This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Wilier has just wrapped up its 2016 dealer show in the Dolomites, where the firm revealed new road bikes and a new carbon cross country race bike.
The GTR family
For 2016, it's the GTR that's received the most attention, with Wilier growing it from just a single frame in to a family of bikes. Alongside the existing GTR frame now sits the GTR SL, GTR Team and GTR Disc (we'll get to the disc model in a minute).
The SL and Team bikes share exactly the same frames but what sets them apart is the layup and grade of carbon used in their construction. The Team is constructed from 46 and 30-ton carbon-fibre, with a claimed frame weight of 1190g. The more expensive SL is made from 60 and 46-ton fibres, with a claimed frame weight of 990g.
Somewhat confusingly, these frames will be available with two different geometries. As standard they'll have Wilier's 'race' geometry, but will also be available with more relaxed 'endurance' geometry. Thanks to having a different fork with additional spacing under head tube, an endurance-spec bike effectively has additional 10mm of stack height over a race-spec bike because the fork pushes the front of the bike to sit higher.
The new Wilier GTR Team. The GTR SL looks the same, the differences are in the carbon fibre used
The endurance fork is also 1 degree slacker than the fork that comes with the race-spec bikes. It increases the wheelbase by 5mm, with the idea being that if offers riders a more relaxed ride. The upshot is that the GTR SL and GTR Team will be available in either race or endurance geometry (see below for a list of models).
Even though the frame is a new design, Wilier are open about the fact that it's taken a lead from the race-focused Cento1, with which is shares most of its geometry, though the GTR's head tube is 10mm taller. The head tube itself is significantly different from the current GTR - thanks to it's increased depth it creates a stout head tube junction and is designed to smoothly integrate with the Kamm-tail profiled fork.
A medium frame has a 54cm top tube, 72deg head angle, 74deg seat angle, and a 148mm head tube height. Other changes include the redesigned seatstays, which are flat and thin, and meet the seat tube lower down than those of the existing GTR. Tube sizing varies progressively according to frame size, so each bike should have the same ride quality and feel.
The two geometry options are certainly an interesting and innovative idea and give the new bikes a remit that Wilier feel should make them suited to racing, sportive rides, and what they call 'performance sportive' riding, whatever that is. Wilier were keen to stress that the way the bike rides and handles is really important to them. They told us that although the endurance fork offers a more relaxed ride, endurance bikes still retain the sporty and poised handling that they say is why people want their bikes.
Spec and UK prices vary depending on groupset and geometry and are as follows (US$/€/AU$ pricing tbc)
- GTR SL in race geometry with Campagnolo Chorus - £2,999
- GTR SL in race geometry with Shimano Ultegra - £2,399GTR Team in race geometry with Ultegra - £1,899
- GTR SL in endurance geometry with Shimano Dura-Ace - £2,999
- GTR Team in endurance geometry with Campagnolo Athena - £1,999
- GTR Team in endurance geometry with Shimano 105 - £1,649
Wilier GTR SL first ride impressions
During the launch, I rode the GTR SL in race geometry up and down the Dolimites. It was a great ally on climbs, where the frame provided eagerness that, because of the mid-compact chainset and steep gradients, my legs couldn't always match.
Guiding the GTR down very quick but sometimes poorly surfaced roads was a lot of fun. The front felt planted and happy to change direction to avoid a pothole at the drop of a hat. I did find the front a little uncomfortable at times, something I put down to the aluminium bar and stem, which would happily transmit bumps to my hands, so I had to really grip and make sure the front didn't go wayward over some of the poor surfaces.
The new Wilier GTR SL Race in acid green
On one descent I went over a small depression in the road surface and my BarFly Garmin mount failed, shattering on the left side where the Garmin tab locates. I suspect this was the result of the fact I was doing well over 40 mph at the time, and that the bar wouldn't give. Either way, my Edge 510 flew off and smacked me the face before I stopped to grab it before it got run over.
The bike I was riding had a full Campag Chorus groupset which gave me flawless shifting during every ride. The brakes were up to scratch too, providing good feel and bite when I asked them for all they could give on the approach to every hairpin bend. The carbon crankset looks pretty trick as well.
It's not the stiffest frame I've ever ridden, but it felt lively and happy to accelerate at as I increased my effort. I'm sure that swapping the Campag Scirocco wheels for something stiffer and lighter would bring more of the frame's true character to the foreground.
GTR Team Disc
The GTR Team Disc is the (you guessed it) disc-equipped version of the GTR. It will only be available with a Team frame and an endurance geometry fork that will accept disc brakes. The brakes in question are Shimano's new flat-mount calipers, (though the frame will also take traditional post-mount as well).
The disc bike also has a 12mm thru-axle front and rear, with enough clearance for 28mm gravel-bashing rubber, so it should be up able to cope with a hard time away from silky smooth tarmac.
UK prices are as follows (US$/€/AU$ pricing tbc):
- GTR Disc Ultegra - £2,699
- GTR Disc 105 - £2,399
The 101x is Wilier's brand new 29er hardtail cross-country race platform, designed to work with a 100mm fork. It is designed to replace the existing 101XN and 101XB. The 60-ton modulus carbon frame weighs a claimed 1kg and Wilier say they have worked to reduce material volume to keep the weight low.
The most interesting feature of the frame is the reinforcing struts that rise out of the top tube to meet the seat tube. Wilier decided to use a sloping top tube to give the frame a good standover height and added the struts for improved stiffness around the seat tube.
The headtube is a new design over the 101-series bikes. It gives a 73 degree head angle and Wilier claim that it's stiffer than their current range of XC race bikes.
The frame has internal cable routing and is ready to accept XTR Di2. It's also compatible with Shimano's side-swing front mech but will also take a traditional direct mount front derailleur. Under the front mech, the bottom bracket is a 92mm press fit and the bottom of the frame has a removable plate that allows access to the cables. Wilier call it an integrated frame protector, but if it were to get smashed against a rock, we can't see it being that protective.
As with the new GTRs, the 101X accepts a 27.2mm seatpost and as the frame size increases, so does the diameter of the tubing so each frame has the same character.
Other notable changes to the Wilier range
- The Zero7 gets some new colours
- The Centro1 SR gets some aesthetic changes and for 2016 also moves back to a traditional seat post. Wilier's customer feedback led them to make this decision because some found it difficult to sell their bikes on.
- The Montegrappa range expands to include Tiagra equipped disc model with a drop bar (£999) and carbon fork.