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A comically divine ride.
Whether in the liberal arts, culinary or oenophilic pursuits, or the storied history of cycling, few countries have made such contributions to the West's romantic passions as Italy. Since 1906, the Italian manufacturer Wilier has also brought that romantic touch to the art of frameset design, pouring a comically divine amount of precision, obsession, and passion into the deceptively simple process of building a bicycle. Given this impressive breadth of century-plus production — which not even The Great War could fully interrupt — it's little surprise that the Cento1SR Road Bike Frameset, Wilier's professional flagship model, should return in 2017 with few modifications outside of aesthetics.
The Cento1SR's tripartite composition is a properly Dantean story of threes. Wilier uses three distinct types of carbon fiber in different areas of the frame in order to meet the exacting demands of three criteria: stiffness, weight, and comfort. The drive spine and joints most integral to power transfer are built with Mitsubishi's 60t, a material with such high tensile strength that we've referred to it elsewhere as the synthetic equivalent of Superman's hair. We stand by that bit of artistic license, though we're also compelled to note that such stiff power-transferring efficiency does come at the cost of elasticity and vertical compliance. It also makes 60t as rare (and expensive) as kryptonite. Other areas of the frame are built with lower modulus T800H and T700SC carbon fibers, which add a vibration damping and compliance to 60t's unforgiving ride and bring the cost of production down without sacrificing a single watt of drive spine efficiency.
Though the construction is impressive, few elements define Wilier framesets in cycling's popular imagination more than handling, which is in turn defined by the frame's geometry. The Cento1SR's tight wheelbase and tapered head tube net apparently contradictory properties. While the former contributes to a race-ready, jumpy responsiveness, the head tube height and front end shape bring an element of stability and comfort across sweeping descents and long base miles. Much of this carries over into the current model; however, Wilier also incorporates designs from its other top-offerings (the featherweight Zero.7 and the aerodynamic Twin Blade) in order to capitalize on those qualities and make the CentoSR1 its most balanced all-purpose frameset.
One design feature that's native to the Cento1Sr is the asymmetric chainstays, which serve two primary functions. First, they address the differing load demands on the drive and non-drive sides, balancing a beefed-up, moto-inspired drive-side stay with a supportive, lighter non-drive stay. Second, the asymmetrical design reduces chain slap. Admitting that we may actually like this feature more than the increased efficiency isn't an overstatement, because every time we hear the sound of nickel-plated steel smacking across high-modulus carbon while riding across stones or train tracks, our hearts break a little. We're fairly certain that, with the exception of the pros who abuse their gear to the point of criminal culpability, every other cyclist feels the same, and this is yet one more detail that demonstrates Wilier's obsessively passionate design ethos.
The list of technology adopted from Wilier's other frames results in one of the most effective power delivery systems on the market: the combination of those chainstays, the 60t carbon, and the BB386 EVO bottom bracket. Developed by Wilier, FSA, and BH, the BB386 EVO is the product of yet another tripartite coalition. It's got a titanic 86.5mm wide shell and 46mm diameter, which increases rigidity by a claimed 30% across the bottom bracket junction by allowing Wilier to expand the seat and down tubes by some 20mm. This greater tube diameter improves power transfer and requires less material (and less weight) to maintain structural integrity. Altogether, Wilier credits the BB386 EVO standard with increasing overall torsional rigidity by 133% and rear triangle stiffness by around 115%.
As with the previous model, the Cento1SR is finished with a host of returning features including a stiff, multifunctional 3D derailleur hanger, a 3D integrated cable routing plate under the bottom bracket shell, an integrated adjuster plate for your internal cable routing, and an integrated fork for a more aerodynamic front end that handles with the classic smoothness we expect from Wilier. The internal routing is compatible with all mechanical drivetrains and both Campagnolo EPS and Shimano Di2.
- Item #WLY000T
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The Cento1 SR is the first race bike Iâve owned that has felt ânaturalâ right off the work stand. I was somewhat rushed to get my build done and jumped pretty much right into a local Criterium race. After a few minutes, I forgot I was on a new bike. I even sized down and was expecting the bike to feel a bit twitchy, but this was not the case. The handling is very predictable and the ride quality is surprisingly nice for such a stiff bike.
I have now developed more of a feel for the bike and it is getting better and better. I have noticed a marked difference in rear wheel tracking during a sprint (from my previous Cannondale Super Six EVO) and the turn-in is quick, but stable. I am used to a little more give in the lower (BB area) of the frame when cornering but like I mentioned, the increased rigidity is good by me!
With the slightly smaller size (from my previous bike) and shorter head tube, I am using about 7mm of added spacer on top of the headset (where I was only 2mm on top of the headset before).
Overall, I donât think I could ask for a whole lot more out of a bike. Iâm looking forward to learning more about it as I go on, but so far it feels like an old Italian friend!
If you have any questions or for additional information, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
Gearhead - Bike
Office: 801â736-6396 x4670
Choose the Best
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have owned a lot of the most revered bikes in the world over the past 5 years, and have spared no expense to do so. Never did I think that I would ever find a bike that I love as much as my Parlee; enter the Cento1 SR.
Not only providing one of the stiffest platforms I have ever ridden, the handling is confident and accurate without being overly fast; and for a frame that is this efficient, the weight is incredible!
The comfort exceeds that of any other race bike I have ever ridden or owned; it is truly impressive.
In addition to the being a spectacular ride, there aren't any strange component proclivities that prevent use of any common parts. The one exception to this is the bottom bracket; though the only crank standard eliminated is BB30; all others work perfectly. The stiffness that the BB386 Evo bottom bracket shell provides is well worth the small restriction on crank selection.
This is easily one of, if not the best bike I have ever ridden or owned.
Customer Account Manager
801-746-7580 ext 4823
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Good balance between stiffness and ride comfort, although it's more on the aggressive side. Head tube is also short (ie. more aero position).
I am 5'11'' and the medium fits me perfectly. Actually, Wilier recommends medium on their website for 5'11''; not sure why the sizing recommendation is different in the chart above. I am using a 110mm stem.
Also worth mentioning that CC has great support. The seat post clamp threads came faulty with my frame, and they got stripped, so I couldn't tighten the seat post in place. CC sent me a replacement very quickly. Special thanks to Shae for this.
I would upload a picture but CC doesn't strip the image metadata such as the coordinates where the picture was taken which is sensitive information.