Global Launch + First Look Video: New Aero Cervelo S5 Unveiled

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In what will be seen as a double-barrelled blow from Canadian cycling industry giant Cervelo, the  company has simultaneously announced two major news stories - the launch of their new top-model bike and the sponsorship of one of the biggest teams in pro cycling.

The embargo has officially been lifted on the all-new Cervelo S5, a disc-only  aero offering with a unique split stem design. Cervelo have also announced that as of Jan 1 2019 they’ll be bike supplier to Sunweb with the team expected to be known as Cervelo-Sunweb.

Unique Stem Design

It might not be the splitting of the atom, but Cervelo are the first bike manufacturer to have split the stem. 

And that’s not where the similarities or analogies end. Just as splitting the atom releases energy, climb aboard the S5, push the pedals to get the machine rolling, and you’ll soon realise the aero advantages and flow-through design help make this bike FAST.

A closer look at the S5's unique Y-stem design.

Global Launch Near Girona

Bicycling Australia were fortunate to attend the global launch of the Cervelo S5 in Girona, Catalonia, in northern Spain last month. 

After around 28hrs of travel, we arrived in the courtyard of an stunning 800+ year old Catalonian villa - the centre piece of new lodge Rocacorba Cycling. The contrast between the ancient history of the stone farmhouse coupled with the cutting-edge design of the new Cervelo S5 couldn’t have been more striking. 

There in the courtyard they stood, a fleet of 2019 Cervelo S5s neatly and evenly racked and ready for extensive testing over the coming days (you can read the full article in the next print edition of Bicycling Australia).

First things first …. that stem. Proudly standing near the bikes were the friendly team from Cervelo including a very hands-on Lead Design Engineer Graham Shirive (yes … this guy can really pump out some watts!).

Up close with the S5's unique steerer and head tube design.

Aero is everything, and certainly the overriding theme of the majority of 2019 bikes we’ve seen so far. But, as Graham explained, better airflow often equates to added complications and design barriers, especially when faced with such a radical rethink of something as fundamental as the stem. 

So how do you feed cabling trough a split stem? Graham moved to a demo bike and started pulling an S5 apart as he explained the surprising simplicity of the split system.

“There are no 90-degree bends - it’s all routed for ease and minimal friction while being fully adjustable,” he said, his personal S5 being fitted with cables - not wires - to help prove the point.

A full review will feature in the next print edition of Bicycling Australia Magazine. In the meantime watch as Graham Shrive, Cervelo's Lead Design Engineer, explains the new S5.

‘Survival of the Fastest’ 

According to the company the new  S5  Disc  was  designed  for “the  uncompromising, unapologetic rider who craves road-blurring  speed.” With this in mind the bike is the natural evolution of the already fast original S5.

“Cervélo engineers set out to develop the next iteration of the S series recognizing that it’s survival of the fastest in the peloton  and nothing but the stiffest, most responsive, integrated race machine will do," it says the release notes. "The S5 Disc rider need never look back."

The 2019 Cervelo S5 outside the main building at Rocacorba Cycling, location of the global launch.

So How Fast Is It? 

In a word, fast. And we didn't look back as we didnt't feel there was time to ... this bike really goes!

Weighing in at just on 8kg in size 54 with pedals, cages and Barfly mount, the test bike was fitted with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and a 52/36 up front with 11-30 cassette.

Off the mark the S5 accelerated powerfully, smoothly and gracefully. It feels to get to speed quickly and holds on with ease once there. The frame stiffness and boldness of the bottom bracket is clearly noticeable. Add to this the aero front end and slick, flow-through bar / top tube / seat post design, and it all comes together. Is this the bike world’s current frontline aero offering? It sure seems so.

Cornering  wise, the S5 felt sure and rock solid on those smooth Girona roads. It tracked well and inspired confidence. Generally taking extra care when riding overseas (the thought a long-haul flight while nursing a broken collarbone does not appeal at all), it felt this bike was urging to be pushed harder and faster into those winding Catalonian corners. 

Racked and stacked Cervelo S5's waiting to be ridden at Rocacorba Cycling near Banyoles in Girona Province.

Express To The Catalonian Coast

Graham Shrive not only led the bike's design work, he also sat on the front for much of this 100+km S5 test ride to the Mediteranearn Coast and back.

Making a beeline for L’Escala on the Mediterranean coast during a 102km road test on Day 2 of the launch, Graham Shrive made it abundantly clear his talents are not confined to merely designing super bikes.

“It’s rocket fast,” I said to him, while working hard to stick alongside him on the front. “It really is a sweet machine to ride,” he said. “And so rewarding to be out here riding it after all that time in development. 

“In the wind tunnel this is by a significant margin the the fastest thing we’ve ever tested,” he said later. 

Asked what could come next, Shrive said he didn’t think the radical new S5 reflected a stopping point for bike design - at least not at Cervelo. “We are going to continue to innovate, we’re going to continue to reflect on how riders are using the bikes and feedback from our professional teams - this certainly won’t be the last S-Series we produce.”

Specifications As Fitted With Shimano Dura Ace

Fork: Cervélo  All-Carbon, Tapered S5  Fork  For Disc

Headset: FSA  IS2  1  x  1-3/8"

Wheels: ENVE  SES  Disc  5.6  

Tires: Continental  GP4000  SII  25mm

Crankset: Shimano  Dura-Ace  R9100  52/36

Bottom Bracket: Cervélo  BBright Connect  24x90

Chain: Shimano  CN-HG901, 11 spd    

Front Derailleur: Shimano  Dura-Ace  Di2  R9150,  11  spd

Rear Derailleur: Shimano  Dura-Ace  Di2  R9150,  11  spd

Cassette: Shimano  Dura-Ace CS-R9100,  11-30,  11  spd

Shifters: Shimano  Dura-Ace Di2  R9170,  11  spd

Handlebar: Cervélo Carbon  AB08

Stem: Cervélo V-Stem

Brake Calipers: Shimano Dura  Ace  9170

Brake Rotor: Shimano SM-RT900,160mm

Saddle: Prologo Dimension NACK

Seatpost: Cervélo Carbon SP20

Pricing: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2: Expected RRP $14,500. SRAM RED eTAP: Expected RRP $14,000. Shimano Ultegra Di2: Expected RRP $10,500. Shimano Ultegra mech: Expected RRP $8,000.

 

 

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