This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
The UCI's recently updated list of approved frames includes reference to Cervelo's new R7 road bike, with the governing body of the sport having already tested the machine to ensure it meets its stringent rules.
There are no details on the bike from Cervelo as yet, but given the current R5 falls short of the staggeringly lightweight RCa produced in 2013, we'd expect the R7 to be a full production version of this frame design with a similarly light carbon layup – and manufacturing moved from California to the far east, reducing the RCa's $10,000 price mark.
The R5 frame (a copy of the RCa without the high-end carbon) weighs a claimed 808g. While far from being a heavyweight, this isn't in the same realms of featheriness enjoyed by the Trek Emonda (690g) or Merida's new 680g Scultura 9000 LTD (680g), which is currently touted as the world's lightest production bike.
Cervelo only expected to sell 325 RCa frames – it'll be looking to sell a lot more R7s
The RCa's frame weighed only 667g two years ago and it'll be a coup for the Canadian company to match that with the R7. It'll be a big ask, but being a sponsor of both the MTN-Qhubeka pro continental team and a partner of British Cycling means the Canadian manufacturer will be under pressure to provide a bike that needs weight adding to meet the 6.8kg UCI minimum.
The R-series design has been hugely successful – Ryder Hesjedal won the 2012 Giro d'Italia on the RCa’s predecessor, the R5Ca – so even if the R7 isn’t an RCa in all but name, we're not expecting a massive overhaul of a redesign.
Possible design upgrades could include tweaks to Cervelo's Squoval (square-oval) tubing for increased stiffness and to eke out an extra watt or two of aero gains. Although not the brand's aero road bike, aerodynamics are crucial for the marginal gains of professionals and to temp buyers in the current marketplace – and it's what Cervelo has been specialising in for two decades.
We're expecting to see R7s gracing this year's Grand Tours and will bring you an update as soon as we see one up close.