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Wilier launches the new GTR

Wilier GTR SL Race Chorus front
Sam Challis
8 Jul 2015

The Wilier GTR is a popular endurance platform but it has been taken back to the drawing board.

With typical Italian romanticism, Wilier doesn’t do stats. After attending the launch of its 2016 range, occasions where numerical comparisons or percentages were used could be counted on one hand. Everything is either more, or less. More comfort, less weight. Higher stiffness, lower cost. This refreshingly old-fashioned attitude was most apparent when Wilier introduced its redesigned GTR. Gone are the distinctive ‘sharp-edge design’ tube profiles of previous iterations; the frame has had a geometrical overhaul. Where some brands would see this as a prime opportunity to bamboozle consumers with stats, Wilier explains the logic behind the change and its effects, gained from real-world feedback. In Cyclist’s humble opinion this is both more helpful, and more credible, than quoting obscure percentage changes.

Wilier GTR SL Race Chorus back

Marco Genovese, Wilier’s Head of Design, explains that Wilier saw an opportunity to optimise the GTR’s design. To keep this particular platform current, it reassigned emphasis on aerodynamics, comfort and ease of production, for value. ‘To make a bike aerodynamic you have to use a foil design, a water droplet shape. If you want to increase stiffness, you have to make tube profiles rounder. If you want to produce a lot of frames and reduce the price you have to make a smoother, less complicated surface. These are the reasons behind the GTR frame redesign. If you check the shape of the GTR SL’s down tube, you see that the underside is a subtle foil shape, and on the top it seems like a kamm-tail, but it is actually rounder. We have combined two tube profiles to give both aero benefits and lateral stiffness.’

The down tube isn’t the only place where aerodynamic alterations have been made. More efficient use of carbon has allowed the fork profile to be stretched into an aerofoil without changing its weight drastically. The fork also now integrates into a sturdy head tube. Kevin Izzard, of ATB Sales Ltd, Wilier’s UK distributor, explains that due to Wilier’s racing heritage the head tube will never be compromised in the name of weight saving. ‘Wilier place paramount importance on handling and cornering confidence, which necessitates solid architecture in the front end.’

Wilier GTR SL Race Chorus side

With the front end promising aero gains and composed handling, Wilier has redesigned the SL’s rear with comfort top of the list. ‘The seat stays have been lowered dramatically.’ says Genovese. ‘This allows the back end to better absorb vibration by creating a pivot about which the seat tube can flex. You don’t see flexion as such but you feel the dampening effect it has on vibration. If you put the seat tube and top tube junction together, the transmission of vibration is higher. We didn’t make them any lower than we have because the seat tube is not thick enough to remain stiff. We would have had to add more carbon to the tube which would unnecessarily increase weight, so we tried to find the ideal compromise to satisfy both stiffness and comfort.’

The new GTR comes in two models, the SL and Team. The distinction relates to the type of carbon fibre used, resulting in the SL being approximately 200g lighter. An endurance version, the GTS, has the same technical features as the GTR but has a 10mm higher head tube, for a more relaxed riding position. Several specifications are available depending on cost.

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