Cervélo P5: Professional performance

These releases are often reserved for Kona, but with the professional season well into gea…

These releases are often reserved for Kona, but with the professional season well into gear Cervélo has focussed its latest speed machine on UCI compliance for the sport’s very best riders – and those who simply want to send their TT times to the very top of the results sheet.

A new P5 already? The futuristic ‘Tron bike’, AKA the P5X is still fresh in our minds. It must be those unique looks because a quick fact check reveals that was nearly two and a half years ago. It would seem Cervélo is overdue for a new iteration in their legendary P-Series and here it is.

Long and low

On first glance the P5 is long and low, with an unmistakeable Cervélo design. The lines are teasing, with hints from the S5 almost visible. Usually, purist TT technology flows down to the aero-road category but this time around it’s possible the success of the S5 has sent it to it’s solo-minded cousin. The P5’s sleek design this time includes more integration and less reliance on after-market add-ons.

On comparison to it’s predecessor, the all-new P5 has gone on an diet with engineers trimming the fat – but in reality the frame’s footprint is similar to the previous model. Geometry and handling is the same on paper but there’s a significant improvement when in the real world, bitumen. This is the result of a reported increase of 22% in stiffness around the head tube and 26% on the bottom bracket, all whilst dropping the frame’s total weight by 350 grams.

Aero adjustability

Focused on elite racing, the long and low fit obviously isn’t for everyone however, the cleverly integrated Speed Riser provides adjustable stack height and also tucked away in there is Shimano’s Di2 charging port. The sleek single-piece aero extension bars can be adjusted forward and back by up to 95mm, the elbow pads feature 45mm of fore and aft movement with 30mm of side adjustment. Reassuring for riders of all shapes and sizes, the fine-tuning available means adaptability for efforts short and long.

Storage is King

The integration hasn’t stopped and included in the package is Cervélo’s Smartpak top tube ‘bento boxes’, a UCI legal Aero Bottle with 500ml of liquid capacity along with a behind seat mount for extra luggage and hydration plus a BarFly computer mount fitted to the base bar. Such a speedy machine means disc brakes are the only option coupled with hidden cabling. Even with such tidy frame design, there is also a deceptive 36mm of tyre clearance, allowing up to 28mm rubber – perfect for testing out the P5’s improved cornering and handling abilities.

The Dura Ace Di2 bike pictured retails for $16,000, and the frameset option for $7000. For full details visit the Cervélo site here.

Keep an eye out for the P5 in the upcoming season’s time trials, and keep up to date with the rest of the racing with a subscription to Cyclist – 12 months for just $59.