Legendary Road Cycling Brand Wilier Launches New Urta SLR Cross Country Bike

Apr 26, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

Wilier is an Italian brand that has been making road bikes for more than 100 years but it hasn't really spread its wings into the mountain bike world, until now. While it does have a small selection of hardtails and eMTBs, the new Urta SLR marks "the height of [its] evolution in the mountain bike sector".

As you might expect from a road racing brand, Wilier is targeting the cross-country segment with this bike but the similarities between this bike and its road range go beyond the lycra its riders might wear.
Details

Intended Use: Cross country racing
Frame material: Hus-Mod carbon fibre
Rear Wheel Travel: 100mm
Wheel Size: 29" front and rear
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Price: Frame only from €3,200, builds from €5,400 to €10,000
More info: wilier.com

The Urta SLR is built from the same Hus-Mod carbon fiber as its 0 SLR and Filante SLR road bikes and it also features a modified one-piece stem and bar, the same as other bikes in its road range.

The bar/stem combo cuts weight and also apparently has better vibration absorption.

Obviously, there's plenty that's different to a road bike here too including the 100mm travel front and rear and the fact that it runs on 29" wheels. The suspension is delivered via a single pivot that's neatly tucked around the seat tube alongside a flex stay. Flex stay designs are becoming more popular in cross country mountain biking as they cut down weight and leave plenty of room for water bottles, of which the Urta SLR can take 2. Altogether the frame has a claimed weight of 1,730 grams (3.8lb) with full builds coming in at around 10kg (22lbs), which puts it right in the ballpark with some of the leading bikes in the category.


The bike's travel is delivered via a single pivot and flex stay

One other area where the bike differs from road bikes is in its geometry. In the past, we've criticized XC bikes for being too steep and scary and, while this bike doesn't get as progressive as some of the bikes in our recent XC field test, its 69° head tube angle and comparable reach numbers make it comparable to the benchmark Canyon Lux.


A plethora of builds are available including two frame-only options and builds that range from €5,400 to €10,000, More info, here.


91 Comments

  • 102 5
 With legendary road geometry as well!
  • 3 0
 than was obvious from the title, come to see those numbers - cmon it is not that hard to google once in a while Bike looks nice tho
  • 17 1
 I don't think they are targeting people who have already ridden a mountain bike...
  • 17 2
 ... wich are perfectly good for a race bike.
  • 10 1
 @BenTheSwabian: Frankly, I'm not sure anymore. Lately I took my old XC bike to some technical stuff and the parts that I don't register anymore while on my enduro were a source of sheer terror. I think its mainly due to the steep HTA, 12 cm stem and tiny reach. I get that an XC needs to have different suspension and tires but after doing a ton of comparisons between the two bikes I really see no downsides to a slack HA and longer reach, even on technical climbs.
  • 5 0
 @Konyp: They are sponsoring a team of some of the best mountain bikers in the world …
wilier.com/en/teams/wilier-7c-force

So why they have geometry numbers more suited for old school marathon (aka. gravel) racing baffles me.
  • 4 0
 Whatcha mean, 69° is a nice headangle
  • 2 0
 @Konyp: Agree, my 2014 Epic (71° HTA) was terrifying to ride on anything steep or loose. My 2018 Epic (69.5° HTA) was pretty fun! My 2021 Epic (67.5° HTA) is a blast on anything that isn't super chunky.
  • 52 1
 Looks like an Epic...
  • 7 0
 Auuuugghh: I came here to say that, too...!
  • 17 0
 Looks like they bought the molds from the old Epic...?
  • 4 0
 I was thinking it looked like the previous generation of the Cannondale Scalpel.
  • 2 0
 @JasonALap: top tube and shock from an epic, down tube and seat tube from an '18/19 scalpel.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: Close but it's backwards from the old Epic. The Epic has the thicker tube on the top angling up and the thinner one on the bottom stays straight in line with the Top Tube. It does have very similar lines though.
  • 1 0
 Looks like many XC bikes Orbea oiz, epic, scott
  • 33 1
 "Obviously, there's plenty that's different to a road bike here too including the 100mm travel front and rear and the fact that it runs on 29" wheels"

29" wheels are 700c wheels, so where is the difference?
  • 19 14
 Same rim size, definitely not same system size. If you had tire clearance for a 29er front and rear on a road bike, the BB would be extremely high. Also, the chainstays on a road bike can (not saying they are...) be much shorter than on a mountain bike. These are geometry requirements are dictated by the package diameter of 29inch tires, not by performance. While I realize you're just making a joke, there are a lot of differences who's origin is incorrectly associated to preference rather than necessity.
  • 5 2
 @TBaldwin90: why is everyone downvoting this? He's not wrong. Stupid mouth breathers.
  • 4 2
 @craigcanucks: When the first builders (not just Gary Fisher) starting making 29ers, they were taking existing 700c rims, probably touring (what the kids call bikepacking these days) rims.

Do road and gravel bikes have different wheel sizes? One has way more clearance and longer stays...
No one, mouth breather, or knuckle dragger would claim that.
It IS the same wheel size. Tires and application are different, but the rim diameter is the same.
  • 18 0
 How does a flex stay help with water bottle space? Are they mounting them on the rear triangle?
  • 1 1
 I would assume with rigid stays that the shock would end up being pointe down towards the chain stay, as a result of a different pivot. But that still leaves a massive amount of room. I suspect that they've been reading too many PB comments about needing 4 bottles on a bike, and marketed accordingly.
  • 2 0
 It doesn't.
  • 14 1
 I'm so mad that flat-mount is becoming more of a thing for MTB rear, when every sus fork, including the SID in the video, is still (and should remain) post mount.

Also:
BB92, proprietary headset, 27.2 post -- yuck
  • 4 0
 What did you expect from a niche road brand?
  • 1 0
 Why is it a problem with flat on the back and post mount on the front?
  • 5 0
 @magnusc: if you want to upgrade or change the brakes you have to buy a mixed set (ie not something that is typically sold), plus few brands make a direct mount MTB caliper

and flat mount is a pain in the ass
  • 1 1
 Bb92 works fine, as long as a) the maker gives a shit about tolerances and b) you don't shove a 30mm crank in it.
  • 1 0
 @Themissinglink83: some of us like 30mm cranks, but yes, there are many totally fine bb92 frames out there
  • 1 0
 @Jshemuel: I mean you can put a 30mm crank in them...I just destroy bearings like crazy doing so.
  • 1 0
 @Themissinglink83: I'm aware... Have you tried the enduro stainless ones?
  • 1 0
 @Jshemuel: mine just started creaking after a year or so of riding. I guess that's decent enough. I have thought of getting one of the one piece BBs that use cartridge bearings though. That seems like the ideal solution.
  • 1 0
 @Themissinglink83: I got one of the WheelsMfg thread together BB's for my Pivot that has a 86/92BB and it's quiet and easy to install.
  • 1 0
 @NorCalNomad: Just wait til you have to change the bearings. It’s expensive and a lot of work!
  • 1 0
 @Jshemuel: few brands make a direct mount MTB calliper because it’s new. Flat mount makes the flex better on the seat stays so actually it’s going to be good for your ass ;-)
  • 1 0
 @magnusc: and I maintain that as a pro mechanic it’s going to be bad for my wrist, and that it will still be annoying as hell having PM front and FM rear
  • 1 0
 @magnusc: $30 for the bearings and paying a shop to do a quick press out and in of them? How is that expensive?
  • 1 0
 @NorCalNomad: Price of bearing depends on what BB you have. One of my bearings are $26. Then you also need a special $50 Loctite that is almost impossible to get. And on top of that you have to take it to a LBS to get it done? How is that easy to install? Seems to me a lot more hassle than just screw out the old school threaded bottom brackets. To install the WheelsMfg cups you also need to buy two tools to thread the BB together. WheelsMfg is a very expensive way to fix a problem that should not been there in the first place.
  • 17 6
 ^ said no one else...
  • 9 0
 @stiingya: shecksea
  • 2 0
 @Chief2slo: SO sexy!
  • 6 0
 Absolute junk sizing and geo.
  • 2 0
 Very short for an xc bike.
  • 5 3
 Looks like a Sugar to me, looks like it would snap like a Sugar as well. Bless Gary Fisher for trying, but those bikes were complete shit.
  • 4 0
 You mean a Trek Superfly? Salsa Spearfish? Because you know nothing has changed in 10 years?
  • 1 0
 I rode mine on and off for 10yrs, it was a good bike.
  • 5 0
 @njcbps: for some reason, I heard that in borats voice...
  • 4 0
 That shaped linked is pretty fly.
  • 1 0
 Such brand/component matching. shimano brakes with rockshox and sram and on the last photo with the geo its shimano drivetrain and brakes and rockshox
  • 1 0
 I like Wilier road bikes, but some of their previous MTB efforts have been truly woeful. This looks like a big step back in the right direction.
  • 3 0
 Looks like a Sess.... 2017 Specialized Epic?
  • 2 0
 Geometry aside, I really like the paintjob even though its nothing special or new.
  • 1 0
 They could’ve chosen the 2018-19-20 Epic or the new 2021 Epic for the platform. They chose best. The new epic is too slack and too expensive.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if this one will end up as ridiculously discounted as the last one?

www.merlincycles.com/wilier-110-fx-eagle-full-suspension-mountain-bike-2020-190778.html
  • 2 0
 That looks very similar, but updated to the fm-06.
  • 3 0
 Urta? Hardly know 'er!
  • 3 0
 Wilier you do or Wilier you don't know 'er is the question...
  • 2 0
 I though this was a Performance chain brand... legendary eh?
  • 2 0
 Wilier never was owned by ASI, the company that owned Performance before they went bankrupt. You're thinking of Scattante, Performance's former house brand.
  • 2 0
 So many single pivot bikes out there now. Simple and light.
  • 2 0
 That display platform looks like my backyard in Tucson...
  • 1 0
 Great brand, but I would have thought at least around 465 reach on a large would be the number on an xc racer.
  • 2 0
 It's just a catalogue frame, come on guys.
  • 1 0
 Yep, all generic.
  • 1 0
 is it just me or is the main pivot way smaller than the linkage pivots? Seems an odd way to do things..
  • 1 0
 I think some other article mentioned all bearings are the same size on the frame. So it will be easier to buy a spare one when it wears out... which will possibly happen more often if it is indeed smaller than it would normally be Big Grin
  • 2 2
 And not even Mezcals. 90% of a bikes speed is determined by tires and they dont spec the for xc-racing perfectly fine gripping superfast Mezcals.
  • 1 0
 Barzo is a pretty killer tire. It's fast for the levels of grip it provides.
  • 1 0
 @Themissinglink83: I have both and ride the Barzo at the moment. I will switch to the Mezcal now as it has dryed out. The Mezcal is just another word for e-bike speed.
  • 2 0
 I still like SID blue, but I still hate it on red bikes....
  • 1 0
 Behold the Specialized Epic, the beautiful bike that could only be made by the trustworthy brand known as Specia- What.
  • 1 2
 XC high dollar bikes is probably a good niche market for a road bike maker to break into. Rear suspension on XC bikes feel like you are riding a road bike anyways.

Sideburn: Trek Supercaliber
  • 2 0
 Daaaang thats hot
  • 2 0
 Wilier than you dude.
  • 1 0
 Legendary Wilier short headtube.
  • 2 1
 2010 called, they want their reach numbers back.
  • 1 1
 And their hta/sta
  • 1 0
 Looks like a sssssssssssssssssssssssssss... Specialized epic
  • 1 0
 Not an xc race bike guy but that is pretty sweet looking all in all.
  • 1 0
 spider man!
  • 3 6
 "Legendary Brand.."? Big Grin
  • 8 0
 Legendary road bike brand.
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