Cervélo is one of the biggest names in performance for road, time trial, and triathlon. Their latest introduction is an all-new P5 – their fastest bike for TT and tri… with some caveats. With a new frame mold, disc brakes, lighter weight, and less aero drag, it’s aiming to reset the bar for performance in the UCI-legal category.
Cervélo P5 disc brake time trial & triathlon bike
Cervélo has embraced disc brakes for much of their line-up, ever since the UCI (finally) decided to allow them. You might be asking yourself – didn’t Cervélo already release a triathlon bike with disc brakes? They did – the P5X.
While the P5X is great, it isn’t legal for use in races under UCI regulations due to its radical frame shaping. In contrast, the P5 is 100% UCI legal. Moreover, Cervélo says that the new P5 is the fastest TT & triathlon bike they’ve ever made – under the right circumstances. What does that mean? Let’s unpack.
Cervélo P5 vs P5X
Cervélo says that the new P5 is the lightest, stiffest, and most aerodynamic TT bike they’ve ever made. To put some numbers behind it, the new bike shows the following improvements over the previous-generation P5:
- 22% stiffer at the head tube
- 26% stiffer at the bottom bracket
- 17 grams less aero drag
- 18% lighter (now only 1,100 grams)
That means that everyone should buy a P5 instead of a P5X, right? It depends. The P5X is intended as a triathlon-specific machine, with much more storage space for spare tubes, repair kits, food, and bottles.
If you’re racing long-distance triathlon and need to carry a bunch of stuff, the P5X is faster – due to its efficient storage. If you were to attach all of these things to the outside of a P5, the penalty would be significant. If you ride the P5 in a minimalist fashion (a la 40k TT), it is faster than the P5X.
One clear advantage for the P5 is that it has clearance for 28mm tires, whereas the P5X is only officially approved for 25mm.
The P5 borrows some cues from the P5X, such as the new integrated front-end. Called the Speed Riser, this system allows for very quick adjustment and fit using a 4mm allen key.
The new P5 also has highly adjustable aerobars, for a wide range of fit options.
P5 Sizing & Fit
The Cervélo website has a new high-tech bike size calculator, which relies on the user to input their Stack, Reach, and saddle height. Note that they were VERY clear to emphasize that this is not a fitting tool, but rather something to help prescribe a bike size based on your existing fit. In other words: If your current position sucks, this tool will prescribe a bike size that will enable you to recreate your same crappy fit. If you’re unsure, go visit a professional bike fitter.
The new frame is offered in five sizes, all with 700c wheels.
The P5 is available in two build levels – Ultegra Di2 for $7,500 or Dura Ace Di2 for $12,500. Both complete builds feature Shimano hydraulic brakes. The frameset is also available for $5,000 (including frame, fork, stem, aerobar, seat post, and aero bottle). It won’t be shipping for another few weeks, but for now you can check out the P5 at the link below.