The introduction of the radical Diamondback Andean could only mean one thing – Ironman Kona was right around the corner. Serving not only as the crown jewel of the world of triathlon competition, Kona is usually the point of the year that equipment manufacturers bring out the big guns for new product launches. Now more than ever, it seems that those same companies are starting to push the limits when it comes to bike design mostly because the world of tri bikes isn’t ruled over by the UCI with an iron fist. There are still rules governing the construction of tri bikes, but they are far more lenient than those found on the road racing side of things. Because of that, integrated storage options are being built in to frames that also improve the bike’s aerodynamics.
In the case of the new Cervelo P5X, the frame also pays homage to the days of the Zipp 2001, Trek Y-Foil, and other bikes which have omitted the seat tube or seat stays in search of a better ride and improved aerodynamics. More than just a rehash of previous ideas with a glove box though, the P5X looks to offer one of the most adjustable fully integrated frames on the market and even includes provisions to help you get it to your next race destination…
If you’re going to ride for 112 miles after swimming 2.4 miles and before running a marathon, you’d better be comfortable on your bike. In order to make fitters’ jobs easier, the P5X starts with just 4 frame sizes (S,M, L, XL) but offers a massive range of adjustment with 112mm of sliding stack and 91mm of reach adjustment along with a base bar that can be flipped 180º with 0 to 12º of tilt. Instead of a more traditional steerer tube and spacer arrangement, the P5X essentially uses a seat post for the aerobars that can be raised or lowered to the desired position. To get a full sense of the bike’s adjustability it’s probably best just to head to their micro-site and mouse through the animation.
Given that there really isn’t a seat tube, the seat post is cut to length and then allows a small amount of adjustability once cut. The adjustability of the seat post allows a 74-81º effective seat tube angle and Cervelo’s site has a bike size and set up calculator to help you obtain a baseline fit to get started. Chances are good that if you’re buying a P5X, you’re also going to travel with it to triathlons around the world. In order to make that as easy as possible, the P5X apparently has a two piece foldable bar that includes a padded holster that should go great with their co-developed Cervelo travel case.
In order to make sure you have enough storage on board for all of your tri-cessories, the P5X has three storage compartments – the Smartpak, Stealthbox, and Speedcase. Along with the built in storage in front of the bottom bracket, above the crank, and on the top tube, there are also provisions for standard bottle cages on the aerobars, behind the saddle, and on the “downtube.” All totaled, you should have plenty of flexibility to pack what you need where you want it.
Then there’s the frame itself – which is made in Minnesota by HED Cycling. In addition to being designed with massive amounts of CFD and wind tunnel time to produce the fastest frame possible, the bike is equipped with disc brakes and thru axles to keep it stiff and stopping when you want it to. A PF30 bottom bracket runs a Rotor Flow BBRight aero or SRAM Red crankset depending on the build with SRAM RED eTap and Ultegra Di2 builds offered. Available December 1st, you’ll have to wait a bit until you start working towards your “personal best.”