Wilier has a quite small range of bikes – they start at £999 and get gradually more expensive. The Izoard XP 105 is the third-cheapest Wilier, but manages to look more expensive than it actually is – you really can’t go wrong with black and red.
- HIGHS: Big on style and good kit line-up for the money
- LOWS: Not the lightest or most comfortable of bikes
- BUY IF… You’re looking for some well-equipped Italian flair
The frame has some interesting but subtle tube shaping, with a large, gently humped top tube, slightly curved seatstays and a down tube that tapers from the bottom bracket towards the head tube.
On paper it has quite a long head tube, but unlike some tall-fronted bikes it doesn't really show. The test bike arrived with plenty of spacers, allowing you to adjust bar height.
While billed as a 105 bike, it only delivers 105 shifters and rear mech. In fairness though, the shifters are the most important bit – they’re the most expensive part and they last the longest, so having better ones is a bonus.
It has a non-Shimano chainset, relying on an FSA Omega compact. It works perfectly well, although the front shifting isn’t quite as smooth as across Shimano rings.
Less convincing are the Tektro brakes, which work but don’t inspire confidence. A change of pads would help. Finishing kit is mostly Wilier’s own Warp brand and is perfectly adequate. The San Marco saddle wasn’t well liked, although saddles are notoriously subjective.
The Wilier has few surprises in store when it comes to handling, with classic geometry making for an agile but poised ride. The tall head tube will suit less flexible riders or those covering big distances.
There’s decent stiffness in the frame, although you can feel the weight penalty over the lightest competitors. It’s not uncomfortable, but it does patter a little more over bumpy roads.
On the upside, the frame feels reassuringly solid and accurate, making for confident cornering.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.