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Cervelo Launches New Redesigned R5 Classic Road Series

by Mike Sarnecki

August 22, 2013 (Portland, OR) – Cervelo recently held a Press Camp launch in Portland, Oregon and Pedal was stoked to receive an invite to check out what coming from the iconic Canadian brand that was created back in 1995 by Phil White and Gerard Vroomen.

Founded on the principle of designing and engineering better bikes Cervelo quickly rose the top ranks in the sport by offering premium road, time trial, & track models. Design, simulate, iterate is the company’s philosophy and their in-house engineers strive for innovation while remaining focused on making great bicycles.

Using its F1 toolbox that includes Computer Aided Design (CAD), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and Concurrent Aerodynamic and Structural Engineering (CASE) software, Cervelo took what it learned from designing and manufacturing the RCA in its California facility and applied it to redesigning the all new R5.

The new R5 frameset was able to benefit from the 15 parameters, 93 frame designs and 279 FEA & CFD analyses from the development of the RCA frame that lead to creating 30 different layup iterations specifically for the new R5 to arrive at a final design that uses five different carbon fibre materials to deliver what Cervelo calls Classic Road R Series priorities – lightweight, stiffness, and comfort.

The key R Series features include…

– The Optimized Tapered Head Tube of the new R5 increases torsional stiffness 14% over the previous version and uses the 1-1/8″ to 1-3/8″ head tube taper for precise steering and the ideal balance of weight, stiffness and comfort.

– Squoval technology utilizes square and round shapes blended together depending on the load in a given area of the frame and in its 3rd generation, adds aero to the Squoval shapes by sculpting the leading edge and tweaking the trailing edge, which generates a savings of 7.4 watts over the second-generation Squoval.

– The UltraThin Seat Stays of the new R5 retains compliance but are rotated 90 degrees to create less drag while sparing unnecessary weight. The result is more comfort and less road chatter.

– Cervelo’s open source BBright bottom bracket standard is asymmetric, stiffer, lighter and uses an oversized 30mm axle to allow for oversized frame tubes (up to 16% wider than standard bottom brackets).  This optimal combination of stiffness and weight puts all of the power into the road.

The R5 comes equipped with a new fork that is lightly curved with a bonded insert that adds strength under the stem clamp, where strength is needed. The fork is single piece construction, all in one mold laid up at the same time. From the drop out to legs, the fork features continuous fibres running the length of the fork.

Future Proof Cable Management provides the R5 with compatibility for all mechanical and electronic shifting systems including Shimano, SRAM, and Campy.  Each frame comes with all the cable guides for each of the different systems.

On the road, the R5 feels like it is not even there, which is a good thing. When testing the bike on climbs and descents in Washington State and Oregon, I found myself immersed in the ride itself, almost forgetting to notice the bike, which is a testament to the quality engineering that was put into this machine.

The road feel is subtle – just enough to provide the feedback you want, yet not too harsh where the road buzz is fatiguing.  The responsiveness to putting pressure into the pedals is amazing. Stomp on it and it goes. Clearly the power transfer that has been engineered into the frame does what it is supposed to do. Coupled with the BBright oversized bottom bracket and the lightweight frame, the R5 climbed like a dream.

Handling down twisty, technical descents was bang on.  The bike goes where you put it and despite the fact I was riding on unknown roads with a group of unfamiliar riders, I was confident on all terrain.

Personally not having tested the RCA previously, I cannot comment on the difference between the R5 and the RCA, however, some of my colleagues at the R5 launch, who had now ridden both frames, admitted they would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the $10,000 RCA frameset and the new R5.

Overall, the un-compromized engineering in the redesigned R5 is something you can really see and feel. Once again Cervelo as has the new R5 delivers on its objective to be light, stiff, and comfortable out on the road.  Available as Dura-Ace 9000, Dura-Ace Di2 9070, SRAM Red 22, or frameset only.

MSRP • $5,000 (frameset) • $7,000 (DA 9000, Red 22) • $9,000 (DA Di2 9070)

For more on Cervelo click here.

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