Team Dimension Data have been spotted with a new bike, believed to be an updated Cervélo R5 at the Dubai Tour. We managed to take some photos of the bike, which is being ridden by Jay Thomson.
Cervélo is the bike sponsor of Dimension Data, who are currently racing in the Dubai Tour with their star sprinter Mark Cavendish. Although the team has the lightweight Cervélo R5 climbing bike at their disposal, in recent times they have almost exclusively opted to ride the slightly heavier, but more aerodynamic Cervélo S5.
The current Cervélo R5 has been around since 2012 and is consequently ready for an update. A new frame had appeared on the UCI's list of approved frames on January 6, 2017 with the name 'R5 rim brake version.' The specific nature of this name, suggests there is also a disc brake version of the same bike soon to be announced.
The Cervélo R5 has a camouflage style paint job, similar to that used by large car companies, when they test prototypes out on open roads. Car companies use these paint jobs in a bid to break up and hide the shape of the new designs. Despite this, the new design appears to have slightly different tube shapes, bigger chain stays and more aggressive geometry than the previous Cervélo R5.
The photos also indicate that the bike has a redesigned seat post clamp, that could be of a similar design to the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX. The fork looks deeper in cross section and more bladed, while the head tube is noticeably shorter. The shape of the down tube is hard to make out, owing to the pattern, but it looks like it may have been optimised aerodynamically for bottles.
The seat post looks like it may have a 'D' shape cross section for improved aerodynamics and compliance too. At present, this is all speculation.
Cervélo was asked for comment and responded:
"Cervélo Cycles has provided Team Dimension Data with the latest prototype model of the completely re-engineered R5 for testing at its Team Camp in Calpe, Spain. With the new R Series in its final stages of development, Cervélo’s goal is to have the world’s most demanding riders test the bike in real riding conditions before it is returned for fine-tuning that will precede the official R Series launch this summer. Indeed, the new R Series has been engineered around peak performance in challenging riding conditions. It was an open secret that the Cervélo R Series would undergo an upgrade in 2017. Now, it’s official — and this means major improvements, such as:
- Increased torsional and bottom-bracket stiffness.
- More tire clearance.
- Predictable handling with increased trail and chain-stay length across all sizes.
Cervélo also added that because it didn't want to reveal too much about the new bike before the official launch "the bike has been wrapped in a unique pavé-inspired design."
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Oliver Bridgewood - no, Doctor Oliver Bridgewood - is a PhD Chemist who discovered a love of cycling. He enjoys racing time trials, hill climbs, road races and criteriums. During his time at Cycling Weekly, he worked predominantly within the tech team, also utilising his science background to produce insightful fitness articles, before moving to an entirely video-focused role heading up the Cycling Weekly YouTube channel, where his feature-length documentary 'Project 49' was his crowning glory.