Cervelo R3 and R5 BIKE TEST

Ital­ian Cy­cling Her­itage

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Tim Lefebvre

Lo­cated in the small town of Ros­sano Veneto in the prov­ince of Vin­cenza, Italy, Wilier Tri­estina pro­duces bi­cy­cles steeped in Ital­ian cy­cling her­itage. The newly ex­panded head­quar­ters seems to mir­ror the brand it­self, with a sleek and mod­ern look that blends into the older fac­tory, com­bin­ing old and new into a sin­gle func­tion­ing and im­pres­sive de­sign.

Pedal was stoked to have a chance to visit their fac­tory this sum­mer and I was met at the front en­trance by Mauro Moretto, sales man­ager at Wilier Tri­estina. We were soon joined by An­gelo Cac­cia, who be­gan to tell me about the up­com­ing com­ple­tion of their new head­quar­ters.

The room ad­ja­cent to the main en­trance is not yet com­plete, but I am told the space, which could eas­ily house a lux­ury car deal­er­ship, will be­come a new show­room and mu­seum of Wilier bikes and mem­o­ra­bilia from the com­pany’s 111-year his­tory. A short walk away, a small room houses a col­lec­tion of prized Wiliers from var­i­ous eras, in­clud­ing the bikes of 2008 world cham­pion Alessan­dro Bal­lan and both the road and time trial bikes of Marco Pan­tani, who rode on Wilier bikes in 1997. That year, Pan­tani won two stages of the Tour de France, in­clud­ing stage 13 on Alpe d’Huez, and fin­ished third over­all.

Now, Wilier has both a pro­fes­sional road and moun­tain bike team bear­ing its name. On the road, the Wilier Tri­estina – Selle Italia team was founded in 2017 and is led by Ital­ian star Filippo Poz­zato. Wilier is set to con­tinue spon­sor­ship of the team in 2018. On the dirt, Team Wilier Force is a moun­tain bike squad which is fo­cused on the World Cup and the Ital­ian and UCI Marathon Se­ries. Up un­til 2017, Wilier was also the bike sup­plier of Amer­i­can Pro Con­ti­nen­tal team Unit­edHealth­care.

The fac­tory in Ros­sano Veneto han­dles all mid- to high-end assem­bly of ev­ery sin­gle Wilier bike pro­duced. Frames are brought in from Asia and then as­sem­bled on a small assem­bly line lo­cated in the cen­tre of the fac­tory. We en­ter through a large ware­house which stores com­po­nents from man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Shi­mano, Cam­pag­nolo, FSA and Selle Italia. Eight me­chan­ics work qui­etly at their sta­tions. Each per­forms a spe­cific task, from ini­tial frame prep at one end to wrap­ping the han­dle­bars and cov­er­ing the bike with pro­tec­tive foam at the other. As each me­chanic com­pletes their por­tion of the work, the bikes are pushed on rolling work stands around to the next sta­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Moretto, the assem­bly line is ca­pa­ble of build­ing 45 bikes per day.

Just next to the assem­bly line is a smaller ware­house which holds frames from Wilier’s In­fini­ta­mente cus­tom paint pro­gram. Cus­tomers can cus­tom­ize the Zero6, Cen­to10Air, Zero7 and 101X along with Wilier Alabaroa in­te­grated bar and stem. Two frames that catch my eye are a Su­per­leg­gera and Cen­to10Air. Both are painted in the Ro­mato cop­per colour that Wilier be­came known for in the 1940s. The Su­per­leg­gera is of­fered in Ro­mato as one of three colour schemes, but if you want your car­bon Wilier in this clas­sic colour, it will cost you ex­tra – as much as €1,000, Moretto sug­gests, ex­plain­ing that this paint process is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult prior to pass­ing Wilier’s qual­ity con­trol.

Wilier is now rec­og­nized as a leader in high-end bi­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing across Europe, North Amer­ica and Asia. The com­pany aims to ex­pand its reach while re­tain­ing the qual­ity and emo­tion of the Ital­ian brand. Ac­cord­ing to Cac­cia, Wilier will con­tinue to lever­age its 100-plus years of ex­pe­ri­ence to de­velop more prod­ucts. “The com­pany’s phi­los­o­phy is to de­velop the bi­cy­cle,” Moretto adds, in­clud­ing the en­gi­neer­ing process, func­tion­al­ity, per­for­mance and aes­thet­ics.

One area of ex­pan­sion in­cludes the de­vel­op­ment of elec­tri­cal-as­sisted bikes, es­pe­cially for Euro­pean mar­kets. Wilier cur­rently of­fers three e-moun­tain bikes, the E803TRB, E803XB and E803XN, along with two ur­ban e-bikes – the Re­fill and the Mag­neto.

Moretto wheels out an E803TRB with ex­cite­ment, ex­plain­ing how the bike uses Shi­mano’s STEPs drive sys­tem to aid rid­ers to cover greater dis­tances, mean­ing more great trails in a sin­gle day. The elec­tric mo­tor-equipped moun­tain bike is cer­tainly a de­par­ture from the steel bi­cy­cles Wilier be­gan mak­ing over a cen­tury ago, but Moretto and Cac­cia be­lieve that e-bikes hold an im­por­tant place in the fu­ture of cy­cling.

As the tour comes to an end, a par­tially built bike which is ca­su­ally lean­ing against a moun­tain of boxes catches my eye. Be­fore I can ask, Moretto be­gins to ex­cit­edly ex­plain that it is the new Cen­to10NDR, an en­durance road bike based on the Cen­to10Air plat­form. Apart from a slightly more re­laxed geom­e­try, the bike has two very no­table fea­tures – a small damper lo­cated at the seat­stay and down­tube junc­tion which re­duces road noise, and the abil­ity to mount ei­ther disc brakes or di­rect-mount rim brakes on the frame. Cou­pled with aero tube pro­files, am­ple tire clear­ance and an in­te­grated stem sys­tem, the Cen­to10NDR looks to be a ca­pa­ble and fast op­tion for those look­ing for an all-day per­for­mance bike.

The Wilier Tri­estina fac­tory, along with the brand it­self, of­fers a strik­ing look into the pro­gres­sion of one of the old­est Ital­ian bi­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers. The com­pany con­tin­ues to seek to move for­ward, all while pre­serv­ing the cul­ture and the pa­tri­otic motto from which its name is de­rived – Wl’Italia Lib­era E Re­denta, mean­ing “Long live Italy, free and re­deemed.”

Just the Facts

Wilier Tri­estina S.p.A.

Via Fra­tel Venzo, 11

36028 Ros­sano Veneto (VI), Italy www.wilier.com

Wilier Tri­estina’s new fac­tory in Ros­sano Veneto, Italy.

Sneak pre­view – Wilier’s new Cen­to10NDR for fast all-day per­for­mance.

Wilier’s cool Cen­to10Air

Wilier’s new E803TRB e-bike...the fu­ture of cy­cling

CEOs En­rico (l) and Michele Gastaldello

Assem­bly line at the Wilier fac­tory

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