It is about the bike – Wilier Cento 1 SR review

It’s not about the bike is an expression that we all know and use. It helps justify keeping the old crock going and saves some cash. Of course a certain cyclist put the expression on the map and we all know it wasn’t the Trek and Bontrager combo that scored there. Despite being a retailer I have always been an advocate of training, effort and ability over spending. However, sometimes I have to admit that it is about the bike.

Tricolore top tube
Tricolore top tube

I have ridden about 400km on the  Wilier Cento Uno SR and it makes me go faster. I’m not trying to go quicker, I’m actually making an effort to chill for winter. But whatever I do the bike just goes. I only have Strava and my mates as measures but the bike is flying. All I do is hang on, hope and, of course, pedal. The bike does the rest. It is about this bike.

The new Wilier Cento Uno SR is much like the old one but five years younger. There was a time when five years in cycling would not have meant that much but its light years now. The technology is improving nearly as fast as the prices are dropping.

So what makes the Wilier Cento 1 SR so fast?

It is light at 7kg but lots of bikes are light. It uses Campagnolo Record transmission and brakes but that means nothing for speed as all bikes today have perfect shifting. It has incredible wheels Campagnolo Shamal Mille, basically a Fulcrum Racing Zero (used to be £1025 then £925, then £799 and our set now £599… prices just keep falling!). The wheels are light, have ceramic, roll forever bearings and are stiff enough to translate pedal power into speed. But these alone won’t make it that fast. So that leaves the frame. It is light and stiff, really stiff. Every ounce of effort goes though the frame into powering you forward.

Wilier Cento Uno SR
Wilier Cento Uno SR

The acceleration is blisteringly quick. You do feel rough roads. The combination of this frame with its parts in a racy yet confidence inspiring geometry makes this bike an absolute racing thoroughbred. I could ride 160k on it and intend to do 9 x 160k days next summer but it is a long way from being a “modern sportive” bike. There are some wonderfully comfortable bikes around these days but there is a reason why the pro peloton doesn’t ride them. While I am fit enough to ride a pros bike I will. It is just too much fun to give up just yet.

Read my first impression here:  Wilier Cento Uno the need for speed.

It is about the bike….. all you have to do – is pedal!

A note on pricing

The new Wilier Cento 1 is better than the Petacchi replica that we have here yet the retail price is nearly half that of the 2012 beauty. Prices for bikes and cycle equipment have never been so low. Deflation is out of hand. The only saving grace for the industry is that riders expectations are going up faster than prices are coming down. There was a time when you lowered your seat post to descend; now, riders can’t even hit the Downs without a £300 dropper! Customers asking for an entry level road bike mean carbon! Pretty soon entry level will have Di2! You guys are just so lucky. Spend and enjoy!


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