Wilier Triestina Leverages Aero Expertise with New Road Model
Atlanta, GA (Summer/Fall 2009) – The Wilier Triestina 2010 Imperiale represents another milestone in the company’s design innovations, as well as its expertise in the field of airflow management. The sculpted lines of both frame and fork bear witness of the growing emphasis on aerodynamics in road bike development, and the company continues to take full advantage of ongoing advances in carbon composites and manufacturing processes.
Internationally acclaimed aerodynamics expert and trusted partner in the Imperiale project, John Cobb, likes to point out that making a bike aerodynamic requires more thought and research than simply ovalizing tubes or attempting to “hide” or integrate components. “It’s all about managing airflow,” explains Cobb. “If you try beat or cheat the air, you’ve already lost the battle.”
As designer of Wilier’s groundbreaking 2008/2009 Cento Crono, and the new Cento1 Crono and Tri Crono TT bikes, the company once again sought Cobb’s advice on three areas that drastically influence air’s behavior, especially in crosswinds: “Wilier asked me to provide input toward the design of the Imperiale’s head tube, down tube and seat cluster,” specified Cobb. “These are three key areas that represent ‘opportunities’ for a bike to direct airflow in an efficient manner past wheels, the rider and the rest of the bike.”
The rear triangle, integrated airfoil seatmast and conjoining of the bottom bracket and chainstays were researched, developed and tested by Wilier’s product development and engineering staff, drawing heavily from experience in the development of both the company’s award-winning Cento1 road model and its Crono TT series. Angelo Cilli, Founder and President of Wilier Triestina USA, said, “We had all sorts aerodynamics research to draw from and are also working with the best carbon fiber in the world. Our customers and resellers always talk about how it must ‘ride like a Wilier,’ so it had to ride like the best road bike – responsive, lightweight and strong. The challenge was designing an aero road bike that wouldn’t sacrifice those three things, which have made us successful. I think we’ve definitely achieved that.”
Wilier engineers explained that honing in on the right combination of tubing shapes, structural orientation of tubing and directional carbon fiber layups made it possible to reduce frontal area, more optimally direct airflow and ensure lateral rigidity. The reinforced construction at strategic points along the Imperiale’s tubing, fork and rear triangle have made it possible to attain desired frame stiffness and aerodynamics while keeping the frame lightweight and responsive.
The Imperiale boasts the same bottom bracket design concept as the Cento1: reinforced, oversize dimensions and fuller integration of prominent industry standard cranksets. The seat stays are joined at the aerodynamic seat tube that directs airflow around and past the rear wheel, maximizing stability and contributing to the bike’s distinctive look.
In the US, the Imperiale frameset will cost $2,899. A complete Imperiale with Ultegra build kit – Ultegra 6700, Fulcrum R5 wheelset and Ritchey Pro bar/stem – is priced at $3,899. It will be available in both color options: Carbon/Red and White/Silver. The company is anticipating broad availability in early November, 2009.
To learn more about the technology and design of the Imperiale, please go to the new microsite: http://imperiale.wilier.it.
For more information on all of our bikes or to request our 2010 catalog, please visit www.wilier-usa.com.