2012 Cervelo S5 aerodynamic road bike

Joining the pre-Tour de France new bike launch frenzy, Cervelo has just released their new S5 aero road bike.

Building on the S3 and the insights gained from their P4 TT/Triathlon bikes, the 2012 Cervelo S5 brings it together for an aerodynamic road bike to compete with rigs like the Specialized Venge and Scott F01l, among others.

“If there’s one thing that’s at the core of Cervélo’s DNA, it’s pushing the envelope in an effort to make the most aerodynamically efficient bikes possible,” says Cervélo co-­?founder and CEO Phil White. “With the S5, we’ve created the fastest road bike available, but we’ve also worked incredibly hard to engineer incredible stiffness and ride quality into the frame.”

With that in mind, jump past the break for more pics and details…

2012 Cervelo S5 aerodynamic road bike

By looks alone, there’s no doubt the new S5 is streamlined. Unless they pulled some photoshop magic, the frame barely registers beyond the tire’s frontal profile. No word on whether this bike takes advantage of their collaboration with Mavic on aerodynamic frame/wheel designs, which means that project’s probably still in the works. So, here’s what’s real:

2012 Cervelo S5 aerodynamic road bike

The BBright bottom bracket shell keeps the shift cable loops hidden from the air. The design has 12% greater stiffness than the S3. The seatstays were designed to partially shield the rear brake from the airflow, too.

2012 Cervelo S5 aerodynamic road bike

Out back, they incorporated the curved seat tube with tucked rear wheel from their TT bikes, but the fit and geometry mirrors the S3’s, meaning it’s designed for normal racing and riding. Up front, which is better seen from the side profile pic at the top of the post, the downtube starts really low, which lessens the gap between the fork and front wheel, which Cervelo says keeps air running smoothly from one surface to the next. From there, the downtube was shaped to maximize aerodynamics even with a standard water bottle and cage attached…particularly when mounted to the lower of the two available positions. The seat tube also has cage mounts.

2012 Cervelo S5 aerodynamic road bike

Up top, the seatpost gets a two-position aero seatpost.

So, what does all this aero-techno-goodness get you? A frame that chops 36.8 seconds of the 40k time of the world championship winning S3. They accomplished this by trimming 92g (9.2 watts) of drag from the frame.

“We’ve been shown all the test data on the S5, but I don’t need that, I can feel that it’s the fastest and most agile road bike I’ve been on,” said Garmin-Cervélo’s Thor Hushovd, who sprinted to a win at the 2010 World Championships aboard a Cervélo S3. “In the Tour de France, we’ll be racing about 100 hours over three weeks and, thanks to the S5’s aerodynamics, I’ll be saving energy. That will give me an advantage when it comes down the sprints.”

What it doesn’t do is add much weight. Even with all the aerodynamic properties, the frame weighs in at a claimed 990g. Complete frame with uncut fork is about 1,330g.

The S5 goes on sale July 1 worldwide. Pricing is:

  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2: $9,000
  • SRAM Red: $7,500
  • Ultegra Di2: $6,000
  • Ultegra 6700: $4,800
  • Frameset: $3,800

Video belos is a “making of” the S5 bike:

Check out Cervelo’s mini-site for the S5 here.


  1. Tony on

    Just a heads up, the S5 with 990 painted frame is the “speacial” VWD Edition, not the same as the normal $3800 frame

  2. alloycowboy on

    This is some great engineering to meet the Formula “UCI” rules. It’s just to bad that the bikes built for average Joe cyclist are held back by these UCI rules.

  3. mkrs on

    Wow, that dropped downtube (and visually extended headtube) looks hideous! But I want this bike anyway ;D

    BTW claims about aero gains are absurd when you measure drag with a static rider model. The rider’s motion creates a lot of turbulence so you can’t just ignore it.

  4. Robin on

    Alas, without seeing data, it’s impossible to say whether form followed function or not. The S3 was/is pretty aero efficient, and it’s hard to imagine Cervelo going backwards and producing a frame with higher drag. It’s possible but unlikely.

  5. Dan on

    I agree on the UGLY comments. For a company that spends as much as they do on advertising and marketing you would think they could do some decent graphic design on all their bikes. It may be functional but this bike really looks bad.

  6. bk on

    to:Joshua Murdock,

    take a second look, it has been photo shopped out mistakenly I’m sure. Either that or the white light has reflected on the gloss causing it to no appear. Whatever the case, you’re right Brendan, it’s not visible.

  7. Bob on

    I disagree with the “ugly” comments. The bike looks techno great. Just goes to show you technology doesn’t have to be colored like a coral snake. You might think it’s an eyesore but that won’t matter to the guy who’s riding one as he passes you and won’t be concerned enough to look back.

  8. sophia on

    I have seen the white vision S5, I don’t think mane people have seen, It’ s one of the most beautiful bike I ‘ ve never seen, ( Team use)
    I ‘ m going to get a white one, but I don’t know the black one does look that inprss.

  9. Sophia on

    I ‘ ve seen Cervelo 2012, S5 the white one, I can say, the white color one S5 looks better than 2008 Beijing Olympic one, very shine, one of best, It will beating any bike on the market from mane different ways, I hope that I can gat a white one, no black one !!!
    I can’ t wait

  10. Opinante on

    What a beatiful bike……… look like a space ship compare with the regular bikesfrom other brands. besides is based on tecnology non only grafics and colors


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