After 30 months of testing and back and forth with Team Dimension Data riders, Cervelo has released all-new R5 and R3 road bikes that brings them up to the modern rider’s standards for comfort and performance. Cervelo being Cervelo, they also had to make them lighter, and with new Squoval Max tube shaping, stiffer and more aero.
For the top level R5 race bikes, they adjusted geometry to bring the front end lower for racier handling, and the R3 maintains its traditional (but still race ready) geometry. Both models also get disc brake options, which bump overall system stiffness even more thanks to thru axles…
The R5 drops stack height by 8mm to put the rider in a more aggressive aero position. This is complemented by a 44g drag reduction across the frameset, coming from a new integrated (but still two-piece) bar and stem, the new Squoval tube shaping and fork, and a new seatpost.
To improve rider comfort, they increased tire clearance to fit up to 28mm wide tires. Handling improvements come from an overall lower system center of gravity. The BB goes really low with a massive 72mm of drop, and with a lower stack height up front, the rider’s lower on the bike.
By the numbers, the non-disc bike has 21% stiffer headtube and 15% BB sections. The disc brake model 18% and 26% stiffer at the same spots, respectively. With all of these changes, they managed to drop frame weight, though they’re not making any specific weight claims for the R5.
The R3, however, is supposedly 10% lighter than the prior rim brake R3, and the disc brake model is 16% lighter. It boasts a 17g drag reduction over the prior model, lacking the aero cockpit and fork of the R5.
Both disc brake versions use a new thru axle design that engages with a mere 1/4 turn and lever flip, with graphics on the frame and lever to illustrate usage.
At present, only top level models are on offer, with the R5 getting SRAM eTap / Zipp 302 or Dura-Ace Di2 / ENVE 4.3 builds for $9,000, including one SRAM equipped disc brake model. The R3 has a Dura-Ace 9100 mechanical / Mavic Aksium Elite build for $5,000, with disc brake versions to come.