Italian bike-maker Wilier is fast making a name for itself among roadies thanks to its signature mix of superb frames and excellent specs.
The Mirage is the cheaper of its two Mortirolo models, but still manages to combine a stunning carbon frame-and-forks combo with a fully equipped component set for under £1,300. It's well ahead of its rivals for value, and often a nose ahead in terms of performance too.
The Mirage's frame is undeniably the star. In matt white it doesn't immediately scream 'hi-tech dream machine', but that just improves its chances of still being locked outside the pub when you've finished your pint.
Despite its subtle looks, it's stiff, solid and light on the road, with just enough zing to not beat you up on long journeys – particularly ones over Britain's endemic potholes and bumps.
The bike is tailored towards the more aggressive rider, as it responds instantly to a kick of power. But geometry and handling are neutral enough to ensure it won't just appeal to sprinters.
Components with compromise
The only downside? Some components are at the cheaper end of brilliant to keep the price down. For £250 more the Mortirolo Veloce is arguably more of a bargain, but with a slightly more lump-in-the-throat ticket.
The Mirage's gearing needed a little fiddling, the wheels are sturdy but not featherlight, and the bars were fairly weighty for the bike.
Although these will certainly be targets for upgrade as items wear out, none of them are anywhere near terrible. Indeed, if you want a scarily fast bike that you can ride all day, and at a price that's right, you've just found it.
More after the break...
Wilier Mortirolo Mirage
Aggressive, fast and confident, the Mirage is a great value road racer. Only its components let it down