About a month ago Felt launched the new IA bike and they quickly made sure that Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae had one in her hands to get comfortable on it before the 2013 Kona event. We now look at the bike fitting effort of this new bike as handled by Mat Steinmetz of 51 Speed Shop.
This new IA bike offers new technology, aero advantages and integrated storage solutions, but it is only available in a 700c edition and the Felt DA Carfrae previously rode was a 650c bike.
"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," said Mat Steinmetz on the topic of 650c vs 700c wheels in Carfrae's case. "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."
The new Felt IA makes quite an impression at first glance.
After an early morning swim session a tired Mirinda Carfrae sat down with Mat Steinmetz to go over the setup thoughts.
Mirinda Carfrae is racing an ISM saddle this year, a that is a move that is very popular with many female Pros.
Mat Steinmetz has been working with Rinny to relax over the front-end and keep the head low and the posture has indeed improved over the years.
It appears that Mirinda Carfrae is ready for a bit of chocolate milk right then.
Neck and shoulder tension can be avoided with relaxed hands on the extensions.
Mirinda Carfrae's aerobars are Profile Aeria and she uses ski bend extensions.
The front end of Mirinda Carfrae's Felt IA.
Comparing the Felt DA with the new Felt IA side-by-side.
According to Mat Steinmetz Rinny rides on 165 cranks and he attempted to get her on 155 ones in early 2012. A bad race at Melbourne though soured her taste even though the crank length likely had little to do with that bad outing.
Checking out the video footage of her position on the bike.
Even a world champion likes to take pictures of their new ride.
All images © Dennis Meeker