This past Saturday, at the 94th Giro d’Italia, Team Lampre ISD was aboard a completely new aero TT bike from their sponsor Wilier. Perhaps, in an indication that the UCI aero requirements are getting easier to understand, or simply that enough manufacturers have been penalized to show just what is and isn’t allowable, the Wilier TwinFoil TT bike passed UCI certification and was allowed to compete, propelling team Lampre ISD to an impressive 6th place finish in the TT.
Wilier’s TwinFoil TT bike offers a few unique aero features, and yet seems to borrow a few already established ideas that some makes have been using for a year or two. What is different about the TwinFoil?
Read on after the break!
Possibly the most visually striking element of the TwinFoil, would be the way in which the rear stays attach to the seat tube. In an effort to keep the stays as far away from the spinning wheel as possible, the stays are incredibly wide which gives the bike a very unique look. The idea behind the wide stays is that the spinning wheel causes turbulence so by moving the stays farther away, the turbulence can be avoided. This is technically not a new concept as at least Trek for sure (most likely others as well) have claimed for years that spacing at least the fork legs widely apart will result in a reduction in drag. Velonews was on hand at the Giro to get a few pictures of the new bike, including the seat stay junction. Clearly, the seatstays attach to what looks to be a Kamm Tail designed seat post and seat tube, which is also currently in use by Trek for their Speed concepts.
Continuing down from the seat tube, the rear brake is decidedly aero, as like many TT bikes the brake is tucked up and under the chainstays just behind the crankset. The brake itself appears to be a new model from TRP, as it is basically a Mini-V whose arms when at rest add to the aero profile of the frame. From a mechanic’s perspective, the Mini-V Aero is a huge improvement over the current crop of chainstay mounted brakes, as it offers easy access to all adjustment bolts without removing any covers or plates, along with a standard V-Brake release for easy wheel changes.
While the front end of the TwinFoil lacks any kind of one piece headset cover/stem/aero bar combination (mostly what has gotten many teams in trouble with the UCI), it does offer a unique sort of hump on the top tube which stops just short of the steerer tube.
In order to ensure ease of adjustment and to guarantee the adjustments stay that way, the TwinFoil offers both an integrated seat post clamp, and a 4 bolt dropout adjustment. The TwinFoil’s seat post clamp is an internal expansion wedge type affair, that appears to tighten with one bolt. Lampre’s bikes also featured a separate, slim aero shaped clamp around the seat post, but separate from the frame most likely to aid in adjusting seat post height, or keeping gunk out of the frame. Instead of going the route of an inline, threaded axle adjuster in order to precisely control wheelbase and frame/tire gap, the TwinFoil sports a 4 bolt sliding dropout system that looks more similar to a mountain bike than road. However, for anyone who has ever had the experience of an inline adjuster moving around on you, the additional security of the bolt on system will be welcomed. Yes, you can fix the inline type with proper LocTite or changing out hardware, but with Wilier’s set up, that shouldn’t be necessary.
Overall, for Team Lampre ISD, the new Wilier TwinFoil was worth a 6th place finish in it’s first team trial, only 24 seconds down of the leader.