The new Cervélo S5 is mark 2 of the iconic aero road bike and looks set to secure its position as the leading aero bike manufacturer in the face of increasing competition.
For the best part of a century, the only thing cyclists were interested in was shedding weight from their bikes. However in the last few years a debate has begun to rage:
Although at only a shade over 7kg, the Cervélo S5 is hardly a heavyweight, it’s clear where Cervélo’s priorities lie with the latest iteration of their wind-defying superbike, which will save you a claimed 21.3 watts over the previous model.
Our top-of-the-range build comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
On a bike of this stature anything less than Dura-Ace Di2 would be a disappointment, so to see Shimano’s top-of-the-range electronic groupset, along with its utterly faultless shifting and braking, was a welcome sight.
The only deviation from Dura-Ace Di2 is the Rotor 3D+ chainset
The only departure from Dura-Ace is with the Rotor 3D+ chainset, which is compatible with the S5’s BBright bottom bracket without an adaptor.
As an out-and-out race bike you might have expected Cervélo to go for standard chainrings, but the 52/36t combination chosen instead is a great choice for everyday riding.
The aero bars may not be the most practical, but should hopefully bag you a few KOMs.
However, the biggest talking point is the aero handlebar. According to Cervélo, it saves 4.4 watts over a standard bar, but it is also wildly impractical.
The non-integrated stem on the Cervélo S5 should enable riders to modify their position more easily than with an integrated bar/stem setup
The flattened 3:1 ratio tops are not only uncomfortable to hold but make it almost impossible to fit an out-front computer mount or a front light.
The stiffness of the bulky BBright bottom bracket has apparently been increased by 6% over the previous S5
It’s no surprise that the S5 really comes into its own when it’s ridden fast. Once you’re up to speed it really doesn’t require much effort to stay there.
The boxy chainstays on the S5 will hopefully make for exceptional rear end stiffness
I’m also inclined to believe Cervélo’s claims about the S5’s improved handling. Cornering and descending inspires confidence and the low front end allows you to really duck and dive through bends.
Going uphill and performance is generally good. The choice of chainset and cassette offers a good range of gearing for all terrains.
The chunky seat tube houses the Di2 battery on our top-of-the-range S5
The cable routing on the S5 is not only aero, but also “future-proof”, being able to accommodate mechanical, electronic, and hydraulic shifting and braking systems
The cable routing for the brakes is just as neat as for the shifter cables
We can’t imagine that the Di2 junction box will have too much of an impact on aerodynamics