Attacking every pinch climb. Leaping out of the saddle to dance on the pedals. Holding the leading rider’s wheel until your lungs are about to burst out of your chest. Finish a ride and measuring it in altitude gained rather than kilometres travelled. If that sounds like your kettle of fish, then Cervelos superlight R5 race bike is the bike to take you up and over the highest mountain passes, before following you in a breakaway attack to put your rivals out of your rearward sight. Just like the S5, the R5 represents the pinnacle of Cervelo’s design and engineering expertise. It’s a state-of-the-art machine that’s designed for the upper echelons of the sport, having been born out of the demands from pro tour teams who require the lightest, the stiffest and the fastest machine possible. But whereas the S-Series places a focus on aerodynamics, the R-Series switches that focus to super lightweight and ultimate ride quality. This makes it a more versatile road-dwelling machine that’s equipped for high altitude mountain stages, sprints to the line, and long days in the saddle.
Based on the uber-expensive Rca, the Cervelo R5 bares the same carbon technologies, the exact same geometry, and the same tube profiles to deliver a very similar ride quality. Despite coming in at a far more accessible price point, the R5 still features a sub-900 gram frame weight that puts it up there as one of the lightest road frames on the market. Combined with its all-carbon fork, the R5 is built for rapid altitude gain. Despite the low weight, Cervelo has crafted the R5 as a pro-tour winning machine, with masses of stiffness built into its hourglass-shaped head tube and BBRight bottom bracket. Using a 79mm width, BBRight pushes the non-drive side of the bottom bracket away from the frame to allow for a larger junction with the large downtube. Combined with tall chain stay tubes, the R5 offers a 15% increase in torsional stiffness over the previous (and highly revered) R5 model. However, this stiffness and stability doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. As a brand that pioneered ultra-thin seat stays, Cervelo has used them to full effect on the new R5, which offers increased vertical compliance thanks to the slender back end that delivers micro-suspension for the rear wheel. The result is a smoother ride on bitumen roads that would otherwise beat up a stiffer aero race bike.
There are three spec levels available with the R5, including a SRAM Red groupset and a Shimano Dura-Ace option. The top spec features Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting, though all R5 models run Spanish-made Rotor 3D+ cranks for lighter weight and increased stiffness from the BB30 axle.
Drive trainDura Ace Di2
Gear ratiosSemi Compact
Frame buildCarbon Pro