Wilier Triestina’s outgoing flagship bike is the Cento10PRO – an aero road machine that was available to team riders at the Wilier-sponsored Astana (it’s now riding the new Filante).
Up until now, Wilier’s more affordable aero option has been the Cento1oAIR, which in its time was a cutting-edge machine. But with the design now more than six years old, it’s starting to look dated. The Cento10 series, however, is a successful range for the Italian marque, accounting for a whopping 17 per cent of all Wilier’s road bike sales, which makes any replacement of huge importance.
Bringing the design of the Cento10 Pro to a lower price in the form of the Cento10 SL could be something of a masterstroke, especially because the range begins with the Shimano 105-equipped, rim-brake model at £2,450.
Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL frame and kit
The SL frame differs from the Pro frame in one significant detail – Wilier has removed the alloy plate on the down tube that’s designed to house a Di2 or Campagnolo EPS control box. Instead, the SL’s down tube has been reshaped to continue its Kamm-tail profile (an aerofoil shape with the slim tail section chopped off to ‘cheat’ the air into behaving like the tail is still there, improving its aerodynamic credentials.) This also benefits the structure of the design, with Wilier claiming the SL version improves the frame’s torsional stiffness over its more expensive Pro cousin.
The SL has smart cable integration to keep a clean profile, while up front is a new bar and stem combination designed in partnership with Ritchey (who also contributed to the D-shaped carbon-fibre aero seatpost).
The Barra bar routes cables and hoses internally, which exit below the stem clamp into a channel created in the bottom of the Wilier/Ritchey Stemma stem. It’s a clever system that enjoys the benefit of full integration, but still uses what is essentially a standard bar and stem configuration. The cables and brake lines then route down into the head tube and through the frame and fork.
The head tube is kept slender – even with the internal cable routing – by use of a clever headset system. It keeps an oversized 1.25 top and bottom in diameter, thanks to a special super-thin bearing that uses smaller balls than a standard headset (around 50 per race compared to the standard, which is around 24).
With the shape remaining the same, that means the SL enjoys super-aggressive racing geometry with the test bike (size XL) having a low 571mm stack and long 396mm reach.
The wheels are another collaborative effort, this time with Italian component manufacturer Miche. The made-in-Italy carbon wheels feature a forged alloy hub shell with stainless-steel bearings that are hand-built using Sapim spokes and nipples to a uni-directional 38mm carbon rim, which has a blunted aero shape that’s 24mm wide (with a 17mm internal rim dimension).
With tubeless tapes ready fitted, these weigh in at a claimed 1,665g. The Miche hubs are super-smooth rolling and the pick-up from the freehub is rapid.
The rim is by modern standards conservatively narrow, but when matched with the superb graphene-infused Vittoria Corsa tubeless tyres (set-up tubeless too), the rubber measures 26.5mm wide.
Inflation of 82psi for this tester (6ft 2in, 92kg) provided the perfect balance between road buzz-removing suppleness and straight-line speed. In a world that’s becoming obsessed with larger-volume tyres, this combination is something different. It’s easy to approve when they run this well and feel this rapid.
Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL Ultegra Di2 geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||75||74.5||74||73.5||73||72.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||71.3||72||72.5||73||73||73.5|
|Seat tube (cm)||45||48||50||52||54||56|
|Top tube (cm)||51.3||52.6||54.1||55.6||57.1||58.7|
|Head tube (cm)||10.7||12.1||13.8||15.4||17.3||19|
Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL first ride impressions
On the road, the Cento10 SL is an absolute dream. The long, low position encourages you to ride fast, and when you stomp down on the pedals it responds with impressive acceleration just like a top-grade race bike should.
It’s also competent at retaining speed, with the slim aero frame cutting through crosswinds without being knocked off-line. Unlike most ‘aero road’ propositions, the Cento10’s handling is swift and sharp; it has the nimble feel of the brand’s ultra-light Zero when it comes to twists and turns ahead.
The bike feels wonderfully balanced when you lean into a corner at pace, yet is agile enough to make mid-corner corrections or avoid a pothole without becoming unsettled.
The overriding feel is of a rigid chassis both torsionally and vertically. This doesn’t tip over into discomfort, though, while the combination of excellent contact points, a great ride position and superb tyres (more on those later) means no tiring vibrations from poorly surfaced roads. You do, however, endure a bit of bucking and bouncing when hitting frost-scarred tarmac, but the Cento10 SL is certainly not alone in that.
The equipment specification is high for what is supposedly a second-tier bike. The bar is ergonomically spot-on and even the Ritchey bar tape is quality stuff. At the back, the Wilier/Ritchey carbon aeropost has an excellent clamp that offers swift, accurate adjustment and is topped with Selle Italia’s brilliant take on the short saddle: the SLR Boost.
Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL early verdict
I came away from the Cento10 SL hugely impressed. I half expected a bike that would be a watered-down superbike – all the looks but none of the flair. But what the SL provides is 99 per cent of the thoroughbred Italian superbike experience for less cash outlay.
The equivalent componentry-level 2020 Cento10 Pro would set you back £6750, so while the Ultegra Di2 SL isn’t cheap, it’s a lot less to pay for a nigh-on equal ride (and just 200g more in the chassis).
|Price||EUR €5600.00GBP £5540.00|
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL|
|Brakes||Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc|
|Cassette||Shimano Ultegra, 11-28|
|Cranks||Shimano Ultegra 50/34|
|Handlebar||Barra SL (by Ritchey)|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Ultegra Di2|
|Saddle||Selle Italia SLR Boost Carbonio|
|Seatpost||D-shape aero carbon post (by Ritchey)|
|Shifter||Shimano Ultegra Di2|
|Stem||Stemma SL (by Ritchey)|
|Tyres||Vittoria Corsa TR Graphene 2.0 25c|
|Wheels||Wilier NDR38 carbon|