Wilier have unveiled the Cento 1 SR frameset, which is being ridden by the Lampre-ISD team at the Tour de France and will be available in the UK from late July.
The Cento 1 SR replaces the existing Cento 1, and the frame has had a major overhaul, rather than a tweak here and there. Kevin Izzard, Wilier product manager, told us: “The Cento 1 was a fantastic bike for Wilier – an iconic bike for the modern Wilier era – but it’s four years old and there have been advances in frame technology and components since then and Wilier wanted to update it – and this is the result.”
Aero road bikes are well represented in the pro peloton in 2012, with Trek and BMC both launching new super-aero models for the Tour de France, and Wilier are dipping their toe into the water with the Cento 1 SR. The frame, made from a 60-ton carbon fibre with zinc oxide mixed into the resin to increase its structural integrity (previously used on the Superleggera and the Zero 7), has evolved significantly from the round tubes of the Cento 1 and now has squared off tubes, with Kammtail profiles (where the tube tapers before being cut off, with the idea that airflow continues as if the tube was still there, but without the weight penalty) on the fork and seatmast. Wilier have worked hard on achieving a clean transition from the headtube to the fork and the two blend into one another almost seamlessly.
There’s also a lot more material at the front end and Wilier claim that results in a 14 cer cent increase in stiffness over the Cento 1. Stiffness is the name of the game as far as the Cento 1 SR is concerned. While the Wilier Zero 7 (which we reviewed earlier this year) sought to be as light as possible, the Cento 1 SR is concerned with converting power into speed (frame weight is a claimed 990g compared to the sub-800g Zero 7). That means you’ve got huge asymmetrical chainstays, skinny seatstays which are wider than they are higher (with the idea that you have some compliance built in without losing rigidity), and a massive BB386EVO bottom bracket which Wilier developed in conjunction with FSA.
Wilier believe an integrated seatpost offers the best combination of stiffness, comfort and weight, plus the pros prefer it. An integrated seatpost can make transporting the bike a pain, and, once you’ve chopped the seatpost down to size, it can limit the number of potential buyers should you wish to sell up. Wilier will look to combat this by offering a stubby which allows for 35mm of adjustment, while the Ritchey option currently offers 15mm.
The frame also has a number of neat features, not least the plate on the downtube which, to the joy of mechanics everywhere, you can remove, making it easier to drop the cables in, plus there’s barrel adjusters built in, while there’s a cable guide underneath the bottom bracket. There’s also a replaceable rear dropout, and there’s a Di2 or EPS battery mount on the under side of the downtube. The Selle Italia saddle and FSA cockpit are both Wilier branded and complete the look for what is a stunning machine.
Now for the numbers. The Cento 1 SR will be available in the UK in the build pictured (Campagnolo Athens 11-speed groupset, Fulcrum’s new 35mm-deep Racing Quattro wheels shod with Continental GP400 tyres, and an FSA SLK cockpit) for £3,499. That’ll be available in just the one colour (red/black) and claimed weight is 7.36kg. Needless to say, the bikes being ridden by Alessandro Petacchi et al at the Tour are built up to a higher spec and if you want to create your dream machine, you can buy the Cento 1 SR as a frameset only option for £2,399, with a selection of six colours, including Lampre-ISD livery.