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Cervelo introduces new aero bike at the Tour de France

  • By Nick Legan
  • Published Jun. 29, 2011
  • Updated Jun. 30, 2011 at 3:16 PM EDT

The new S5 takes a lot of inspiration from Cervelo's time trial bikes. The curved seat tube and dropped down tube in particular help minimize drag.

LES HERBIERS, France (VN) — Cervelo will debut its new S5 at the first stage of this year’s Tour de France, on Saturday. Thankfully the slippery Passage du Gois is neutralized and none of these beautiful bikes will be victims of the infamous section of road.

The S5 takes many of its cues from the P4 time trial bike and as a result it is a claimed 36.8 seconds faster than Cervelo’s previous top-of-the-line aero road bikes, the S3, over 40km. (Using Dr. Andy Coggan’s established protocol, Cervelo assumes the tunnel speed is 30mph and riding speed is 25mph and finds the new bikes saves 92 grams of drag or 9.2 watts of power)

Cervelo’s internal testing had previously shown the S3 to be the world’s fastest road bike and Velo’s aero road test from several months ago had it soundly beating Blue, Ridley and Felt bikes in the tunnel.

Frame and fork weight, including paint and all metal parts, is an impressive 990 grams. Cervelo also claims the bike is 12 percent stiffer than the S3. The new Cervelo has geometry identical to the R3 non-aero road bike.

S5’s will be sold with Dura-Ace Di2 for $9,000 or SRAM Red for $7,500. S5 Team bikes (a less expensive version) will sell with Ultegra Di2 for $6,000, Ultegra mechanical for $4,800 and SRAM Rival for $3,800.

So what’s new?
Cervelo is very proud of five particular features of the new S5.

  • 1. The down tube drops closer to the front wheel and smoothes airflow from the fork over the frame.
  • 2. Much like Cervelo’s time trial machines, the S5 uses a curved cutout on the seat tube that helps with the turbulent air as it reaches the rear wheel.
  • 3. The down tube is designed for use with a standard water bottle.
  • 4. The seat stays shield the rear brake to minimize drag.
  • 5. Cervelo used, naturally, its BBright bottom bracket system.

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Quick Look / Tour de France TAGS: /

Nick Legan

Nick Legan

After graduating from Indiana University with honors and a degree in French and journalism, Nick Legan jumped straight into wrenching at Pro Peloton bike shop in Boulder for a few years. Then, he began a seven-year stint in the professional ranks, most recently serving for RadioShack at the Tour de France and the Amgen Tour of California. He also worked for Garmin-Slipstream, CSC, Toyota-United, Health Net and Ofoto. Legan served as the VeloNews tech editor 2010-2012 before sliding across the line into public relations.

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