The Wilier Izoard XP is deceptively similar to the Cento1 at a glance, perhaps close enough even to fool the learned observer. So should the Izoard XP make Cento1 owners a bit jealous? If you look at the price tag, it might. Where the ProTour-proven Cento1 commands a premium, the Izoard XP is specifically aimed at the racer on a budget. Though the paint scheme is simpler than the Cento1, the Izoard XP still carries itself with obvious Italian flair. And for a frame whose foremost intent is to deliver maximum performance-per-dollar, the fact that it's this gorgeous is a delightful bonus. Like the Cento1, the Izoard XP is built with full carbon monocoque construction. It's made exclusively from Toray carbon. In this case, T-700SC (medium modulus/stiffness) and M30J (high modulus/stiffness) fibers makes up the bulk of the laminate. In the typical calculus of carbon fiber, the stiffness and tensile properties of the highest grades (such as the 46 Ton carbon in the Cento1) allows frame manufacturers to use less material to achieve requisite rigidity and strength. By using T-700SC and M30J in the Izoard XP, Wilier is sacrificing nothing in terms of its ride quality and durability. Rather, they just use more material to achieve it, and this adds a few grams. The lower modulus carbon fiber is also significantly less expensive. Considering the beauty and the race-worthiness of the Izoard XP, the value is easy to see.Is there a better road racing frameset priced below $2,000? We can think of one or two that look equally stunning, but lack in the stiffness and lightness of the Izoard. And we can think of one or two that provide equal performance, but in comparison look like a dog. In this price range, the Izoard XP shines beyond all options. Its patented molding process and the carefully-thought-out wall thicknesses and carbon layup choices befit a frameset with a heftier price tag.One other note about the Izoard XP: It's named after the Col d'Izoard, arguably the most legendary pass in the French Alps. More so than in any other place, it's where Marco Pantani turned himself into a bike racing immortal (racing, no less, on a Wilier frameset). For all the technology behind the Izoard XP, its name reminds of the gigantic heritage of the Wilier brand.The Wilier Izoard XP is available in Red and Yellow and comes in six sizes from X-Small to XX-Large. It requires the use of a 31.6mm seatpost, a 34.9mm clamp-on front derailleur, and an English bottom bracket. Like any bike with a sloping top tube, we suggest that you focus on the effective top tube length in determining the correct frame size. It comes standard with a Wilier Monocoque carbon fork with an aluminum steerer.
A buddy of mine picked this bike up with a Rival build for something around $2k. It came with pretty poor wheels, but other than that it should ride at least a little bit similarly to my Cervelo R3, no? No. Not even close. In fact, it rides worse than my aluminum clunker. I've never experienced a more lifeless, dull, lacking-fun ride and I've ridden in some miserable conditions. I ride and race about 10 hours a week so I love me some miles, but I actually just wanted this ride to stop. The bike actually felt like it wanted to go slower at all times. Maybe he got a dud somehow? I can't explain how the Izoard XP even garners average reviews.
If you're looking to somewhat deep into cycling (you're not shopping for hybrids at the same time), do yourself a favor and pick up something used (like I did with my Cervelo). $2k on a new bike versus $2k on a used bike? They're worlds apart.
Bike Setup: Rival, Dura Ace Pedals, Mavic Aksium Race wheels.
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2013
Strengths: 2012 model, Compliant as many have said before for me easy geometry is very comfortable for the longer rides.
I only ride for my own pleasure never a racer so I could imagine it might not be stiff enough for the hardcore.
But that is not why I bought this bike. Its well mannered. stable and feels quick...It is my mistress.
Weaknesses: external cables maybe, won't stay clean...(Not the bikes fault)
Mine is a little upgraded with sub 1500 gram DT swiss rims and tubeless. Changed the seat to a 135 gram Selle
makes this a great bike in the hills and with the tubeless just a beaut ride.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2012
Strengths: chews the miles - I can sit on this babe all day and just ride - I have been told that guys actually have raced on these - but not being a Racer I would not know - I changed the Handlebars and Seat (personal preference) - and I have not looked back - climbs well, you can plant it well on corners and downhill too - Italians sure know how to make a Good Bike.
Weaknesses: Wheels and Tyres were a let down so I brought some Fulcrum 1 with some Continentals - problem solved - its a tad expensive for what it is - but I dont see many people on them and they do turn heads.
I you want to churn the miles out all day this baby will do it for you and then some - its good on climbs and in the right hands will give the more expensive bikes a run for their money - just make sure you change the Wheels and Tyres and you will have hundreds of miles of fun on it - :)
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2012
Strengths: The gear system on the handle bars is great. The tilt of the handle bars does need adjustment so that you can get a finger to the brakes from relaxed and racing positions. Good compromise of flex and rigidity for hill climbs. The standard pedals are better with the straps removed (if not forking out on clip ons) Every other cyclist tuns and looks at the bike because it's a beaut.
Weaknesses: The design of the brake leavers isn't great. Not long enough to reach comfortably in racing position. (I know it has to incorporate the shifter.) The standard tyre it comes with is naff and very prone to punctures.(CST Comp from China)
I had a stark reminder of just how light the bike was trying to brake one handed at 20 mph. Lost shape and stacked it with some good air time. Torn ligaments and stabbing pain for 5 weeks.
A great fitness investment for £1500 at 0% apr over 2 years. (Was onlg going to spend £500!)Having spent the money it would've been good to have better tyres but for another £60 it's not a lot to moan about. I tried a few other carbon bikes and the best feature was the shifter system and how light it is.
It's a great alternative to the same old brands.
Strengths: Handling in general and cornering in specific are second-to-none. You might have to spend thousands more to beat the cornering on this baby. It is awesome and I am in love. The SRAM Rival package has been wonderful for me. I happen to prefer the feel to that of Shimano, but I know it's a tomato tomahto thing. Fantastic braking--blows away my 105s. Rear shifting is a dream to me. I love the crankset, coming from gossamer.It is so reliable and so accurate. I'm in love with it. I ride along the Willamette River in Portland and it is quite windy in Winter. I looked hard at aero bikes, but I must say, the Wilier seems to cut through the wind admirably. I just don't think I'm giving up a lot to the Felt AR series or the Cervelo there.
Weaknesses: Front derailleur has been a b*&^ch to get right. I understand may others have had similar issues. I am an idiot, which may explain some of this. But all I can recommend is, don't touch it unless you are a trained front SRAM guru--you'll go crazy. I've heard Red is worse. There you go. The other thing I would consider less than optimal is how it feels cruising the flats. It just seems less effortless than the Orbea was. But again, this may all be setup. Top speeds are comparable, it just feels less effortless than on the Orbea.
Bought this to replace my stolen Orbea. Had heard good things about Wilier and this bike and decided to take a flier. I am not disappointed. The bike is very different than my Orbea Onix. For one, it handles much, much better--like a Lambo versus a Camry. It is glued to every turn. Ridiculous, and fun. It is also quick to accelerate. I will say, though, that top speed on the flats is less effortless than the Orbea was. This may just be setup or geometry particular to me.