This week I took delivery of the new TT frameset by Wilier, the Twin Foil or Twin Blade as it will now be known.
I had been searching for a new TT specific frameset to deliver the goods for my World UCI Masters campaign set to take place in August. This is what I chose above all else. The paintwork on this is outstanding and the luminous orange front end is only appreciated in real life, you simply cannot see it in any pictures.
I read all the reviews, specifications and reports and considered a lot of opposition before making my decision. It’s a revolutionary design and takes all preconceived ideas about reducing the frontal area and throws them away, instead it has two massive front forks that reach all the way up and actually integrate into the stem to form it’s unique trump card, the twin blades of the fork. The new idea here is to channel the wind in and out of the head tube area and away from the riders legs, the biggest turbulent moving mass on a TT bike, and create a stable route for airflow and thus reducing drag. I’ll see that for myself and review my finding in a short while but today I will focus on the build. This is a rare superbike and I love to be unique and embrace new technology.
The frameset comes complete with fork, integrated stem arrangement, seatpost, headset, BB and front and rear brakes. Both brakes are cantilever and are completely hidden from the wind aside from the front brake cable, which makes a short junction from the bars to the cable routing externally. The total weight for all supplied items standard is 3.14kg
I started by fitting the handlebars, extensions and the front and rear derailers which simply bolt on. The stem is wide, so wide that most standard fully integrated TT bars will not fit as a standard oversize arrangement bars have a clamping width of around 55mm between the extensions. The external width of the Wilier stem requires at least 70mm of available real estate and it most likely found with a basebar and clip on setup that you can adjust to fit. For this I chose the Zipp VukaBull basebar and Vukaclip system with Chicane extensions. They yield a light weight setup with a big adjustment range and are very comfortable. These are the same bars I won the Msunduzi TT on so I know I like them. I cut the brake ends a little to get a comfortable grip and trimmed the extensions to my required length, about 290mm.
I then routed the rear brake housing. The BB area has an aero cover that hides all the cabling from wind and is easily removable with one small screw. The rear brake housing is continuous and slides through the bars and into the rear of the headstock, then down the downtube and out in front of the BB. It interfaces directly into the brake jointing and is easy to fit together and adjust. I changed out the stock brake pads for the Swissstop yellow pads I use for carbon and alu rims at the same time as running the brakes and aligned the pads with my disk fitted. The dropout system allows you to fine tune your wheel angle, and was a big selling factor to me. My disk is dished to the left and rubs in most frames, but not here. The generous stays and range of adjustment means all wide aero rims and disks are easily accommodated. Over to the front brake and matters were even simpler, external routing that runs closely next to the left fork blade and seamlessy meant it was done in no time.
Onto the shifters: The routing of the VukaClip system runs into the chicane and exits just behind the extension clamp nut via two slanted exits. I ran the cabling through these on both but it formed quite aggressive bends in the shift housing as the cables had to exit low, then swing up around the base bar and over again to loop down into the stem, again with fully internal routing and continuous cables until the BB area terminates them for you into the guide that splits the cabling for front and rear. You have to go fish a little inside the down tube to get the housings to pop out but it’s not difficult as the aperture is wide enough to be usable without frustration. The rear then goes straight through the frame without housing and pops out the back of the chainstay without any effort to be routed into the rear derailer. After initial setup I wasn’t happy with the drag on the cable at the rear and re-routed the rear derailer up front to try eliminate some stiction. I blamed the Vuka in-out system and ran the rear externally all the way up the extension neatly to smooth out the housing bends, it worked and the shifting seems a good deal easier on the lever. The front derailer wasn’t affected as much and since I will rarely use it I left it routed internally and away from the wind.
The saddle rails were easy to set, both in tilt and fore aft position and there is a huge range of adjustment. I slammed the saddle up to the 50mm behind BB limited and set my saddle height with a little downward nose tilt. I’m sure I’ll make fine adjustments when I ride it. The clamping setup looks very “Ritchey” and I’m pretty sure the carbon rail conversion they offer will fit here too.
The last hurdle was to refit the Aero BB cover and fit the cranks. The Wilier uses a BB94 system, essentially a fully internal GXP version much like BB30. The smaller GXP sized bearings are pressed in and will only accommodate a 24mm crank spindle as found on a Shimano crankset or Sram GXP and Campy systems but you must fit each manufacturers BB spacer and plastic caps that Wilier produce to convert for each type specifically. I use SRAM and it required a SRAM adapter kit and S900 crankset with GXP arms to bolt in my Quarq (currently using the S975 BB30 Arms) The S900/975 comes apart at the spindle and this system allows me to have both sizes for my different bikes BB requirements, you just need a spare set of crank arms.
One fortunate coincidence is that there is a lot of room left between the clip ons and a fair amount of usable stem area in the centre of the base bar, perfect to simply mount my Garmin with supplied elastics and twist in the head unit for a superb aero position without the need for messing around with after-market or home made forward mounting jobs. Plus it cleans up the centre air flow and hides the cable entries in the stem behind. Win Win.
The drop is way more aggressive than my previous TT setup and I’m a little afraid for my lower back and neck, but it will surely yield a superbly aero TT position for my short course efforts. I’ll be able to get pretty horizontal and save even more watts.
Look out for a follow up review on my initial ride impression and long term review.
Wilier Twin Foil Frameset, Fork and TRP Brakes
Zipp Vuka Bull Base Bar and Vuka Clip System with Chicane Extensions
Sram Red R2C Shifters, Front and Rear Derailers, TT900 carbon Brake levers
Sram S900 Crankarms for Quarq Cinqo Spider – Sram 54/42 Blades (Not Shown)
Look Keo Carbon Pedals
Specialized Toupe Team saddle
PRO Shimano Prototype Disk Rear Wheel, ZIPP 404 Firecrest Front with Sram Red 11/23 Cassette, Vredestein Fortezza Tubulars.
Garmin Edge 800 Head Unit
Complete build weight 8.54kg