When I heard that I would be testing Cervelo’s latest flagship aero road bike, the S5, I couldn’t wait to jump on the saddle and put it through its paces. As the current bike of British pro-rider Mark Cavendish (winner of 26 Tour de France stages, amongst other notable victories), I was eager to see what the new S5 had to offer.
Like many top-end road bikes in the market, the S5 is a full carbon road bike that is stiff, yet provides a compliant ride. What differentiates the S5 from other carbon road bikes is its aero shape. Look at the bike from the front and you will notice its remarkably thin aero profile designed to cut through the wind. The aero front fork, seat post and the seat tube cutout for the rear wheel have all been shaped to improve aero dynamics, and are some of the most notable features of the S5. Although not the lightest bike money can buy, its frame weight of about 1065 g is not bad for an aero road bike, which is generally heavier. This particular test bike with its matt black finish frame was equipped with Shimano Ultegra mechanical components, Rotor crank, aero wheels from Mavic, and a Fizik saddle.
After riding the S5 for a short while, it certainly lived up to my expectations of it being one of the fastest bikes on the market today. Thanks to its stiff bottom bracket, I felt every bit of power from my legs being transferred to the rear wheel. The power was instant! When I got the bike up to speed, it wasn’t difficult to keep it there. This may be due to the aero design and features of this bike, combined with the aero Mavic carbon wheels. Having been riding my own light-weight climbing focused carbon road bike (which are generally lighter and more ‘comfortable’ than aero road bikes) for the past year, I didn’t particularly find the S5’s ride to be too harsh. Cruising down long windy descents was no challenge for the S5 as its handling was confidence-inspiring.
All in all, I was very impressed by the S5’s performance and its sheer speed. It is an aero inspired race machine engineered for speed.