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.

dt_storage-box_final_edited tool-box-frame-opening_final_edited

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.”



  1. VeloFreak on

    another bike company that sends themselves to the trash bin after been purchased by a larger group. Santa cruz will come after, and then ENVE.

  2. Steve @ G4G on

    I’d imagine those TRP HY/RD disc brakes create more drag than an aero caliper brake. I’m looking forward to when designers give up on the bikes and start putting fairings on the triathletes. That will be fun.

    • Chris on

      The amount of drag is pretty trivial and last I looked triathlons are rarely won by fractions of a second. Plus it’s probably a safe bet that most of these will end up in the hands of well heeled age groupers rather than pros for whom a few seconds might potentially mean something.

      • cerebis on


        The drag on a rider is huge. Though triathlon is much less strict, pure fairings are banned. You would get much more than a few seconds advantage if you rocked up with a fairing.

        Sponsored pros will ride the latest product, that’s sorta the point of the whole enterprise.

        But yes, when it comes to the buying public, products in the highest price tier are purchased by enthusiasts that can afford them.

  3. Blake on

    Serious Question:

    With this and the diamondback it looks like there is enough storage for a weekend out of town, what are tri folks carrying that takes up that much space?

    • Jack Moore on

      Some of it is because Tri’s are self supporting and you just can’t wave the team car up for a quick fix – but the real purpose is to create aerodynamic fairings. The huge box that sits over the bottom bracket for instance fills in the frame and cleans up a lot a very ‘dirty’ area for airflow. Similarly, the little nook behind the front wheel is there mainly for aero purposes. Trek started this ~5 years back with the Speed Concept that was aerodynamically faster with some of the bespoke storage options attached.

  4. Antipodean_eleven on

    I don’t get all the haters, I really don’t. This is interesting stuff… for once.

    I dunno about everyone else but I am well bored of the ‘next great’ steel, ti, carbon double triangle bike. Don’t get me wrong, they are some really nice frames going around these days, ones I lust after in the material choice of my mood at the time but it’s got to the point where for much of the stuff hitting the market, from big and small makers, the only difference ultimately (once you boil off all the marketing w!nk), is the paint and graphics.

    In the past two weeks we’ve had some ‘out there’ stuff that’s not vapourware but something you can go buy with enough of the green stuff. That’s huge in the bike yet people are whinging…

    Good thing people don’t think that way about cars eh? Otherwise we’d all still be getting around in Model T’s.

    • Fred on

      Roadies are a very conservative bunch if you haven’t noticed. The fact the the UCI severely restricts bike design as well doesn’t help. Good thing triathlon is free from all that to some extent.
      I waiting on the geometron roadbike: longer wheelbase, longer chainstays, steeper seat tube, longer top tube and slacker head angle. Oh and dropper posts would help gain valuable time on descents not to mention make it safer to ride at break neck speeds.
      There is no reason to keep riding terrible handling roadbikes because it is tradition…

  5. Andy on

    It just needs lasers. More lasers. And a cluster of fans pointing forwards to cancel out the wind resistance. You read it here first folks.

  6. Antoine on

    Alfus that’s not that crazy. When you’re out for 8hours for the best of sport and about 4h30+ on the bike you’re not goind to override chris froome or tony martin. The 52 is fine. As you have a not so large big chainring you can put a 36 without a crazy gap which will allow you to spin the eventual climb and not burn yourself for the run. I’d say signel 50 or 52 for flat triathlon and 52-36 for hilly ones is a good choice.

    Cool bike cervélo, guest i like the minimalism of the omni more as the storage look already enough for a full IM to me.

  7. Alex on

    Personally it’s ugly as hell, they could have done a lot better, I think it will be great when we start getting a load of straight from the factory designs along these lines, some will be more radical, and hopefully some a lot simpler.

    All this integration of storage, and they still provide for the horrid saddle mounted water bottles.

    Thank God zipp made a nice beam bike back in the day

  8. Mike on

    I’m not a triathlete, so I have no dog in this fight, but it’s nice to see the crazytown designs coming out of the triathlon world. I think it’s great. That said, in the road world, I think the emphasis is rightly on the racing, not so much the bikes themselves, and it should stay that way. I’m cool with conservative double triangle designs staying that way.

  9. Roborbob on

    The 90s were great, but it’s hard to get excited about the rehash of old designs. Looks very Lemond V2 Boomerang with added storage to me. And the Diamondback reminds me of the Cannondale rollerblade bike less the front blade. I can appreciate the UCI’s conservatism.

  10. strange on

    Diamondback does it = hated by all. Cervelo does it = groundbreaking. Personal opinion = The extra drag you get from riding much better looking bikes on the market is worth taking over looking like a Bruce Wayne wannabe while I train on the bike path.

  11. mutron3k on

    Let’s see these triathletes change a flat tire on these disc brake/thru axle wheels after 100 miles – they had just kinda figured out QRs and calipers

  12. Robert Bowers on

    I see they have left room for improvement. Next model will have rim brakes hence a lower spoke count and be even more aero.


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