Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Tech Talk: Willier Cento10 Air

Willier Cento10 Air

The Cento first surfaced in 2006, built to celebrate Wilier’s 100th birthday – Cento meaning ‘hundred’ in Italian. However, it was 2008’s Cento1 that really established the range’s reputation. It was heralded as one of the best all-round race bikes of its time and garnered much praise in the bike press. Add in integrated ‘Alabarda’ bars and kamm-tail tubes and Wilier claims the Cento10Air is 8% faster than its predecessor, the Cento1Air.

The frame's shaping is based around the SR's geometry: it’s suitably aggressive with a long, low riding position, and handling that’s designed to offer a fine balance between sharp steering and stability at speed. The back end is short to keep things nimble and the dropped seatstays are at the lowest point allowed by current UCI regulations, leaving plenty of room for the seat tube and post to offer a little flex for added smoothness.

Willier Cento10 Air Frame

All the frame tubes adopt NACA truncated aerofoil profiles, which are aerodynamic without greatly increasing weight or compromising rigidity. Wilier uses computational fluid dynamics to model airflow over its frames rather than wind tunnel testing. Its results suggest that the new frame is around 3% more aerodynamically efficient than its Cento1 Air. 

It has also moved the seatstay junction down the seat tube as far as the UCI allows to reduce frontal area. The seatstays bulge out at their tops too to smooth airflow over this area. All the cables apart from the front brake are routed internally through the frame and the Wilier Cento10 Air can be set up to work efficiently with mechanical and electronic groupsets from any of the big three suppliers.

The Wilier Cento10 Air adopts direct mount brakes front and rear. This allows Wilier to use wider, thinner forks which have the double benefit of creating less drag between the blades and the spinning wheels and also allowing the bike to take 28mm tyres, although it is supplied with 25s. The direct mount brakes should also provide better power and modulation. 

There’s a custom truncated aerofoil seatpost too, with a single bolt head and 22mm setback, which is made for Wilier by Ritchey. It’s held in place by an expander with a concealed bolt. And Wilier uses a 86.5mm wide pressfit bottom bracket for good power transfer at the cranks and wide compatibility.


Alabarda front view

It’s an all-carbon aero design with a wide flat top and small frontal profile and allows the Cento10’s gear cables to be entirely internally routed through the bar, stem, headset and frame. There are two channels on the undersides of the bar tops through which the cables pass. They then turn into a hollow cavity on the underside of the stem where they’re held in place by a carbon fibre sprung plate, before entering the headset top cap. Here they make another bend and feed through a special aperture in the headset bearing.

Cable route in Alabarda

The steerer tube has a flat section on its front side to help accommodate the cables. aving entered the frame, the cables are then routed internally from the headtube into the down tube, where the outers are anchored in a box under a cover. This allows them to have enough free cable that they do not impede the turning of the bars, without rattling around in the frame. Wilier says it has tested the design to ensure compatibility with all manufacturers’ cabling.

Alabarda, from below

The cables then make their way under the bottom bracket to emerge at the front and rear mechs. There’s a barrel adjuster for the front mech integrated into the down tube cable box. Trimming of the rear mech cables is done via the adjuster on the mech itself. he stem is mounted to the steerer using a wedge rather than bolts, for a really clean look. 

The bar has to have the top and bottom spacer as a minimum for the system to work, but you can add up to 3cm of additional aero shaped spacers to increase bar height if needed. And since the spacers are split they can be added or removed without needing to completely dismantle the headset. 

  • 3% more aerodynamic than Cento 1
  • Alabarda, dropbar and stem combo
  • Works with mechanic and electronic groupset
  • Swallow 28mm tyre
  • Integrated cable route with integrated cable adjuster in downtube


Seatstay: The tube connect seattube with rear end

Seattube: The tube when downtube, toptube, seatstay and chainstay met, its also house for seatpost

Seatpost: Is a tube that extends upwards from the bicycle frame to the saddle. The amount that it extends out of the frame can usually be adjusted, and there is usually a mark that indicates the minimum insertion.

Downtube: The tube connect headtube with seattube

Bottom Bracket: The bottom bracket on a bicycle connects the crankset (chainset) to the bicycle and allows the crankset to rotate freely. It contains a spindle that the crankset attaches to, and the bearings that allow the spindle and cranks to rotate. The chainrings and pedals attach to the cranks. The bottom bracket fits inside the bottom bracket shell, which connects the seat tube, down tube and chain stays as part of the bicycle frame.


Ride On!

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