If the Cento10NDR looks like a race bike at first glance, that’s because it is. Sure, this Eurobike award winner is an endurance bike, and that oft-maligned category has a reputation as an upright, laid back, and ultimately uninspiring crop of bikes. That’s changed in the last two years, and the Cento10NDR is proof positive that endurance bikes can be race bikes too.
That’s evident from the first push of the pedal. With its Actiflex system breaking up the rear triangle at the seat stay’s junction with the seat tube, it’s easy to expect rear end sloppiness. Rest assured, there isn’t much of it. Stand up and sprint and the bike feels … well, normal.
The Actiflex system isn’t a new concept. BMC uses a similar system on its TeamElite mountain bike. But while BMC’s elastomer-based dampener moves in a linear motion, the Actiflex system features a rocker link that sends the rear wheel on a different wheel path. This system sits at the junction between the seat stays and the seat tube and it helps prevent saddle/seatpost movement, instead isolating all movement to the rear triangle. Maybe that’s why it feels so normal when you stand up and sprint.
The Actiflex elastomers are available in three different densities so you can customize how much compliance you want. Ours came with the gray, mid-density elastomer; there’s also a light gray elastomer that’s the hardest density, and a black elastomer that’s the softest density.
Small bumps all but disappear, and the elastomer certainly takes the edge off of big bumps. Our only complaint: after hitting large bumps, there’s definitely some bounce to the rear end after the hit. It quiets down quickly, but it reminds you that you’ve got a suspension element out back.
While the Cento10NDR certainly looks like a race bike, it does feature some geometry tweaks that relegate it to the endurance category. The head tube, for example, is definitely taller than the race-bred ilk at 177mm. Yet it still feels lithe when diving hard into fast turns. If you’re after the most responsive handling on the market, this isn’t it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for most riders, it’s advantageous that every input from your hands doesn’t translate into steering motion.
That’s not to say steering is slow. It’s not; it simply feels slightly more planted than an ultra-responsive race bike’s handling. In fact, while that head tube is tall, the chainstays are reasonably short at 408 millimeters; the head tube angle is still fairly aggressive at 72.5 degrees; and the stack (586 millimeters) and reach (384 millimeters) don’t scream laid back. They simply hint at it.
Our disc-equipped test bike came with Vittoria Rubino Pro tires mounted to DT Swiss ERC 1400 Spline wheels. Wilier says the Cento10NDR can fit up to 30mm tires on the disc-equipped bike and 28mm tires on the rim brake-equipped version. Our full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group performed flawlessly as usual, topping off an excellent addition to the endurance category. It’s clear why this bike was a Eurobike award winner.