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TECH NEWS

Bike at Bedtime: take a look at the Wilier Filante SLR

The latest addition to Wilier's range is an aero road bike that's lightweight and also a bit of a stunner

As well as being lightweight and good-looking, Wilier says that its new high-end Filante SLR has been designed with “real world aerodynamics” in mind, so it’s well worth a gawp at before you go to bed!

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Italy’s Wilier has gone launch crazy over the past couple of years, unveiling the Jena gravel bike, the Zero SLR lightweight road bike, and the Cento1 Hybrid in 2019, the Cento10SL aero road bike last August, and most recently the Filante in November. Fingers crossed, the Filante SLR will arrive here at road.cc for a full review soon.

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The Filante SLR is a disc brake aero road bike that takes electronic groupsets only. Brake hoses and any gear shift wires (SRAM eTap is wireless) are routed internally. Like the Specialized Tarmac SL7, the Trek Emonda, and the Giant TCR Advanced, this is one of the new breed of road bikes that’s designed to be both aero and light, with Wilier claiming weights for the frame and fork at just 870g and 360g, respectively. The combined figure, 1,230g, is just 110g higher than that of the Zero SLR, the lightweight road bike in Wilier’s range.

Wilier has used truncated NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronatics) airfoils as the basis for Filante SLR’s tube profiles, as it has done in the past for the Cento10Pro. The difference, though, is in the cutoff at the rear of the tube.

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Rather than being cut off abruptly, with sharp edges, Wilier has rounded the profile a little in this area. The idea is that in real world conditions – as opposed to the controlled environment of a wind tunnel – this shaping means that the boundary layer (the wind particles closest to the frame) adheres more to the profile than on the Cento10Pro. As the yaw angle (the result of the bike’s direction and speed, and the wind angle and speed) changes, the frame maintains its good aerodynamic characteristics, says Wilier.

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Wilier has also widened the fork legs to reduce turbulence and drag, and the rear triangle is designed to be perfectly hidden by the fork. Despite all this aero talk, Wilier hasn’t published any wind tunnel data for the Filante SLR.

Get all the details on the Wilier Filante SLR, including prices

Wilier says that the Filante SLR is made from HUS-Mod carbon fibre and liquid crystal polymer. When the Zero SLR was launched, Wilier told us that HUS-Mod was a blend of “the highest quality fibres” and that the liquid crystal polymer helped improve the absorption of vibration. The details are hush-hush, we’re told, and can't be shared for commercial reasons.

The Filante SLR follows the recent trend for all brake hoses and shift wires to run internally, with Wilier speccing a monocoque handlebar/stem. The stem section is designed to sit level with the ground to minimise the bike’s frontal area.

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Wilier has previously used a D-shaped fork steerer profile to allow space for hoses/cables to run internally, but the Filante SLR’s fork has a round steerer, which helps with stiffness. It has patented its own bearing design that allows the hoses/wires to pass through. Those bearings are still 1 1/4in – unusual for a bike with fully internal cables – which allows Wilier to keep the head tube reasonably narrow.

2021 Wilier Filante SLR - 7.jpeg

Wilier makes some extremely good looking bikes, and the Filante SLR is another stunner. We just hope the ride is as good. 

https://wilier.com/en

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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