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Pro Bike: David Millar's Garmin-Transitions Felt DA

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Garmin-Transitions bicycle sponsor Felt has provided David Millar with a new version of its DA time trial machine.

Garmin-Transitions bicycle sponsor Felt has provided David Millar with a new version of its DA time trial machine. (Image credit: James Huang)
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David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) is using a prototype Vittoria tubular tire on the rear wheel.

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) is using a prototype Vittoria tubular tire on the rear wheel. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Adjusters are built into the carbon fiber rear entry horizontal dropouts.

Adjusters are built into the carbon fiber rear entry horizontal dropouts. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Bayonet 3 fork assembly features more tapered blades and more importantly, a much lower stack height up top that allows for more aggressive positions.

The new Bayonet 3 fork assembly features more tapered blades and more importantly, a much lower stack height up top that allows for more aggressive positions. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Bayonet 3 fork still works in conjunction with the head tube to produce a more aerodynamic shape than is allowed with a single structure, but the bar position can now be positioned much lower relative to the old model.

The Bayonet 3 fork still works in conjunction with the head tube to produce a more aerodynamic shape than is allowed with a single structure, but the bar position can now be positioned much lower relative to the old model. (Image credit: James Huang)
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David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) is among the many riders in this year's Giro d'Italia that is testing out Shimano's new carbon-bodied Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals.

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) is among the many riders in this year's Giro d'Italia that is testing out Shimano's new carbon-bodied Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals. (Image credit: James Huang)
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fi'zi:k designs its Ares saddle specifically for time trials with a shortened nose that's easier to fit into the UCI dimensional template for setback.

fi'zi:k designs its Ares saddle specifically for time trials with a shortened nose that's easier to fit into the UCI dimensional template for setback. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Felt engineers employ computational fluid dynamics software to help craft aerodynamic frame shapes.

Felt engineers employ computational fluid dynamics software to help craft aerodynamic frame shapes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The revised seat stay-seat tube area looks to more readily allow air to pass through and around than the old design.

The revised seat stay-seat tube area looks to more readily allow air to pass through and around than the old design. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The flattened section on the back of the seatpost provides a dedicated area to mount a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 battery.

The flattened section on the back of the seatpost provides a dedicated area to mount a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 battery. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Interestingly, David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) prefers to use straight down tube shift levers instead of the curved ones normally intended for bar-end use.

Interestingly, David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) prefers to use straight down tube shift levers instead of the curved ones normally intended for bar-end use. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Felt has done away with the old DA down tube's scalloped underside, opting now for a more gently curving and conventional-looking shape.

Felt has done away with the old DA down tube's scalloped underside, opting now for a more gently curving and conventional-looking shape. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A blue-anodized aluminum block shifts the Shimano Dura-Ace front derailleur into a more acceptable position for proper shifting on the O.symetric chainrings.

A blue-anodized aluminum block shifts the Shimano Dura-Ace front derailleur into a more acceptable position for proper shifting on the O.symetric chainrings. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Berner carbon fiber derailleur cage and oversized (13T upper, 15T lower) pulleys are said to noticeably reduce drivetrain friction by allowing less severe chain bends.

The Berner carbon fiber derailleur cage and oversized (13T upper, 15T lower) pulleys are said to noticeably reduce drivetrain friction by allowing less severe chain bends. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Beefy grips on the base bars provide David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) with a secure handhold for powerful starts.

Beefy grips on the base bars provide David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) with a secure handhold for powerful starts. (Image credit: James Huang)
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David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) likes his base bar low but his elbow pads and extensions much higher.

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) likes his base bar low but his elbow pads and extensions much higher. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Felt's new DA time trial frame also includes an all-new Bayonet 3 fork and integrated stem assembly.

Felt's new DA time trial frame also includes an all-new Bayonet 3 fork and integrated stem assembly. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Transitions team mechanic Kris Withington says some of the riders' most positive feedback on the new DA is its increased stiffness, partially due to the beefed-up bottom bracket area.

Garmin-Transitions team mechanic Kris Withington says some of the riders' most positive feedback on the new DA is its increased stiffness, partially due to the beefed-up bottom bracket area. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The proprietary rear brake on David Millar's (Garmin-Transitions) new Felt DA is cleanly integrated into the chain stays - and it even looks relatively reasonable to adjust, too.

The proprietary rear brake on David Millar's (Garmin-Transitions) new Felt DA is cleanly integrated into the chain stays - and it even looks relatively reasonable to adjust, too. (Image credit: James Huang)
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AceCo has provided the Garmin-Transitions team with the latest iteration of its K-Edge chain watcher, complete with an adjustable set screw and stick-on metal pad to provide absolutely secure positioning.

AceCo has provided the Garmin-Transitions team with the latest iteration of its K-Edge chain watcher, complete with an adjustable set screw and stick-on metal pad to provide absolutely secure positioning. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The custom carbon fiber cap covering David Millar's (Garmin-Transitions) O.symetric chainrings is purely for aerodynamics and cosmetics as it is only attached by the chainring bolts and does little to stiffen the ring itself.

The custom carbon fiber cap covering David Millar's (Garmin-Transitions) O.symetric chainrings is purely for aerodynamics and cosmetics as it is only attached by the chainring bolts and does little to stiffen the ring itself. (Image credit: James Huang)
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David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) is apparently only interested in a few pieces of key information while racing time trials - and notice that heart rate is included twice.

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) is apparently only interested in a few pieces of key information while racing time trials - and notice that heart rate is included twice. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Transitions mechanics have proven themselves to be rather crafty when devising computer mounts for the team's time trial bikes. This one looks to be built from a spare elbow pad riser.

Garmin-Transitions mechanics have proven themselves to be rather crafty when devising computer mounts for the team's time trial bikes. This one looks to be built from a spare elbow pad riser. (Image credit: James Huang)
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David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) uses French O.symetric chainrings on both his time trial and road bike.

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) uses French O.symetric chainrings on both his time trial and road bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The aluminum stem on David Millar's (Garmin-Transitions) new Felt DA is clearly a machined prototype but we expect the production version to be either a forged aluminum piece or maybe even molded carbon fiber when it's officially unveiled later this month at the Tour of California.

The aluminum stem on David Millar's (Garmin-Transitions) new Felt DA is clearly a machined prototype but we expect the production version to be either a forged aluminum piece or maybe even molded carbon fiber when it's officially unveiled later this month at the Tour of California. (Image credit: James Huang)

Garmin-Transitions time trial specialist David Millar debuted an all-new machine at this year's Giro d'Italia prologue from team sponsor Felt Bicycles. Though it wears the same DA model name, the new version's refined shape is sleeker and stiffer, and offers a more aggressive rider position than its predecessor.

Frontal area on this latest DA is claimed to be roughly half that of the 2007 version, aided in no small part by the third generation of Felt's distinctive fork, logically called the Bayonet 3. In contrast to the tapered and oversized headsets that have virtually become standard fare on road bikes, the Bayonet rotates on bearings with an inner diameter of just 19mm – about 6-10mm smaller than usual.

As before, the external steerer tube pairs with the teardrop-shaped head tube behind it to produce a more aerodynamic combination than a single structure would under current UCI rules while also making for a stiffer front end for better handling.

Felt has taken some height out of the Bayonet 3, though, and topped it with a svelte, fixed-position stem that sits nearly inline with the top tube and more easily allows for a far lower position than before – a major issue with the old version at least as far as the team was concerned, especially when they switched bar sponsors from Oval Concepts to 3T.

The fork blades have been reshaped, too, with a more gradually tapered form that omits the previous versions rearward extensions down by the dropouts.

Also adopting a slightly simplified shape is the new down tube, which skips the old DA's slight scallop around the front wheel with a more gently curving shape that still provides nearly the same amount of coverage by merely starting out lower behind the fork crown. The overall dimensions have grown, too, helping to yield a stouter front triangle that team mechanic Kris Withington says Millar praises as being "way stiffer" underfoot for notably better pedaling efficiency and steering precision.

The top tube is level as before but it, too, has grown slightly, further contributing to the frame's improved rigidity and more confident feel.

The seat tube still closely follows the rear wheel as before but is now deeper throughout its length – again, likely contributing to overall stiffness – and terminates up top in a telescoping aero-profiled carbon seatpost that includes a dedicated mount up top for a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 battery. Down below is a newly BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell (fitted with a press-fit threaded sleeve for use with the team's Shimano cranksets).

Further back, the seat stay junction has opened up significantly, likely allowing more air to cleanly pass through and around than the old design, while the stays themselves have grown in depth and thickness. Chain stays have similarly been enlarged, but lying beneath them is one of the new DA's cleverest tricks.

Felt has moved the rear brake from atop the chain stays to below them, using a proprietary linear pull-type design that sits virtually flush with the surrounding frame surface. In addition to presumably being more aerodynamic, its brutally simple design may even shed some weight, too, and yet it still looks reasonably accessible for pad and cable tension adjustments.

Built into the new carbon rear-entry horizontal dropouts are integrated adjusters and the cable routing has been further refined to retain smoother exterior lines. According to Withington, the team is currently working with Felt to develop a fully internal setup (including through the bar and stem) for running a Di2 wiring harness.

Complete bike specifications:

Frame: Felt DA prototype, size 54cm
Fork: Felt Bayonet 3
Headset: Felt integrated
Stem: Felt Bayonet 3 integrated, 100mm
Handlebars: 3T Mistral Pro, 42cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: 3T
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7800 (modified) w/ SwissStop Yellow King pads
Rear brake: Felt DA integrated
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace BL-TT79
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7900-F
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7900-SS w/ Berner carbon fiber cage and 13/15T pulleys
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace SL-7900, modified for bar-end use
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-23T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7900, 180mm, w/ O.symetric chainrings and custom carbon fiber cap
Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB80
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL carbon prototype
Front wheel: Mavic Cosmic Pro tubular
Rear wheel: Mavic Comete
Front tire: Vittoria Corsa EVO CX tubular, 23mm
Rear tire: Vittoria prototype tubular
Saddle: fi'zi:k Ares k:ium
Seat post: Felt DA carbon
Computer: Garmin Edge 500