Gorgeously good looking and lightening fast, the Cervélo R5 is a premium performer that'll have you grinning from ear to ear
We’re not sure there has ever been a ride we’ve finished a ride on the Cervélo R5 where we haven’t been grinning, It captures the essence of cycling so well; it’s lightweight for the climbs, stiff for the flats and superb fun on the descents.
So, it’s two years on the trot for the R5, as we’ve once again included it in our Editor’s Choice list.
In this year’s stealthy matte black colours, the new Cervélo R5 is a drop dead gorgeous bike. It’s all straight lines and aggressive angles that makes it look like it’s chomping at the bit to ride fast – and ride fast it does.
Our test rides in both the mountains of Northern Italy and the lanes of Southern England convinced us that this was a bike that had it all – race car handling, criterium speed and stiffness as well drop dead gorgeous good looks.
Cervélo’s engineers wanted to great a bike that would make riders really feel the ride and explore how a bike can make a rider feel fast and responsive without being uncomfortable. This they aptly named “the psychology of the ride”, and the frame’s carbon layup allows just enough road resonance through to make the ride feel fast and lively, without being jarring.
Pro rider input
The bike’s geometry chart is really a long list of developments that make it an all round more aggressive beast, the most drastic of which is the drop in the head tube height from the previous model down to 151mm – an adjustment made in conjunction with the brand’s professional riders, according to Cervélo. To put that in perspective, that’s lower than both the Specialized Tarmac and the Pinarello Dogma F10.
That head tube lowering partnered with an updated bottom bracket drop of 72mm and a lengthening of the bike’s wheelbase to 993mm makes for a triple whammy that makes the bike handle – and look – like a race car.
The Bike’s racing feel is matched by the Shimano Dura-Ace groupset. The razor sharp ‘zip’ of the Di2 shifting is reassurance that you’re riding the best performing groupset on the market. Plus, the hydraulic brakes are the perfect partners to the bike’s Formula One handling, allowing the easy scrubbing of speed before corners and leaving you feeling in complete control.
The 35mm deep DT Swiss wheels offer a great partnership with the bike’s ambitions. Deep enough that you benefit from their rolling speed but shallow enough to not be a hindrance on the climbs. In fact, they’re a very good depth for climbing, offering a bit of extra stiffness and rolling speed for the gradients not too steep. The wheels are shod with Continental’s GP4000 S II tyres, which is a marked improvement on last year when the bike came with Grand Prix ones.
Grinning from ear to ear
Disc brakes and a fast handling bike like the Cervélo R5 offer an absolutely unbeatable package that’s just enormous fun to ride.
In fact, the handling quality of the bike is the one of the best we’ve ever ridden. The longer wheelbase and the bike’s angles makes it feel very stable and the lower bottom bracket makes flipping the bike into corners enjoyably easy.
Fast on the flats and and even faster on the descents, the Cervélo R5 is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. The long list of geometry changes have brought the bike from the back of the pack where it once resided to the leader of the group.
With its potent mix of razor sharp handling, speed and disc brakes, the Cervélo R5 never fails to bring a grin to your face when you ride it