Cervélo has been a world leader when it comes to building fast, aerodynamic bikes since they first set out to redesign their aerodynamically superior time-trial bike in 1995. Their innovation and engineering expertise have never ceased to push the boundaries, and with the launch of the new S-Series range for 2019 they have lifted the game once again.
Designed for World Tour racers and boasting significant improvements in aerodynamics and stiffness, these bikes are about all-out speed. If you live for the thrill of the sprint and going fast, the S-Series bikes are made for you.
With the 2019 S-Series range, Cervélo has made gains in stiffness whilst simultaneously reducing the weight of the frame. The updated headtube design is 13% stiffer than its predecessor whilst the bottom bracket boasts an additional 25% of power transferring stiffness.
When it comes to weight, however, the numbers are lower than ever. The S5 is claimed to save 100 grams compared to its predecessor, with a painted 56cm frame tipping the scales at just 975g.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the focus on a stiffer and lighter bike would mean a loss of comfort. These things rarely come with the claim of a smoother ride, but Cervélo makes a point of it. With special carbon lay-up considerations, the new S5 is said to offer compliance that takes the sting out of long days in the saddle.
Where the S5 shines is in its handling. On paper, the ride position is more aggressive than the R series, but on board they feel similar, blending superbly sharp handling responses with smooth stability at speed…The S5 has thrown away the book when it comes to bike design, yet still conforms to the UCI’s parameters. To make a bike that looks like a glimpse of the future within such prescriptive rules is impressive in itself — and that it does it with a ride that feels this smooth and handles this well makes the new S5 Disc a truly formidable bike. – Bike Radar
One the most striking aspects of the Cervélo S5 is the new V-shaped cockpit. This design accomplishes the task of fully internalising the cables for both mechanical and electronic drivetrains, and also tidies the air behind the stem and around the rider.
“The entry into it [this bike] was the desire to bury the cables,” explained Cervélo product manager Phillip Spearman. “It seems a bit weird, but a lot of the time, people design a bike [first] then try and bury the cables. It turns out that concealing cables is remarkably complex for something that seems so simple. This bar is actually the function of first and foremost burying the cables.”
“Cervelo wanted smooth cable lines. We have a history of only turning the cable on a single plane once it enters the bike. The goal as always was to have the cables passing through the middle of the bearing, so then you don’t have it swinging backwards and forth.”
The new outlandish design of the S5’s cockpit is sure to be a conversation starter amongst riders, but the sleek and highly engineered design and boasted performance benefits are undeniable.
It’s hard to not think of your first days of riding a bike when you’re aboard the S5. You get this feeling of effortless speed and freedom that reminds you why bikes are fun. Of course, a great deal of engineering and research goes into making those pedal strokes feel effortless, but when it comes down to it, it’s the feeling…I hadn’t sprouted green-jersey winning quads all of the sudden, but I was on a bike that represented the absolute cutting edge in carbon layup and aerodynamics, thanks to the hidden cables and the new cockpit of the S5. – Cycling Magazine
The flagship S5 is not the only bike in the ‘S’ series to get a complete overhaul in 2019, with the S3 also being upgraded for the coming year. Lighter, more aero and available in both disc and rim brake options, the all-new Cervélo S3 will undoubtedly prove a popular choice.
Weight for the updated model is down to just 1100 grams for the frame, whilst the all-new internally routed cable design will provide more than just a streamlined new front-end aesthetic. The cleaner looking design will also provide coveted aerodynamic gains.
Cervélo have put their money where their mouth is too, releasing a 30-page white paper quantifying the aero gains made.
All up, the new S5 is said to save a rider 42grams of drag, or 5.5 watts, whereas the redesigned S3 disc is said to save a not-so-marginal 13 watts at 40kph. With claims like that, Cervélo claims that riders should expect to feel a tangible difference on the road when compared to its predecessor.
Snappy sprinting is something that a bike like this should be able to handle without hassle, and the S5 definitely ticks this off the to-do list. I’ve found on many aero bikes that when putting the hammer down, there’s often an angry fight to keep the bike planted shortly after that initial kick. Instead, the S5 returned the effort with a smooth snap of speed. You’re never wrestling it to keep on top of the power. – Cycling Tips
Tearing up the rule book once again, Cervélo have produced a lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic bike then ever before in the stunning S5. Sleek, streamlined and innovative this is a bike for the elite rider looking to save every watt. With the upgraded S3 also packing quite a punch, and certainly providing exceptional bang for your buck, this is another bike entering the aero battle that will prove hard to beat.
For more information on the S-Series range: https://epic-cycles.co.uk/cervelo-s-series