Wilier’s Urta Max SLR joins the 120 mm crowd

Another new mountain bike from another iconic road brand.

Dave Rome
by Dave Rome 15.05.2023 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
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With all the buzz about Pinarello and Cervelo revealing new cross-country (XC) full-suspension race bikes, it would be amiss to leave out another iconic road brand – Wilier-Triestina. 

On the eve of the season opener at Nové Město, Czech Republic, the 117-year-old Italian bicycle brand revealed its latest mountain bike, the Urta Max SLR. 

Let’s take a look at the new bike of Italian racer Giada Specia of the Wilier-Pirelli Factory Team XCO. 

The Urta Max SLR

The news of Pinarello returning to mountain bikes or Cervelo and Factor entering the space indicates that interest in cross-country racing continues to rise. Wilier took the plunge a few years back, and its new Urta Max SLR is a longer-travel and more progressively angled version of its Urta SLR full-suspension XC racer. 

The Urta Max SLR features many of the same design decisions from other brands revealing new bikes in the space. Front and rear suspension travel has been bumped up to 120 mm. The geometry is longer, lower, and slacker than before. Joy to James Huang’s ears is that the cables are guided through the headset, while Wilier’s own one-piece handlebar and stem is there to compliment the integrated aesthetic further. 

Now you see the cables …
… and now you don’t.

As with many competitors’ bikes, the rear shock sits beneath the top tube for a familiar layout that leaves room for two water bottles within the front triangle. A stiffening rocker link for the front and rear triangles is attached to a well-braced seat tube junction. And the rear end is designed to flex in place of having a pivot point near the dropout. And while Wilier claims that the suspension kinematics resist pedalling forces, it’s worth noting that a remote shock lockout is equipped. 

With the SLR branding, this new mountain bike features the same high-modulus carbon fibre layup as Wilier’s top-tier road bikes, such as the Filante. According to Wilier, the new frame is stiffer than the Urta SLR. The company has not provided a frame weight, although it’s likely comparable to the shorter-travel Urta SLR that is claimed to be 1,950 g for a medium frame with shock. 

All four Urta Max SLR frame sizes offer a 67.5° head angle and 75° seat tube angle. Also consistent across the size range are the 435 mm chainstay lengths. 

There’s room to fit up to 29 x 2.4″ tyres. The frame has rubber protectors to help keep the mud out of the main pivot, and to silence slap on the chainstay. Other details include a road-inspired flat mount rear brake, room for up to a 38T chainring, and an SRAM UDH dropout to enable compatibility with the latest Eagle Transmissions.  

Wilier offers the Urta Max SLR in a staggering array of different build kits, with complete bike pricing ranging from €6,200 to €11,200. As the result of a strategic partnership between the two Italian brands, all of those build kits feature Miche wheels. 

A closer look at Giada Specia’s bike 

All images were snapped by Piper Albrecht at the Nové Město World Cup this past weekend.

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