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2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike smooths the cobbles w/ micro suspension

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension
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2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

Built on three years of testing and development and based off the lightweight Cento10AIR race bike introduced in May (with a really shiny paint job!), the new 2018 Wilier Cento10NDR adds an endurance race model to the line for longer, rougher courses. For the pros, this means a much more comfortable ride on the cobbled classics. For the rest of us, it means a long distance, perfect-for-gran-fondos machine.

The heart of the bike is their new Actiflex suspension system, which pairs a tiny rocker arm with a “technopolymer” insert to offer 3mm of rear wheel travel. The result isn’t so much suspension as it is vibration damping, but they do say it helps isolate the rider from bumps, too. During normal riding, it barely flexes, just soaking up the vibes to keep you feeling fresh…

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

The insert comes in three densities to suit different weight riders. They say it’s made of up a multi-compound material that have different, balancing reactions to temperature, making it perform consistently from -40ºC to +150ºC (-40ºF to 302ºF).

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

The chainstays are designed to flex slightly to let the Actiflex do its job, but are otherwise shaped (asymmetrically) to maintain the lateral and torsional stiffness expected of a race bike.

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

There’s room for 32mm wide tires front and rear, and that’s as measured on modern wide rims. They’ve even made provisions for running direct mount rim brakes so the teams can use it in any event regardless of UCI whims.

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

Compared to the Cento10AIR, the NDR adds just 100g to the total frame weight. The reach is a bit shorter and stack a bit higher, typical of an endurance bike, and makes for a much better look than adding a huge stack of spacers.

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike with suspension

Bikes will ship with their aero Barra and Stemma front cockpit that lets you run the shift cables/wires through both bar and stem for a more aero setup. Here, it’s actually far cleaner looking because the disc brake hoses are all run internally, too…something you can’t do with rim brake calipers, especially on the front.

2018 Wilier Cento10NDR endurance road bike paint color options

Starting in September, the Wilier Cento10NDR will be available in the US as a complete with with a Dura Ace Disc Mechanical for $7999 or Ultegra Di2 Disc for $7349. Options for 90, 100, 110, 120, 135mm stems and 40, 42, 44 cm handlebars. A frameset will run $3499, sizes from XS to XXL.

Wilier.com

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Rider X
6 years ago

A zertz by any other name is still just a zertz – marketing hype. The bigger tires will probably be a much bigger improvement, last time I checked a 32 mm tires at the proper pressure will deflect a lot more than a measly 3 mm.

Who ok’s this type of stuff? This type of suspension can be better implemented in creative carbon layups. Problem is that layup differences are largely hidden feature… enter the marketing department “we need something clearly visible to distinguish us from other brands…”

And the consumer gets a “technopolymer” (aka elastomers) which will harden in a few years making the suspension non-functional, by that point the design will have been abandoned and replacing that part impossible.

Just go for a simple frame with a good carbon and bigger tires if you can find it.

1158156
1158156
6 years ago
Reply to  Rider X

Essentially, yes.

James Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Rider X

I can’t stop chuckling that it’s only 3mm of travel. But I haven’t ridden it so who knows, maybe it’s great!

Person
Person
6 years ago
Reply to  Rider X

At least this is actual travel, where Zertz really is marketing BS. That said, once you sag the bike, you’ll be left with a whole 2 mm of laughable travel. I still completely agree with everything else you said. This is over-complication at its finest.

edge
edge
6 years ago
Reply to  Rider X

Other than Treks Iso-speed there is no road suspension design that I’ve seen that actually decouples the seat tube from the rest of the frame. This design pivots where? Willier’s design can only compress that elastometer by flexing the chainstays, which equals power loss.

Dinger
Dinger
6 years ago
Reply to  edge

Power loss? Last I checked, one revolution of the crank is one revolution, and unless the chain skips, that will result in exactly the same amount of wheel rotation that the gear ratio dictates, regardless of whether the chain-stays flex a little to make the rider a little more comfortable.

JO
JO
6 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

Exactly .. power loss my ar– : ) most normal frame flex etc is just a loss of that instant reaction that’s like twitchy geometry, some people think that feeling fast is the same as going fast. Stiffer isn’t better, stiffness just needs to be optimised.

mtb4me
mtb4me
6 years ago
Reply to  edge

Was stated…pivot is at the seat stay/seat tube junction. Yes the chain stays flex a minuscule near the BB which amounts to a small but notable smoothness to the ride feel over roughness.

Antoine
Antoine
6 years ago
Reply to  Rider X

Man it’s certainly not like Zertz. Zertz had one insert per stay which result in botching frame stiffness for not much suspension. This however should be plenty lateraly stiff while being translationaly soft. Not bad. Pinarello design is not good regard lateral stiffness to. Lapierre and BMC hardtail are smart design also.

Brad Comis (@BradComis)

3mm of travel may not be much, but it might just make a set of 25mm tires feel more like 28mm tires. There is a cumulative effect at work.
Silca has a great post on their blog about bike comfort and it takes you through understanding how bike flex works at all of its different levels.

Rider X
6 years ago

At 5x the price of simply mounting a set of 28 mm tires.

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago
Reply to  Rider X

Not everyone has that luxury. My road frame could not go larger than 25’s. That being said since it is always active it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a good amount of people out there.

zigak
6 years ago
Reply to  myke2241

Where is the critical point that limits the width to 25mm?
Anyway, the solution to your problem is not to buy a bike with the 3mm rear travel, but a bike with a decent clearance. Just my 2 cents.

Esteban LV (@es7ebanlv)

Yes please, ANOTHER component we’ll have to replace when it breaks. Fantastic.

mtb4me
mtb4me
6 years ago

All you grumpy contrarians hang in there…Maybe ride one or read a quality review? Wilier Triestina have been at “it” since before your grandparents were riding bikes and most “major brands” were born so likely have some conceptual, design, engineering, application chops to respect and consider before Neg-ing out… Just stating…

edge
edge
6 years ago
Reply to  mtb4me

I love Williers but the physics and dynamics are not on the side of this “suspension” design working… and yes… I have a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah
6 years ago
Reply to  edge

“physics and dynamics” dont you mean kinematics Mr engineer

RnR
RnR
6 years ago
Reply to  blah blah blah

No engineer would use the term kinematics when discussion suspension systems. It’s magazine jargon. Look the word up in a dictionary.

Robin
Robin
6 years ago
Reply to  blah blah blah

I’m sitting here staring at a book on my shelf called “Dynamics: Vector Mechanics for Engineers”, by Beers and Johnston. Also, you might like to know that kinematics deals with motion, not the forces that generate that motion. Anyone who’s taken the semester of college physics learned about kinematics before learning about Newton’s Laws. Dynamics comprises much more than just kinematics.

I will grant that a superficial reading of your comment did make it seem nearly witty.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

der

Dana
Dana
5 years ago
Reply to  mtb4me

As an avid rider who actually owns this bicycle, I can unequivocally attest that this bike performs exactly how it was designed to.

Having previously owned 2 Specialized bicycles (1 road/1hybrid) that had the Zertzs inserts, the ride on the Willier Cento 10 NDR is similar in regard to smoothness, but the front is a little stiffer and you do get much improvement in power transfer when pedaling.

I run 28cm tires on Zipp 454 NSW’s and have Vison Metron bars to help with shock absorption. Keep in mind this bike is intended to the endurance rider who does not necessarily want a full blown race bike. I am in my mid-fifties and wanted a performance bike that I did not need to see a chiropractor after riding.

My previous road bike was a Look 795 and although it was incredibly light and agile, I felt every single bump I encountered and was in a much more race oriented rider position then the Willier NDR.

I specifically ordered this bike to match my needs for a rig that I could ride in Centuries/Grand Fondos as well as my weekend club rides. The elastomer is not noticeable in regard to flex, but it does exactly was it was intended to do, absorb shock without a loss of performance like the Zertz. I rode the Trek and Pinerello models that had similar shock absorbsion features and was not impressed.

Before being quick to judge and condemn, try actually riding this bike and see for yourself if it’s for you.

dustytires
6 years ago

The rear axle will be able to move more then the viscolazy joint and at least this looks a ton better than the Pinarello cludgey shock and Specy zitz bags. But as Edge says, the ‘pivot’ is in the wrong place, apply chain tension and the chainstays bow squish squish. Sales of road bikes have been in the toilet for years, and since disc brakes have been blocked at the highest level of racing, the roady companies have to do SOMETHING. With an every aging and lazying population of enthusiasts willing to sweat for the fun of it, techno crap like skinny tire suspension is just a step along the way to electric motor bikes.

Jeff
6 years ago
Reply to  dustytires

Just to clarify, “disc brakes have been blocked at the highest level of racing”. Disc brakes are not blocked or banned in any level of racing.

PeteM
PeteM
6 years ago

Ah, Pro Flex/Girvin version 2. Was actually a great idea and took the edge off. Add Biopace and you’re back in 1988!

Robin
Robin
6 years ago

Did everyone miss the part in the article where it’s stated:

“The result isn’t so much suspension as it is vibration damping, but they do say it helps isolate the rider from bumps, too.”

So according to the the primary function of the design is to damp vibrations, with a secondary benefit being to maybe take the edge off some bumps. It’s not claimed that this is a full on suspension that will eat bumps. Whatever’s left of the travel once sag is accounted for could do just what they claim.

While I know that it’s a common belief among internet comment section experts that engineers are less capable than said experts and that every design is a full on marketing exercise devoid of technical merit, but as someone who thinks objectivity has merit and who is unable to read the minds of company engineers and markiteers, I think it’s worth not rejecting out of hand the possibility that this design might have some merits. Hell, maybe those designers and engineers at Wilier did something crazy like lab tests or allow their pro riders to ride and have input into the function of the bike.

Nah…..that can’t be right. All the armchair experts must be right.

S
S
6 years ago

I like the dual brake mounts. It’s nice to have options.

typevertigo
typevertigo
6 years ago
Reply to  S

The last time I can remember seeing such a bike was Orbea’s circa-2014 Avant. It had mounts for both caliper rim brakes and post-mount disc brake calipers.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago

Are you sure its a Wilier? There isn’t enough writing on the frame. Probably a knock off.

Wiscomark
Wiscomark
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Ha ha, my thoughts exactly!

barfly
barfly
6 years ago

I feel you on the “not everyone can just pop on bigger tires” front. My old Scott CR1 can’t take more than a 25 at the chainstay/ bottom bracket junction. Bike design has changed thank goodness.

King County
King County
6 years ago

I never tried one of these micro-susp road bikes. In a dream world, I would love to compare a variety of bikes on a stretch of a bumpy path. Put a carbon 23c vs a steel 28c vs a micro susp 25c vs zerts, etc, etc.

JM
JM
6 years ago

That video tho! I thought I was watching a Rapha ad where the scenery, background, and espresso are the stars. Absolutely no shots of the actual product/technology at work…Who OK’s this?

mtb4me
mtb4me
6 years ago
Reply to  JM

Thanks for your video critique…at times the human prevalence for just being frickin’ negative gets so old….meh!

Enter-net
Enter-net
6 years ago

Micro you say… Hmm, so small it’s as if its not even there… Wait.

So, here lately I’ve been wondering who buys this stuff. I’m talking about the brand as much as the “design.”. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see anyone foaming at the mouth over the latest Wilier model. Anyone in the market for an $8k complete waiting for this one to drop…?

Matt
Matt
4 years ago

Having been to their plant and talked with their designers and engineers, I can offer a slightly more informed viewpoint: they genuinely care about their products and ask lots of very probing questions of riders & pros in an effort to really create the best bike they can. I’ve tested (and own) several Wiliers and I’m excited about this one. Give it a chance before slapping it down – they actually know what they’re doing.

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