Simply put, the Felt IA 16 is one of the fastest triathlon bikes on the planet, and one of the best value triathlon bikes too.
Since its debut in 2013, the Felt IA has changed the triathlon market, ignoring the time-trial market and focusing exclusive on triathlon and the needs of triathletes. You won't see this bike in any competitive time-trial events, as the frame shapes violate UCI rules for frame construction. For triathletes, that means you've got a bike that isn't limited by road federation design limitations.
Built for real-world aerodynamic situations, the Felt IA offers one of the fastest frames on the market, with ultra-deep airfoils from the headtube to the downtube to the bottom bracket area that are especially slippery on windy days.
In addition to the deep airfoils, the IA frame has seat stays positioned to minimize drag, a BB30 bottom bracket shell, and a unique aero seat post. The Felt IA frame is constructed using something Felt calls "Inside Out" construction, which essentially means they use an internal bladder during the molding process to minimize the amount of excess carbon trapped inside the frame.
This is something you'd expect to see on a high-end carbon bike and something you get with the IA, keeping frame internals super clean and preventing excess carbon.
The IA 16 comes with 11-speed Shimano 105 derailleurs and features microShift shifters, an alternative to the Shimano shifters that come on some competitor's bikes. You get a Shimano 11-speed chain, 11-28 cassette, and a FSA Omega BB30 50/34 crankset.
The Felt IA 16 is equipped with the alloy Felt Bayonet 3 base bar and Felt F-bend alloy extensions. Some riders find the extensions to be a bit short and an upgrade can definitely improve the ergonomics of the aerobars for riders with longer arms.
Unlike the more expensive, fully-integrated cockpit of the top-of-the-line IA, these bars offer better adjustability through angling the extensions, a change that can improve comfort and aerodynamics for many riders.
The IA 16 comes with tubeless-ready Felt TTR4 wheels and Felt Aero TTR2 folding tires.
The saddle for 2018 is an ISM PS 1.1, a definite upgrade over the stock saddles of previous IA models.
One of the biggest complaints we've received from IA owners is the quality of the calpac, the cover for frame food storage near the front of the bike. It's been completely redesigned for the 2018 bike and is much sturdier and easier to use than the previous design.
Felt has also added a new aero storage box for the back of the bike for the 2018 models. This area is well hidden from the wind and provides storage for a flat repair kit or personal items you might be carrying on your ride.
The IA 16 is truly an example of superbike performance at a non-superbike price, and should be on your shortlist if you're looking for a triathlon bike near or under the $3000 price point.