Founded in 1906 Wilier Triestina is one of the longest standing illustrious bicycle manufacturers. With all that rich Italian heritage Wilier also successfully remain at the forefront of cycling innovation. With a passionate involvement in racing, Wilier Triestina celebrated its 110th year back in 2016. We were fortunate to be in Italy to participate in the celebration, including the launch of the lightest carbon race frame produced for the market, the Zero.6
Zero.6 was initially an exclusive signature release of only 200 complete models with limited palette of matt black and bronze. Not long after, a second release provided riders frame options of matt/bronze, matt/silver, or matt/custom.
The small amount of colour applied to the frame was controlled, making the colour more a highlight than a paint job. This continue Wilier’s aim to make the Zero.6 the weight weeny of the professional bike world.
However, Wilier also claimed that the ability to reduce a frames weight is not a technical feat in itself. Rather, the challenge was to reduce weight while simultaneously preserving Wilier’s long established handling quality. The key ingredient to the Wilier Zero.6 performance? The use of a developed carbon called DIALEAD™ by Mitsubishi Japan, alongside a new construction processes depending on changed temperatures and different pressure during molding.
The Wilier Zero.6 is proof of the cycling adage, "the less there is, the more you have”. Integrated cabling, an updated aerodynamic and integrated fork, alterations to the dropouts uniting the rear triangle as a single monocoque carbon unit, the Zero.6 is as refined and parred as they come.
Technical aspects aside, this frame was always destined to sell out. Aesthetically its a stunning fusion of simple lines and minimal graphic, while hiding the complex processes that created it.
As the weight of the frame is reduced, so too is the weight allowance of the owner. Zero.6 was only produced in sizes XS, S, M or L. This size restriction was an advantage for our client Karen who has very slight measurements and was looking to upgrade to a high performance bike for long term enjoyment.
Karen’s exact brief, “I was looking for a bike that fitted me well, was comfortable, light weight, a nice design and was generally going to be a smooth ride.” While these are seemingly simple needs, we had to cater to Karen’s very petite measurements. The Zero.6 frame set gave answers.
But we didn’t settle for factory chosen components. Instead we looked beyond the obvious to find better fitting solutions specific to Karen’s physical needs.
While a strong regime of pilates allowed her a better range of flexibility and strength, we chose the 3T bars and stem to work with Karens proportions and reach. These components were chosen for their lower weight provided by carbon (hence less chatter to the hands and premium comfort). The 3T were some of the only bars available in carbon in a size 38. The shallow drop was a helpful solution to enable the rider to move and use the drops with ease.
While there are other distinctly different features involved in this build, (the Selle SMP Saddle being one), we also hand built a set of matching H Plus Son Wheels with White Industry Hubs. The ti ratchet was perfect for faster rolling and allowed us to create a performance option Karen hadn’t considered.
“This was the first time that I purchased a custom built bike, I definitely needed some guidance so buying from Chainsmith, a boutique local bike store, where I got personalised attention was great. Ali and David were both amazing! They are both so passionate about what they do, are extremely knowledgeable and they took the time to understand any pain points with my previous bike to ensure that my new bike would be perfect for me. They provided me with various options for all components.”
Overall the only option we would suggest in the future would be a change from alloy to carbon wheels, perhaps to a BOB Deda Elementi SL38C Carbon Clincher that would maintain the matt black minimal aesthetic, further reduce weight and increase speed.
But at the end of the build the most important person requiring exceptional experience isn’t the team at Chainsmith, it’s the rider. On this we can say with certainty that our success is creating a substantial build perfect for the rider’s needs. Karen sums this up, “Riding a customised bike to me is like upgrading a car from a basic model (without any optional extras), to a high end car with personally selected optional extras. I am much more comfortable and faster on my customised built bike.”
Frameset Wilier Tristina Zero.6
Groupset Shimano Ultegra Di2
Wheelset Custom H Plus Son, White Industry Hubs
Components 3T Carbon Stem & Bars, Deda Seatpost
Saddle SMP Glider