WILIER TRIESTINA CENTO10NDR
Italian maker of premium road bikes Wilier Triestina has a long and rich history that started at Pietro Dal Molin’s modest workshop in 1906, located in Bassano del Grappa, 60 miles from Venice. The town of Bassano, at the foot of the famed Monte Grappa, remains an ever popular cycling destination.
In fact, both the names Wilier and Triestina were born out of Italian patriotism following the World
Wars. Wilier is actually an acronym pronounced Vee-lee-air, where the ‘W’ is used an an abbreviation for the word “Viva” which means “Long live.” For example, Italian cycling fans will often hold up signs at the Giro that read “W l’italia”, “W il Giro” or show their support of a specific rider with signs like “W Ballan” or “W Cunego.”
The Italian patriotic phrase in its entirety, “W l’italia liberata e redenta” (Long live Italy, liberated and redeemed) eventually gave birth to Wilier. Triestina is the Italian equivalent of the English word triestine, which implies anything having to do with the Italian city of Trieste on the Adriatic sea. However, Trieste was not yet part of Italy at the time Wilier was founded. Following World War II, Trieste and its surrounding coastal area remained part of an occupied free territory, thus the name reflected the patriotic desire for it to be rejoined.
With more than a hundred years of history and heritage behind the name, the modern Italian brand is now moving forward into the age of “Viva All Roads” with the introduction of the Cento10ndr road bike. The NDR designation is short for endurance, and is a new breed of road bike with a form of rear suspension mated to beautiful aero tubes. Not to be confused as a gravel bike, Wilier’s product manager Claudio Salomoni was very keen to stress that the NDR is a “high-end racing bike with large clearances… perfect for spring classics or cobbled races.”
There is enough room in the NDR’S frame and fork to clear 32mm tyres with disc brakes, or 28mm tyres with caliper rim brakes. With the trend of ever wider tyres on road bikes, the NDR delivers and makes for an extremely versatile bike.
Compared to the more pure race oriented Cento10air sibling which we also reviewed, the NDR has a slightly taller head tube and less aggressive reach, providing much needed comfort for those long days in the saddle. Where the Cento10air feels more at home in fast stage races on smooth tarmac, the Cento10ndr fits the bill for all road riding and randonneuring where road conditions can be a tad unpredictable.
The biggest key feature of the Cento10ndr is the Actiflex suspension – a synthetic rubber techno-polymer that Wilier has been developing since 2014. When compared to Trek’s Isospeed system where the seat-tube flexes with the saddle going up and down, Wilier’s Actiflex system keeps the distance between the saddle and bottom bracket constant where only the rear triangle moves with damping that’s designed to offer a few millimetres of rear-wheel travel. This ensures that your pedalling motion is constant where it needs to be, and
rear triangle flexes where it matters most to take the sting off rough and battered roads.
To add to its versatility, Wilier also designed the frame with an integrated cable plate in the down tube which allows the NDR to run mechanical, electronic and even hydraulic groupsets. The bike that I received for a test ride was equipped with a hydraulic groupset with disc brakes and 12mm thru-axles, and I was amazed at just how clean the overall bike looked, with cabling and hoses neatly routed through Wilier’s dedicated ‘Stemma’ stem and head tube. The frame weight itself is a claimed 1,080g.
So far, everything sounds great on paper and looks great visually – but how does it ride?
For my first spin of the Cento10ndr, I took it out to Genting Sempah for a nice uphill climb with some tight bends. This route has plenty of topographical features and varying road surfaces with everything from nice and smooth tarmac to oscillating bumps and even tractor gouged gravel sections. As I crossed the gravel sections of the road, those few millimetres of rear-wheel travel transformed what was usually a backside bashing session riddled with cursing and rude hand gestures, to awe and pure amazement as the usual stings and bumps were noticeably buttered and smoothed. My usual expression of gritting my teeth before hitting the rough patches gave way to raised eyebrows of wonder and a satisfied nod.
After checking my Strava stats after the ride was done, I was surprised to see that I actually scored quite a few new personal records for going both uphill and downhill. I didn’t feel like I exerted more than my usual energy levels, and in fact it felt like the overall ride was going at a more relaxed pace.
It was quite apparent that the endurance characters and features of the NDR actually made me go faster on Genting Sempah’s terrain. Even when going back downhill and tearing across those rough sections, the bike felt extremely sure footed and my confidence remained unwavered. There was a little bit of a pedal bob when hammering hard on sprints, but nothing that would completely distract you from the ride. You can actually go fast and still be comfortable, and this particular Wilier proves that comfort also gives you speed.
Wilier supplies the Cento10ndr with Actiflex elastomers in three different densities so you can tune the bike to your own specific riding requirements. The elastomer sits in an alloy link between the seat tube and seatstays, and can be easily swapped using a Torx key. You can experiment with the different densities to see which one best suits you. Use the hardest elastomer for a more firm ride, or the softer ones for added cushioning should you require it.
The Stemma and Barra is Wilier’s carbon handlebar and stem system, available in a number of different configurations to meet almost any requirements
This Wilier is outfitted with the Rotor UNO all-hydraulic groupset to showcase the versatility of the frame
Top The Wilier Actiflex system provides 6mm of rear suspension for comfort. Bottom Equipped with disc brakes, sporting 160mm disc rotors for optimal modulation and stopping.