Astana–Premier Tech riders divide their time in the Tour de France between the aero Wilier Filante SLR and the Zero SLR, the superlight bike that Alexey Lutsenko piloted to a stage victory last year. Putting tech to one side for a moment, each is among the best-looking bikes in the peloton.
Wilier focused mainly on keeping the weight as low as possible when designing the Zero SLR. Well, it went after a high stiffness-to-weight ratio, to be more specific, and says that this bike easily outperforms other models from the Wilier range in this respect.
The medium version of the frame has a claimed weight of 780g (+/-5%) while the fork is 340g (+/-5%). The complete XL-sized Wilier Zero SLR that we rode at the launch, built up with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Mavic wheels, was a whisker over 6.8kg, the minimum permitted weight for racing.
The Zero SLR isn't an aero road bike by any stretch of the imagination, but it does offer a couple of aero features. Wilier increased the distance between the fork blades and the wheel, for example, with the aim of reducing turbulence and drag.
The SLR carbon monocoque seatpost has a D-shaped cross-section that's not ultra aero, but Wilier claims that it is more efficient than a round post.
One of the Zero SLR's key features is its integrated carbon handlebar/stem (a claimed 330g for the version in a 42cm width with a 100mm stem section) which takes the brake hoses and shift cables internally. These then run down into the frame via two-part composite spacers that lock together. This design allows you to add or remove spacers to adjust handlebar height without the need to disconnect the hoses or cables.
Like the majority of teams in the Tour de France, Astana uses Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets, although their bikes are fitted with bottom brackets, OSPW (Oversized Pulley Wheel) systems and UFO chains from CeramicSpeed, all designed to improve efficiency. French brand Corima provides the wheels.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.