I have a couple of Wiliers and have been lucky enough to have ridden other models whilst in Italy under the Italian hospitality of Wilier. After my first trip I came home having ordered a bike and the same happened on the last trip. There must be something working well in their hospitality department.
I ride the Cento Uno or Cento 1 SR the newer version. They are both stiff racing machines and are fast, light and exciting. In fact I’d describe the Cento 1 SR as wild, like a teenager. When I tested the GTR Race SL it felt more of a downhill bike: super light, really comfortable and with a laid back geometry suited to shredding hair pins in the Alps or, more appropriately, the Dolomites.
The Wilier Cento 10 Air is the grown up version of the wild Cento 1 SR. The geometry is the same but the moment you hit the road you notice how smooth it is. It has taken the race feel of the Cento 1 and combined it with the comfort of the GTR SL. The Cento 10 Air is Wilier’s third generation aero bike. The Cento 10 Air is the coming of age for the Centos and has replaced them as the race team’s bike. Its key asset is the comfort of the ride. In order for the Pros the go faster designers have realised that by keeping them comfortable helps them keep going for longer and harder. The Cento 10 Air does just that.
Wilier use a Kamtail design to ensure that the frame is aerodynamic but keep the tubes relatively wide. Gone are the days when thinner meant faster as thin frames flex (this was the case in the first Cento Air). They are using their best grade 60 ton carbon to make a monocoque frame so that no watt is wasted on a sprint or powering up a climb. To enhance the aero features of the bike Wilier looked and the bar and stem combo and came up with the Alabarda. This is slim and keeps the gear cables hidden passing them through the bar, stem and headset into the frame.
I like to set my bars up flat as the brakes are more efficient this way (I love descending and set the brakes up just so). The Alabarda bar is flat and super thin too, over 33% thinner than a regular handlebar. The brakes are direct mount which adds even more power to an already powerful brake. The bike tested has Campagnolo brakes which used to be the most powerful although recent Shimano brakes are on a par. The frame uses 60 Ton carbon with unique tube dimensions for each frame size and will take up to 28mm tyres.
There is a clear difference between the top end frames as supplied to race teams and those that are there to hit magical price points on the internet. Once you are in the upper echelons of performance frames there is a price to pay and lots of choice. My view is that if you can afford this sort of bike then why not buy one with the looks, class, uniqueness, history and style to match your spend.
You can read more on our website: Wilier Cento 10 Air