Wilier Goes Aero with the Cento1Air, 650b with the 101XB
Known for exceptional ride quality while still keeping things light, Wilier is at it again – this time with both a new road bike and a mountain bike. The bikes hit the two big trends in the market with an aero road bike, and a 650b mountain bike, with the Cento1Air building on the Cento1SR and the 101XB joining the 29″ 101XN.
Jump past the break for more details and a hint at future mountain bike drivetrains?
Up front, Wilier tackled aerodynamics by creating a single crown version of their aero fork found on the Twin Blade. Kamm Tail design is used extensively throughout the bike including the fork and the downtube section just behind the fork. In order to keep the carbon walls as thin as possible while keeping the stiffness, a massive squared downtube joins the headtube in a way that is still UCI legal.
Just behind that is the new cable guide plate which seamlessly integrates mechanical and electronic compatibility into the frame while allowing access to the cables inside the down tube. The new plate allows rider to make adjustments while riding and is Di2 and EPS compatible.
Out back, Wilier built the seatstays around the rear brake to improve the aerodynamics without having to place the brake under the chainstays. This angle doesn’t do it much justice, but the junction of the stays/seat tube is very boxy on the trailing edge where the brake sits with it tapering to the front. Another bit Wilie is proud of – even with the large amount of carbon around the brake mount you can still install the brake with a standard wrench.
Like the Cento 1 SR, the Air uses a BB386 EVO bottom bracket for a stiff, wide spot to attach the horizontal asymmetric chainstays for maximum power output. The integrated seatpost is a monocoque design made by Ritchey but designed by Wilier.
Framesets (frame, fork, headset, bottom bracket, and seatpost) will retail for $3999.
Building on the success of their 29″ 101XN, the 650b wheel equipped 101XB is fairly similar. Built with race tuned geometry, the frame will accept 80-100mm tapered forks with an asymmetrical frame to improve ride characteristics and braking performance. The frame also features a BB92 bottom bracket with an optional integrated chain catcher and a dropout system that will accept both QR and thru axle rear wheels and standard or direct mount rear derailleurs.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of information comes from a single line of the press release which mentions the 101XB as well as the 101XN will have a cable routing system that will accommodate mechanical and “future electronic options.” It could be that they’re just referring to Di2 conversion kits like the K-Edge system, but something tells us there is more to it than that. The cabling system is similar to that on the road bikes, though there aren’t any cable adjuster built in.
If a Wilier MTB is to be your next bike, start saving your pennies – 101XN and 101XB framesets will run $2599.