Wilier Blade $2,899.00
When we first set our eyes on Wilier's Blade time trial frame, we thought it was a Twinfoil with a mismatched fork. Perhaps an earlier generation version, perhaps a test mule. We were wrong. The Blade is its own bike. What you're seeing is a frame that came out of the same mold as the Twinfoil and a more conventional fork. The reason for this is economics and flexibility.
The frame has identical shapes and geometry, with a tall downtube, a long seat post, wide stays, internal routing, and a TRP integrated brake mounted on the underside of the frame. The difference is in the use of less-expensive 46-ton carbon-fiber cloth. The result is be a bike that flexes a bit more, which, if you're the kind of person who finds stiff bikes a literal pain in the back, the flexing becomes compliance, and results in a more comfortable ride. The fork is a more conventional-looking carbon-fiber job with aluminum dropouts. The legs have a narrower stance, making it less aero, but the depth of the legs will minimize the increased drag. The biggest benefit of the conventional fork is the flexibility it allows you for putting in a stem of the length and height of your choosing. This means you can have an integrated bar/stem combo or your favorite integrated bar with the stem of your choosing or set the armrests at whatever width you want.
Everything we've written regarding fit and component issues for the Twinfoil hold for the Blade as well. The seat stays are set wide for better airflow. The chain stays are thick for drive train efficiency. The stays are joined at the adjustable vertical dropouts that boast 6mm of fore-aft play. Wide wheel fans take note: maximum rim width is 25mm, but a Head Stinger 9 fit in, as the adjustable dropouts allow for some play so that the wheel nestles in the rear triangle perfectly.
The integrated seat post has also been built with aerodynamics in mind. Not only is it long and narrow, but it has an internal fixing bolt accessed from the right side and the seat clamp is adjustable for a wide range of position options. The post is 350mm long, and the clamp is adjustable from 10mm in front of the bottom bracket to 20mm behind it, which means that there is an effective seat angle of anywhere from 74- to 78-degrees. This means it can accommodate conservative roadies and radical triathletes alike.
Because they want to be accommodating to everyone who races against the clock, the front derailleur has an adjustable orbital mount. It's kind of like a disc that can be moved not only up and down, but on its own axis, so it can work with a wide range of rings and be tweaked for optimal chain line orientation. The bolt that does this is accessed from the left side of the frame so the cranks won't have to be pulled to do this precise adjusting.
Being a Wilier, the bottom bracket standard is BB93, and will accept any Campagnolo thru-axle crankset and comes with adapters for use with Shimano and SRAM cranks. There is a single set of bottle mounts on the down tube for those days when the test is long enough to justify a bottle. The 1 1/8" steerer mates to the frame with Ritchey WCS bearings. The cable routing is internal for better aerodynamics.
The Wilier Blade Frame and Fork come in four sizes from Small to X-Large. It comes in Matte Black. The internal cable routing is not compatible with electronic shifting systems. Wheels are 700c only.
|Size||Seat Tube||Effective Top Tube||Head Tube||Head Tube Angle||Seat Angle||Stack||Reach||Chainstay|
|72.0 deg||76.0 deg||19.4in|
|72.5 deg||76.0 deg||20.2in|
|72.5 deg||76.0 deg||21.0in|
|72.5 deg||76.0 deg||21.8in|