By Colin Dennis
Sizes: XS S M L XL
Size tested: L
The lovely Strada road bike from Italian manufacturers Wilier, will appeal to riders who long for the simplicity and ride qualities that steel frames are famed for: comfort, strength, durability, resilience, but above all – passion!
Old ideals and a look that screams Italian vintage, mix well with modern Shimano components on the Wilier Strada. It’s a bike that’s aimed primarily at the commuting, winter training and touring sectors of the British market and at the price advertised, the Strada should sell very well indeed.
With mudguards included and fixing points for a rear carrier, the Strada is not only a functional workhorse, but it’s also a nice bike to look at and indeed, ride. If you’re not in a hurry, the Wilier Strada can offer you, as it did with me on the test ride, an experience some of us rarely get to appreciate – leisure!
The heart of the Strada is clearly the steel frame, made, painted and built in the Far East, the mudguards are an influence directly brought about by British customers - anyone would think it rained here!
The Shimano 8 speed Claris groupset is light in its action, this was especially noticeable when shifting up onto the large 50 tooth chainring. There are only two chainrings to contend with on the Claris cranks and the 34T inner teams up nicely with a HG50 11-30 cassette to firmly put the Claris at the compact end of Shimano’s gearing spectrum.
A one inch FSA Orbit threadless headset pulls the Chromoly steel forks neatly into the frame and provided no issues when it came to smoothness of action on the test ride. Promax components provide the finishing kit, and while the seatpost and handlebars fit well with the look of the Strada I couldn’t help but wish that the stem had a softer, less modern look to it.
Handling was faultless and extremely comfortable on the Strada, the steering setup via the bars and stem works really well. I guess it’s just a question of aesthetics, or me being fussy. Still, at this price, I would certainly have cash left over to buy whatever stem suited my tastes.
I thought that the tie-in between the riveted saddle and bar tape was a nice touch too. The Selle San Marco Era saddle is a no-frills creature, yet the comfort afforded is excellent. This can only be attributed to its classic shape and design as the padding is reassuringly minimal.