We test the Cervelo S5
1) First Ride
Cervelo’s intention with the new S5 is to save watts. Carbon aero handlebars with integrated cabling, cleverly designed headtube and forks, HED Jet 6 Plus SCT wheels with a 60mm profile, plus a redesigned frame all contribute.
Our first ride was one of sheer speed.
We met the challenge of getting up to 22mph and staying there, revelling in the rapid progress this bike provides.
2) Fast Ride
This is where the Cervelo excels. A redesigned head tube (35% more torsional stiffness), forks (17% more lateral stiffness) and bottom bracket (6% stiffer) all contribute to a swift pick up in speed.
Factor in the way in which the HED wheels slice through the air and you’ve got a bike that feels as fast as a TT rig. Our only grumble is the wheels aren’t the quickest to initially spin up and suffer from strong crosswinds.
3) Hilly Ride
The S5 performs very well on a rolling test route. Longer climbs were more comfortable than on other bikes that use an aeroshaped bar. Apart from being wobbled by winds on rapid descents, the overall sensation of utter stiffness assists in sweeping corners and tighter turns.
A mid-compact chainset gives small gearing to power up inclines, while Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting is faultless.
4) Long Ride
This is a race bike so don’t expect all-day comfort. The Antares saddle gave us some discomfort after a few hours, but you can hold a sprint tri pace for hours, which added 1mph average to our speed.
Our test bike was fitted with 23c tyres, but it has clearance for up to 25c allowing a bigger contact patch and less of a knife-edge feel.
This machine will ace your bike leg without the need for tri bars, it’s that good.
Size tested: 54
Sizes available: 48-61
Frame: Cervelo carbon-fibre
Fork: Cervelo carbon-fibre
Seating: Fizik Antares saddle
Handlebar/stem: Cervelo carbon aero bars, FSA OS-00 VSI stem
Gears: Shimano Dura Ace Di2, 11-speed (11-25)
Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace 9000
Wheels: HED Jet 6 Plus SCT
Tyres: Continental Grand Prix (700 x 23)