It takes some con­tain­ing on sharper de­scents or tighter cor­ners due to a slightly twitchy edge

Cyclist - - Bikes -

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.

STIFF­NESS

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.

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