Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Cervelo S5
The Fastest Road Bike – In The World

Since 2001, when Cervelo introduced their first aerodynamic road bike, the aluminum "Solo," their aero road bike designs have been considered the industry standard. The fastest frame in the world in its day, the Solo was the first road bike with airfoil shapes specifically tuned for the speeds and wind angles cyclists experience. In 2005, Cervelo released the Soloist Carbon, which was showered with awards and rave reviews for its aerodynamic prowess, as well as its handling, stiffness, and ride quality. That design has remained relatively unchanged, with only minor tweaks and improvements through the S3, which was introduced in 2008. Despite the arrival of competitors in the aero road bike market, Cervelo held that the S3 remained top dog in the wind tunnel...until now.

This is not merely another iteration of the S3, but a completely new frame, with new features never seen before on a road bike. The S3 has been dethroned.


The S5 combines many of the best features of the P4 TT bike and the R-series lightweight bikes, giving rise to a road frame with all new geometry. The result, according to Cervelo, is a bike that has 12% better stiffness, better aerodynamics, and the comfort of the S3, and also weighs 80 grams less. At 25mph the S5 will save a rider 9 watts compared to the S3. And compared to many round-tube, non-aero frames, the S5 can save up to a whopping 32 watts at 25mph. Even in a pack, where aerodynamic drag is reduced by 25 to 30 percent, a rider would still be saving between 6 and 20 watts. Anyone who owns a power meter should be familiar with how much of an advantage that can be. But the S5 isn't just slippery, it is also stiff and light and displaying amazing handling acumen under the guidance of Thor Hushovd in the 2011 Tour de France. Stiff and light enough for 180lbs of Thor to climb the Pyrenees, nimble enough to chase climbers down on rainy descents.

New Features

  • Shielding Seat Stays - Aerodynamics and comfort +Click To Toggle Details
  • Seat Tube - Shielding the rear wheel +Click To Toggle Details
  • BBright - Stiffness and weight +Click To Toggle Details
  • Dropped Down Tube - Integrates with the fork and front wheel +Click To Toggle Details
  • Made for Water Bottles - Less penalty for carrying water +Click To Toggle Details

Specs, Pricing, Availability - Update: ATC has S5s in stock and ready to ride!

The S5 model is a bit of a departure from previous Cervelo frames in that it will be offered in 3 levels of carbon fiber. The shape and stiffness of each offering are identical, with the only change being a reduction in weight as you move up the scale. The great news is that the S5 is not just going to be an expensive superbike like the R5ca. In fact, the entry level S5 comes in cheaper than the S3. For the weight weenies and people who simply want the best, you can pay more to have your cake and eat it too. The standard and team frames will be available at Austin Tri-Cyclist starting this August with the super light VWD frames available starting in January 2012. The S5 trim levels are as follows:

Trim LevelWeight (54cm)FramesetComplete Bike 1Complete Bike 2
Standard S51,260g$3,000 USDSRAM Rival - $3,800
Team1,200g$3,800 USDUltegra - $4,800Ultegra Di2 - $6,000
VWD990g$5,900 USDSRAM Red - $7,500Dura Ace Di2 - $9000

More Info

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