The Wilier GTR Team Disc Ultegra is a quick and smooth endurance bike that offers the assured performance of Shimano's hydraulic disc brakes.
How does it ride?
The Wilier feels a lot more performance orientated than many other endurance bikes out there. Some manufacturers sacrifice frame stiffness in their quest for comfort, but the GTR Team Disc Ultegra has the feel of a race bike when you turn the power up a few notches; the whole central area of the frame holds firm against your best efforts. You're probably not going to spend much of your time flat-out sprinting on a bike like this, but you're likely to lay it all on the line occasionally, even if you're just racing your mates to the cafe stop, and it's good to know the frame isn't going to twist and bend when you want to whip your muscles into life.
You pay a slight weight penalty for the disc brakes but the GTR Team Disc Ultegra still comes in at a reasonable 8.34kg (18.4lb). You can get a bike that's considerably lighter for this kind of money but weight isn't everything – far from it, it's just a small part of the overall package.
The Wilier climbs well, the compact (50/34-tooth) Shimano Ultegra chainset matched up to an 11-28-tooth cassette providing a wide range of gears to keep you moving swiftly upward. Some endurance bikes offer a 32-tooth sprocket for an even smaller low gear but chances are that you'll be fine with what's on offer here, even on the day's last hard effort.
Shimano's BR-RS805 hydraulic brakes offer very impressive performance. You'll doubtless already have thoughts on whether disc brakes are right for you and I'm not going to try to convince you one way or another. I will say that these brakes allow you to govern your braking power very easily and their abilities aren't compromised in wet conditions. It's reassuring to know that you have strong, predictable control at your fingertips even on the rainiest, grittiest, can't-see-around-the-next-corner descent, so there's no need for that just-in-case early braking that you sometimes need in order to dry the rims before the pads bite.
Tell us about the comfort
The Wilier GTR Team Disc Ultegra offers a comfortable ride, and that's partly down to its endurance geometry.
Some brands sling masses of extra height on the head tube and chop the top tube right back to get a much more upright riding position on their sportive/endurance bikes. Wilier has taken a much more restrained approach. Yes, the GTR Team Disc Ultegra has a more relaxed riding position than a full-blown race bike, but the differences are relatively small.
Wilier's GTR Team and SL Team bikes have geometries based on the top-end Cento1 race bike, but with about a centimetre's extra height on the head tube (depending on frame size). Wilier reckons that it's better to add extra height via the frame than to have most riders putting headset spacers underneath the stem to move the handlebar up, and we'd certainly agree that it's a stiffer and tidier way of doing things.
Wilier offers the GTR Team and SL models in two different geometries: race and endurance. As mentioned, this GTR Team Disc comes in the endurance geometry.
It's the fork that makes the difference, not the frame. Wilier adds an extra 10mm of height into the crown of the fork fitted to the endurance bikes. The result is a position that's just a little more upright.
I felt that my position on the Wilier GTR Team Disc Ultegra was relaxed enough to ride for hours without troubling my back or neck much, but still reasonably low and efficient. Some endurance bikes are very high at the front to the point that I feel that my progress is suffering with the wind hitting me smack in the chest, but the Wilier's position strikes a good balance between comfort and efficiency. Know what I mean? If you're looking for something that's more relaxed than a typical race bike but still leaning in that direction, this is certainly worth checking out.
Putting geometry to one side, the frame offers more comfort by sieving out a lot of unwanted buzz from the road, and the 27.2mm seatpost does more to improve the ride quality. A skinny seatpost that can deflect just a little when you hit the inevitable bumps and holes is definitely the way forward when it comes to comfort.
If you want more cushioning you can swap Vittoria's 25mm wide tyres for 28s – there's enough frame and fork clearance – although I didn't feel the need; this is a reasonably forgiving setup already. The Wilier doesn't offer a soft, fur-lined ride, but there's a distinct lack of vibration here.
I can't say I was too enamoured with the Selle Italia X1 saddle, though, which is unusual because I'm usually a big fan of the Italian brand. I prefer a flatter profile across the nose. Here, I just felt like I was sitting on a central spine. Other people who rode the bike got on just fine it so, as ever, it's a matter of taste.
What components does it have?
The GTR Team Disc is available in two versions, both built around the same 46 ton and 30 ton carbon-fibre frame. The model specced with Shimano's mid-level 105 components costs £2,399 while the one we have here comes with next-level-up Ultegra and is priced at £2,699.
I won't go into much detail on Ultegra here – go to our complete Shimano Ultegra review for that. Suffice to say that the shifting is almost faultless and the chainset is right up there among the best – stiff and lightweight although some people are bothered by the appearance of the unevenly spaced spider. I don't have a problem with it myself.
If you're coming from a rim brake bike, the RS685 shifters might look and feel bulbous to start with because they contain the disc brake reservoir, but you adjust to that in, oooh, about 10 minutes.
Wilier specs Ultegra throughout, by the way. There are no cost-saving downgrades hidden away. As well as the chainset, shifters and derailleurs, the cassette and chain are both Ultegra,
The wheels are DT Swiss R24 Spline DBs, the DB denoting that they're built for disc brakes. These have a disc-specific aluminium rim – there's no brake track – and they're fixed to the bike using thru axles rather than standard quick releases, both at the front and the rear. These aren't especially light wheels (the claimed wheelset weight is 1,775g) but they're well built with bladed spokes, and they're tubeless ready if you want to go down that route in future.
Most of the remaining components are made for Wilier by FSA, the aluminium seatpost, stem and handlebar all finished to match the frame.
The Wilier GTR Team Disc Ultegra is an endurance bike with a race bias. It’s a little more relaxed than a full-on race machine but it retains a focus on speed and efficiency, and offers enough comfort to keep you feeling good in the saddle throughout a long sportive or fast-paced weekend ride. If you want your next bike to be disc-equipped, this is an attractive package.
Comfortable race-leaning endurance bike with the all-weather performance of Shimano's hydraulic discs
road.cc test report
Make and model: Wilier GTR Team Disc
Size tested: XL
About the bike
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
The frame is made from a mix of 46 ton and 30 ton carbon fibre
The fork is carbon fibre too.
Frame GTR Team DIsc (Endurance Geometry)
Rear derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Front derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Shifters Shimano Ultegra ST-RS685
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 11-28T
Chain Shimano Ultegra
Chainset Shimano Ultegra 50/34T
Brakes Shimano Ultegra Disc BRRS805
Headset FSA 44E
Wheelset DT SWISS R24 Spline DB
Tyres Vittoria Rubino Pro 700-25c
Seatmast FSA SP-SL 282 Black
Saddle Selle Italia X1
Stem FSA OS168 Black
Handlebar FSA Energy Compact
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Wilier says: "GTR Team Disc is a special version of GTR Team available with flat mount disc brakes, a new technology from Shimano for the Spring of 2015. The rear triangle, in addition to being designed asymmetrically, is designed to accommodate 28mm tyres, in line with the latest market trends that see strong growth in the disc gravel bike sector. GTR Team DISC can also be used in UCI races for the coming seasons."
That's all accurate apart from the last line which is, um, complicated.
It's essentially an endurance/gran fondo/sportive bike with disc brakes.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
The build quality is good and the finish is very well done. The busy looking paint job might or might not be to your taste.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
It is made from a mix of 46 ton and 30 ton carbon fibre.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
Wilier makes GTR Team bikes in two different geometries: race and endurance. The disc brake version is endurance meaning that it has an extra 10mm of height in the fork crown to lift the front end a little higher.
I've dealt with this in more detail in the main text.
In short, this bike is built to an endurance geometry, but it's not as relaxed as some other sportive bikes out there.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The sizing was about average. See the body of the review for more on the height and reach. -
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
I'm not a big fan of the saddle, but that's always a matter of personal preference.
Putting that to one side, this is a comfortable bike. The geometry is a little more relaxed than that of a race bike without being ridiculously upright, and road vibration isn't a big issue.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Yes, the central section of the bike is pretty stiff, especially compared to many other endurance bikes.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Yes, in many ways the Wilier GTR Team Disc Ultegra feels a lot like a race bike.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? On the lively side of neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
It climbs well enough without excelling, it corners predictably, and Shimano's hydraulic disc brakes add reassurance in wet weather.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
I didn't like the saddle all that much, but that's just because it didn't suit me. If you wanted more comfort, switching the 25mm tyres for 28s would be the obvious step.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
The Ultegra chainset is a highlight. It's very stiff while also being lightweight.
Wheels and tyres
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? I'd consider it. If the geometry suits you and you're after discs, it's definitely one to consider
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The Ultegra groupset lifts this from a good bike to a very good bike. There aren't all that many Ultegra disc brake road bikes out there. Most that do exist are more expensively than this, although the Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra Disc that we reviewed on road.cc last year is £200 cheaper. http://road.cc/content/review/155985-cannondale-synapse-carbon-ultegra-disc That said, the Wilier is a good price considering the spec package.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.