Gallery: Daniela Ryf’s World Championship-Winning IA Triathlon Bike
Daniela Ryf is the reigning Queen of Kona. A four-time consecutive winner of triathlon’s most prestigious race, the Swiss superstar has enjoyed yet another dominant racing season this year as she’s built towards winning a historic fifth Kona world championship. Why would her fifth win be historic? A few athletes have won more titles, sure, but no woman has ever won five in a row—only the great Mark Allen has ever scored five Kona titles in a row.
Last year’s Kona was one for the ages, and one that will forever hold a special place in the pantheon of epic race days. While treading water a few minutes before the start of the swim in Kailua Bay, Daniela Ryf was stung by a jellyfish. Despite the pain of the venom coursing through her veins, Ryf put in a valiant swim, yet emerged from the water far later than race pundits would have expected. She mounted her brand-new Felt IA Disc, a race bike making its worldwide debut at this very event, and proceeded to chase down every single competitor in front of her en route to a new bike course record. Ryf finished the day with a stellar run, crossing the finish line with a new overall course record, as well. It was Ryf’s fourth consecutive win, each of them coming aboard the Felt IA platform.
So how could Daniela Ryf possibly top last year’s superlative performance? She’s back in 2019 to make history by winning a fifth straight Kona title, something that no woman (and only one other athlete) has ever accomplished. This is the bike on which she aims to do it, the same model that has brought her so much success in the past.
There’s no question as to whom this bike belongs. Daniela Ryf’s nickname is “Angry Bird,” but it belies the calm demeanor and agreeable disposition of the Swiss star.
For this year’s Kona world championship race, Ryf is running a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain.
Ryf is utilizing a massive chainring combination of 56/44. The legendary bike course along Kona’s Queen K Highway regularly features strong winds, leading to incredibly high speeds. Still, it takes a mighty powerful rider to rock such a massive chainring for 112 miles.
In addition to Shimano Di2 shift buttons located at the ends of her aerobar extensions, Ryf also runs satellite shifter buttons near her brake levers. This gives her the capability to make precise gear changes at any time during the race.
Daniela Ryf is a big fan of Continental tires, having used them for several years. This time around, she’s using the German tire brand’s latest Grand Prix 5000 model. Ryf runs a 23c version on the front wheel and a 25c version on the rear wheel. Both of them are fitted with latex inner tubes—no tubulars or tubeless tires for the champ.
Ryf’s favorite Selle Italia saddle remains a constant sight aboard all of her race bikes. She also races with a pair of XLAB bottle cages mounted behind her saddle, as well as a tool kit for quick roadside repairs.
Daniela Ryf was a quick convert to disc brakes, noting that the added stopping power and better control in any kind of weather or condition is a welcome addition to her racing and training efforts. She runs 140mm rotors on both front and rear wheels.
Here’s the cockpit setup of multi-time Kona World Champion Daniela Ryf. It’s a straightforward, all-business configuration with cushy Ergon forearm pads, a lone bottle cage from XLAB, and Shimano Di2 shifters.
When Daniela Ryf finds a component that she knows will work, she keeps it. Case in point, check out these older-style Felt F-Bend aluminum extensions. They’ve been a mainstay for her race day setups.
Will this bike carry Daniela Ryf to a historic fifth consecutive Kona world championship? We’ll find out on Saturday, October 12.