£6299 > Un­com­pro­mised speed

Cycling Plus - - FIRST RIDE -

The days of com­pro­mised aero road bikes are gone. From aero­dy­namic, ef­fi­cient and com­fort­able, you’d be lucky to get two, but thanks to im­proved car­bon layups and in­formed de­sign, Wilier’s Cento10 Air Disc proves three into one does go.

Its pro­file is the re­sult of hard won physics and aero­dy­namic work. Every tube that needs to slice through the air has a trun­cated aero­foil pro­file, plus the bar and stem are in­te­grated car­bon fi­bre and aero­dy­namic.

The Shi­mano brake hoses and Di2 gear wires are in­te­grated, and the thru-axle ends are flush with the frame and fork. The fork is broad shoul­dered, and the seat­stays are a gen­er­ous width, re­duc­ing tur­bu­lence from the wheel, but the asym­met­ric chain­stays are deep and burly, di­rect­ing en­ergy from the cranks and wide bot­tom bracket shell rear­wards.

Shi­mano’s Ul­te­gra Di2 Disc groupset has class, from its slim, tac­tile hoods to the en­larged shift but­tons and ur­gent shift­ing, the ad­di­tion of Ul­te­gra-la­belled hy­draulic discs is the ic­ing on the cake. Rac­ers might pre­fer larger chain­rings, but the 50/34, with 11-28 cas­sette, is am­ple for al­most all even­tu­al­i­ties short of Alpine de­scents.

It’s im­pos­si­ble not to find your­self tuck­ing in more on de­scents and push­ing one gear higher than usual ev­ery­where. It’s im­mensely keen to ac­cel­er­ate, the frame­set and the DT Swiss ERC 1400 wheelset’s ex­cel­lent lat­eral rigid­ity en­sur­ing your ac­tions have an equal and op­po­site re­ac­tion to­wards the hori­zon. The wheels plump the 25mm Vit­to­ria Ru­bino Pro tyres up to 27mm, in­creas­ing grip, con­fi­dence and speed too.

The in­te­grated bar and stem are stiff with­out be­ing harsh. At speed it feels like a hy­dro­foil, skim­ming the sur­face, but soak­ing up most of the vi­bra­tions. It’s a lit­tle firmer rid­ing than the very lat­est aero bikes, but re­mains on the in­for­ma­tive side of sur­face feed­back.

As­tute’s Star Lab sad­dle has a nar­row nose, but was com­fort­able, help­ing us guide the bike with sub­tle weight shifts. Han­dling is crisp and ac­cu­rate, and sta­ble at speed, or when de­scend­ing. We’d fit 28mm tyres as they’d suit the rims and frame, and en­hance com­fort, grip and ride feel.

Over mixed ter­rain, the Cento10 Air Disc scur­ries up climbs, charges down again and is lively in be­tween. For 2019, this model will be­come the Cento10 Pro Disc, and if fast road rid­ing with de­cent com­fort ap­peals, it will make a very wor­thy choice.

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