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UCI legal? That depends…

  • By Aaron Hersh and Nick Legan
  • Published Jan. 18, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM EDT
It's easy to pick out the differences between the triathlon and UCI-legal forks. Pictured is the UCI-legal fork. The brake is exposed and the fork blades are considerably thinner than the tri version. Photo: Aaron Hersh

Time trial vs. triathlon versions

Instead of making both a time trial bike and a triathlon bike with different geometries and tube shapes, Cervélo created a fork specifically for each sport and used the same frame. Both bikes fit identically.

The triathlon version has a fairing that covers the hydraulic brake caliper and deeper fork blades. Cervélo showed data from a wind tunnel test comparing the drag created with and without the cover over the caliper. Using a dummy aboard the bike for the test, Cervélo found that the cover saves 7 grams, which equates to roughly one watt.

Rinard says the triathlon fork with deeper blades saves an additional 10 grams of drag over the road version. So, all told, Rinard says the drag differences between the two versions amount to roughly two watts, a very small difference.

On the road

The P5 feels exceptionally stiff under foot yet rides smoothly. It’s noticeably stiffer than its predecessors. Cervélo’s patented bottom bracket technology, a taller head tube, integrated stem and basebar design and selectively wider tubes makes the P5 ride noticeably better than the P4. We were pleasantly surprised with its ability to kick over short hills. Handling is difficult to judge after a single ride, but our initial impression was that the bike is very responsive and not a slow carver. The P5 combines Cervélo’s aerodynamic credibility with a good ride experience on the road.

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