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With cycling in the UK being on the increase thanks to climbing fuel prices and the government’s bike to work scheme the £1000 mark for bikes is getting pretty crowded. What, if anything can the Wilier bring to the party with their Lavaredo?
Looking at the spec sheet not a lot to be honest, but as the old adage goes ‘never judge a book by its cover’ and for this bike it’s never been more apt. The ride is very good, solid and surefooted with very little road buzz thanks to the triple butted aluminium frame. A claimed weight of 4.4lb (2kg) for the frame and fork isn’t bad and builds into a bike weighing 20lb which considering the rrp and the spec isn’t to be sniffed at. You can feel the weight under acceleration but once you’re rolling the pace can be kept up with very little effort. The frame is very stiff, likewise the fork (carbon/alloy steerer) so if you do need to get a move on your effort goes straight to the back wheel.
Considering it's no lightweight it also climbs pretty well, the low gears help keep a steady rythym and once you get to the top it decends like a race bike should. Weld quality is tidy except for around the bottom bracket area which is a shame but the striking paint job does its best to cover it. The Italians do know a thing or two about style and this is where the Lavaredo shines. The thick bright red paint does give a feel good factor especially when the suns out and you do get some admiring glances from fellow riders.
Admittedly Mirage is one of Campag’s low end groupsets but it does perform well and looks more expensive than Shimano’s offerings at a similar spec point. Once you’ve got through the initial agricultural bedding in period both up and down shifts were solid and precise, front and rear. A Miche 10spd 11-25t cassette and Campag Xenon compact 50-34t chainset provide a good spread of gears for almost all instances, it’s good to see the 11t sprocket in there for that village sign sprint. The brakes are Veloce which is nice to see a bike manufacturer upgrading here rather than downgrading as so many do. Odd as it may sound good brakes make you faster, if you can have total faith in your stoppers you can leave braking until the last minute which keeps the average speed up. Campagnolo brakes are the best in my opinion and the Veloce callipers certainly don’t change my mind.
The Miche wheels, while no lightweights, are solid performers and also look flash enough to fit in with the rest of the bike. They stayed true throughout the test period during some pretty rubbish weather and the ongoing pot hole situation. As far as the tyres concerned the Rigida steel beaded are pretty basic stuff and take a lot away from the ride unfortunately. Puncture resistance was 100% though and there was no marks or cuts on the tyre after 900 odd miles. If this was my bike I’d leave these wheels on for the commute but have a lighter set with decent tyres for the weekends and it would totally transform the ride.
Ritchey contact points are always a good start. I personally think they make some of the nicest bars and stems on the market for the money. Aluminium is to be expected but they’re no heavyweights and flex was minimal. The Selle Italia QBIK saddle was very comfortable even though it didn’t look like it was going to be. It was quite stiff with not a lot of give but once I’d become accustomed to it no problems to report.
The Wilier may look like an out and out race bike but that’s not the case, it’s capable of a lot lot more. The Lavaredo is aimed at the bike to work scheme limit of a grand but it will be dismissed by the day in day out commuter due to the lack of provisions for mudguards. As a summer commuter or training bike it ticks all the boxes and due to the low gears will also work on the sportive campaign. it's a bike that makes you want to get out and ride which at the end of the day is what its all about.
Much more than just a pretty race bike, an ideal summer commuter or training machine too
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Make and model: Wilier Triestina Lavaredo
Size tested: n/a
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
Triple butted aluminium frame with carbon/alloy fork
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Wilier would appear to have priced this bike specifically for the bike to work scheme. As I said above, for the year round commuter its too much of a compromise but if you only want to ride in the warm and dry and want a bike to use at the weekends for other events then its worth a look.
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Weld quality didn't look the neatest around the bottom bracket which was a shame as the rest of the frame is a stunner.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
seat tube - 74.5 deg
head tube - 71.5 deg
top tube - 545mm
head tube - 147mm
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
For a medium (54cm) everything is pretty much the norm, nothing had to be tweaked to make it fit
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Ride quality was good, comfortable yet stiff
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
No flex found anywhere even honking out of the saddle
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Let down by the tyres but change these for a race set and your effort will be going straight through to the tarmac
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Pretty neutral
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
To be fair it does everything well without to much asking. the handling has obviously been transferred down from their big money race bikes and no nasty suprises occurred while riding.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
Campag's 10 speed hoods are comfortable for big miles.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
Bars and stem showed no flex at all along with the stiff frame and fork
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
Even Campag's cheap Xenon chainset showed no flex
blunted by the wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
It all works well enough, the shifting gets a lot better once its bedded in after 500 miles or so
heavy but solid performers
stayed true even after whacking a few potholes
their only draw back
Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?
As a set of commuting wheels they worked brilliantly, the tyres were great at shedding off road debris but take so much away from the ride.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
Pretty standard stuff really, nothing to get the pulse racing but solid dependable kit
Did you enjoy riding the bike? yes
Would you consider buying the bike? no, the £1000 price point is pretty crowded
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Possibly
Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?
If you're into the whole Italian thing and willing to pay for the Wilier name you'll be impressed with the Lavaredo. It is a good ride and the frame is brilliant. For me though with the amount of competition at this price point I don't think it has enough to really stand out from the crowd. That aside though the frame is capable of a lot of upgrading so you could always use the parts on something like the Genesis Equilibrium frame and build the Wilier into your weekend steed.
Age: 31 Height: 180cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Schwinn Fastback Pro My best bike is: Dolan Chrono TT Custom
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!