Cento1NDR Disc Ultegra Complete Road Bike
Road riding isn't quite like it used to be. Today's road cyclist wants comfort, aerodynamics, disc brakes, tire clearance, and the ability to venture off the beaten path from time to time. Before technology caught up, many of these features were mutually exclusive but with modern materials and design, these bikes exist and with rides like the Cento1NDR Disc Ultegra Complete Road Bike from Wilier, you can have it all. It’s a bike that's aero and efficient so it soaks up the rough roads yet possess the proper geometry and carbon layup to keep a rider comfortable for epic days in the saddle. The Cento1NDR's geometry is comfort facing, meaning the stack is a little bit taller and the reach is a little bit shorter, but it can still be raced, and its stiff chassis, thanks to its asymmetrical chainstays, and 30mm tire clearance helps the pros tackle the classics and allows you to ride swiftly and comfortably on your biggest days.
Wilier pitches the NDR as an endurance bike, which it does do quite well, but we also feel it serves the racer on terrain where some compliance goes a long way towards staying fresh and leaving some reserve in the tank. In the thick of the spring classics, Direct Energy campaigns the bike over the brutal cobbles. That's because Wilier is still a racing company first and foremost and the oversized tubing and burly bottom bracket provide intuitive handling and a stiff pedaling platform, perfect in racing situations, while the more stable geometry helps for going faster over a rough parcours.
The Cento1NDR isn't a full-on gravel bike by any means, Wilier has the Jaroon for that. What it is though is a bike that is much more forgiving on traditional and rougher road surfaces than Wilier's standard Cento, and the efficiency and weight penalties are virtually non-existent. This version sports discs, which is another nod to the new norm in cycling. Just a few years ago we figured that disc brakes would be a short-lived fad on road bikes, destined to join road suspension in the garbage bin of history. Disc brakes are ubiquitous now, especially in endurance cycling, but—with some parts swapping—the NDR can handle rim brakes if you want to change groups down the road and want to build up the bike as light as you can.
Traditionalists may balk at the frame and fork's ability to flip-flop between brake standards, but clearance and geometry provide even more compelling reasons for them to avoid the Cento1NDR and stick to their traditional tube shapes and 20th-century frame designs. We like that it offers brake choice, and since it also transitions seamlessly between this mechanical build and electronic, you can tweak its build to your heart's content. Special inserts at the dropouts, available separately, let the frame transform quickly and safely from a thru-axle set up to quick-release and its generous tire clearance (28mm with rim brakes and 30mm with discs) provide one more nod to the current direction of cycling innovation.
Much like the Cento10AIR, this frameset features integration that is easy on the eyes and wind. Typically, endurance rigs eschew aerodynamic considerations, however, Wilier applies wind trickery to the frame from the tube shapes to its hidden housing. At the leading edge, the fork presents a Kammtail design which carries over to the frame's tube cross sections combining a classic NACA leading edge with a truncated trailing edge. The shape maintains the aerodynamic advantages of a traditional NACA teardrop but with the added benefit of fewer grams by requiring less material, increases in torsional stiffness, and additional stability in crosswind yaw angles. This design is mimicked in the industry today; but Wilier's progressive geometry, which tailors the angles and tube lengths of each size to the bodies of the riders appropriate to that size, and the NDR's reduced reach and higher stack make for a frame that's not only aerodynamically proven, but looks far cleaner than bikes with static geometry across sizes and a few centimeters of spacers.
The frame is finished with a final pair of details that combine old and new in a typically Wilier-esque way. The round, 27.2mm seatpost adds road bike suspension the old-fashioned way, by dispelling road noise with the slightest bit of flex. This may seem inconsequential, but it's a welcome departure from the latest trend of "aero" seatposts, whose ovalized cross sections tend to have the unfortunate effect of eliminating any give, thereby magnifying any bump in the road. Additionally, the seatstays have a very thin section and the carbon layup is optimized for vertical compliance.
This particular build does an excellent job of blending performance and value. Shimano's workhorse Ultegra group provides reliable mechanical shifting with powerful hydraulic disc brakes. Perhaps the icing on the cake is its Vision Trimax carbon wheels that provide a whole lot of bike with money left to take it on a vacation.
- Wilier's road bike focused on speed and efficiency without skimping on comfort
- Geometry dialed for comfort with more stack and less reach
- Race-level stiffness maintains responsiveness but yields a smooth ride
- Aerodynamic tubes are scale specific to each frame size
- Shimano Ultegra shifting and braking perform admirably season after season
- Vision carbon wheel add value and aerodynamics to the package
- Wilier's century of experience allows it to continually innovate