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Wilier Triestina Cento Uno

An all-round winning ride with a World Championship pedigree

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The Wilier Triestina Cento Uno offers a highly refined ride and stellar handling but a couple of oversights mar an otherwise superb overall package

The Wilier Triestina Cento Uno offers a highly refined ride and stellar handling but a couple of oversights mar an otherwise superb overall package (Image credit: James Huang)
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Wilier Triestina can rightfully boast about more than a century in the business

Wilier Triestina can rightfully boast about more than a century in the business (Image credit: James Huang)
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Wilier say the Cento Uno's 'suspended' dropouts and looped stays make for a more comfortable rear end

Wilier say the Cento Uno's 'suspended' dropouts and looped stays make for a more comfortable rear end (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Cento Uno doesn't use a tapered steerer but the lower head tube area is reinforced for excellent steering precision

The Cento Uno doesn't use a tapered steerer but the lower head tube area is reinforced for excellent steering precision (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Ritchey integrated headset bearings drop directly into a squared-off lower head tube …

The Ritchey integrated headset bearings drop directly into a squared-off lower head tube … (Image credit: James Huang)
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… and a conventional round-profile upper head tube

… and a conventional round-profile upper head tube (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Cento Uno's integrated bottom bracket is ready-made for Campagnolo's Ultra Torque system but spacers are included for use with Shimano and SRAM systems as well

The Cento Uno's integrated bottom bracket is ready-made for Campagnolo's Ultra Torque system but spacers are included for use with Shimano and SRAM systems as well (Image credit: James Huang)
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The bottom bracket bearings are further reinforced with carbon but the down tube, chainstays and seat tube don't make full use of the available real estate

The bottom bracket bearings are further reinforced with carbon but the down tube, chainstays and seat tube don't make full use of the available real estate (Image credit: James Huang)
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The dropped driveside chainstay guards against chain slap but makes for a somewhat tortuous cable path for the rear derailleur

The dropped driveside chainstay guards against chain slap but makes for a somewhat tortuous cable path for the rear derailleur (Image credit: James Huang)
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The down tube's squared-off profile makes for more stiffness than its moderate width would suggest

The down tube's squared-off profile makes for more stiffness than its moderate width would suggest (Image credit: James Huang)
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The integrated seatmast can present some issues when packing the bike for travel but Wilier engineered it with a 31.6mm-diameter internal bore so a conventional telescoping post can be retrofitted if desired

The integrated seatmast can present some issues when packing the bike for travel but Wilier engineered it with a 31.6mm-diameter internal bore so a conventional telescoping post can be retrofitted if desired (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Cento Uno uses stout wishbone-style seatstays

The Cento Uno uses stout wishbone-style seatstays (Image credit: James Huang)
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The top tube is slightly bowed and presumably adds slightly to the frame's comfortable ride

The top tube is slightly bowed and presumably adds slightly to the frame's comfortable ride (Image credit: James Huang)
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Minor cosmetic blemishes like these are a disappointment on a top-level frame

Minor cosmetic blemishes like these are a disappointment on a top-level frame (Image credit: James Huang)
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Our early production tester also had this unsightly patch on the down tube; thankfully subsequent inspections of later frames revealed no such scar

Our early production tester also had this unsightly patch on the down tube; thankfully subsequent inspections of later frames revealed no such scar (Image credit: James Huang)
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The included Wilier Triestina Monoscocca carbon fork weighs 350g

The included Wilier Triestina Monoscocca carbon fork weighs 350g (Image credit: James Huang)
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Our tester came with previous-generation Campagnolo Record componentry

Our tester came with previous-generation Campagnolo Record componentry (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Campagnolo Record 10s rear derailleur normally rattles off reliable shifts but the cable routing's additional drag made for sub-par gear changes

The Campagnolo Record 10s rear derailleur normally rattles off reliable shifts but the cable routing's additional drag made for sub-par gear changes (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Campagnolo Record CT crank's compact ratios yield a versatile range but it's best to make sure it's paired with an 11T cog out back to retain a reasonable top-end gear

The Campagnolo Record CT crank's compact ratios yield a versatile range but it's best to make sure it's paired with an 11T cog out back to retain a reasonable top-end gear (Image credit: James Huang)
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Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton brakes provide their usual high levels of braking power and modulation

Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton brakes provide their usual high levels of braking power and modulation (Image credit: James Huang)
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Our Cento Uno tester could lose some weight by swapping to tubulars but the Fulcrum Racing Zero clinchers provide a solid feel that's tough to pass up

Our Cento Uno tester could lose some weight by swapping to tubulars but the Fulcrum Racing Zero clinchers provide a solid feel that's tough to pass up (Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear hub features Fulcrum's trademark 2:1 spoke lacing pattern for more even tension

The rear hub features Fulcrum's trademark 2:1 spoke lacing pattern for more even tension (Image credit: James Huang)

Wilier Triestina ducks out of the ever-escalating 'stiffer and lighter' technology wars with its Cento Uno flagship, a carbon bike that stands out not for its commanding dominance of any one performance criterion but rather its impressive versatility and proficiency across a wide range of conditions.  It may not win any lab bench tests but as an all-round race bike it's a worthy option.

Pedal it

The Cento Uno isn't quite as stiff overall as some of its competition – under power it's notably a step behind the Scott Addict and quintessential German carbon rigs like the Isaac Sonic – nor is it as light.  In fact, the 1,240g actual frame weight (large size, measured without the included Ritchey seatmast head) is nearly 200g more than the claimed average.  Fork weight, however, is as advertised at 350g with a 235mm-long steerer.

Even so, the Cento Uno still ranks towards the upper end of the scale rigidity-wise with very little twist when torquing on the handlebars and a fairly snappy feel to the bottom bracket when stomping on it out of the saddle.  Likewise, the complete package still builds up reasonably light for this segment at 7.08kg (15.6lb, without pedals) with a still-excellent Campagnolo Record 10 group and Fulcrum Racing Zero aluminum clinchers. 

Still, one would expect more for a US$4,300 frameset, right?

Where the Cento Uno excels is in its ride quality and handling.  Say what you will about integrated seatpost designs but in this case, the oversized round mast provides reassuringly direct feedback through the saddle for what's going on at the back end without being overly harsh.  In addition, the slightly softer frame also leaves you feeling surprisingly fresh after 200km+ days.

Geometry is spot-on, too, with handling characteristics well honed over Wilier Triestina's century of experience – the Cento Uno is not a crit bike nor a dedicated stage racer but can still hold its own in either situation.  Old World traditions yield versatile 73/73.5-degree head/seat tube angles for our large tester, along with a 555mm effective top tube length and not-too-short 159mm head tube.  Though the front end foregoes the increasingly popular tapered design for a straight 1 1/8" steerer, a reinforced crown on the matching Monoscocca carbon fork and lower head tube area still make for very precise steering control and chatter-free braking while the perfect balance between the fork and frame inspire confidence in tricky downhill situations, too.

Our demo bike boasted a similarly rock solid – though rather eclectic – parts pick.  Campagnolo's veteran 10 speed Record group stands out as durable and dependable [albeit with some shifting issues noted below] but the compact crankset and 13-25T cassette left us a little undergeared at times.  Thankfully, consumers will likely be able to choose ratios that best suit them. 

Other component highlights include the light and nimble Fulcrum Zero clinchers and the proven Continental GP 4000S clincher tires plus an all-Ritchey cockpit comprising ergo-bend Pro carbon bars, the company's venerable WCS 4-bolt forged aluminum stem and a WCS internal headset.  All in all the parts package could be lighter but offered mostly reliable performance and a well documented Pro Tour track record.

The 411 on the ‘101’

The Cento Uno is a direct descendent of Wilier’s previous century-in-framebuilding Cento flagship and incorporates feedback from Lampre pro riders Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Ballan.  Naturally, goals for the new bike included lighter weight and increased stiffness, but without negatively affecting its all-round suitability or overall comfort.

The culmination resulted in a new ISP (integrated seatpost) design, utilizing Mitsubishi’s 46-ton high modulus carbon material and the Cento's arcing main tube shapes but an all-new 'looped' rear end that Wilier claims offers more vertical movement.  The chain stays are also highly asymmetrical with the driveside stay notably lowered to reduce chain slap. 

Down below Wilier adds an integrated bottom bracket specifically sized for Campagnolo's Ultra Torque system.  In lieu of additional cups, the bearings insert directly into the shell, which even incorporates the requisite groove around the circumference of the driveside edge for the stock snap ring.  Spacers are included for use with Shimano or SRAM cranksets as well. 

ISP detractors, take note: while it's true the fixed mast can make it difficult to fit the bike in a case or box when traveling to events or even fitting different sized people on the same bike, Wilier has designed the inside of the seat tube with a consistent 31.6mm-diameter internal bore.  As a result, the mast can be cut to a more traditional dimension and a standard telescoping seatpost can be used with an external seat collar if needed.  This feature may only come into play when you go to pass your Cento Uno on to someone else but it exhibits some forethought nonetheless.   

The issues

Two areas drew our concern and are worthy of mention.  First, the dropped and curved driveside chain stay may reduce chain slap but it also makes for a less-than-optimal path for the internally routed rear derailleur cable. Wilier has addressed this with some low-friction liner to ease the cable through the frame entry/exit point but there was still enough additional drag on hand that we could never get the rear derailleur to shift 100 percent correctly in both directions no matter what we did with the available adjustments [note that our Chris Davidson is also a pro team mechanic with experience on UCI-registered Campagnolo-sponsored teams – Ed.].  Our experience indicates that this cable routing binding issue might pose an even greater potential problem with the newer – and more lightly sprung – 11 speed groups that the Lampre team runs.          

Second, our test bike came with a sizeable anomaly in the cosmetic 1k finish weave.  Seemingly staring up at us from the top of the wide down tube up by the head tube was a 20x80mm 'patch' .  Wilier insists that this blemish was isolated to our non-representative early preproduction sample and true to its word, we found no similar patches in subsequent inspections of other Cento Uno models that we could lay our hands on.  However, we did still note other examples – though far more minor – of less-than-perfect surface finish, particularly where separate frame sections were bonded together.

While not affecting the ride, to say that these sorts of aesthetic defects are a disappointment on a frameset costing north of US$4,000 would be an understatement.  Thankfully, Wilier has since debuted a new Cento 1 SL model with a unidirectional top sheet that we expect to offer a more consistent appearance. 

The final word

Our time on the Wilier Cento Uno leaves us a bit torn.  On the one hand, the lightweight ISP design offers excellent feel and handling combined with all day comfort and smoothness matched with a stiff-enough backbone – not to mention the prestige associated with a set of hard-earned rainbow stripes.  It's no wonder the hallmark of Lampre victories is the potent late race attack; these Pro Tour riders are fresh and lively after a long day on the Cento Uno.

However, the rear derailleur cable drag and surface finish are genuine causes for concern – the latter obviously doesn't affect performance but there's little point to a sweet-riding frame if the shifting needs constant attention.

Pros: Very Euro cool, super smooth ride, light, proven race winner, versatile ISP system, stellar handling characteristics
Cons: High cost, cable routing issues, not as stiff as some, inconsistent 1k carbon finish appearance.

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