Not a lightweight climbing frame but that doesn't stop it when the road tilts upwards
Brought the Cento10Air up to the Monte Grappa war memorial. It's not too far from Wilier headquarters.
I took the Wilier Triestina Cento10Air up some of the most famous climbs in Italy. It conquered the slops of the Stelvio, the Gavia, the Mortirolo, Monte Grappa and I rode it for 138 grueling kilometres with over 4000 m elevation gain in the Maratona dles Dolomites. On slops steep and shallow I fought gravity aboard the race red machine, then flowed down the sinuous alpine descents.
RELATED: First look: Wilier Cento10Air
The Cento10Air is Wilier’s aero road bike which evolved from the Cento1Air. While it may specialize in cutting through the wind at high speed, it’s capabilities stretch far beyond simply finding speed when the road is flat. The ride quality is smooth with none of the harsh feel of some aero road bikes.
The first part of the Cento10Air that caught my eye was the striking integrated handlebar that comes stock on it. The Alabarda integrated handlebar makes for an extremely clean set-up with the Shimano Ultegra Di2 6870 groupset. The shifter cables are all run inside the frame with only the mechanical brake cables visible. The bars are angled at -10 degrees to optimize the aero advantage. A proprietary headset top cap and aero spacers finish off the front end while a Wilier Alabarda out front computer mount kept my Garmin in the perfect position.
The Alabarda bars felt very stiff even when heaving on them out of the saddle. While the aero tops can be a little slippery without tape, it never bothered me when climbing. The drops are also quiet deep which allowed me to get even lower when trying to find more speed.
54/39 chainring for going fast
Smooth Ultegra Di2 shifting
Direct mount brake provide sure stopping power
The comfortable and ergonomic hoods of the Ultegra Di2 shifters
The Astute Star Ti saddle was to my behinds liking
Navigating the bike down the numerous switchbacks of the Italian Alps, the bike followed my directions with a racy immediacy. The frame has a pleasing urgency to it while still feeling very grounded. While at high speeds some bikes feel nervous, the Cento10Air felt smooth and in control making me feel very confident descending unfamiliar roads.
The Cento10Air is a race bike and allows the rider to take an aggressive position. That race personality didn’t compromise the ride comfort allowing me to relax into a rhythm on the climbs and even after long days in the saddle like on the Maratona dles Dolomites, I always felt ready for a few more kilometres. The improved carbon layup make the ride quality smoother without undermining the stiffness.
Nice lines on the aero frame
Lots of clearance
Part of that comfort is thanks to the dropped seat stays. If I wanted to I could have put 28 mm tires on the wheels. The wide fork and rear stays play a role in reducing air turbulence over the bike but also allow for generous clearance paired with the direct mount breaks. The brakes were extremely responsive and provided the perfect amount of modulation and predictability required to hold speed on unfamiliar descents.
The Cento10Air has more frontal area than the previous model but it’s all designed to make the frame faster and reduce air turbulence. While it’s hard to feel improvements in aerodynamics, the bike certainly felt fast with the Kamm tail airfoil shaped tubes. It gets up to speed effortlessly and then holds it. Even on the grueling slopes of steep climbs, the aero frame didn’t feel out of place as I pushed the easiest gear, a 34T chainring paired with the 28 rear cog which certainly was more suited for flatter terrain. The frame weighs in at approximately 1,000 g.
The aero Ridley seatpost may not have much flex on rough roads but putting in seated accelerations the bike bounded up to speed. The Astute Star Ti was a saddle my behind was happy with every day aboard the bike. The Mavic Cosmic Elite is a relatively lightweight aero wheelset but the bike would really come into it’s own with a set of deeper carbon hoops. It’s an easy upgrade to make to really complete the bike.
Aesthetically, the glossy red and white frame is striking with lines that draw long glances. It’s certainly a good looking machine. While the Cento10Air was designed with the purpose of helping riders go faster, it achieves that aim while hitting a lot of other pleasing notes that makes it a fun bike to ride day in and day out.
The Cento10Air with Ultegra Di2, Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels, and a regular bar and stem starts at $7,635 while with the Alabarda bar it retails for $8,435. The Cento10Air is a available in 19 different configurations.