Like worldwide authority and Wilier collaboration partner John Cobb likes to point out, making a bike aerodynamic is more than just ovalizing tubes or trying to integrate components: it’s all about managing airflow.
The Imperiale draws from our Crono TT series technology then benefits from our celebrated road geometry. The combination of the right tubing shapes and directional carbon fiber layup orientations made it possible to reduce frontal area, more effectively directing airflow while ensuring lateral rigidity. The reinforced construction at strategic points along the Imperiale’s tubing, fork and rear triangle have made it possible to attain optimal frame stiffness characteristics while reducing weight.
With the principles of wave form dynamics guiding many aspects of the Imperiale’s design, our award-winning Cento1 (Le Cycle’s 2009 Bike of the Year) influenced considerations that would contribute to ride quality, including an integrated seatmast, which for the Imperiale has an aerodynamic airfoil shape.
The Imperiale also 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, directing airflow around and past the rear wheel maximizing stability and contributing to the bike’s distinctive look. Meanwhile, the outer form of the bottom bracket has been influenced by the latest findings in aerodynamics research: the Imperiale’s chain stays are joined to the underside of the bottom bracket, forming two additional airflow management “splitters”. The chain stays have also been contoured to manage the frame’s final interaction with air as they guide it past the spinning rear wheel.
The head tube is reinforced for strength and, along with the fork crown, is shaped to reduce drag; their combined profile forms a minimalist frontal area.
The unmistakably unique downtube boasts the same innovative air management qualities of our Crono series. Combined with aerodynamic seat and chainstays, the comprehensive design means drastically reduced drag and superior management of airflow.