It takes some containing on sharper descents or tighter corners due to a slightly twitchy edge
victory. That bike had an endearingly fast, smooth and precise ride, and the Cento10air is the same. Yet the Cento does manage to juggle a personality all of its own too.
The ride feels very ‘Italian’. As smooth as it is for an aero bike, it still takes some containing on sharper descents or tighter corners due to a slightly twitchy edge. It’s not unstable but, as I’ve found on similar bikes from Bianchi and Colnago, it takes a bit of getting used to before you master the controls. But once I learned to be a bit more sensitive with my steering input and shifts of bodyweight, such as a dropped knee or a more forward position as when descending fast, the Cento10air came into its own.
Make me better
Of course to go down one needs to first go up, and I was ‘lucky’ enough to be faced with several nasty climbs in the Dolomites aboard the Cento (Wilier having chosen to launch the bike in Cortina, Italy). The initial test ride was eye-wateringly early, the air thin and the roads horrendously steep, but according to Strava I managed to drag myself up the 2,250m Lavaredo in a time that put me in the top 10% on the leader board.
No matter where I ride, I wouldn’t expect to obtain such lofty heights in Stravadom, let alone aboard a bike I’ve never ridden before up something so steep (there are regular stretches of 15%), so it’s testament to Wilier that the Cento10air managed to paper over my deficiencies as a climber so well. A weight-weenie might baulk at the idea of 7.51kg bike, but such experiential evidence does make the argument for aerodynamics over weight.
Add that evidence to the rest and the Cento10air builds quite a case for itself. It’s nimble, smooth, climbs well and has a fair lick of speed. There are faster bikes out there, but few come as close to melding aerodynamics with all-round race bike performance. Plus it’s red.
Wilier has gone for the wide-stance BB86.5 bottom bracket standard, which affords plenty of space to mate the chunky kamm-tail tubes to keep things stiff. Three bottle bolts offer riders the ability to fine-tune bidon placement.