With the Filante SLR Astana-Premier Tech Team Edition, Wilier send a real WorldTour machine into the race. Does it have an advantage over the four other fastest race bikes of the 2021 season with its wheel upgrade, tubular tires and CeramicSpeed components? Find out here.
Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best race bike of 2021 – 5 high-end models on test
Admittedly, the Wilier Filante SLR Astana-Premier Tech Team Edition is a bit beyond the scope of this group test, because you can’t buy it off the rack as you see it here. But we don’t think that’s a bad thing – when do you ever get to experience a real pro bike in person? In this spec, with the large chainrings, carbon wheels with only 12 spokes per wheel and the big CeramicSpeed jockey wheels, the bike looks awe-inspiring. Without the fitness of a pro, you hardly dare to get on it. To get one for yourself, you’d have to swap the wheels of the standard build for Corima 47 MCC WS+. However, we would save ourselves this expense. Without a support car, the advantages of tubular tires don’t outweigh their disadvantages in the event of a puncture. For our test bike, Wilier use a Shimano DURA-ACE Di2 groupset with 53/39 t chainrings and an 11–30 t cassette. This may be the right choice for racing, but for us and many of you, the gears are quickly too hard as soon as the going goes up. Shifting performance is first-class and perhaps even a bit faster and crisper than the competition from SRAM. There’s no power meter fitted to the Wilier, which is annoying for a bike of this calibre.
Buy yourself the white jersey of the best young professional of the Giro d’Italia at Bobshop, jump on this machine and feel like Alexander Vlasov – if only we had his legs …
Wilier Filante SLR Astana-Premier Tech Team Edition 2021
Seatpost Wilier Filante Custom Made 15 mm
Brakes Shimano DURA-ACE BR-R9170 160/140 mm
Drivetrain Shimano DURA-ACE Di2 R9170 2 x 11
Stem Wilier Filante Bar Integrated 100 mm
Handlebar Wilier Filante Bar Integrated 420 mm
Wheelset Corima 47 MCC WS+
Tires tires 25 mm
Size XS S M L XL XXL
Weight 6.70 kg
asymmetric fork and rear end
Corima wheelset with tubular tires
CeramicSpeed jockey wheels
CeramicSpeed bottom bracket
The Filante SLR comes with a 160 mm front and a 140 mm rear rotor. The brakes have good bite, can be modulated well, but aren’t quite as snappy as the SRAM RED HRD brakes. The 140 mm rear disc can only be recommended for flyweights and we’d rather see a 160 mm item. The unique selling point of the bike in this test is its tubular tires. It rolls on Corima 47 MCC WS+ wheels, which contribute little to the bike’s comfort, which in turn are fitted with 700 x 28C Vittoria Corsa tubulars. These measure only 25 mm wide but still provide good vibration damping and raise the overall comfort of the Wilier to an average level. The tubular tires provide that indescribable ride feel but are rather impractical for everyday use. Who wants to carry a spare tire or sealant around all the time? At 6.7 kg in size L, our test bike is under the UCI limit, the lightest bike in the test and costs € 14,500 with the wheel upgrade.
|Seat tube||450 mm||480 mm||500 mm||520 mm||540 mm||560 mm|
|Top tube||515 mm||530 mm||543 mm||556 mm||570 mm||583 mm|
|Head tube||104 mm||119 mm||135 mm||154 mm||166 mm||181 mm|
|Chainstays||407 mm||407 mm||408 mm||410 mm||411 mm||411 mm|
|Wheelbasre||981 mm||984 mm||990 mm||997 mm||1,002 mm||1,006 mm|
|Reach||380 mm||384 mm||388 mm||391 mm||395 mm||399 mm|
|Stack||505 mm||521 mm||538 mm||555 mm||571 mm||587 mm|
We were curious about the Wilier Filante SLR Astana-Premier Tech Team Edition like no other bike in the test. How would this genuine WorldTour machine fare against off-the-peg race bikes? To sum it up: there is light and there is shade. Despite its low weight, it can’t quite keep up with the two fastest bikes uphill. The heavy gearing leads to a very low cadence on steep climbs at 250 W, reducing pedalling efficiency and leading to muscle fatigue quite quickly. The Wilier would perform much better uphill with an easier gear ratio. However, its greater weakness lies in its efficiency on flat and undulating terrain, which isn’t bad but can’t match the level of the Tarmac SL7.
After accelerating extremely willingly in every situation and constantly demanding speed, the Filante needs a little more input from the legs to maintain it. This is where the bike loses most of its time, which it cannot make up even as the fastest bike on the descents. It’s particularly fun there thanks to the handling of the tubular tires in corners. The Wilier covered the virtual 150 km test loop and almost 2,000 metres of climbing with an average speed of 25.8 km/h and needed 5 h 48 m 05 s to cover it. In terms of precision, the bike is at the top level but responds to steering input very directly. This comes at the expense of straight-line stability and can feel nervous, especially for newcomers.
Tuning tips: wheel and tire combination that is more suited to everyday use – preferably not tubulars | 160 mm rear brake disc for more control | fit a power meter
In this build, the Wilier Filante SLR Astana-Premier Tech Team Edition shows that WorldTour bikes are made for WorldTour riders. If you aren’t blessed with the legs, cardio and handling skills of a pro, you will be overwhelmed by the big gears and pointy handling and end up riding inefficiently. We’ll go to training camps for a few years, then get back on this impressive bike and make full use of its potential.
- tubular tires provide that special riding feeling
- CeramicSpeed as far as the eye can see
- good vibration damping
- light-footed acceleration from any situation
- tubular tires not particularly practical without a support car
- tends towards nervous steering
- no power meter
You can find out more about at wilier.com
The test field
Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best race bike of 2021 – 5 high-end models on test
All bikes in test: BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE (Click for review) | SCOTT Addict RC Pro (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 (Click for review) | Trek Émonda SLR 9 eTap (Click for review) | Wilier Filante SLR Astana-Premier Tech Team Edition
This is where you eat up the miles, setting a quick pace for a long time. Anything that is pan flat or includes short punchy climbs or slightly longer ones, albeit with limited elevation gain, falls into this category. If you want to be fast here, you need a bike that offers excellent aerodynamics and maximum efficiency – from 15 km/h on level ground, air resistance is the greatest force a cyclist needs to overcome. On the other hand, weight is comparatively insignificant, with no need to constantly change speed or fight earth’s gravity. However, the most aerodynamic package is no use if the rider ruins everything – after all, they are responsible for 75 % of the total drag on a bike. To blossom fully in this terrain, a bike needs to do well when it comes to ergonomics and comfort so that the rider can maintain a low and aerodynamic riding position for a long time. On top of aerodynamics, rolling resistance, comfort and smoothness play a key role. Thus, tire dimensions and pressure should be adjusted to suit the surface for maximum speed. A nervous bike will tire you out faster, because it requires constant work to hold your line.↩
The steeper the hill, the more significant weight becomes. That’s because as your speed drops on ever steeper climbs, air resistance decreases too, meaning that gravity becomes an ever-larger proportion of the force acting against your progress. Stiffness in the right places, together with a sensibly chosen gear ratio, ensure maximum climbing efficiency. A good climbing bike delivers low weight and gearing that lets you maintain a smooth and comfortable cadence. However, it also takes aerodynamics into account, given that there’s usually a descent after every mountain – what good is the best time on the mountain if your whole advantage is wiped out by poor aerodynamics on the downhill?↩
Descending a mountain quickly is possibly the most demanding task for both rider and bike. The steeper and more winding the descent, the greater the handling skills of the rider need to be and the larger the demands on the bike itself. A good downhill bike combines aerodynamics with balanced handling. It should be agile and yet offer sufficient security to master fast changes of direction and stay safely on track at high speeds. It needs to deliver the highest precision to hit your chosen line exactly and steer quickly without excessive input required. If you ride fast, you need good anchors too: powerful brakes that are easy to modulate are fundamental on every good downhill bike. To put that braking power on the ground, tires with good grip are needed and they’re just as indispensable for fast cornering. In addition to the tires, the frame itself helps generate grip through corners. If it’s stiff as a board, it can’t build up much grip before being shaken up by the smallest bumps. An appropriate amount of flex ensures optimum grip in bends, but it’s a narrow margin before the bike simply becomes spongy and imprecise.↩
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of GRAN FONDO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words: Photos: Valentin Rühl