Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If I Were a Rich Man

If the economy weren't so tanked and I wasn't stuffing money into my mattress like a depression era bumpkin, I would be looking at getting a nice road bike. One can never have too many bikes.

I save the Cervelo P3 for races. I take it out into the country at least once a week for 'carbon day' where I basically just make the quads quake. One thing I despise is seeing all these yahoos tucked into a aero-position on their time-trial bikes roaring on the bikes paths, hardly paying heed to pedestrians and little toddlers. They are just asking for trouble. Is it too much to ask to take your TT bike out on the road where it belongs?

So I'm relugated to my Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra city bike for the most part. It does the job. I love the bike. But call it Road Bike Fever now that I've been watching the Tour. And two bikes have caught my eye.


Starts around $4300

Wilier bikes are almost unheard of in the Tundra. And fewer know that it has a history more than 100 years old, twice as long as Pinarello and five times as Cervelo.

Wilier Triestina was founded in 1906 when Pietro Dal Molin, a trader from Bassano del Grappa, had the idea of building his own bicycles. His forge of "steel horses" began as a small workshop along the banks of the river Brenta, and was originally called Ciclomeccanica Dal Molin. As the demand for bicycles increased, it became more and more successful. He even supplied bicycles to the Italian army during WWI.

The name Wilier was a patriotic acronym. In Italian, the letter W is not used. W is usually used as an abbreviation for the word Viva! The acronym goes like so:
W Italia LIbera E Redenta, which means "Long Live Italy, Liberated and Redeemed." Triestina was meant as a tribute to the city of Trieste, which at the time was not yet regained by Italy after the war.

Modern era landmark victories and achievements include:

1985-Claudio Corti Wins Italian National Road Race Championship
1997-Marco Pantani Wins 2 Tour de France stages and places 3rd on GC
2000-Sergei Gonchar Wins TT World Championship
2004-Wilier Triestina Expands Factory
2004-Davide Rebellin Wins Historic Triple of Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallone, and Liege Bastogne Liege
2005-Giro d'Italia passes Wilier Triestina factory
2008-Ballan wins the World Championship

The top of the line Wilier bike is the Centro Uno, which means 101 in Italian. Designed in collaboration with Mitsubishi, taking advantage of their very highest grade of carbon fiber. This "46 Ton" carbon fiber can withstand 46 tons of force per square mm.

The asymmetric chainstays and integrated seatmast are two additional details designed to deliver stiffness. Pedaling forces put different loads on the driveside chainstay vs. the non-driveside chainstay. It also has an integrated seatmast as a true extension of the seat tube, but can be cut to accommodate a regular seat post.

The squared headtube mates the a squared fork crown, with the goal of providing outstanding steerability. Last but not least, the oversized BB and integrated rear triangle.

The people I've talked to have rave remarks for the stiffness and ability to just torque it out on the gears. For more info, read here.


Starts around $8500

Maybe you saw Stage 9 of the Tour on Sunday (7/12). Franco Pellizotti, third-place finisher at the Giro d'Italia, spent almost the entire day off the front of Sunday's Tour de France stage. Along with breakaway companion Pierrick Fedrigo, Pellizotti attacked just five kilometers into the stage and against the odds, the duo stayed away until the finish.

Pellizotti took maximum mountain points on the day, crossing both the Col d'Aspin and the feared Col du Tourmalet in first position. The points total puts him in third in the fight for the polka dot jersey of the Tour's best climber, a competition the Venetian has his sights on winning. Riding for Team Liquigas he races aboard the Cannondale Super Six featuring System Integration.

I think I could be happy with either! What about you? If money weren't an object, which road bike would you most like to have in your garage?

1 comment:

bwheat said...

Nice bikes. As long as you're saving up to get one save for me too will you.