Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wilier Imperiale, and Carbon Manipulation

Wilier has re-introduced the "Imperiale" model to their line-up, sliding it beneath the Cento1. First introduced in 2003 it was quite a popular bike choice in Italy.

The design of the new Imperiale reflects the ongoing trend of carbon manipulation to increase performance and aerodynamics. The De Rosa "Tango" jumped to the head of the line a few years ago in this regard but it was too much for the marketplace. The Imperiale has these multi-shaped carbon elements:
- head tube nose-cone
- tube shaping in the lower fork blades and chainstays
- seatstays are wrapped around the top tube to create a shroud
- shaped down tube and seat tube
- integrated seatpost mast

What are your thoughts about these types of highly manipulated carbon designs?

Wilier USA will offer the Imperiale frameset for $2,899; with a Shimano Ultegra 6700 gruppo, Fulcrum R5 wheelset and Ritchey Pro bars and stem for $3,899.

Wilier has created a mini-site just for this model:

Photos: Wilier Imperiale; last photo: De Rosa Tango c. 2005

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  1. They seem functionally justifiable but a little grotesque in appearance. I wouldn't describe those as clean lines. But then, I'm older, a younger eye might see them differently.

  2. +1 on grotesque. Sheesh, it's just a bicycle.

  3. I am in with Ned, when I first saw the Tango on the road I felt it was "trying to hard" Now looking at the Wilier I feel a little more accepting of these concepts.

  4. I am not certain that I could ride either of those bikes. The Tango is, simply, hideous. And this coming froma De Rosa fanatic.

    Great blog, by the way!

  5. Until you see the Imperiale in person, do not judge the looks or design. It is much nicer in person. The seat tube shroud created by the stays is much less bulky than it appears in photos. I'm ordering one to replace my Cervelo R3 frame. Of course I'm keeping my Campy Chorus for this Italian beauty!