We take a look at the Wilier Twin Blade TT bike
The Wilier Twin Blade is the third in our ongoing series of reports on TT bikes, which so far have included Giant’s Trinity Advanced SL and the Scott Plasma 3.
Time trials require the utmost from the rider, power, speed, concentration and the ability to suffer. Any advantage that can be gained through technology or materials is sought to wring every last watt of power out of a riders performance. Not for nothing is it called the race of truth! This search leads to some amazing looking bikes, even if you never ride a time trial, you can’t help admitting that the bikes look fast.
Using twin ‘blades’ – extensions of the fork legs – creates a way of managing the airflow around the head tube and the rest of the frame. So while most manufacturers are trying to make their bikes as narrow at the front as possible, Wilier seem to be bucking the trend. This is similar to Zipp and their bulbous rim shapes; careful profiling produces a slippery shape when logic says it shouldn’t. These ‘blades’ also help to stiffen up the front end of the bike by a claimed 25%, something that Wilier have tested with professional team riders.
The Wilier Twin Blade uses adjustable vertical rear dropouts rather than the more common horizontal ones. This was something that riders and mechanics from last year’s ProTeam Lampre-ISD wanted. Vertical dropouts make wheel changes a lot easier when under pressure. However, Wilier wanted to keep the option of horizontal dropouts to allow for chain tension adjustments and to keep the wheel positioned as close to the frame as possible. Cleverly they’ve done this by having vertical rear dropouts that slide forwards and backwards by 6mm.
The Twin Blade comes with two stem angle options, one designed for shorter events, which allows a more extreme position and the second which allows a more relaxed position for longer efforts. These options combined with an adapter that allows some handlebar height adjustment and a movable saddle should enable you to fine tune your position…(continued on page 2) >