Wilier Cento 10 Air

by: Guri Randhawa @The_PRW
October 14th, 2016

I was lucky enough once again this past May to make the pilgrimage to the land of Prosecco, bikes and sweaters in the Summer. Yes, Italy, my friends. Not many better back drops to launch a new Italian Road Bike than an Italian castle in the Italian country side. The site of Wilier’s launch of the 2017 line up of bikes was CastelBrando. Set on a promontory overlooking Valmareno with a mild climate, typical of Treviso hills, CastelBrando is a great example of the historical and artistic restoration of one of the largest castles in Europe (their words not mine).

The massive manor, immersed in 50 hectares of wooded park, is part of a medieval hamlet set in the scenic Prosecco hills (yes Prosecco!), surrounded by the towns of Valdobbiadene, Conegliano and Vittorio Veneto, just 50 minutes from Venice. A cable car takes you up to the heart of the castle, a landmark seen from the valley with its numerous turrets and battlements. Rich in history and legend, CastelBrando is an amazing backdrop in an area that is already mind blowing in scenery and history. The Castle houses a restaurant, bars, Roman baths, Hotel and in this case bike nerds from Canada, USA, Korea, Japan, China, Dubai and Korea to name a few.

I landed in Venice and was picked up to spend a couple of nights in the stunning town of Bassano del Grappa. As the name suggests, it was where Grappa was invented and, yes, I drank some at the oldest Grappa distillery Nardini. It happened to be at 10 in the morning but when in Rome… Bassano del Grappa is also the birthplace of Wilier. It was founded there in 1906, making them 110 years old this year, not too bad. The facility is now located in Rossano Veneto, which is a stone’s throw away. Highly recommend visiting Bassano del Grappa, a great quiet town with lots of history. They make a mean Spritz there and Risotto, lots of Risotto. I have never eaten so much Risotto and will most likely never again.

Ok back to bikes. After a couple days playing tourist we got set up in CastelBrando which provided the home base for this year. A lot less hilly than Cortina but they seem to rate “hills” a bit differently here, a 45 min climb is considered pedestrian. After getting our Cento 10’s all dialed we did a couple of days of amazing riding through the Prosecco region with, of course, Prosecco stops and lots of eating. Didn’t get enough in the legs during the scheduled rides? Well luck has it lots of big climbs a few blocks away, literally.

The bike. Yes, lets talk about the new bike. Cento 10 or as the say “Dieci”, is the latest offering in the Aero market from Wilier. Sitting above the super successful Cento 1 Air, the theme with the Cento 10 is integration. A bike that is super clean with a integrated bar/stem combo that allows all cables to be run internally thru the stem so the only thing you see is the front brake housing. Super clean and does not make my hair greyer to run the cables. Any junction box for electronic shifting can be tucked up in the Alabarda bars to keep it clean. The bike can be built without the Alabarda bar but you won’t have as clean or aero of a set up. The frame utilizes direct mount brakes, so no propriety brakes that don’t work, and the rear is mounted on the seat stays not chain stays. Thank you Wilier! Room for 28 mm tires as Pro’s are finally embracing the fatter tire and all its virtues. No more 22 mm tubs pumped to 160 psi, we hope. The frame is sub 990 gram, aero, and utilizes the trusted Mitsubishi 60 and 46 Ton Carbon. It has size specific shaping and design so that the small frame is not the same shape and lay-up as a XL, making for a balanced bike. This process is also applied to the bar, so size specific shape and lay-up. The Alabarda bar can also be used on other Wilier models, you just wont be able to run cables internally through the frame like you can on the Cento 10. Six sizes of bar/stem combos including the Pozzato shape, which is a Classic bend 42 cm bar with a 133 mm stem. Oh Pippo, so picky.

So the ride, well those that know me can vouch for the fact I am not a big man regardless of what my kids think and my 135lb frame is sensitive to a stiff riding bike. I was shocked at how confortable the bike was, even with some 25 mm tires on narrow hoops. We aren’t talking steel with 28 mm tubulars comfy, but for an aero bike I will say it was “compliant”. Yes I am aware I sell the product and my views will be considered biased, but I will always sell equipment that I personally believe in. I have never brought in a frame before that I didn’t believe was an ideal fit for my shop in terms of what it offered, and I will continue to think this way. I cannot sell something I am not 100% behind. This goes for all things bike related. Period. In the end, I am the person who deals with a disappointed consumer. We all have friends who have horrible recommendations in restaurants, movies, beer, etc. Eventually you stop listening to them or asking right?

Is this the most aero frame out there? Not sure, maybe not. What I do know is Wilier has definitely done there home work on it and it climbs well, descends like all Wiliers, which is stable and predictable, feels fast and doesn’t beat me up. I say that’s a winner and I have ridden a lot of different bikes in my day. I know there are other frames that may be faster but not many have the balance of ride quality and aerodynamics that this does. I would be interested to see what Pozzato chooses for the cobbled races in 2017, would not be surprised if it was the Cento 10.

The Cento 10 is offered in four colour options, and I know Wilier will include it in the custom program for 2017 eventually. The bars are painted to match the frame on all stock options or you can buy the bike with regular bars. We will have all of the colours to show off, hopefully by Christmas, the grey is my favorite as its time for bikes to be something other than black again. As always, I utilize the Guru fit bike to figure out which size of frame and stem will work best and it is included in the bike purchase at no charge. Lots of build options but strong pressure by me to build it Campag of course.

Big thanks to everyone at Wilier Canada and Wilier Italy for once again treating us to an amazing experience. I am always blown away by the riding, hospitality, food and generosity of everyone at the event. Most people might get an opportunity like this once in a lifetime, I am lucky enough to have experienced it a few times and have met some great people from all over the world. Another reason why I have the best job in the world. And no I didnt find Pozzato.

Apologies for the long post but its pounding snow and I don’t feel like doing paper work, or fixing bikes or doing my bookings…

tagged:

wilier, new bikes, Italy

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