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New Cervelo S5 Disc Road Bike

Five Bikes of 2018

One of the fastest aero road bikes got a whole lot faster for the end of 2018. Ok, yes, technically this might be a 2019 model but as it was launched at the tail-end of 2018 we thought it only right to include it in our Instagram poll to find out your favourite five bikes of the year. The Cervelo S5 has long been a favourite amongst the pros, favoured for its aerodynamic prowess and responsive handling. For 2019 Cervelo had quite the task on their hands to improve on this Grand Tour stage winning machine. Back to the wind tunnel, back looking for every advantage possible and the designers and engineers have developed the most complete S5 yet.

Aero bikes have a stereotype to shake off. That stereotype is they are fast on the flat but are heavy, cumbersome and uncomfortable for anything hillier or longer. In the last few years, many brands have addressed this, bridging the gap between weight and aerodynamics and the results have been impressive, to say the least. Bikes such as the Specialized Venge, Trek Madone and Cannondale SystemSix are high-performance machines that are as capable as tackling a mountainous sportive as they are sprinting in the last 300 metres of a Tour de France stage. The Cervelo S5 Disc follows this trend, with major changes to the design of the frame, brake system and cockpit setup.

The name is the first clue when it comes to differences compared to its predecessor. Joining the disc brake party, Cervelo have equipped their flagship S5, in this case in a Shimano Dura-Ace 9170 Di2 guise, with 160mm rotors. A bike that now stops as fast as it accelerates, the rotors are mounted to ENVE 5.6 Disc Brake Wheels, which further add to the S5's aero credentials. Keeping the bike rubber side down, Continental GP4000s Tyres are reliable and have a low rolling resistance.

Cervelo S5 Dura-Ace Di2 9170 Disc Road Bike Seattube

The 2018 S5 was and still is one of the fastest road bikes in the world, so how do you make it better? You tweak the aerodynamic characteristics, throw in a tonne of comfort-enhancing features and make it even more responsive. A 25% increase in bottom bracket and a 13% increase in headtube stiffness, paired with a 42-gram weight shaving means this is a race ready rig. The choice of Team Sunweb for 2019, we're looking forward to seeing how it performs against the world's best riders and bikes.

Cervelo S5 Dura-Ace Di2 9170 Disc Road Bike Handlebar and Stem

Turning heads, the cockpit on the S5 is completely different from anything Cervelo have produced on a road bike before. Most akin to the handlebar and stem setup on their triathlon specific P5X, the handlebar and stem come in two pieces, allowing the rider to remove the handlebar should they wish to transport the bike in a box or bag. The six stem length options and four handlebar widths ensure you can hone your position and the unique stem and handlebar design ensure airflow is optimally channelled.

One of the fastest road bikes on the market the S5 is available in a number of different incarnations for 2019, from the Ultegra 8020 to the Dura-Ace 9170 Di2 flagship model. Want to spec your very own bike? The S5 is also available as a frameset.

About the Author

  • About Dan: After racing in Britain and France, Dan can now be found tackling gran fondos and riding around Dorset, Surrey and Essex.
  • Article Published On: 22 December 2018

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