AERO ROAD ALL-ROUNDER
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