The Cervélo S5 sliced out a distinctive place in the pro peloton, as an early adopter of the #AeroIsEverything aero road bike movement. But the sleek, long-running S5 was in need of an update. So with the relaxation of the UCI 3:1 rule, Cervelo jumped at the chance to re-engineer an all-new faster, fully-integrated but still adjustable, disc brake only aero road bike – the new 2019 Cervélo S5….

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike


Alongside introducing the newer, faster S5 aero road bike, Cervelo has also announced that staring in 2019 the successful Sunweb pro men’s & women’s team will start racing the new bikes.

The new Cervélo S5 is More Aero

Of course the new S5 is more aero. That has been the dominant driver of this bike’s development for about a decade. With the recent relaxation of the UCI 3:1 rule, Cervelo says they opened up a lot of room to adapt the new fork & seatstay designs where they could benefit from going deeper up to 8cm, while slimming down widths to just 1cm.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Cervelo now calls the new S5 the “World’s Undisputable Fastest Bike!” The redesign of their flagship aero road bike focused mostly on the leading edge of the bike in the wind, looking at the handlebar down to the fork & downtube.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Cervelo put a lot of the lessons they developed on their P5 TT bike into redeveloping an external steerer fork and the uniquely open & upright looking stem + bar design. The result is a claim of 45g of drag reduction for a savings of 5W vs. the previous generation of the S5. That’s not as much as the 21W saved in the last redesign of the S5, but Cervelo says we are getting closer to Peak Aero, and the gains – although real – are becoming more incremental even with the benefit of dropping rim brakes out of the equation.

A lot of the aero optimization development actually started with refining clean internal routing that was still usable. Cervelo focused hard on keeping mechanics from pulling out their hair working on the new bike, so it even gets easy access, internal routing in that new bar and stem design that is mechanical shifting friendly.

The new Cervélo S5 is Stiffer

While the new S3 is 25% stiffer at the bottom bracket & 13% stiffer torsionally from the front to rear wheels, Cervelo says it is a more balanced overall stiffness profile that actually improves the new bike’s performance. Not only trying to just build a stiffer bike, they focused on a more balanced approach, so the front & rear wheels would track in plane with each other while pedal input translated through the chainstays to the rear wheel. When the top pro sprinters make that final dash to the line, they need to could rely on the bike tracking straight through corners and translating every ounce of power into forward motion.

2019 Cervélo S5 – Geometry

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

The new S5 retains much of the same pro World Tour proven road racing geometry as its predecessor. But there are some refinements. Essentially the angles remain the same for the 56cm frame which the design team admits was where they had put most of their development focus in the past.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike geometry

But now the smaller sizes get much improved geometry that actually adapts more to ensure the same fork trail figures, lending a consistent handling quality across all sizes. That’s a big step up for shorter riders who in the past had sacrificed a bit of stable handling at speed to get a comfortable fit. Part of that also means that smaller frame sizes also get more bottom bracket drop, again to provide a more balanced feel to the handling no matter the rider size.

Interestingly, while smaller sizes improve, Cervelo cut out the largest size of the previous model. The new 2019 Cervélo S5 is available in five stock sizes, from 48-58cm.

2019 Cervélo S5 – Tech Details

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

In the details the new S5 gets growing industry standards like 12mm thru-axles with aero quick release levers, flat mount disc brakes, and clearance for 28mm tires. The bike also includes an integrated computer mount, a lower bottle position for improved aerodynamics when using a single bottle, and a hidden wedge seatpost clamp in the toptube.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Cervelo specifically chose not to go with a one-piece bar & stem concept to carry over their philosophy of dialing in fits for all riders.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Instead the new integrated, but separate carbon bar and stem  include 6 stem length options, 4 handlebar widths, 30mm of possible spacers under the stem, another 2.5mm spacer possible between the stem & bar, and the ability to adjust the bar angel to one of three rotation positions – 0°, 2.5°, or 5°.

2019 Cervélo S5 – Pricing & Availability

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

The new 2019 Cervelo S5 is available in four complete bike builds, as well as a stand alone frameset option. The $5500 frameset includes the full carbon frame and integrated fork, plus the proprietary aero seatpost, and the integrated two-piece aero bar & stem.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Looking at complete bike builds, a mechanical shift Ultegra Disc build is the most affordable option at just $6500 with a 32mm deep alloy DT Swiss P-series wheelset.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Stepping up to a $9000 build gets a Ultegra Di2 electronic shift groupsets and 35mm deep carbon DT Swiss PRC 1450 wheels.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Halo complete bike builds include an $11,500 Shimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc bike that also gets Enve SES Disc 5.6 aero carbon wheels.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

Or you can opt for a wireless electronic SRAM Red eTap HRD Disc build for $12,000 with 48mm deep DT Swiss ARC 1450 aero carbon wheels.

All of the builds include aero benchmark 25mm Continental GP4000 S II tires not yet taking advantage of the lower rolling resistance of tubeless ready wheels on each bike.

2019 Cervélo S5 fully integrated, disc-brake aero road bike

If you are looking for rim brakes, Cervelo has you covered there with the new S3, available with either rim or disc brakes, and at a lower price point than this new S5.


  1. Good to see discs finally starting to take over on the road, soon rim brakes will be the preserve of ultralight climbing specials and TT bikes, thank goodness.

    • I have a disc road bike. Its brakes well. That’s the only real benefit (and my rim braked bike brakes almost as well at least in dry weather)
      One downside…Hydraulic discs travel poorly, mainly due to the internally routed front brake line. I’ll either get a rim brake travel bike (ritchey) or eventually switch to external routing on the front. I understand internal for a dedicated aero bike, but on a regular road bike I like something like Trek’s hydraulic tubing management (zip ties to bosses on fork).

      • Doesn’t SRAM or shimano make a quick hydraulic disconnect for disc brake systems that can be used a few times before re bleeding such systems have been around for a long time with automotive trailers

        • There is Formula Speedlock, but I’ve never seen or heard of anyone using it in real life. They seem to be pre-fitted to Formula hoses, which may or may not limit your choice of brakes. Then there is this thing for an eye-watering £250:

          But yeah, I’ve always wanted one for a travel bike build, and am quite surprised that it’s not more common, considering how common it is for automotive and industrial applications.

        • Those systems are only really meant to ease initial assembly for frames with internal routing. They are not meant to be disconnected / reconnected without bleeding.

          The bikes look pretty good and it sounds like they improved on a lot of the complaints that came with the old one, mostly ride quality/stiffness related.

        • both companies make a mid-hose connector, but it’s mainly a feature of OEM items to ease installation during factory assemblies. they are not designed to be reused without replacing the olive and hose barb

    • Road bikes with disc brakes are over-rated, but I assume that 2 years from now you won’t be able to buy a top-end frameset that isn’t disc-specific. So yeah, disc brakes are the future whether you’re a true believer or not.

      However, dedicated aero TT and tri bikes are probably the bikes that need disc brakes the most. Not because those disciplines need disc brakes per se, but because those bikes are the exclusive realm of the worst examples of rim brakes ever designed by people who hate bike mechanics. Combined with internal brake routing created from an unfortunate collaboration between Rube Goldberg and MC Escher that ended because of artistic differences, TT/Tri bikes are some of the worst stopping bikes you’ll ever blow your children’s college fund on.

    • Ha! I do however love the 25% stiffer BB….um, stiffer than what? I promise, my BB on my bike (any of them) is at least 25% stiffer than a wet noodle…At least Gerard and Phil White knew they were selling snake oil….

  2. It makes me laugh to hear the negativity toward disc brakes.

    I would bet most of my vast wealth that 99.9% of those bashing disc brakes have never tried them. How do I know that? Well because I too used to bash them until 3 weeks ago when I purchased a bike with dura ace disc brakes. They are about 1 million times better than rim brakes. The stopping power is so much better. The power is so good, you can one finger them from the hoods down steeps that would make you poop. I had dura ace and EE rim brakes on the bike I just replaced and both could not even come close to the stopping power.

    Now what does all this mean? It means I can go so much faster and brake so much later with way more confidence. And I can do it rain or shine. The only downside is that discs are more difficult to adjust the feel because it usually means a bleed, but with Shimano, once you have it where you like it, you will not have to deal with it for a very long time. So all you naysayers, go actually try it. It is as impactful as when they put them on mountain bikes for the first time.

    • EE brakes are terrible, so of course hydraulic disk are much bsttbe. Lol. I’ve been riding disk on mountain bikes since 2001, and have ridden them on road and gravel bikes too. They don’t offer a practical benefit unless it’s wet compared to my Campy Skeletons unless you want bigger than 28c tires.

  3. It’s a shame Cervelo is leaving Dimension Data for Sunweb… I was waiting to see the crash test results Cav was gonna inflict on this bike.

  4. So any clue on the stack height of the stem from the top of the head tube?
    And do all the stem sizes come in this same stack height? for each model?

  5. When I see a bike like this I wonder why the manufacturer didn’t just go one small step further and put in mounts for fenders. It just seems like they are turning their backs on a potential market segment. It wouldn’t be much trouble, they wouldn’t need to change the basic bike they made at all, just have some way to add fenders. I’m not trying to single out this bike or this manufacturer, I see it from most manufacturers.

  6. i typically dislike cervelo, but they’ve actually done something functional and original here. very thoughtful. would buy over a venge. and probably a cdale or trek.

    • @Michi
      So you mean BB86, right? That’s the one that Shimano invent, also press fit but wider stance and narrower bore.

      Italian threaded BB and English threaded BB frames aren’t Shimano’s own standard.

  7. Matt,

    EE brakes are horrific. Second, stopping power would be leaps and bounds better if you had actually used the DA 9100 series Calipers. Third, try Direct Mount Brakes, it is the brake caliper the big Importers (not actually a manufacturer) do not want you to try. Last, zero modulation on a Hydro Road DB, difficult to change a tube, rotors will burn even if it grazes your leg.

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