Skip to main content

2011 Reader Poll: Garmin-Cervélo Cervélo S5 wins best team bike

Image 1 of 23

Garmin-Cervélo enjoyed its best Tour de France ever, including a stint in yellow for Thor Hushovd aboard the new Cervélo S5.

Garmin-Cervélo enjoyed its best Tour de France ever, including a stint in yellow for Thor Hushovd aboard the new Cervélo S5.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 2 of 23

The relatively tall head tube, straight steerer, and dropped down tube make for a somewhat awkward looking but apparently very fast profile.

The relatively tall head tube, straight steerer, and dropped down tube make for a somewhat awkward looking but apparently very fast profile.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 3 of 23

The P4-like seat tube closely follows the rear wheel and is topped by a nearly vertical seatpost. Seat stays are spaced far apart to help air flow cleanly through the gaps.

The P4-like seat tube closely follows the rear wheel and is topped by a nearly vertical seatpost. Seat stays are spaced far apart to help air flow cleanly through the gaps.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 4 of 23

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but Cyclingnews readers have nonetheless voted the Garmin-Cervélo Cervélo S5 as Best Team Bike of 2011.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but Cyclingnews readers have nonetheless voted the Garmin-Cervélo Cervélo S5 as Best Team Bike of 2011.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 5 of 23

HTC-Highroad sprint sensation Mark Cavendish spent much of the season on the top-end McLaren version of the Specialized S-Works Venge.

HTC-Highroad sprint sensation Mark Cavendish spent much of the season on the top-end McLaren version of the Specialized S-Works Venge.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 6 of 23

HTC-Highroad put the new Specialized S-Works Venge into heavy rotation during the 2011 season.

HTC-Highroad put the new Specialized S-Works Venge into heavy rotation during the 2011 season.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 7 of 23

Many HTC-Highroad riders supposedly favored the Specialized S-Works Venge over the lighter Tarmac SL4 not only for its aerodynamic benefit but also the firmer ride.

Many HTC-Highroad riders supposedly favored the Specialized S-Works Venge over the lighter Tarmac SL4 not only for its aerodynamic benefit but also the firmer ride.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 8 of 23

Team Sky upgraded to the new Pinarello Dogma 2 this year, complete with a striking bright green paint job to draw attention to its Project Rainforest initiative.

Team Sky upgraded to the new Pinarello Dogma 2 this year, complete with a striking bright green paint job to draw attention to its Project Rainforest initiative.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 9 of 23

Most bicycle tech aficionados could probably identify the distinctive Pinarello Dogma 2 shape even without markings or paint.

Most bicycle tech aficionados could probably identify the distinctive Pinarello Dogma 2 shape even without markings or paint.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 10 of 23

Race leader Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) was in his element in the finale - an uphill finish in inclement conditions.

Race leader Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) was in his element in the finale - an uphill finish in inclement conditions.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
Image 11 of 23

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) put in a fine display to retain the golden tunic.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) put in a fine display to retain the golden tunic.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
Image 12 of 23

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) would surrender his yellow jersey to Thomas Voeckler at the end of stage nine.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) would surrender his yellow jersey to Thomas Voeckler at the end of stage nine.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 13 of 23

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) celebrates his amazing solo victory

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) celebrates his amazing solo victory
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 14 of 23

World champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo)

World champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 15 of 23

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) claims the 10th Tour de France stage win of his career.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) claims the 10th Tour de France stage win of his career.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 16 of 23

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) with another victory in the Tour de France

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) with another victory in the Tour de France
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 17 of 23

Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) gets to keep the green jersey

Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) gets to keep the green jersey
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 18 of 23

Cav got the better of teammate Matt Goss

Cav got the better of teammate Matt Goss
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 19 of 23

Matt Goss (HTC - Highroad) takes the biggest win of his career at Milan-San Remo.

Matt Goss (HTC - Highroad) takes the biggest win of his career at Milan-San Remo.
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
Image 20 of 23

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) celebrates his first win at the Tour de France

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) celebrates his first win at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 21 of 23

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) plummets to Pinerolo

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) plummets to Pinerolo
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 22 of 23

Froome put in a strong attack that nearly succeeded in dropping Cobo

Froome put in a strong attack that nearly succeeded in dropping Cobo
(Image credit: Vuelta a Espana)
Image 23 of 23

All eyes were on Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in the start village.

All eyes were on Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in the start village.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Cervélo's S5 aero road bike debut was hardly spotless. While touted as an ultra-aero machine, its numbers-driven design, P4-esque seat tube, and awkwardly proportioned front end also lit up the forums with less-than-flattering commentary. The naysayers are apparently in the minority, however, as Garmin-Cervélo's new S5 has handily won the Best Team Bike category in this year's Cyclingnews Reader Poll with a commanding margin and an unprecedented seventh straight victory for the Canadian company.

By definition, aesthetics are subjective but ultimately the S5 is meant to be a race bike and Cervélo engineers were more concerned with decreasing wind resistance – after all, Garmin-Cervélo riders are more concerned with how their team comes across the finish line than how their bikes look rolling down the road.

As a result, the nearly upright seat tube is offset rearward and closely follows the rear wheel, the compact seat stays are spaced further apart, the down tube is dropped nearly in contact with the front wheel, and the visually tall, teardrop-shaped head tube surrounds a straight 1 1/8in steerer instead of a more structurally advantageous tapered one.

Designers even factored bottle placement into the aero equation and naturally, cable routing is fully internal.

Big tube sections where they count, continued lay-up refinement, and Cervélo's BBright bottom bracket design supposedly yield a 12 percent boost in stiffness over the S3 and the top-end S5 VWD frame variant is even pretty light at a claimed 990g – in other words, a winning formula in our Reader Poll.

Aerodynamic benefits are difficult to validate and nearly impossible to feel out on the road but readers are clearly smitten with the idea regardless with the HTC-Highroad Specialized S-Works Venge coming in a strong second. Specialized was late to the all-out aero road bike game but the company has quickly staked a claim for itself with the striking Venge.

More conventionally styled than the S5, the Venge employs the usual bag of aero tricks that includes deep tube sections, a matching teardrop-shaped seatpost, internal cable routing. In total, Specialized claims the Venge will save its rider 23W of effort at 45km/h versus the company's own Tarmac SL3 while still being impressively light at right around a kilogram for a bare frame.

Key riders such as Mark Cavendish got an extra ace in the hole with the ultra-exclusive McLaren version, which uses the same shape but additional composite know-how from the heralded automaker for slightly lighter weight but also some extra stiffness, too – exactly what the doctor ordered when feverishly sprinting for the finish line.

Pinarello proves it's not "aero or nothing", though, with its unmistakably curvaceous and unapologetically asymmetrical Dogma 2 as supplied to the Sky team rounding out the top three. Key changes from the previous version include a more aggressively tapered front end, a bigger down tube and more heavily reinforced fork crown, and a more pronounced asymmetry throughout. Pinarello says the updates yield a six percent improvement in stiffness over the previous Dogma plus 30g of weight reduction but readers simply say it's one of their favorites for 2011.

2011 Best Team Bike:
1. Garmin-Cervélo Cervélo S5 7,391 (34.2%)
2. HTC-Highroad Specialized S-Works Venge 4,578 (21.2%)
3. Sky Professional Cycling Team Pinarello Dogma 2 2,160 (10.0%)
4. Leopard-Trek Trek Madone 6.9 SSL 1,811 (8.4%)
5. Liquigas-Cannondale Cannondale SuperSixEvo 1,594 (7.4%)
6. BMC Racing Team BMC Impec 1,347 (6.2%)
7. Europcar Colnago C59 1,302 (6.0%)
8. Omega Pharma-Lotto Canyon Aeroad CF 599 (2.8%)
9. Rabobank Giant TCR Advanced SL 523 (2.4%)
10. Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team Ridley Noah FB 329 (1.5%)
Total: 21,634