AERO ROAD ALL-ROUNDER

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - BIKE -

DFELT AR 5 ID YOU KNOW that four out of five Cana­dian triath­letes own a road bike as well as their tri bike? Many triath­letes like to train on their road bikes when they’re rid­ing with groups or on par­tic­u­larly hilly or tech­ni­cal ter­rain. No-doubt many started with a road bike, too, and picked up a tri bike once they got se­ri­ous about the sport. Re­gard­less of the rea­son­ing, the fact that so many triath­letes own road bikes is prob­a­bly one of the rea­sons there hasn’t been too much furor over the new draft-le­gal for­mat of the sprint-dis­tance events at the na­tional and the world cham­pi­onships. Now that age group ath­letes get to race just like the ITU elites, they also

have to con­form to the ITU stan­dards for bike equip­ment – ba­si­cally a road bike with reg­u­lar drop bars, which hasn’t been too much of a prob­lem be­cause so many seem to have them.

For those who are look­ing for a road bike that would serve them well for train­ing and rac­ing, Felt’s AR5 is worth a look. As we’re used to see­ing with a Felt bike, it starts with an ex­cel­lent frame and fork – this time an aero AR road frame built with the com­pany’s UHC per­for­mance car­bon fi­bre and an mono­coque aero UHC car­bon fork. That’s cou­pled with Shi­mano’s 105 com­po­nents – not the top of the line from Shi­mano, but cer­tainly a solid group set that will do you well for train­ing and rac­ing. The bike comes with a Felt Aero Road R3 wheelset that is great for train­ing or draft-le­gal rac­ing, al­though, if you have them, throw­ing on an aero set of wheels for rac­ing is an op­tion, too.

An added bonus with the AR5 is the weight. At un­der 8 kg (18 lbs.) this bike will serve you well for vir­tu­ally any type of ter­rain. Ma­jor hill climbs? Check – the light weight and stiff bot­tom bracket and rear tri­an­gle is great. Long Grand Fon­dos? Yep, got you cov­ered here, too – the com­fort­able ride gets the job done. Draft-le­gal na­tional cham­pi­onships? Ab­so­lutely.

With its aero de­sign, the AR5 could also be specced out as a tri rig, too, in a stretch, mak­ing it an op­tion for those who are wrestling with just how se­ri­ous they are go­ing to be about triathlon rac­ing. A for­ward an­gled seat post and aero bars isn’t the per­fect triathlon so­lu­tion, but it cer­tainly can work for those who are just try­ing to fig­ure out where they’re go­ing in the sport.

The AR5 of­fers a lot of per­for­mance for the price – an ex­cel­lent frame and fork along with rea­son­able com­po­nents.—km

Felt AR 5 $3,200

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