On the last day of the Interbike show we sat down with Wilier, who sponsors 10 Degrees Latitude with their innovative cycle frames. As with all the best cycle frames, Wilier comes from Italy. The top pro riding team in Italy (Team Lampre) rides Wilier during pro races and during the Tour de France.
Gianmarco Cilli, who operates Wilier US, was calmly pleased to tell us that the “Cento Uno” (101) will be the bike of Alessandro Ballan in 2009. This is a new frame from Wilier that represents the leading thinking in bicycle innovation today. We were impressed with what we saw.
According to Harry Ault of Wilier, “the frame has become quite a spectacle at this year’s Interbike.” We can see why, the curved top tube carries through to a continuous curve around the seatstays and the beefy chainstays. This is elegant and carries the stresses better. The 101 uses “46Ton” carbon, the world’s strongest, most resilient fiber.
The frame integrates several elements to create stiff parsimony and reduce weight.
- The rear triangle is now more fully integrated. Chainstays and seatstays are unified as a single (monocoque) unit. They are asymmetrical, with the drive side chainstay lowered to prevent chain slap. Instead of conventional joining of the chain and seatstays at a sharp angle, the angle has been “softened” to dampen and dissipate road surface impacts and vibrations. The drive side chainstay also has a textured alloy sleeve for protection.
- Taking the integration one step further, the 101 includes a new integrated bottom bracket shell. Bearings are now installed directly into the frame. This design does away with the need for externally-mounted bearing cups and integrates seamlessly with the most popular cranksets.
The Cento Uno is sold as a frame, fork and headset package for $4300. Six sizes from XS to XXL are available and the bike will come in 5 color schemes. 2 years of crash replacement are included with the frame.
Like I said, we were impressed.