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Fast is beautiful.
At a glance, the Wilier Izoard XP 105 Complete Road Bike is deceptively similar to the Italian master's top tier Cento1. Not surprisingly, it may even be close enough to fool the learned observer. So, should the Izoard XP make Cento1 owners a bit jealous? Well, if you look at the price tag, it might. Where the ProTour-proven Cento1 commands a premium, the Izoard XP is specifically aimed at the racer on a budget. And though the paint scheme is simpler than the Cento1, the Izoard XP still carries itself with obvious Italian flair. In other words, this is a frame who's foremost intent is to deliver maximum performance-per-dollar, and the fact that it's this gorgeous is simply a delightful bonus.
Like the Cento1, the Izoard XP is built with a full carbon fiber monocoque construction. It's made exclusively from Toray carbon. In this case, T-700SC (medium modulus/stiffness) and M30J (high modulus/stiffness) fibers makes up the bulk of the laminate. In the typical calculus of carbon fiber, the stiffness and tensile properties of the highest grades (such as the 46-ton carbon in the Cento1) allow Wilier to use less material to achieve the requisite rigidity and strength that Wilier's known for. And by using T-700SC and M30J in the Izoard XP, Wilier is sacrificing nothing in terms of its ride quality and durability. Rather, Wilier just uses more material to achieve it, and this does add a few grams. The lower modulus carbon fiber is also significantly less expensive, though. And considering the beauty and the race-worthiness of the Izoard XP, the value is easy to see.
One other note about the Izoard XP is that it's named after the Col d'Izoard, arguably the most legendary pass in the French Alps. More so than in any other place, it's where Marco Pantani turned himself into a bike racing immortal (racing, no less, on a Wilier frameset). For all of the technology behind the Izoard XP, its name reminds of us of the gigantic heritage of the Wilier brand.
It's only fitting that Wilier dress the Izoard XP in components that match its capabilities, and thankfully, the build kit delivers. It consists primarily of Shimano 105 components, which benefit from trickle-down technology from the top end Dura-Ace group. The hoods and derailleurs are both 105, while the cassette is a slightly more cost effective Tiagra option. It rolls on Shimano WHR-501 wheels that have been cased in Vittoria Zaffiro tires, which make for a perfect training setup. The remainder of the build kit is handled by FSA. The Gossamer Pro crankset is stiff under power, and when it comes time to slow down, the Gossamer calipers will do the trick. The cockpit is also courtesy of FSA, with a HB-RD 320 aluminum handlebar, a ST-OS stem, and an aluminum seatpost. Finally, it's rounded off with a Selle Italia X1 saddle.
The Wilier Izoard XP/ Shimano 105 Complete Road Bike is available in the color Black/red and in six sizes from X-Small to XX-Large.