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Wilier Cento1 SR

Super-stiff second-tier race bike

Established pre-World War One, Wilier have been making bicycles for a very long time and the Cento1 SR is the second-tier racing machine in their latest range.

Originally based in Bassano de Grappa at the base of the famous Monte Grappa, the brand in its original guise was forced to close in 1952. But in 1969 they were revived when the Gastaldello family bought the rights to the name and started up the business again.

Since then, they have been associated with some of the biggest names in Italian cycling, such as Marco Pantani, Damiano Cunego, Alessandro Petacchi and Claudio Corti among many more.

It’s a race bike and the large tubes are perfect for making the frame as stiff as possible

They also sponsored the Lampre team for more than ten years, but ended that deal in 2013 and have been out of the WorldTour since – although they do currently provide the bikes for the UnitedHealthcare team on the UCI ProContinental Tour.

The Cento1 SR sits just below Wilier’s stunning Zero 7. Built around a big BB386 bottom bracket that allows Wilier to use hugely oversized tubing, it’s a race bike and those large tubes are perfect for making sure the bike is as stiff as possible.

Wilier reckon you can achieve almost unparalleled friction-free routing for mechanical systems on the Cento1 SR

The tubes themselves are 60t carbon fibre and the most noticeable aspect of the frame design is the instantly recognisable kink in the top tube that turns it from gently sloping to dead flat before it joins the head tube.

One of the smaller but seriously smart touches on the bike is the integrated adjuster plate. The internal cable routing for shift cables starts in the top of the down tube, just behind the head tube. Most bikes just route the cables straight into the frame, but Wilier have added two barrel adjusters here, meaning you can micro adjust shift cable tension here, and not just at the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur.

Along with the integrated cable routing underneath the bottom bracket, Wilier reckon you can achieve almost unparalleled friction-free routing for mechanical systems on the Cento1 SR.

An even smaller extra is the derailleur hanger, which Wilier are calling a ‘3D’ hanger. They’ve rather smartly channelled the cable routing through the hanger, which has a cable stop in the back just like you’d expect on a frame. That means routing to the rear derailleur takes a better line for mechanical systems, and even neater routing for electronic shifting, with barely any wire showing between frame and derailleur.

They’ve also remodelled the head tube on this bike, by re-thinking the junction between the head, top and down tubes. That kink in the top tube is a large part of the design, and that – coupled with the way the down tube flares before the junction with the head tube – provides a claimed 14 per cent increase in the torsional rigidity at the front end which should manifest itself out on the road in the form of surer handling.

But the SR isn’t the only version of the Cento Wilier make. There’s also the Cento1 AIR, their full-on aero road bike with the deeper tube profiles and more extreme design making it perfect for anyone whose priority is straight-line speed. It’s basically a cross between the Cento1 SR and the TwinBlade time trial bike, using the geometry and basic structure of the former and infusing it with aero touches from the latter.

Wilier make a whole host of models of the Cento1 SR, specced with everything from Shimano Ultegra up to Campagnolo Super Record. Interestingly, they’re one of the few manufacturers that offer Shimano, Campag and SRAM builds on their bike, with SRAM Red 22 available for anyone keen to keep weight to a minimum.

If you’re interested, the full list of builds is Shimano Ultegra, Dura-Ace and Dura-Ace Di2, Campagnolo Chorus and Super Record and SRAM Red 22. That, and which wheels you buy specced with it, mean one of these will set you back anything from just over three grand all the way up to £6,599.

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