When Cervelo announced the new R5 last month it seemed to tick all the boxes as a bike for me. The Cervelo design brief was to create a light weight, road bike with good aerodynamics, race geometry and to make the front end a little more compliant than the previous model which even the pros complained was a bit too stiff for multi day stage races. These bike are currently as rare as rocking horse poo, but there was a 58cm frame (my size) available. Too good an opportunity to miss. We built the bike with a Sram force AXS groupset, Zipp 303 NSW wheels and the standard carbon bars and stem which come with the bike and finally this week I got a chance to ride it. I wasn't going to take it out in the rain for its first ride so had to wait for a weather window.
Cervelo claim a frame weight of 703g for a 56cm frame and the 58 weighed in at 796g on our probably not very accurate scales so it is light! The fork, bar, stem and seat post weight have also been reduced compared to the previous model so it is definitely a bike for the hills (i might need to look at my own weight now!). Looking at the geometry it is definitely a racing machine but the geometry is a little more relaxed than a similar sized BMC Teammachine or Argon 18 Gallium Pro, although if you fit the 3D spacers to the Gallium to extend the head tube you end up in about the same place.
Having now ridden the bike I can report that it rides every bit as good as it looks. The position is nice without having a massive stack of spacers under the stem and everything feels comfortable. The reduced stiffness in the front end means you don't rattle your teeth on every bump on our Aberdeenshire roads and the D shaped seatpost helps with saddle comfort.
The bottom bracket and rear end are still nice and stiff so all the power you have available is going down to the road and it accelerates and climbs beautifully. Compared to the Argon 18 Gallium Pro I have been riding for the last couple of years it is a little bit less responsive but as a result it is much more comfortable on longer days out. both the Cervelo and the Argon are great bikes and if you like super responsiveness from your frame then the Argon is a good option. If you want a fast, race oriented bike which feels a little more relaxed and which you can still live with every day the the Cervelo wins out for me.