Wilier releases new GTR endurance race bike range

New bike family extends the reach of Wilier’s GTR range to 11 models

From a single bike, the new GTR expands into a family of four frames: the GTR SL, GTR Team, GTR Disc and GTR (which uses the previous generation of the frame).

Wilier’s bikes have been piloted to many famous victories by the stars of cycle racing and the new GTR family extends that heritage into a range of eleven carbon framed bikes with internal cable routing, which retain many of the brand’s race bred characteristics.

Increasingly, manufacturers are targeting the endurance race sector – bikes with more comfort features than a pure race frameset, but with a more sporting ride than a pure endurance bike such as the Specialized Roubaix.

Overbuilt headtube and neat fork junction on the GTR

Overbuilt headtube and neat fork junction on the GTR

Wilier sets great importance on the strength of the headtube and its junctions to ensure good handling and the new GTR frame is built for strength in this area.

It is also closely interfaced to the fork, to ensure robustness and a streamlined look. Although Wilier stresses that this is not an aero bike the fork itself and some of the tube profiles have a kammtail profile.

Chainstays, dropouts and seat stays are moulded as a single piece

Chainstays, dropouts and seat stays are moulded as a single piece

There are thick, asymmetric chainstays to ensure power transfer, but Wilier has not followed the trend for ever-thinner seatstays, with a substantial build, particularly above the brake bridge.

The seatstays, chainstays and dropouts are made as a single carbon fibre structure and there is clearance to take 28mm tyres.

Wide tube junctions at the BB8

Wide tube junctions at the BB86 bottom bracket

The bottom bracket uses a wide BB86, which is compatible with groupsets from all the major manufacturers. There is a sloping top tube so that there is significant seatpost extension and Wilier uses a 27.2mm carbon seatpost to improve rider comfort.

The GTR range

The new GTR Race SL uses high modulus carbon and has a claimed frame weight of 990g. The flagship model will be available with a Campagnolo Chorus groupset and Zonda wheels for £2999. For £2399, the Ultegra spec SL comes with Mavic Aksium Elite wheels.

Next down is the GTR Race Team. This uses a mix of lower modulus carbon, resulting in a higher frame weight of 1190 grams. The Ultegra speced bike is priced at £1899.

>>> Review of the 2015 GTR Athena

Alongside the Race models, there is a parallel Endurance geometry with a slightly shorter reach and higher stack. The wheelbase increases by 5mm and the frame angles and fork rake are also different from the Race geometry.

The GTR Endurance range tops out with the GTR SL Endurance Dura-Ace build with Mavic Ksyrium wheels for £2999.

The GTR Team Endurance equipped with Campagnolo Athena groupset and Zonda wheels is available for £1999. There is also a 105 build of the GTR Team Endurance with Mavic Aksium wheels priced at £1649.

Flatmount Shimano brakes and 15mm thru axle on the GTR Endurance Disc

Flat mount Shimano brake and 15mm rear thru axle on the GTR Endurance Disc

As well as the rim braked GTR range, Wilier has also launched a disc braked model. For £2699 this comes with an Ultegra mechanical groupset and the flat mount version of Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes.

The 105 spec at £2399 comes with 105 hydraulic flat mount discs. The GTR Disc comes with 12mm thru axles.

>>> Review of the 2015 GTS Disc

And below all this lot sits the classic GTR – an update of the older GTR model – available for £1349 with a Campagnolo Veloce groupset and Miche wheels or for £1299 with Shimano Tiagra groupset and R501 wheels.

To complete the range there’s a ladies’ version of the Tiagra build called the Luna Carbon Tiagra.

Riding the new GTR

We travelled to Italy to test ride the new GTR in the challenging terrain of the Dolomites. Our test bike was the top spec GTR SL Race equipped with Campagnolo Chorus semi-compact 52/36 groupset, 11-29 cassette and Zonda wheels.

Semi-compact gearing on the test bike was a little high for long climbs

Semi-compact gearing on the test bike was a little high for long climbs

We were impressed by the bike’s bottom bracket stiffness on tough climbs of an hour plus, where there was no feeling of wasted effort from frame flex.

On fast descents with long straights and tight hairpins, the bike’s handling was superb, with good tracking through the corners, no doubt facilitated by the substantial headtube and tapered steerer.

Those long climbs were tackled almost exclusively in the bike’s bottom ratio of 36-29. At 32.6 gear-inches this is slightly higher than a 34-28 set-up.

Although this would probably be adequate in most situations in the UK, there were times in the Dolomites when we missed the get-out option that a compact groupset would provide.

For the UK market, Wilier has specced Shimano equipped models with a mid-cage GS rear mech, which means that a cassette with a 32 tooth lowest gear can be fitted without any further changes.