An in-depth look with video at Cervelo’s latest super bike, the Cervélo P5.

Cervelo P5

Kona’s most popular brand goes triathlon-specific and raises the bar once again

The P5 is a big deal. It’s the most tri-specific bike yet from arguably the most famous name in the sport and the brand that has dominated the Kona bike count for eight years.

Damon Rinard is the Senior Advanced Research and Design Engineer at Cervélo responsible, alongside Phil White, for the majority of the technical developments seen in the P5. He explains how the project began with very clear and practical aims: “We wanted the P5 to have a wider fitting range, better braking performance, 100 per cent internal cables with compatibility for all systems and better provision for storage and hydration. And it would be strange if a new flagship Cervélo TT bike weren’t faster!”

Whereas its forebears could be fitted with tri-specific integrated hydration systems, for the first time Cervélo has developed separate, non-UCI legal hardware. There’s only one P5 frame but there are two different forks. The P5 Six comes with Cervélo’s FK38 fork which has ultra-deep section legs and a nose cone to shroud the hydraulic Magura rim brakes. It also has a 3T Aduro handlebar that was designed specifically for the P5. The bike in our photos is the P5 Three, the UCI-legal version for pro road racing, but as it’s the very first P5 in the UK to be built  we aren’t complaining.

Rinard says the idea for the two versions was “conceptually integrated” from the start.

The P5 frame features some of the most advanced and integrated aerodynamics yet seen in any bike. Each area was developed to address the airflow that it receives as part of the whole bike, not as a separate component in clean air. Cervélo dub this thinking ‘AeroZone’. Rinard explains how it affects the tube shapes: “The head tube AeroZone sees fairly clean flow, so for the most part its cross-section follows basic, well-known aerodynamic principles. The seat tube AeroZone is different – it’s in the wake of everything upstream… which changes the airflow it sees. Our in-house aerodynamicist modelled this flow in CFD [and] it turns out the lowest system drag required a carefully truncated foil for the seat tube and post. [This] increases drag on the frame but changed the flow off the rider’s back in a beneficial way, giving a significant [overall] reduction in system drag.”

The P5 has hit the ground running, taking seven Ironman wins in its first six months of racing.


Weight 8.77kg
Frame P5  Fork FK37
Gears Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace  Wheels Profile
Design Altair 80/Disc
Finishing kit
PRO Missile aerobar and stem, Selle San Marco Aspide TT saddle
PRICE £3,499.99 (frameset)

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