To mark 105 years in business, Italian brand Wilier are moving in on the fixie scene with their own well-executed interpretation named after Antonio ‘Toni’ Bevilacqua, a 1950s double track world champion.
Current singlespeed fashion takes many cues from the 20/24in wheel street scene. This chooses a different tack, drawing on Wilier’s ‘style equity’ and design heritage. The head badge, for instance, is a period reproduction, while the stickers and paint scheme offer a convincing facsimile of 1950s graphics.
The Toni’s ride is very comfortable thanks to the extremely effective seat springs: this saddle kicks ass… because it doesn’t! Chrome-plated coils might not sit well with purists, but they work at taking the edge off the inevitable bounce when you’ve gone way past your redline.
Strong wheels and an old-school 1in front end provide pin sharp steering, while subtly oversized steel tubing ensures zingy comfort, with just the right amount of road feel. Cockpit and controls were hit and miss, with Toni’s comfortable moustache bars a winner but the cyclo-cross style brake levers hard to master on steep descents.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.