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Wilier Triestina Izoard Build & First Time Carbon Thoughts

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Wilier Triestina Izoard Build & First Time Carbon Thoughts

Old 12-04-20, 03:32 AM
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tNuvolari
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Wilier Triestina Izoard Build & First Time Carbon Thoughts

So I bit the bullet and bought a carbon frame. Well, the biting wasn't that bad as I scored a Wilier carbon frame for $300 on eBay. It's a weird frame in that there is literally no information at all online about this frame! All the info about Wilier Izoard frames concerns the earlier scandium frame or the later Taiwan carbon frame. But I have a strange frame with a hole in the rear stay with a cheesy logo applied that says, "Look through!"
Ok, other than that, the frame is beautiful! Many thanks to the previous owner for never riding it as there are nearly no scratches or marks at all on this frame.
Anyway, on to the carbon thoughts as my only cycling experience is on a 1985 Torpado with Columbus Aelle steel tubes. First off, the Torpado is super twitchy, I mean so twitchy that I've never ridden with no hands as that would only end in tears! On one hand it's nice because it's very responsive but on the other, you can't relax for one second. At all. Seriously, my eyes constantly search the road for holes or divots that might send me to the ground as it's that uncertain while riding. Also, the steel frame is rough; I feel every flaw in the road and when tired, I cringe at the bigger bumps I experience on my rides on the LA river Ballona Creek path. So, I thought a more modern frame with relaxed angles and carbon would be what I needed. Well, it is....sort of, as with most things, nothing is ever 100%!
So, on my first ride on the new frame, I didn't notice a big difference. It felt more like I switched to a bigger tire rather than a completely different frame. Things were definitely softer but the frame is still stiff and I still feel every bump. What I didn't notice til later was that even though I feel everything, the overall impact the bumps is less and when completing a ride, I'm not as sore as normal. But the frame feels just like my old Torpado only with an added twist: it's still twitchy but more stable, it's rough but has an added smoothness.
However, it is definitely faster! And I don't get as tired and seem to want to keep riding. Also, when accelerating, it definitely sprints ahead. I'm not sure if it's the lighter weight or if it's something about the frame design, but it just shoots ahead much easier than the older steel bike. And the bumps aren't as painful, especially when tired.
As for the handling, it pretty much feels exactly like the Torpado! I was hoping it would fly through the curves with a leading edge but like the Torpado, it's more high strung and twitchy although not as much as the Torpado. The Torpado flew into turns but then in the curve was a bit unstable and as a result, it was tough sometimes to maintain a smooth, consistent arc through the turn. The Wilier is similar but a little more stable while at the same time, a little more tricky as the front end is so lightweight that I have to be careful when altering the curve in the middle of the arc. The front end feels non existent and maybe I'm not used to it yet but I have to consciously tell myself to relax and move slowly as the lightweight front reacts quickly. I know I'm still adjusting to it and not sure yet about it all. But I can tell these two bikes are related in some way.....Is this an Italian thing? I'm a car freak and love Italian and German cars so I trust Italians to design a great bike chassis but I'm having a little trouble sorting it out.
Maybe I need a Colnago....
Ok, here's a build time lapse video and some pics. And let me know what you guys think about my comments. Thanks for reading...





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Old 12-04-20, 07:54 AM
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First off, congrats on the new frame! Nice job on the parts swap with no repair stand, the cat seemed happy to have you on the floor too!

i donít know much about that Willier frame but handling is essentially all geometry related so good chance that your new steedís geo matches closely with the old in terms of seat/head tube angles, wheelbase and fork rake/trail. Funnily, I can still remember when carbon was becoming ďthe thingĒ the original frames were all about road smoothness and absorption ideally without being too noodly. Then they started getting stiffer as construction methods evolved. The great thing about carbon is itís so versatile in terms of how it can be used to effect various ride traits through layup and uses. Now of course all things come around and you have many (myself included) in the ďsteel is realĒ crowd who crow about the smoothness of the very same materials that killed our butts in the past (maybe we have more ass padding now).

still, I love carbon for how it absorbs road shock better. Iím sure thatís why you mention feeling less tired at the end of the ride. Tip for even more comfort, look to your wheel set and tire choices. You can probably make easy changes there and help with your comfort both on long rides but especially in curves and corners. Itís amazing the difference between a 23 and 25c tire with a psi change can make.

Enjoy the ride and stay safe!
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Old 12-04-20, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
First off, congrats on the new frame! Nice job on the parts swap with no repair stand, the cat seemed happy to have you on the floor too!

i donít know much about that Willier frame but handling is essentially all geometry related so good chance that your new steedís geo matches closely with the old in terms of seat/head tube angles, wheelbase and fork rake/trail. Funnily, I can still remember when carbon was becoming ďthe thingĒ the original frames were all about road smoothness and absorption ideally without being too noodly. Then they started getting stiffer as construction methods evolved. The great thing about carbon is itís so versatile in terms of how it can be used to effect various ride traits through layup and uses. Now of course all things come around and you have many (myself included) in the ďsteel is realĒ crowd who crow about the smoothness of the very same materials that killed our butts in the past (maybe we have more ass padding now).

still, I love carbon for how it absorbs road shock better. Iím sure thatís why you mention feeling less tired at the end of the ride. Tip for even more comfort, look to your wheel set and tire choices. You can probably make easy changes there and help with your comfort both on long rides but especially in curves and corners. Itís amazing the difference between a 23 and 25c tire with a psi change can make.

Enjoy the ride and stay safe!
Thanks and I do love the bike, I was just seeing if my ideas matched with what others have experienced.
Also, when I first started riding, I was using Michelin Pro Comps in 700c x 18. Then I had Vittoria 23 and now I recently bought Pirelli 25 and the feel from the 23's to the 25's is similar to the feel from steel to carbon. It's definitely more absorbing and comfortable but not something I would notice unless I was really used to the before. In other words, it is a definite difference but it doesn't scream major breakthrough. Of course, over the miles, these little differences really have major consequences in energy and happiness. So, is it a huge, worthwhile difference? Well, no, definitely not, it is instead absolutely a positive difference that you will love! Confusing? well, good, because such is life! But I have to say I wasn't that impressed until the end of the ride and then I was a believer. Yay, carbon!
So, how is aluminum?

And, like you said, the geometry has much to do with it all. That's why Colnago's are always loved, I guess.

Here's the specs Wilier sent me on the bike:



Mine is a medium so head tube angle of 72 and seat tube angle of 74. I can't find the Torpado specs but I remember them to be in the 72 to 73 range. One difference in the bikes, other than the sloping top tube, is that the top tube is slightly shorter but that suits me perfectly as I was suspecting that my Torpado reach was too long and was thinking of trying a shorter stem but on the Wilier and the same cockpit, it feels more comfortable without the longer reach of the old bike. I'm still dialing things in though but the bike feels pretty good. I just raised the bars on the stem about 4mm or so and I'm hoping that eases some hand numbness I was getting. And I can't really go any higher so hopefully, that does it!
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Old 12-05-20, 12:23 AM
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OP great post. I live in WLA and do the Ballona Channel path daily. It can be a bit jittery, especially between Lincoln and Fiji Way turn off. I recently upgraded to a Bianchi Infinito CV and the way the CV smooths out the road is satisfying. I will be on the lookout for your Wilier.
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Old 12-05-20, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
OP great post. I live in WLA and do the Ballona Channel path daily. It can be a bit jittery, especially between Lincoln and Fiji Way turn off. I recently upgraded to a Bianchi Infinito CV and the way the CV smooths out the road is satisfying. I will be on the lookout for your Wilier.
Ha, cool, a local guy! Not too many LA folks on here for some reason....
Yes, that path is rough in spots. First time on it I pinched my tube and spent an hour fixing it....Long story short but my spare tube leaked so I had to do it twice AND patch a leak....And down on that path it can be a bit sketchy if sitting still. But it's a nice route so from my house I have Ballona to MDR at about 12 miles total and Santa Monica Blvd to Arizona (with a bike lane almost the entire way) which is about 8 miles. I usually go one route to the beach and the other back home. Just wishing CA had a path along the beach for the entire state; I keep running out of beach paths as I get in better shape.

I'll keep an eye out for a nice Bianchi. I've been waiting a bit for warmer weather and I'm nursing a slight cold (no, not covid!)
And for the last 2 Sundays on my way back, there has been a pretty cool jazz band set up on Ballona at that little stage about 2 miles inland from MDR. They have a complete set up with vibraphone, drums, bass violin and sax. Not sure how they get that all set up but I guess it's not too far from the street. Obviously, the sax guy has the easy part!

Anyway, thought it was pretty cool and unexpected....

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Old 12-05-20, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tNuvolari View Post
Ha, cool, a local guy! Not too many LA folks on here for some reason....
Yes, that path is rough in spots. First time on it I pinched my tube and spent an hour fixing it....Long story short but my spare tube leaked so I had to do it twice AND patch a leak....And down on that path it can be a bit sketchy if sitting still. But it's a nice route so from my house I have Ballona to MDR at about 12 miles total and Santa Monica Blvd to Arizona (with a bike lane almost the entire way) which is about 8 miles. I usually go one route to the beach and the other back home. Just wishing CA had a path along the beach for the entire state; I keep running out of beach paths as I get in better shape.

I'll keep an eye out for a nice Bianchi. I've been waiting a bit for warmer weather and I'm nursing a slight cold (no, not covid!)
And for the last 2 Sundays on my way back, there has been a pretty cool jazz band set up on Ballona at that little stage about 2 miles inland from MDR. They have a complete set up with vibraphone, drums, bass violin and sax. Not sure how they get that all set up but I guess it's not too far from the street. Obviously, the sax guy has the easy part!

Anyway, thought it was pretty cool and unexpected....

https://youtu.be/2FGtH5XH7Tk
Very cool to have the jazz band there. Rode by yesterday around noon. I live in Ladera Heights and go Centinela thru Playa Vista and jump on bike path at Lincoln. During the week I go south to Manhattan Beach or Hermosa beach pier. 25-30 miles round trip. Weekends I go north around the Marina and jump on beach path at Washington Venice Beach pier. Go North to Temescal and sometime jump on San Vicente to Bundy. That will also get me 25-30. I don’t do alot of roads and only early as the sun os coming up. Usually low 40’s now at the start which is cold for here. Time for tights and a a few layers up top. I agree top to bottom bike path for the entire coast line would be great. Not very comfortable on PCH during the day. I have been riding single but post C19 may looks for some groups.
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Old 12-21-20, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
Very cool to have the jazz band there. Rode by yesterday around noon. I live in Ladera Heights and go Centinela thru Playa Vista and jump on bike path at Lincoln. During the week I go south to Manhattan Beach or Hermosa beach pier. 25-30 miles round trip. Weekends I go north around the Marina and jump on beach path at Washington Venice Beach pier. Go North to Temescal and sometime jump on San Vicente to Bundy. That will also get me 25-30. I donít do alot of roads and only early as the sun os coming up. Usually low 40ís now at the start which is cold for here. Time for tights and a a few layers up top. I agree top to bottom bike path for the entire coast line would be great. Not very comfortable on PCH during the day. I have been riding single but post C19 may looks for some groups.
What color is your Bianchi? I'll keep an eye out.

Went on a decent ride today and loving SoCal and its 84 degree temp today! Even at the beach it was warm and close to 80. And I've got some miles on this new bike to begin to love it but I have to admit it's mostly for the comfort. What felt like a minimal difference at first is huge after riding some miles. Also, the added lightness is great in all aspects, from comfort to accelerating to simply maintaining a higher average speed; everything is better with less weight!
However, I'm still not sold on the handling. I've watched videos and read some tips on bike handling and I have to say that most of the basics, I already knew. There was no new information that would explain how I'm doing something wrong and that I could change to improve handling. Now it's not horrible, it's just a bit tricky to maintain a line through a curve as the bike feels twitchy. But on the other hand, it is even more difficult to change my line once into the curve. The bike doesn't seem to want to listen and I often end up outside of the proper line which just causes awkwardness. I like to ride fast and take curves as fast as possible, both in everyday driving and on the bike. In a car, I have no trouble changing lines in the middle of the curve depending on traction or changes that occur once into the curve so I think I understand weight distribution, the proper line, differences in front to rear braking, and understeer & oversteer (although I'm not sliding and the these are more for a car, there is still some sensation of these factors on a bike.)
So, not sure if that's just the way it is or if I can learn to control it better. I'm getting more confident with it but it is definitely tricky to just choose a line and fly through the turns and the slower the speed, the worse it is as it just brings out the twitchiness of the bike. This is exactly the same as my Torpado so maybe it's an Italian thing.

How does front to rear weight distribution effect handling? And what lessens twitchiness in a bike? Is it frame design? And if a frame is designed with less twitch, does that mean it doesn't handle as well? I doubt that but just trying to learn more about all this.

Despite all of this, I still love the bike as most of the time, it's just fun, comfortable and easy to ride. I seem to ride about 2-4 mph faster everywhere or at least when I am able to compare to my old bike in places that I remember.
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Old 12-22-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by tNuvolari View Post
it's just a bit tricky to maintain a line through a curve as the bike feels twitchy. But on the other hand, it is even more difficult to change my line once into the curve. The bike doesn't seem to want to listen and I often end up outside of the proper line which just causes awkwardness. I like to ride fast and take curves as fast as possible, both in everyday driving and on the bike. In a car, I have no trouble changing lines in the middle of the curve depending on traction or changes that occur once into the curve so I think I understand weight distribution, the proper line, differences in front to rear braking, and understeer & oversteer (although I'm not sliding and the these are more for a car, there is still some sensation of these factors on a bike.)
So, not sure if that's just the way it is or if I can learn to control it better. I'm getting more confident with it but it is definitely tricky to just choose a line and fly through the turns and the slower the speed, the worse it is as it just brings out the twitchiness of the bike. This is exactly the same as my Torpado so maybe it's an Italian .
Honestly, having ridden a similar Willier Zero 7, which if anything would have lighter quicker steering, at race pace descending in both the Rockies and the Appalachian mountains, I think what youíre describing is more on you than the bike.

Google countersteering. If you initiate your turn by consciously pressing down on the inside bar, you can set a smooth continuous line simply by maintaining that pressure, and you can alter the line if needed by simply adding or removing pressure.

The fact that you have the same experience with both bikes, suggests that this is a technique issue, or that your just not comfortable with a quick handling bike, and would be better off with a bike with slower handling, ie on with more trail
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