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Eurobike 2010: Cervélo's updated road range

By:
James Huang
Published:
September 01, 2010, 23:55 BST,
Updated:
September 02, 2010, 1:22 BST
Cervélo will produce the flagship R5ca in limited quantities. Each will be hand made by Cervélo engineers at the company's California development facility.

Cervélo will produce the flagship R5ca in limited quantities. Each will be hand made by Cervélo engineers at the company's California development facility.

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Cervélo will offer its new range-topping R5 road machine in two levels for the 2011 season: the limited production R5ca and the inline R5. While both will share virtually identical exterior shapes, the R5ca will be built in Cervélo's California facility by company engineers – not factory workers – and will boast an almost unbelievable 675g claimed frame weight.

That being said, the standard R5 is no paperweight, either, with a claimed figure of under 800g.

Geometry is tweaked a bit as well with more regular jumps in stack and reach across the size range, steadier high-speed handling in smaller sizes, and slightly longer head tubes that still allow for soon-to-be former Cervélo TestTeam riders to achieve their aggressive positions with -17° stems but simultaneously allow the rest of us to produce more realistic positions without having to resort to a tall stack of spacers.

Common features between the R5ca and R5 include a 1 1/8"-to-1 3/8" tapered front end for what Cervélo says is the best combination of stiffness and ride comfort, especially tall and chunky asymmetrical chain stays, Cervélo's tiniest seat stays to date, the company's familiar 'Squoval' tube profiles, and the unique BBright (say, 'bee bee right') bottom bracket system derived from the industry-standard BB30 setup.

BBright uses the same spindle diameter as BB30 plus the same bearing dimensions and placement on the driveside, but extends the non-driveside bearing 11mm further away from the centerline of the bike since the lack of chainrings leaves plenty of room. As a result, BBright yields no change in pedal stance width but affords more real estate for a bigger down tube, non-driveside chain stay and seat tube – and the press-fit cups yield a lighter overall system, too.

Moreover, Cervélo says BBright requires only minor modifications on the part of current BB30-compliant crank manufacturers for compatibility and indeed, SRAM, FSA, Campagnolo, and Rotor are all on board to produce BBright-specific bits. Adapters will allow Shimano Hollowtech II cranks to fit, too, and additional kits will allow users to install older external-type cranks such as MegaExo, GXP, and Ultra-Torque.


Cervelo's R3 will become the high-end workhorse of the road family with features and tube shapes borrowed from the new R5.

Cervélo will also trickle down nearly all of the R5's shape and features to the wholly revamped R3 (the R3-SL goes away for 2011), including the tapered front end, more radical stay shapes and sizes, revised geometry, and the BBright bottom bracket system for – surprise, surprise – more drivetrain and torsional stiffness, a better ride, and less weight than the previous edition.

Given the extensive development work poured into the R5 and R3 platforms, it's no surprise that Cervélo had little energy left for other projects as the S1/2/3 aero road range and proven P1/2/3/4 are essentially carried over for 2011.

Even so, Cervélo did somehow manage to squeeze in a new T1 dedicated track frame made with aero-profile aluminum tubing, traditional rear-facing horizontal dropouts, a straight 1 1/8" head tube and a standard threaded bottom bracket for those that want to give never-ending left turns a shot.

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