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Pro bike: Tom Danielson's Cervélo R5ca

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A strip of electrical tape keeps the valve extender from rattling during rides.

A strip of electrical tape keeps the valve extender from rattling during rides. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) bike is equipped with SRAM's top-end Red group.

Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) bike is equipped with SRAM's top-end Red group. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The carbon-bodied Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals show signs of crash damage.

The carbon-bodied Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals show signs of crash damage. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A stainless steel number holder is sandwiched in between the SRAM Black Red rear brake and the seat stay bridge.

A stainless steel number holder is sandwiched in between the SRAM Black Red rear brake and the seat stay bridge. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Cervélo R5ca is fitted with a SRAM Black Red rear derailleur but a Shimano Dura-Ace chain and cassette.

Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Cervélo R5ca is fitted with a SRAM Black Red rear derailleur but a Shimano Dura-Ace chain and cassette. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear hub on Mavic's Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheel uses carbon spokes but it can still be trued thanks to short threaded sections on the non-driveside.

The rear hub on Mavic's Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheel uses carbon spokes but it can still be trued thanks to short threaded sections on the non-driveside. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The red stripe on the fi'zi:k Arione CX Carbon Braided saddle matches perfectly with the 3T Doric Team seatpost.

The red stripe on the fi'zi:k Arione CX Carbon Braided saddle matches perfectly with the 3T Doric Team seatpost. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The carbon fiber shell on fi'zi:k's Arione CX Carbon Braided saddle is ultralight but also provides some tuned flex relative to the nylon shell.

The carbon fiber shell on fi'zi:k's Arione CX Carbon Braided saddle is ultralight but also provides some tuned flex relative to the nylon shell. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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There's a lot of elaborate tube shaping going on here, with the seat tube morphing from round up top to rectangular down below, the chain stays changing dramatically in size from front to back, and impossibly thin seat stays offering up a softer ride.

There's a lot of elaborate tube shaping going on here, with the seat tube morphing from round up top to rectangular down below, the chain stays changing dramatically in size from front to back, and impossibly thin seat stays offering up a softer ride. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) uses a zero-offset 3T Doric Team seatpost on his Cervélo R5ca.

Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) uses a zero-offset 3T Doric Team seatpost on his Cervélo R5ca. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Team mechanics have trimmed the forward bolt on the 3T Doric Team seatpost so as not to dig into the bottom of the saddle shell.

Team mechanics have trimmed the forward bolt on the 3T Doric Team seatpost so as not to dig into the bottom of the saddle shell. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Garmin-Cervélo team mechanics plug the bottom bracket spindle with a 3T handlebar plug.

Garmin-Cervélo team mechanics plug the bottom bracket spindle with a 3T handlebar plug. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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These tires wear a Mavic hot stamp but the tread pattern and casing look to have come from Veloflex.

These tires wear a Mavic hot stamp but the tread pattern and casing look to have come from Veloflex. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cervélo opted for a 1 1/8-to-1 3/8in tapered front end on the R5ca. The head tube is also slightly longer than previous-generation R bikes to better accommodate recreational cyclists but the length was carefully tuned so that team riders could still achieve their desired positions with no spacers in place.

Cervélo opted for a 1 1/8-to-1 3/8in tapered front end on the R5ca. The head tube is also slightly longer than previous-generation R bikes to better accommodate recreational cyclists but the length was carefully tuned so that team riders could still achieve their desired positions with no spacers in place. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) is using Cervélo's ultra-exclusive R5ca machine for the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) is using Cervélo's ultra-exclusive R5ca machine for the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) prefers the traditional drop of 3T's Rotundo handlebar.

Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) prefers the traditional drop of 3T's Rotundo handlebar. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cervélo's R5ca uses the BBright bottom bracket standard, which is similar to BB30 but with a non-driveside bearing that's pushed 11mm outward.

Cervélo's R5ca uses the BBright bottom bracket standard, which is similar to BB30 but with a non-driveside bearing that's pushed 11mm outward. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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BBright's additional 11mm of width relative to BB30 allows Cervélo's frame designers to include a wider seat tube, down tube, and chain stay yoke for improved frame stiffness.

BBright's additional 11mm of width relative to BB30 allows Cervélo's frame designers to include a wider seat tube, down tube, and chain stay yoke for improved frame stiffness. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Carbon housing stops on Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Cervélo R5ca are molded into the rest of the carbon structure.

Carbon housing stops on Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Cervélo R5ca are molded into the rest of the carbon structure. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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More carbon fiber is found in the Arundel Mandible bottle cages.

More carbon fiber is found in the Arundel Mandible bottle cages. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Like many pros, Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) uses an all-aluminum cockpit for better durability in crashes than carbon setups but also to help the bike hit the UCI-mandated minimum weight limit.

Like many pros, Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) uses an all-aluminum cockpit for better durability in crashes than carbon setups but also to help the bike hit the UCI-mandated minimum weight limit. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Not surprisingly, the Garmin-Cervélo team is outfitted with Garmin Edge 500 computers. Tom Danielson's actual computer head wasn't available for the photo shoot, however, hence the new unit shown here with its dead battery and dummy display.

Not surprisingly, the Garmin-Cervélo team is outfitted with Garmin Edge 500 computers. Tom Danielson's actual computer head wasn't available for the photo shoot, however, hence the new unit shown here with its dead battery and dummy display. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Rotor 3D+ crankset is fitted with an SRM power meter and a solid outer chainring for better shifting.

Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Rotor 3D+ crankset is fitted with an SRM power meter and a solid outer chainring for better shifting. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The down tube of Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Cervélo R5ca uses the company's long-running 'squoval' tube shape.

The down tube of Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Cervélo R5ca uses the company's long-running 'squoval' tube shape. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The SRAM Black Red front brake is fitted with Mavic carbon-specific pads made by SwissStop.

The SRAM Black Red front brake is fitted with Mavic carbon-specific pads made by SwissStop. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gore Ride-On Professional System cables provide consistent shifting performance through wet weather. A chain catcher is anchored to the front side of the braze-on tab.

Gore Ride-On Professional System cables provide consistent shifting performance through wet weather. A chain catcher is anchored to the front side of the braze-on tab. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels are a popular choice for sponsored riders for their appealing mix of light weight and good aerodynamics but Garmin-Cervélo will have a wide range of wheels to choose from for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels are a popular choice for sponsored riders for their appealing mix of light weight and good aerodynamics but Garmin-Cervélo will have a wide range of wheels to choose from for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The top tube shaping mimics that of the seat tube, starting with a round profile at one end and finishing with a rectangular one at the other.

The top tube shaping mimics that of the seat tube, starting with a round profile at one end and finishing with a rectangular one at the other. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

Top-level professional road cyclists are no strangers to exorbitantly expensive machines but even among this elite crowd, Tom Danielson's (Garmin-Cervélo) Cervélo R5ca can be considered an extravagant luxury with a retail price of US$9,800 – for just the frameset – and a limited production of just 300 units per year.

That price tag brings with it some amazingly tantalizing performance credentials though, including a claimed frame weight of under 700g – with paint, derailleur mounts, seatpost collar and water bottle bolts – Cervélo's latest extra-wide BBright oversized bottom bracket system, a tapered 1 1/8-to-1 3/8in front end and matching all-carbon fork made by German carbon specialist THM, carbon fiber housing stops, and even a new lower-friction cable guide for easier shifting.

Add in the company's trademark 'squoval' tube shaping, especially svelte seat stays, and dramatically tapered chain stays, and the result is possibly the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any bike in Cervélo's lineup but coupled with the characteristically smooth ride of the rest of the 'R' family.

Danielson calls nearby Boulder, Colorado home and is looking to put his stamp on the inaugural race once it hits the high mountains so it's no surprise that his bike just barely meets UCI guidelines for weight, pegging our scales at just 6.82kg (15.04lb) with a Garmin Edge 500 computer strapped to the stem.

Build kit consists of SRAM's top-end Red shifters, derailleurs and brakes, a Shimano Dura-Ace chain and cassette, a Rotor 3D+ crankset with an SRM power measuring chainring spider, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate carbon tubulars, a fi'zi:k Arione CX Carbon Braided saddle, and 3T's ARX Pro stem, Rotundo Pro traditional-bend bar, and Doric Team seatpost.

Topping things off are Gore's Professional System sealed derailleur cables and housing, Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL carbon pedals, tubular tires with Mavic hot stamps, Arundel Mandible carbon bottle cages, and

According to team mechanic Geoff Brown, Danielson doesn't have any particularly special setup or equipment requests.

"Nothing unusual," he told BikeRadar. "Nothing that wouldn't normally expect beyond doing the regular setup. He just asks that it works correctly."

That may be the case but one measurement does stand out in our eyes: Danielson's 175mm-long crankarms, which seem unusually long given his 1.78m (5ft 10in) height. Brown says Danielson has no problems maintaining a high cadence with them, however.

"Have you seen how long his legs are?" he said.

However, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge's generous allotment of climbing – much of which is at a higher altitude than most of the peloton has ever experienced in a race – does have the Garmin-Cervélo team reaching for larger cassettes than they typically use. Even a climbing specialist like Danielson is planning on spinning lower gear ratios.

"Like most of these guys now, he's a high-rev guy so we're going to running 27s or 28s most of the week on the back end," said Brown. "That'll be the standard issue."

This article appeared first on BikeRadar.com.

Complete bike specifications

Frame: Cervélo R5ca, size 54cm
Fork: Cervélo THM, 1 1/8-to-1 3/8in tapered
Headset: FSA Orbit integrated, 1 1/8-to-1 3/8in tapered
Stem: 3T ARX-Pro, 12cm x -6°
Handlebars: 3T Rotundo Pro, 42cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: 3T
Front brake: SRAM Black Red w/ Mavic carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
Rear brake: SRAM Black Red w/ Mavic carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
Brake levers: SRAM Black Red DoubleTap
Front derailleur: SRAM Black Red w/ steel cage
Rear derailleur: SRAM Black Red
Shift levers: SRAM Black Red DoubleTap
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-27T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
Crankset: SRM PowerMeter Rotor 3D+, 175mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: Rotor BBright
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7900
Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
Front tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm, by Veloflex
Rear tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm, by Veloflex
Saddle: fi'zi:k Arione CX Carbon Braided
Seat post: 3T Doric Team
Bottle cages: Arundel Mandible (2)
Computer: Garmin Edge 500
Other accessories: Gore Ride-On Professional System derailleur cables and housing, AceCo K-Edge chain watcher

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 1.78m (5ft 10in)
Rider's weight: 59kg (130lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 784mm
Saddle setback (ask mechanic): 66mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 528mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 486mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 565mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 108mm
Head tube length: 148mm
Top tube length: 570mm
Total bicycle weight: 6.82kg (15.04lb) with Garmin Edge 500 computer
 

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