Since hearing about the new Cervelo S5 disc I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. Aero bikes have always been my favorite, and I’ve owned every iteration of the S5 since 2012.
The original S5 was groundbreaking in design. It was light and fast but lacked torsional and BB stiffness, which left me wanting more. The geometry was pretty tame as Cervelo essentially copied it from the popular R series bikes (think taller head tubes and less responsive handling). By 2016 Cervelo had redesigned the S5 with updated racing geometry and a stiffer BB, making it a fabulous race bike.
The Cervelo engineers have completely outdone themselves with the new S5 disc. They started from scratch and created a bike that is light, FAST, comfortable and has incredible handling. There are simply no compromises with this new design.
Every Sunday, there’s a local drop ride called The Vets Ride. I decided to take my new S5 out with the guys to see how it performed. My first impression was how quickly it got up to speed and how stable it was. Sitting on the front of the group, in a super aero position at 50 km/hr, it actually reminded me of racing my P5! Whether I was closing gaps, riding in small breakaways or sprinting, the S5 disc simply excelled.
Monday was another test but this time is was a long ride with some climbing. On twisty descents, the bike tracks beautifully and takes sharp corners with ease. The new cockpit features a split stem design that integrates completely with a bayonet-style fork. During seated long climbs, the bike is comfortable and efficient. Out of the saddle, the new front end transfers every ounce of effort directly into the rear wheel. At the end of my ride, I was tired from the effort but never felt uncomfortable on the bike.
I’ve been a convert to road disc brakes since the start. They modulate better, require less lever pull to activate and afford much greater stopping power. The S5 disc is completely integrated and built specifically for disc brakes which allows for much wider tire clearance versus previous generation S5s.
With most of the major bike brands launching new aero road bikes this year, I had high expectations for the S5 disc. After riding it I can honestly say that this bike not only delivered but exceeded in every way.
OK bike nerds, this is for you:
2018 Cervelo S5 disc 56cm
12 cm Cervelo V-stem with 42cm aero bar
SRAM Etap groupset with Quarq power meter 53/39 175mm
11-28 SRAM Red cassette
SRAM Red chain
Ceramic Speed OSPW cage
Dura Ace 9100 pedals
Zipp 303 Firecrest carbon wheels
Schwalbe Pro one 28mm tubeless tires
Supacaz carbon cages
Fabric Knurl tape
Wahoo Bolt computer
Weight: 16.8 lbs
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