“All good things must end,” says Chaucer. We’re pretty sure he was talking to us about our time with the Cervélo P2, because we definitely don’t want to give it back. In our time together, we have racked it in transition over and above our personal bikes, ridden it on centuries, training rides, Sunday cruises, and everything in-between. We’ve attached every hydration and storage system we own (and some we don’t). We’ve fit it to at least three vastly different riders. It’s even seen service in a duathlon, heretics that we are.
Each time, the P2 handled whatever we threw at it with a metaphorical shrug of the shoulder. In particular, we fit the P2 to three riders with significantly different geometries that ride a 56, 58, and a 61 respectively. In all three instances, the bike was able to accommodate the fit coordinates of the riders without having to rewire the shifters or do anything more complicated than adding spacers under the stem, thanks to the standard cockpit setup. There are certainly aero benefits to a fully integrated solution, but when it comes to fitting and maintenance, it is difficult to argue against the “any stem, any bar, any extension” ethos.
Interestingly, the P2 is part of a trend for Cervélo, the “take the frame, use a slightly cheaper fork, and put 105 on it” variety started with the S2 and most recently applied to the R2 – all of which are tremendous values for the money and should be cross-shopped for any bike purchase this year on this merit alone. As of this article, each of the bikes (P2, R2, S2) are $2500, which puts them in a commanding spot in their price points (under $3k, to our thinking), acutely so within the triathlon segment of the market.
When the P2 launched at $2800 USD, the bike was a performance bargain. At $2500, it becomes an absolute steal. The 11% dip means that the customer looking to spend $3,000 can now walk out with not just a bike, pedals and saddle, but an aero helmet and trisuit for the same money – that isn’t just significant, it changes how we talk about the bike.
Sure, this isn’t a massive price break, but let’s look at this in context for a moment. For our hypothetical “three grand triathlete,” let’s look at the competition. For $3000, we have a small stable of competition, all of which are solid options. Cannondale comes in with the Slice 5 105 at $2270, and decently equipped with 105 front and back, but an in-house base bar, which is difficult to argue against given the price tag. The frame won Kona not too long ago, but has been replaced in the pro rack with the new Slice RS, which is much better from a drag and integration perspective. Is the P2 worth another $230 for a much newer frame that has modern integration? That’s the question you’ve got to answer.
Quintana Roo’s CD0.1 Rival at $2800 is a strong contender; we even own one, albeit in Ultegra spec. The frame is solid, if eclipsed by the Illicito and the new PR6, and is a great platform to race on for some time to come. It’s also $300 more than the price-dropped P2, and for that money you get a full complement of SRAM Rival, if that’s important to you. We’d have had a hard time choosing between the CD0.1 and the P2 when they were the same price, but now that they’re separated by $300, it comes down to which one fits you better and if your shop is willing to deal if it turns out it’s the CD0.1
The over the price-limit Specialized Shiv Elite, coming in at $3200, is similarly equipped with Rival, but boasts the Fuelselage hydration bladder as well as the Fuel Cell frame storage (optional extra) for worry-free integration and nutrition. Those are significant selling points, but for $700, a rider can have a wing, front hydration system, pedals, and still have plenty of money left over for incidentals.
In the end, it is our opinion that for $2500, the P2 is an incredible value for a triathlete on a budget. We were absolutely overjoyed by our time with it, and spent many an evening debating amongst ourselves “P2 or…” and more often than not, the P2 came out the victor. It is, simply put, an exceptionally executed bike for any price, and were we shopping now, it would be on our short list regardless of budget. It really is that good.