Last week my new Wilier Cento 1 SR arrived. I had ordered it in June so if anyone wants to complain about having to wait all I can say is that you haven’t waited as long as me. Whilst the market is grossly oversupplied the really good stuff is always scarce. It might have been slow to arrive but it is quick. It is very quick. It is not a sportive bike (but it will get you gold). It’s fast, responsive and you certainly feel the road. It’s like a works prepared Impreza WRCS that cannot idle below 4,000. It exudes excitement. I demands to be ridden hard and I love it.

Tricolore top tube

Tricolore top tube

It presents me with a problem. I’m trying to chill out and ease up for a month or two so as to be able to ramp it up again for next summer. I have resorted to tricking myself into riding slower by making my rides more social. I’m stopping. I chat. I have a coffee. I’ve even stopped for a beer. All to keep me from slipping into that speed induce stupor that I enjoy so much. 

I ride to keep fit with the added bonus of some excitement either through speed or the mastery of technique. But there’s another side. I have to ride. As soon as I sit on my bike and push on the pedals a chemical is released and a euphoric sensation surges through me and I need to ride as fast as I can. This presents some problems. I’m getting on, my heart, my lungs and my muscles are all doing fine but there’s more to the body than just the engine. There are the engine mountings, the suspension and the gear box. Mine are all worn out and in need of a rest. I could ride slower but that is easier said than done. It’s an addiction. It’s not so much the speed but the physiological sensation related to driving my body to achieve that speed that I like so much. The new Wilier is not going to help much.

2016 Wilier Cento Uno SR

West Sussex lanes are getting more popular but or still quiet

West Sussex lanes are getting more popular but still quiet

I’ve ridden the Cento 1 SR twice now, once on the Tuesday Thrash and on Sunday. My old Cento Uno was as good as I thought I needed but things move on and the latest Cento is in another league. Stamp on the pedals and the acceleration is stunning. I specified narrower bars (42cm) than my old bike. It has a conventional seat post so anyone can have a go on it. The transmission and brakes are Campagnolo Record and the wheels are Campagnolo Shamal Mille. I asked for a 52/36 chainset and an 12/27 cassette which is enough to get me up any hills but not down them – keep running out of gears!

Positives: The brakes are incredible, one finger braking like a mountain bike. I love the hoods and the shape of the FSA Energy bars. I have always been very quick freewheeling but the ceramic bearings have added even more speed. I ordered the bike with a 120mm stem but it came with a 130mm. The handle bars are so much shorter that the reach is perfect.

Negatives: A stiff aero seat post is a bit old school as most designers today offer some seatpost flex and 23mm tyres? What’s that all about? 25s are faster! The bar tape was hard so I put on some Prologo One Tuch Gel tape – comfy!

Thank you to Wilier Triestina for the kit... I just had to buy the bike to match it

Thank you to Wilier Triestina for the kit… I just had to buy the bike to match it

It rides like a dream, is very responsive and looks gorgeous. It just wants to go fast. Cornering, like the old one, is sublime. It is stiff but as I can ride a cross bike and have ridden the South Downs Way fast; riding a stiff bike on the road is certainly not an issue. I’ll probably go for comfort when I get older. I ought to mention the graphics, I chose the Tricolore option (Itailan flag top tube). It matches the kit!

A more in depth review with detailed pictures will follow.

Here’s the ride. Blustery but very warm. I saw more riders and groups of riders than I have ever seen before despite setting out a 7:30. The cycle tsunami is reaching the shores of West Sussex. We can rejoice but West Sussex County Council better pull its finger out otherwise there could be chaos.