Cervelo R5 Rim SRAM eTap Bicycle 2018
One can discuss and argue about the levels of supreme performance of SRAM's wireless eTap Red drivetrain versus a Dura-Ace Di2 wired system, but few would argue that a wired system is cleaner looking and simpler than the wireless option. Even on a bike like Cervelo's race-ready R5, which is designed for clean Di2 integration, eTap is just simpler and purer to the eye. Cervelo's introduction of the Squoval.Max tubeset with the 2018 R5 was just one of several upgrades and changes for this evolution of a premium grade all-around road race design.
One of the most important has been the reworking of the R5 geometry back to more of a pro-fit starting point (lower and longer), but still with the ability to easily run 28mm tires at all times, even on 25mm wide rims. There is a marked increase in lateral stiffness in the frameset over the it's already excellent predecessor, as well as improved aerodynamics and overall ride quality. Cervelo aficionados will quickly identify the new aero, square back seattube and seatpost. The R5 is shipping with a cleanly designed Cervelo bar-stem combination that optimizes stiffness, cable routing and overall aerodynamics. Add in the sharp and minimalist 11-speed Red eTap drivetrain with it's impressive shifting, efficient braking, and wonderful ergonomics and you have a pro-oriented bike with race-level components for the serious enthusiast or active racing cyclist.
The massive square-oval design of the downtube makes the most impressive statement about Squoval.Max, but every tube on the R5 has been redeveloped to reduce weight, increase lateral stiffness without compromising vertical compliance, and maximizing aerodynamics. From front to back, the redesign fortifies at junctions for increased torsional stiffness to the tune of 21% at the headtube junction and 13% at the bottom bracket, while increased shape integration delivers 14-gram improvement in aerodynamics. The bottom bracket has been lowered, with a 72mm drop, rising up in a D-shaped flatback seattube that carries to the top. The accompanying D-shaped Aero seatpost features a new rear fastening system, that gets hidden by a fitment that covers the entire junction, improving aerodynamics. The seattube/seatstay cluster exits out the back with a flattened section that adds torsional stiffness before reducing into the thin, vertically compliant stays the R-series bikes are known for.
The lowered bottom bracket, longer reach, lower stack, and shorter headtube of the R5 lengthen and drop the cycling position, in favor of a pro bike fit and weights the bike appropriately. This centers rider weight, but keeps the proper proportion over the front wheel required for aggressive corning and overall stability. The Cervelo carbon fork was built like the frame, with enhancements to the lateral base stiffness, tire clearance and aerodynamics. The end result is a bike that carves mountain descents, rips criterium corners, and rolls true and balanced on the flats. Increased comfort comes not only from the more compliant D-shaped seatpost, but also with the use of larger volume tires. As aerodynamics research has pushed wheel manufacturers to wider rims, larger tires, and frame/fork air flow integration, cyclists have noticed that 25-28mm road tires can be fast, aero, and reduce road noise and impact. This race-ready R5 takes full advantage.
Cervelo's aero integrated Future Proof cable routing that accommodates mechanical and electronic drivetrains carries over, even with eTap, down to the Reduced Friction Bottom Bracket Guide. The entire system is flush and seamless, so even when you only have brake housing, the system disappears into the frameset. The standard rim brake R5 features traditional road 100mm and 130mm quick release dropouts, with a replaceable rear hanger.
The technology that drives the functionality, reliability and security of SRAM'a wireless drivetrain is the AIREA system. This short range shielded transmission system is paired with it's specific drivetrain components, which means once paired the components work seamlessly together and cannot be co-opted or controlled externally. This 11-speed double drivetrain is referred to as eTap, Red 22. The shifters carry CR2032 batteries that send signals to the battery-powered front and rear derailleurs. The compact Li-Ion batteries are easily charged, interchangeable, and you can buy have extras on-hand if needed. eTap shifts the rear derailleur with both shift levers, use the left to make it easier, right to make it harder. To shift the front derailleur you use both levers at once. The system is efficient and truly simple to use. The levers themselves mimic the DoubleTap system in shape, with a single shift lever and brake lever for a cable actuated rim brake.
Cervelo opted for a wide-ranging Red 22 drivetrain with the 52-36 crankset and XG-1190 11-28 cassette. A Red 22 rim brakeset with Zipp pads keeps you in control. The bottom bracket is a SRAM PF-30 for the BBright shell. The wheels are Zipp's carbon clincher 302's with a 45mm profile, 25.6mm max external rim width, 20/24 Sapim CX-Sprint spokes, and Zipp's 76/176 hubset. The tires are 700x25 Continental Grand Prix's, with tubes. The aero carbon handlebar is Cervelo's AB06, which has a wingtop design (with electronic and mechanical drivetrain and brake housing integration). The stem is Cervelo proprietary, with a specific top cap system that has an aero cover. It can be used with spacers, but admittedly looks best when run aggressively down on the headset. The aero cap does not allow for spacers above the stem. Bar Fly makes and offers a stem specific faceplate GPS mount for this design. Fizik's Antares Kium R5 saddle and Cervelo tape round out the build.
Our take is that Cervelo has brought the R5 back closer to it's race roots while modernizing and improving the model through geometry and design, while making the frameset more performance responsive without compromising comfort. This 2018 Cervelo R5 Rim SRAM eTap Bicycle will bring a smile to the face of any rider who can ride it and push it to the limit, rocketing uphill or in a sprint, while smoothly ripping corners of all varieties.
- Redesigned pro-level rim brake race bike with more aggressive positioning
- Equipped with 11-speed SRAM Red 22 eTap, Zipp carbon wheels
- Advanced Squoval.Max tubeset increases torsional resistance, lateral stiffness, and aerodynamic capability
- Seattube is D-shaped, with flat-back design, requires included D-shaped post
- New integrated internal shift housing routing behind steerer tube
- Full carbon fork tapered 1½ to 1⅛", standard 100mm QR drop-out
- Frame/fork optimized to accommodate 28mm road tires, even on 25mm rims
- SRAM Red 22 52-36T crankset, PF30 BB for BBright, dual caliper brakeset, XG-1190 11-28 cassette, chain
- Zipp 302 Carbon clincher wheels, Continental Grand Prix 700x25 tires, tubes
- Cervelo AB-06 aero carbon road bar, 31.8mm, Cervelo aero carbon stem
- Cervelo D-shaped, SP-18 setback carbon post, Fizik Antares R5 Kium, Cervelo bar tape
- Component specifics by frame size
- 51cm Bar width: 40c-c, Stem length: 90mm, Crank length: 170mm
- 54/56 cm Bar width: 42c-c, Stem length: 10mm, Crank length: 172.5mm
- 58cm Bar width: 44-c-c, Stem length: 110mm, Crank length: 175mm
- Sizes: 51, 54, 56, 58
- Color: Black/Flouro (matte carbon, green flouro stripes-accents)
- Weight: 15.06 lbs (56cm)