Wilier Triestina 101X cross-country bike review

Purebred Italian 29er race bike with solid component mix

29er Cross Country
Key component spec includes a 100mm RockShox Reba fork with a handlebar-mounted remote lockout — something every racer appreciates.

Key component spec includes a 100mm RockShox Reba fork with a handlebar-mounted remote lockout — something every racer can appreciate.

Lowdown: Wilier Triestina 101X

Despite considerable advances in carbon frame design over the past few years, the mountain bike industry’s focus remains on full suspension when it comes to comfort and all-terrain performance. And for good reason. Nothing compares to the smoothness and traction in rough conditions offered by a good 150mm travel mountain bike. But while suspension technology has come a long way, you still can’t beat the climbing efficiency of a hardtail, where there is no compromising power delivery to the pedals. The 101X from Italian boutique builder Wilier Triestina is just such a bike.

Stat Box
Frame: Carbon Monocoque 60TON Bars: Ritchey WCS
Fork: RockShox Reba 100 mm Stem: Ritchey WCS
Reach: 420mm Wheels: Shimano WH-M8000 thru-axle 29er
Wheel size: XS: 27.5, S-XL: 29 Tires: Vittoria AKA 29×2.2″
Headtube angle: 70.5 degrees Sizes: XS-XL
Saddle: Selle San Marco Aspide, open Frame weight: 2.4 pounds size medium
Chainstay length: 437mm Base price: $3450
Crankset: Shimano XT 1×11, 32T, M8000 Price as-tested: $4052
Drivetrain: Shimano XT 1×11 Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 out of 5
Brakes: Shimano XT M8000

Pluses
Minuses
  • Easy to operate lockout
  • Heavy wheelset
  • Stiff and supple
  • No rear suspension limits use
  • Lightweight frame
  • No dropper post
  • Internal cable routing
  • Hard to pronounce!
  • Damped carbon ride feel
  • Beautiful aesthetics
  • Italian heritage
  • Easy tubeless setup
  • Great value

Review: Wilier Triestina 101X

My first ride aboard the Wilier Triestina 101X was an inspiring experience. It was at the Sea Otter Classic earlier this spring, where I was immediately struck by the bike’s bold colorway and beautifully refined aesthetics, virtues you’d expect from an Italian bike maker. It was also super light. The size medium frame weights just 2.4 pounds.

On my first outing, I actually stopped on several occasions to check for a flat tire. My rear kept feeling as it was giving way a bit more than expected, as I was transitioning between raised hard pack and soft, sandy depressions at high speed. This bike was a hardtail after all, but there was no flat tire.

During quick accelerations on the paved access road, the bike behaved just as a performance hardtail should. Power transition was solid and direct. That efficiency, paired with the lightness of the frame, had me excited to hit actual trail. I couldn’t wait to feel the powerful surge of speed that you just don’t get on most dual-suspension bikes.

The tough Sea Otter Cat 1 XC race featured 4000 feet of climbing over 28 miles — and some ripping fast descents.

The tough Sea Otter Cat 1 XC race featured 4000 feet of climbing over 28 miles — and some ripping fast descents.

In tight, fast corners the bike felt nimble and limitless in its responsiveness. Snapping back and forth between the tight brushy corners, my course preview was so enjoyable I thought I might win my first XC race of the season.

The 29” wheels rolled supremely, without any recognizable drawbacks in agility. Repeated accelerations were a bit tiresome come race day and eventually felt a bit lagging at times. But I attribute that to the heaviest and most critical component to a bike’s performance, the wheelset.

A day later, after a tough Sea Otter Cat 1 XC race with 4000 feet of climbing over 28 miles, I had the satisfaction of knowing that my limitations were not attributable to my choice of bike. Instead, the 101X’s stout frame and clever features let me focus on the race — not the fact that I was on a new-to-me bike.

Continue to page 2 for more of our Wilier Triestina 101X cross-country bike review »

About the author: Dillon Caldwell

Dillon Caldwell is a native of Bend, Oregon with a big heart for the sport of cycling. He grew up to be a successful junior cross-country racer but got hooked on road racing during his time at the University of Oregon, where he ran the school's club cycling team for several years. He now spends the majority of his time as a road racer for both the Audi and the Canyon Bicycles - Shimano racing teams on the regional and the national scales, respectively. On the side, he is a mountain bike tour guide for Cog Wild, a cycling coach for Wenzel Coaching, a member of the board of directors for the Tour des Chutes cancer charity, and a passionate writer.


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