Spotted: unreleased Cervélo S5 aero bike raced at Opening Weekend 2022

So continues Cervélo’s approach of race first, launch later

New Cervélo S5 ridden by Wout van Aert, Anna Henderson, Primož Roglič
It appears Jumbo Visma's Wout van Aert, Anna Henderson, and Primož Roglič are all riding a new Cervélo S5 aero bike
(Image credit: Getty Images: Pool, Jasper Jacobs, Bruno Bade)

In amongst the gripping racing of the weekend, the very most observant of viewers will have clocked a few subtle differences to the Cervélo S5 aero bikes, as ridden by a select few of Jumbo-Visma’s men’s and women’s World Tour teams, including Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Wout van Aert.

It would be the latest in what appears to be Cervélo’s preferred launch strategy: race first; release later. 

Back in the spring of 2021, Jumbo-Visma riders were spotted riding the new Cervélo R5, long before it was eventually released and we finally had a chance to review it. Likewise, in October 2021, Marianne Vos and van Aert were both seen riding the new Cervélo R5-CX weeks before it was officially announced.

What's changed in the new Cervélo S5?

New Cervélo S5 head tube

L: new S5. R: 'current' S5

(Image credit: Getty images: David Stockman, Peter de Voecht)

Perhaps the most striking differences are those around the headtube. Thanks to a recent tweak regarding the UCI’s 3:1 rule, which governs the permitted tubing shapes, Cervélo has taken full advantage and increased the depth of head tube – essentially filling in a little more of the frame’s main triangle to better improve the air flow.

Left: Wout van Aert riding new S5. Right: Wout van Aert riding current S5

L: new S5. R: 'current' S5

(Image credit: Getty Images: Pool, Pool)

When viewed from the front, it’s possible to see how the head tube also appears to have been given a narrower middle section, whilst also flaring back out a little more nearer the top of the head tube. 

It might just be the angle of the photos, but it appears as though the fork legs now bow out a little further from the spokes than previously, too.

New Cervélo S5 bottom bracket

L: new S5. R: 'current' S5

(Image credit: Getty images: David Stockman, Peter de Voecht)

Whether it’s for increased stiffness or better aerodynamics, the bottom bracket area seems to have had its size inflated, now rising even further up the seat tube and again filling in a little more of the frame’s main triangle.

New Cervélo S5 seat tube and top tube

L: new S5. R: 'current' S5

(Image credit: Getty Images: David Stockman, Peter de Voecht)

Finally, towards the rear of the bike, the same filling in of the main triangle occurs – this time around the junction between the seat tube and the top tube. Just how many watts these tweaks are likely to save is anyone’s guess. But what we can say is: it’ll probably be a little while longer until the official release drops.

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Stefan Abram
Tech features editor

After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third, completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12.

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg