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Cervelo S5 - stiff, light, fast.

22 February 2017

Simon Still


Cervelo S5 - stiff, light, fast.

Today we’re looking at the Cervelo S5 -  long considered the benchmark Aero road bike.

Aerodynamics are important on a bike. At 25 mph, on the leve, over 80% of your power can be consumed overcoming aerodynamic drag. It’s not just important when you’re going flat out - even at slower speeds aerodynamic drag is a big hit on power - far more than rolling resistance or drivetrain losses. The least aerodynamic part of the bike is, of course, the rider, but the bike can be 20% or more and it is something that can be optimised - aero bikes can help almost anyone ride faster.

Cervelo was born in 1995 when they created the Barrachi - a radical carbon monocoque time trial bike that pushed the rules on almost every level. It never made it into production but elements of the design were reworked into production bikes and when the P3 was launched in 2001 it quickly became the standard for time trials and triathlons, with design elements that fed directly into their S series of aero road bikes.

Launched in 2011 the original S5 was ridden by Thor Hushovd to multiple victories and a long run in the TdF yellow jersey.  It re-set the bar for aero bikes for many years with it's radically shaped tubes. The latest version of Cervelo S5 was launched in 2015 and is still at the head of the aero bike class with a claimed 21.3 watt saving over the previous model.

The new S5 is a remarkable all rounder. Although significantly stiffer than the previous version at the head tube and bottom bracket, comfort hasn’t been sacrificed. A carefully tuned carbon layup is used to balance comfort and rigidity in the seat tower and the top tube and chainstay (which have negligible effect on aerodynamics) use very similar profiles to the lightweight R5. There’s also now space for 25mm tyres with the benefits to both comfort and rolling resistance that they bring.

Ridden in the World Tour by Dimension Data (MTN Qhubeka) it’s a flexible enough machine that riders were using the S5 even on the cobbles of Flanders.  Needless to say, it was also the bike that Mark Cavendish rode to his four 2016 TdF stage wins.

More practical than some of the competition a ‘keep it simple’ philosophy leads to largely standard componentry. The decision to “hide the brakes from the wind, not from the mechanic” means adjustment and cable replacement is simple. Cable routing is very neat and is designed to be ‘future proof’ - usable with mechanical, electronic, and hydraulic shifting and braking systems. Cervelo’s aero bar is also wind tunnel tuned - saving a 4.4w alone over a normal bar - but uses a conventional stem which gives far more scope to adjust fit than one piece designs.  

It’s a great machine and consistently popular with our customers.  We’ve got stock in a wide range of sizes and specs which have come from tour company Hot Chillee and were used by their ride leaders over spring/summer 2016. Some have a few signs of use but they've done limited mileage and are a great buy. 

We have complete bikes with either manual or Di2 Dura Ace and framesets with or without bar and stem. Framesets start from just £2495 and complete bikes from £3795.

As always at Road Cycle Exchange you have confidence that the bikes have been fully checked and serviced and they come with a 1 year guarantee on the frame and 3 months on parts.





Cervelo S5 - stiff, light, fast.

22 February 2017

Simon Still


Cervelo S5 - stiff, light, fast.

Today we’re looking at the Cervelo S5 -  long considered the benchmark Aero road bike.

Aerodynamics are important on a bike. At 25 mph, on the leve, over 80% of your power can be consumed overcoming aerodynamic drag. It’s not just important when you’re going flat out - even at slower speeds aerodynamic drag is a big hit on power - far more than rolling resistance or drivetrain losses. The least aerodynamic part of the bike is, of course, the rider, but the bike can be 20% or more and it is something that can be optimised - aero bikes can help almost anyone ride faster.

Cervelo was born in 1995 when they created the Barrachi - a radical carbon monocoque time trial bike that pushed the rules on almost every level. It never made it into production but elements of the design were reworked into production bikes and when the P3 was launched in 2001 it quickly became the standard for time trials and triathlons, with design elements that fed directly into their S series of aero road bikes.

Launched in 2011 the original S5 was ridden by Thor Hushovd to multiple victories and a long run in the TdF yellow jersey.  It re-set the bar for aero bikes for many years with it's radically shaped tubes. The latest version of Cervelo S5 was launched in 2015 and is still at the head of the aero bike class with a claimed 21.3 watt saving over the previous model.

The new S5 is a remarkable all rounder. Although significantly stiffer than the previous version at the head tube and bottom bracket, comfort hasn’t been sacrificed. A carefully tuned carbon layup is used to balance comfort and rigidity in the seat tower and the top tube and chainstay (which have negligible effect on aerodynamics) use very similar profiles to the lightweight R5. There’s also now space for 25mm tyres with the benefits to both comfort and rolling resistance that they bring.

Ridden in the World Tour by Dimension Data (MTN Qhubeka) it’s a flexible enough machine that riders were using the S5 even on the cobbles of Flanders.  Needless to say, it was also the bike that Mark Cavendish rode to his four 2016 TdF stage wins.

More practical than some of the competition a ‘keep it simple’ philosophy leads to largely standard componentry. The decision to “hide the brakes from the wind, not from the mechanic” means adjustment and cable replacement is simple. Cable routing is very neat and is designed to be ‘future proof’ - usable with mechanical, electronic, and hydraulic shifting and braking systems. Cervelo’s aero bar is also wind tunnel tuned - saving a 4.4w alone over a normal bar - but uses a conventional stem which gives far more scope to adjust fit than one piece designs.  

It’s a great machine and consistently popular with our customers.  We’ve got stock in a wide range of sizes and specs which have come from tour company Hot Chillee and were used by their ride leaders over spring/summer 2016. Some have a few signs of use but they've done limited mileage and are a great buy. 

We have complete bikes with either manual or Di2 Dura Ace and framesets with or without bar and stem. Framesets start from just £2495 and complete bikes from £3795.

As always at Road Cycle Exchange you have confidence that the bikes have been fully checked and serviced and they come with a 1 year guarantee on the frame and 3 months on parts.









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