I would like to thanks Van Der Wal for their valuable help in this test.
The idea of this test is to give the reader my feelings about the use of the bike and not to make a technical nor scientific analysis.
Felt IA 14 and Zipp 606 Firecrest the best weapon for triathlon?
At first glance, the Felt IA 14 strikes you in the face. It is profiled like a knife blade, its bright colors further increase its aggressiveness.
The Zipp Firecrest wheels blend perfectly with the frame. The rear wheel 808 is housed within millimeter in the frame. The wheel becomes part of the frame.
The triathlon saddle is comfortable and offers a non-slippery surface very convenient not to slip forward. Prologo offers an extension that attaches to the back of the saddle to attach one or two bottle cages.
The frame is very well finished. Despite the carbon matte finish, no burr, no approximate fitting, fine workmanship.
A small remark regarding the Bayonet hanger. It offers a multitude of adjustments but the extensions ask to be solidarized between them to ensure their rigidity. Personally, I added a rigidifier Ucm Aero Bridge from Profile Design and it's done.
The Zipp wheels are simply loyal to the reputation of the brand, excellent !
Their bearing is impressive of fluidity and the freewheel offers a superb sound, very top of the range.
Vision brakes combined with Zipp brake pads offer powerful, soothing and progressive braking even on rainy days. On the two-digit IA series, the brakes are not integrated in the front fork. This slightly hinders aerodynamics but greatly facilitates the adjustment and disassembly-reassembly of the wheel. After traveling with your Felt in a carrying case, you do not have to find a technician to reassemble your bike.
Use in training
The Felt IA 14 requires a slight adaptation time. But do not be mistaken, despite its appearance of a fighter plane, it remains very manageable and comfortable to ride especially for a time trial bike.
The stiffness of the frame allows frank and nervous boost.
Its aerodynamics is really beginning to feel from 35 km/h. Once passed this speed the bike literally leads you forward. The only limit of the bike will be your legs .... It behaves well by big lateral wind. Of course it must be held, but nothing tricky.
If I had to find a negative point, it would be the noise generated by the frame. Due to its large internal volume, the cables that pass through it generate resonant noises, a little disturbing at first. But you'll get used to it very quickly.
The Zipp wheels are really stunning, a joy to ride. They have a magic rolling sound at high speed, a feast for the ears.
Note that wheels of this size undergo a slight deformation during big boost. Remember not to tighten the brake calipers too close to the wheels, otherwise they will be rubbed.
Use in racing
The Felt IA 14 with its aerodynamics will allow you to push your limits again and again. Because of its comfort, it will avoid you to ache before starting the running part of the race.
And what about the precious minutes won against the wind? A joy for your race time ...
Its driving precision makes it very sharp in cornering. You will surprise yourself going for the inside of the turn to scratch seconds.
The many hydration possibilities make the Felt ideal for long distance triathlons.
In addition to the attachment kit on the back of the saddle, you also have three possibilities of attachment to the frame and a possibility between the extensions bars, enough to remain perfectly hydrated on an Ironman.
The Felt frame also integrates an aerobox that can contains your gels and race food. You can easily stuff in it 6 gels and an energy bar.
An exceptional frame at a normal price
Dynamism and rigidity
Very aerodynamics wheels
The look of "war machine"
Aerobox built in
Multitude of possibility of adjustment of the aerodynamic position
The rigidity of the extensions bars
Resonant noise of the frame
With the Felt IA14 mounted with a 606 ZIPP kit, forget immediately the idea of going unnoticed!
You are riding a racing beast and you have to assume ....
Despite its extreme look, the Felt proves to be a particularly pleasant and comfortable to ride.
I can tell you that after riding such a bike, the return on a normal racing bike is very depressing ....
Of course, it is possible to go even further in aerodynamics and stiffness, but in this case, it will not be at the same price at all.
One last piece of advice, if you buy such a machine, buy it from a specialist who will be able to mount it and settle it right, you will not regret it!
Hope to see you soon on the road ......