Wilier Triestina has unveiled the Filante Hybrid, its latest electric road bike.
While the name may conjure up images of a flat bar commuter, the disc-brake equipped Filante Hybrid in fact borrows many of its keys from the Italian marque’s Filante SLR, an out-and-out race bike used by WorldTour team Astana Qazaqstan.
Here ‘hybrid’ refers to the blend of modern road bike design staples such as enhanced aerodynamics and a lightweight carbon frameset with an electric system. In the case of the Filante Hybrid it is the Mahle X20 that Wilier calls “the lightest pedal assist system in the world.”
The Mahle X20 weighs 3.5kg and comprises a rear hub motor and an integrated battery that’s neatly hidden in the frame’s downtube.
The motor delivers 60 Nm of torque and is laced to one of Wilier’s lightweight carbon rims. The driver body can be easily removed from the motor casing according to Wilier, helping with ease of maintenance as well as allowing riders to swap between freehubs to match the choice of cassette.
Wilier designed the Filante Hybrid with the goal of helping riders to “go faster while minimising strain” while at the same time providing “all the sensations of riding a traditional bike.” It believes that the Mahle X20 and accompanying technology is the key to achieving both these aims.
The bike’s bottom bracket features a built-in 'power sensor'. This system reads the power being delivered through the pedals and modulates the assistance accordingly. This, Wilier claims, translates to a “natural pedaling experience with no jerks, sudden accelerations or loss of assistance…even on steep inclines of over 10%.”
Wilier have also developed the Filante Hybrid with a rear thru axle system that automatically connects to the battery, meaning there are no cables or disconnection required when removing the rear wheel. Without testing it’s impossible to know how well this works, but the principle would suggest that's it's as straightforward as using any road bike thru axle.
The electronic system is operated via Mahle’s iWoc interface that’s integrated into the stem, allowing users to select from four power levels - automatic, eco, sport and boost - without having to remove their hands from the tops of the bars. The built-in screen is also designed to make checking battery levels a breeze and allows Wilier to use a similar integrated cockpit that it says “mimics the aerodynamic design of the Filante bar”, featured on the SLR.
The cockpit is also home to a Pulsar One on-board computer, which displays and updates the e-system data as well as letting the rider modify their level of pedal assistance if required. It connects via ANT+ to the X20 system as well as other ‘secondary’ sensors a rider may wish to use, such as cadence, heart rate and external power monitors.
From the images available, Wilier appears to have been successful in making the Filante Hybrid resemble its race bike namesake. As with many of the best electric road bikes battery integration has come on leaps and bounds, with the 250 Wh capacity tucked neatly away on the downtube. There’s also the option of adding an additional 185Wh bottle-shaped battery to the seatpost bottle holder, helping to extend the riding time if required.
The result is, seemingly, an e-road bike that looks like just a regular modern road bike, complete with aero tube profiles and dropped stays. The improvements in battery management and greater integration have led to what Wilier describes as “better aerodynamics, lighter weight and better performance.” All this means that according to the Italian brand the Filante Hybrid delivers an 8% improvement on energy savings when compared to its Cento10 Hybrid electric road bike.
While its styling says ‘race bike’, Wilier is keen to point out that the Filante Hybrid uses endurance geometry, including a high stack and short reach. Given the bike's motor this seems like a sensible decision, assuming that riders who're after electronic assistance probably desire comfort across the entire bike. This is also prioritized in the shape of generous clearances that can take up to a 32mm tyre.
Wilier is offering the Filante Hybrid in six build options: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Shimano Ultegra Di2, SRAM Red AXS and SRAM Force AXS, with both the Force and Ultegra models available with two choices of wheels, either Wilier’s HY-SLR42KC or HY-NDR28AC. Sizes range from XS to XXL.
Naturally all this electronic technology comes at a price. The Ultegra-equipped bikes start at 9,300 euros, while the Force AXS models begin at 9,400 euros. The top-tier Dura-Ace and Red AXS bikes are priced at 12,300 and 12,500 euros respectively.
For more details visit wilier.com
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Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for over twenty years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.
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