Happy coronation day.
The previous iteration of the Wilier Zero.7 Road Frameset was crowned king of the superbikes by reviewers and press alike, and the 2017Zero.7 Frameset is already topping short lists of aspiring heirs to the throne. The new Zero.7 introduces a few more advancements without conceding the elements of ride quality that initially brought the crown into its family line. After all, what kind of a king makes concessions?
Wilier's engineers began with the synthetic equivalent of a super hero's hair: high modulus, 60 ton carbon fiber. It's very stiff, very efficient, and very light, but it also doesn't absorb as much road vibration and is more prone to failure than a lower-modulus carbon. Top-end manufacturers often address this by using different carbon moduli across the body of one frame based on the stiffness and strength requirements of each discreet area, but the inclusion of lower modulus carbon makes the frame heavier and more flexible. Wilier puts its own spin on this process, so the new Zero.7 includes less lower-modulus carbon and alleviates the negative side effects of its inclusion, reducing the overall volume of material by 19% compared to the previous model.
This process begins with the incorporation of Zinc Oxide nanoparticle epoxy resin (ZnO) into Wilier's high-modulus layups to improve impact resistance. It continues with a technique called LIT (Large Inflatable Tube). As the name implies, LIT involves inflating a tube-like bladder inside the frame while it's in the carbon mold. This compacts the material from both sides and creates a uniform wall thickness that eliminates structurally compromising resin deposits. Both bits of tech underwrite the Cento1 family's heritage, and the Zero.7 receives the same treatment; however, Wilier was looking for even more to set the Zero.7 apart. It found it by incorporating a solution from the aeronautical and automotive industries, Special Elastic Infiltrated Film, or SEI.
SEI is a viscoelastic film that, when injected between layers of carbon, relieves the harshness and brittle nature of high-modulus fiber through increased vibration absorption and impact resistance. To illustrate the importance of the addition of SEI, we'll relate the Zero.7 to a more traditional Italian icon: the margherita pizza. If 60 ton carbon is San Marzano tomatoes, then SEI is buffalo mozzarella. The tomatoes are definitely a required presence for any margherita pizza, but the right tomatoes combined with the right cheese nets the best possible outcome in all areas.
Another change from the previous Zero.7 that's immediately obvious is the redesigned head tube, whose silhouette describes an hourglass shape. This nets two benefits, aerodynamic gains and increased front-end stiffness. The aerodynamic improvements are nice — we're certainly not going to complain about fewer lost watts — but the improved stiffness is really amazing.
The Integrated Fork design that informs the legend of Wilier's front ends returns in this new iteration. Combined with the Zero.7's tight wheel base geometry, the front end gives a more seamless, unified feel between frame and fork. Since there are no objective metrics to describe it, communicating the quality of a bike's ride can often degenerate into an exercise in lyrical hyperbole. So please humor us when we claim that, on descents, the Zero.7 is a demon in three-piece tweed: well-mannered but aggressively fearless.
The Zero.7 is also built up in the bottom bracket area in order to increase power transfer and accommodate the new BB386 Evo. While it's true that the options for external bearing cups runneth over, there is still significant room for advancement in the right circumstances. Wilier's collaboration with venerable component manufacturer FSA proves that point. The BB386 Evo is a kingly 86.5 millimeters wide, increasing stiffness by 30% over the usual 68 millimeter bottom brackets and lowering the power lost from flexing to almost zero. With adapters, the BB386 Evo accommodates cranksets from Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo. The Zero.7 Frameset is finished off with a 27.2 millimeter Ritchey Superlogic seatpost. Please note that this frame is not compatible with Campagnolo EPS groupsets.
- 60-ton high modulus carbon
- Integrated fork
- BB386 EVO
- 27.2 millimeter Ritchey Superlogic seatpost included
- Compatible with Shimano and Campagnolo mechanical drivetrains