One of the biggest changes that for Rinny in 2013 is the switch to ISM saddles. Most females will posture better on the bike using an anatomically shaped saddle which isolates pressure to less tender areas.
Rinny's posture has improved a lot over the years. We've been working on relaxing over the front and keeping the head low.
Rinny had been up before the crack of dawn to swim and was really looking forward to her nap.
Rinny is using the Profile Aeria with ski bend extensions. Relaxed hands help rid your neck and shoulders of tension.
Comparing the old 650c DA to the new IA with 700c wheels.
Rinny rides 165 cranks. I attempted to have her use 155 at the beginning of 2012, but that was quickly shut down after a poor performance at IM Melbourne. I don't think it was the cranks, but once something is dismissed, you often have to go with the flow.
Rinny looks at videos of her position on the bike
Rinny taking a photo of her new steed