Wilier Filante SLR: A New Top Italian Aero Bike
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Wilier-Triestina has been developing aero bikes for years now. And with each new generation, the Italian brand has impressed us. That’s why we’re excited for the latest top-end aero bike to get the Wilier badge: Filante SLR.
The real world is not full of the clean, turbulence-free air found in a wind tunnel. That’s why the Filante SLR, like many aero bikes, uses NACA airfoils with a truncated kamm tail. But the Filante uses rounded edges, instead of the sharp angles Wilier used in the past on aero platforms, which perform better at a variety of yaw angles. Wind adheres better to this rounded profile than on the sharper tube shapes used in the past, so as the angle of the wind changes, the frame can still maintain its aero characteristics across the range of realistic wind conditions and yaw angles.
Once Wilier settled on the new NACA airfoil tube shapes with softer edges, the brand moved on to the overall design of the bike. At the front end, the fork blades get a super wide stance, 7mm wider than the Cento10Pro, because Wilier determined that the more space there is between the fork blades and the wheel, the less turbulent the air is. This is especially important because this is where the air first meets the bike, making it crucial to the bike’s overall aerodynamics. The rear triangle has also been made similarly wide, but it is hidden to the wind behind the wide stance of the fork.
Other aerodynamic features include an integrated bar-stem as well as fully internal cable routing. But the routing is slightly different this time around. Instead of using a “D” shaped steerer tube to route the cables internally, the Filante fork returns to a round steerer tube, with cables routed inside of the steerer. A new patented super-fine bearing design allows for the cables to run inside the steerer, while maintaining a 1.25-inch diameter, keeping the head-tube profile minimal for enhanced aerodynamics. Additionally, the round shape is stiffer than the previous “D” shape.
Besides being aerodynamically superior, the secondary benefit of the new rounded airfoil tube shapes is weight savings. Made with the same materials as Wilier’s Zero SLR all-around race bike, HUS-MOD unidirectional carbon combined with liquid crystal polymer, the rounded tube shape profiles of the Filante SLR require less carbon to lay up, as well as less resin. In total, the new frame weighs a scant 870 grams, a significant 11 percent lighter than Wilier’s Cento10Pro aero bike—and also just 90 grams more than the Zero SLR. But the high level of stiffness found in the Cento10Pro has not been abandoned. The Filante maintains a similarly stiff ride, and improves upon the stiffness to weight ratio.
Completing the frameset, the fork, which is asymmetric to handle the uneven forces of disc brakes, adds another 360 grams. The Filante integrated stem/handlebar weighs in at 365 grams, about 50 to 60 grams lighter than Wilier’s first integrated stem/handlebar produced in 2016, while being stiffer. And the seat post comes in at 165 grams.
The Filante SLR comes in six frame sizes, XS to XXL, as well as five different stem lengths which are slightly out of the ordinary: 88mm, 101mm, 114mm, 127mm and 140mm. But there is a very good reason for those non-standard stem lengths: fit. Combined with the 35mm of spacers in 5mm increments and the six different frame sizes, there are 240 different fit points available, none of which overlap. And every single point is within 3mm of another. Wilier says this allows every cyclist to find the perfect position on this bike. For an even more dialed fit, the seat post is available in both zero mm setback and 15mm setback versions.
Being a Wiler, the options on the Filante SLR extend to some gorgeous paint jobs as well. There will be three colors available: velvet red, iridescent gray and a matte black.
Builds and Pricing
- Frameset: €5,000
- SRAM Force eTap AXS: €8,300
- SRAM Force eTap AXS w/ power meter: €9,000
- Shimano Ultegra Di2: €7,200 / €8,200 depending on wheels
- SRAM Red eTap AXS: €10,400 / €11,400 depending on wheels
- Shimano Dura-Ace Di2: €9,300 / €10,300 / €11,300 depending on wheels
- Campagnolo Super Record EPS €11,200 / €12,400 depending on wheels