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What Goes Up Must Come Down-Cervélo R5

Man Riding New Cervelo R5 Up Mountain

The all-new Cervélo R5 is here! The road bike that is known for climbing is now a joy to ride on the descent.

The previous version of the Cervélo R5 could climb like a goat, but the ride down was, well, less than ideal for the rider. The stiffness of the frame that made the bike so great for climbing was also what made it harsh on the descent.

What’s New in the Cervélo R5?

The new R5 is refined to be a lightweight climber. The idea of reducing the stiffness in a climbing bike seemed crazy, but the engineers at Cervélo dove in, and what came out was the next generation of the Cervélo R5.

Cervélo engineers used the same relationship between the head tube and bottom bracket stiffness that made previous bike models so good at climbing. Using this, they were able to create a bike that could rocket uphills but resulted in less fatigue and a more efficient recovery due to the added compliance.

downtube of Cervelo bike with black background

The frame isn’t the only change to the R5. The Cervélo team was able to reduce the weight of the handlebar and stem by 12 grams, make the seat post 20 grams lighter, and reduce overall drag by 25 grams on the bike by moving the cables and housing into the handlebar and frame. This all results in a bike that is faster in all directions.

Cervélo was also able to increase tire clearance to accept up to a 34mm tire by changing the rake of the fork 1/2mm while keeping the bike’s true Racing Geometry. This allows for a bigger tire which leads to a more comfortable ride.

While working on the newest R5, the Engineering Manager of Cervélo, Scott Roy, did have to use some Dark Arts to get the bike where he wanted it in terms of weight, compliance, and ability. To get the bike to be the fastest climber while reducing the stiffness and harshness of the front end seemed like an impossible feat.

To do this, Cervélo dialed back some of the head tube stiffness. The new FM117 fork keeps the lateral stiffness of the previous generation but dialed back the longitudinal stiffness. The end result, a front end that offers a smoother, more comfortable ride on flats and downhills without punishing any of the bike’s climbing abilities.

cyclist racing with crowd cheering with mountains in the background

This is all great for the pro riders, squeezing out seconds anywhere they can over weeks of racing. What does this mean for the rest of us who still conquer group rides and local races?

This stiff, lightweight bike is built to propel you up hills. With the added compliance (magic headtube bottom bracket stiffness), the rest of the ride can be fast and comfortable too.

R5 has one job—get to the top, fast. But for all the glory and fanfare that comes with a summit finish, it is rarely the only climb of the day. And while a race isn’t usually won on a descent, it can certainly be lost. A climbing bike that can’t carve a hairpin turn is an incomplete bike. This is the fourth iteration of the R5, and while weight and stiffness have varied over the years, the handling, poise, and unmatched prowess on a descent have been consistent since day one. 

In two words, this bike is FAST and FUN!

Cervélo R5 Models

R5 Red eTap AXS

black Cervelo R5 bicycle with all white background

Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork

Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-½

Thru Axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Re-movable handle

Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT370 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F) 21.6mm (R) Centerlock, tubeless-ready

Tires: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c

Bottom Bracket: Ceramic Speed DUB

DriveTrain: SRAM RED AXS with Power Meter, 48/35 Crank 12 speed 10-28 cassette

Brakes: SRAM RED HRD, SRAM Centerline XR 160mm Rotors

Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 NACK

Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon

Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon

Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post

Accessories: Cervélo Handlebar Front Computer/Light Mount, Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount

R5 Force eTap AXS

Cervelo Force eTap bike with white background

Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork

Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-½

Thru Axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Re-movable handle

Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT370 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F) 21.6mm (R) Centerlock, tubeless-ready

Tires: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c

Bottom Bracket: SRAM DUB

DriveTrain: SRAM Force AXS with Power Meter, 46/35 Crank 12 speed 10-33 cassette

Brakes: SRAM Force HRD, SRAM Paceline 160mm Rotors

Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 PAS TiRox

Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon

Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon

Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post

Accessories: Cervélo Handlebar Front Computer/Light Mount, Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount

R5 Dura Ace Di2

Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork

Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-½

Thru Axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Re-movable handle

Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT370 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F) 21.6mm (R) Centerlock, tubeless-ready

Tires: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c

Bottom Bracket: Ceramic Speed 24

DriveTrain: Shimano Dura-Ace 9200 -v52/36 Crank, 12 speed 11-30 Cassette

Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace 9270 Hydraulic Disc, Shimano RT-MT9000, 160mm

Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 NACK

Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon

Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon

Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post

Accessories: Cervélo Handlebar Front Computer/Light Mount, Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount

R5 Ultegra Di2

Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork

Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-½

Thru Axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Re-movable handle

Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT370 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F) 21.6mm (R) Centerlock, tubeless-ready

Tires: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c

Bottom Bracket: JY-BB 24

DriveTrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2 8150 52/36 Crank, 12 speed, 11-30 cassette

Brakes: Shimano Ultregra 8170 Hydraulic Disc, Shimano RT-MT8000, 160mm

Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 PAS TiRox

Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon

Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon

Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post

Accessories: Cervélo Handlebar Front Computer/Light Mount, Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount

R5 Frameset

Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork

Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-½

Thru Axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Re-movable handle

Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon

Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon

Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon

Accessories: Cervélo Handlebar Front Computer/Light Mount, Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount

Want to Learn More?

Check out the Cervélo R5 online for specs and store availability, then head to ERIK’S for a free test ride and see for yourself why this bike gives you the power to ride anywhere!