Cervélo has launched the newest version of its ‘classic road bike’, the R5, which has a reworked front end, lower frameset weight and a few other details to bring it in line with the current crop of best road bikes. We had previously spotted a new Cervélo bike back in April being ridden by Roglic at La Flèche Wallonne which we speculated would be the new R5, it looks like we were right and today Cervélo has officially released the new bike.
If you read a lot of product launch press releases you would be lead to believe that it’s not possible to build a frame with too much stiffness. Cervélo boasted with the previous R5 that it was the stiffest road frame they had ever produced, however, after receiving feedback from Jumbo Visma riders, Cervélo has gone against the grain with a renewed focus on comfort, not all-out stiffness, for its R5 race bike. That’s not to say the new R5 is any less stiff in terms of pedalling performance as it features the same tubing profiles around the bottom bracket. The specific feedback was regarding the front end of the bike. By changing the layup and tube shapes around the head tube, the Cervélo designers claim to be able to make the bike more forgiving on long road stages. A fork's construction has a great bearing on the front end characteristics, too, so the R5 now has a reworked fork with reduced longitudinal stiffness, without affecting the lateral stiffness. Tom Dumoulin, who was apparently the most vocal regarding the compliance issues with the previous R5, performed much of the early testing of the new version and felt it was greatly improved over its predecessor.
While the ratio of stiffness to comfort might have been in question there is no argument that lighter is better, especially when trying to design the best lightweight bikes. Cervélo claims to have shaved 130g off the old model which results in a 703g frame (56cm) and 329g fork. This 16 per cent saving is complemented by reductions in the handlebar/stem (12g) and the seatpost (20g) - and is now far easier to meet the 6.8kg UCI weight limit.
Aerodynamics hasn’t been a design specification for the R5 although Cervélo has now integrated the cables to be routed internally through the redesigned cockpit. The bar and stem is still a two-piece 1 1/4 setup, rather than an integrated unit, resulting in a cleaner front end and reduction in drag. The Cervélo R5 is now only compatible with electronic groupsets.
The final update is an increase in tyre clearance. The outgoing R5 had fairly generous (for a road bike) clearances of 30mm but Cervélo has upped it to 34mm. While most riders will probably still run road aligned tyres between 25 to 28mm, the increased clearance will catch the attention of those looking for more all-road capability while still maintaining an aggressive riding position. The geometry will remain unchanged so the fit and handling will stay the same as the old R5.
If you buy the new R5 as a complete bike, it will be shipped with a carbon wheelset that has been developed in partnership with Reserve. The wheelset features a 34mm/37mm deep front and rear rim combo and has a 30mm/28mm width (22.6/21.6 IRD) with DT Swiss 240 hub at 1,300g per pair. The rim features a mini hookless design and is tubeless-ready. The premium Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 groupset and SRAM Red eTap AXS builds will come with DT Swiss 240 hubs while the Ultegra and Force bikes are built around more affordable DT Swiss 370s. Cervélo claims that the DT Swiss 240 equipped wheels will weigh in at 1,300g. At first, the wheelsets will only be available with the complete bikes although they could potentially be offered aftermarket in early 2022.
As previously mentioned, the bikes will be available in four build options; Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, SRAM Red AXS, Shimano Ultegra Di2 and SRAM Force AXS. The R5 frameset will also be available as a frameset-only option in Lime, Black and a Jumbo-Visma Replica design. The frameset includes the Cervélo HB13 Carbon handlebar, ST31 Carbon stem and SP24 carbon seatpost. Pricing for the frameset is £4,499 / $5,000 while a Dura-Ace or Red equipped bike will cost you £11,699 / $12,000. The Ultegra option comes in at £8,299 / $8,700 or you can have Force for $8,599 / $8,400.
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