The New Cervelo S5 – First Look

When we finished our time with the original S5, we walked away impressed. The S5 was a frame that, in the tunnel, was equal to the venerable P4, yet designed to be ridden in the peloton, not solo in the time trial. We found the S5 to be a group ride assassin that can be easily racked in transition on any given Sunday. So when we heard there was a new S5 in the works we got excited – how was Cervelo planning to best a category-defining bike?


While the S5 has been the benchmark for aero road bikes since its release, competitors have started to catch up; so it is no surprise that Cervelo’s engineers worked to optimize aero performance for the new S5. The result is a fully built S5 will save you 21.3 watts when compared to the original S5 VWD.


The airfoil of the bar now extends out in front of the stem creating a single, uniform shape. At AG headquarters we wondered if a manufacturer would build something like this; it always seemed like the next step for aero road bars, but the question was how large a savings would result. Now, we know the answer:– 4.4 watts.

But Cervelo wasn’t just looking to make the S5 faster. They also wanted to improve the handling as well. To that end, the new S5 is 35% stiffer at the head tube and 6% stiffer at the bottom bracket.

While the new S5 features the steering geometry of the original, it does have a shorter stack (which is noticeable in the comparison photos below). It will be available in sizes 48, 51, 54, 56, 58 and 61.

Three full builds will be available when the S5 releases in October – Dura-Ace Di2, Dura-Ace mechanical and Ultega 6870 –  as well as a frameset. All builds will feature HED Jet 6 Plus SCT wheels.


While this is just a first look, we cannot wait to get some seat time on the new S5. If it is as stiff as the numbers show, our one nitpick of the original has been eliminated and the additional speed is just the cherry on top of an already impressive update. It was no secret that the original S5 had started to face some serious challengers, but Cervelo have reset the bar with the new S5.

[Updated 8/28]

5 responses to “The New Cervelo S5 – First Look

  1. Just for the record, the frame doesn’t play the largest factor in the 21 watt savings. It is the wheels. Their numbers are comparing stock bikes. The frame’s savings are probably very minimal. But the true value is that is a much more complete race bike with the increased stiffness.

  2. Also, you mentioned that all models come with Hed Jet 6 wheels. The Ultegra model doesn’t come with the Jet 6, but rather the Hed Ardennes. Great stuff though!

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