I need to make a disclaimer before I start. I am not the natural
audience for a pure aero road bike. Give me an Emonda over a
Madone, or a Tarmac over a Venge any day of the week. And the big
news with Cervelo for the 2018 Model year is the sublime new R5. So
why test the S5?
Well its quite simple; Cervelo has dominated the aero scene in
road bikes, Tri, Track and TT bikes for the last decade. The S5 is
their flagship road frame in that regard and as we have just
started working with Cervelo (after a number of years courting each
other), I felt that this was the best bike to 'get' the Cervelo
Its not as young as its rivals
The S5 has been around for a few years now. Cervelo have
constantly updated it; but compared to a truly groundbreaking
design like a Trek Madone it does seems slightly old hat. The cable
routing around the handlebar (for instance) is not that clean at
However its still very quick - it remains me of the Specialised
Shiv TT - you think there will be a new one coming; but until they
can make it quicker Pros ride this one (and win on it !).
One of the benefits of it not being as integrated as modern
super bikes such as Madone or Shiv Disc is that its much easier to
travel with. Taking this in a bike box is a doddle (the others are
much less so). And adjusting your bar height is no different than a
'normal' road bike. Adjusting your bars on a Madone will require a
good relationship with your friendly mechanic !
Its still very quick
I have done 1500km on the bike now; no mountain epics on it yet
but plenty of 120km rides with 1000m of climbing in it. There are a
number of things that feel very apparent:
Its not heavy - you don't feel penalised for the aero benefits
Its amazingly compliant; I know aero road bikes get a terrible
rap for being super harsh. But this bike is not guilty of that.
Its astonishingly easy to make fast progress on the bike - it
absolutely devours flat and rolling roads.
I know Bespoke lives in a strange world where £6499 is
considered good value; but on a relative basis it really is. The
frame alone is £3799 and the extra £2700 gets you the fantastic new
Dura Ace 9000 groupset a smart looking Cervelo carbon handlebar and
Enve 3.4 wheels.
One thing I was surprised at was the specs'ing of Continental
Grand Prix tires. That seems very miserly, when the much better
GP4000SII would be very little more for Cervelo to buy with
their buying power. Instead it would the first thing I would change
on the bike - for an out and out speed machine you really need low
rolling resistance tyres…
This is clearly not that objective a review; I wanted to really
like the S5 and I did….
A £6499 its a cracking buy; a top notch aero frame; sublime
groups and class leading Enve 3.4s.
Given the mountainous sportives (such as Haute Route) I like to
do I would still choose an R5 over this if I could have one bike
only. But the fast and furious group rides, or racing this would be
an absolute weapon.
Buy the S5
from Bespoke Cycling