Cervelo P5 SIX Di2 review

Faster than (ever) P4

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar 

Cervélo's P-series time trial bikes have become revered among the clock-chasing fraternity, with good reason. Always innovative, Cervélo sets the standard for others to beat, but can the P5 still cut it?

  • Highs: Aerodynamics, integration, saddle, cockpit, gearing
  • Lows: No gear change ability from the brake levers
  • Buy if: You appreciate the best and are ready for a life of racing without excuses

Bespoke bar

The cockpit has a bespoke and fully adjustable one-piece 3T carbon stem and base bar, with carbon extensions. The narrow base bar's wing-shaped top allows the extensions to be raised with the sculpted aero support pictured, or with some tinkering, they’ll sit just on top of the bar, which is how we tested the bike.

Twin exhausts for a couple of tiny rocket motors, or bolts to clamp the dedicated aero seatpost?

A void within the stem hides the Di2 junction box and wires, plus hoses for the Magura RT8 hydraulic callipers. Their delta shape matches that of the fork crown, and a two-part aero cover ensures minimal leading-edge wind disruption. The rear brake is hidden behind a cowl under the bottom bracket.

The P5's near-vertical carbon seatpost is topped with ISM's Adamo Prologue split nose saddle. It looks unconventional, but is a massive help when riding hard in a tuck. Those vast tube junctions, plus really chunky asymmetric chainstays mean there's no flex, and standing starts are only limited by your ability.

Docile-handling rocket

Di2 is excellent on most TT bikes, thanks to multiple shifter positions, but the Magura brake levers mean the only shifters are on the extensions, a limit when cornering, starting or climbing. Braking is as powerful and modulated as good mechanical brakes, but requires far less pressure.

HED's 60mm deep rims are 27mm at their widest, with an aluminium braking track, contemporary aerodynamics and superb stability. They're laterally stiff, happy to gain speed, and keen to keep it.

We found the hydraulic Magura brakes were very impressive

The Continental clinchers are solid performers too, fast, grippy and robust, although the 24mm rear has minimal brake clearance. We found the gearing ideal, and only the really rapid might want a bigger ring.

As demonstrated by Fabian Cancellara, the P5 can be both predatory and pussycat. It's possible to feel intimidated by a bike with limits far higher than yours, but it's rewarding when you settle into the cockpit and begin to flow through turns and really wind it up.

The handling is docile and stable, unflustered by poor surfaces, building the confidence to ride faster, stay in the tuck for longer, and push your envelope. It's not a cheap option, but as an off-the-peg clock worrier, the P5 still has few equals.

Full Specifications

Name: P5 SIX Di2 (16)
Built by: Cervelo
Price: £7,699.00 / US$ N/A / AU$12,500.00
Bottom Bracket: Rotor PF-30
Brakes: Magura RT8 Hydraulic Rim
Cassette: Dura-Ace 11-25
Cranks: Rotor FLOW BBright™ Aero, 52/36
Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, P5
Frame Material: Cervélo P5
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 11 spd
Front Tyre: Continental GP Attack 22m
Handlebar: 3T integrated carbon
Headset Type: FSA
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 11 spd
Rear Tyre: Continental GP Force 24mm
Saddle: ISM Adamo Prologue
Seatpost: Cervélo P5 aero carbon
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R671
Stem: 3T integrated carbon
Weight (kg): 8.57
Wheelset: HED Jet 6 Plus
Brake Levers: Magura RT8
Frame size tested: 54cm 

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