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Cervélo R5 raises seatstays, drops weight, gets wider

The electronic-only, disc-brake only, grand-tour-winning bike from Cervélo has a wider stance and weighs less than its predecessor.

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The 2022 Cervélo R5 was first sighted at the 2021 Liége-Bastogne-Liége under Primož Roglič. Much later in the season, he won his third consecutive Vuelta a España aboard the same bike. Between those races, Anouska Koster came in third at the Anouska was 3rd in the first stage of Tour de la Semois on the new R5, and Marianne Vos narrowly missed winning road worlds on the new all-around racing bike.

Not to be overlooked, Sepp Kuss won stage 15 of the 2021 Tour de France aboard the new Cervélo R5, which has not been available to consumers — until just this week.

The 2022 Cervélo R5 bucks the current trend of dropped seatstays.
The 2022 Cervélo R5 bucks the current trend of dropped seatstays.

The 2022 Cervélo R5 looks unusual among current top-tier bikes in that it appears to look like a bike from 10 years ago (we acknowledge that disc brakes were virtually non-existent in the early twenty-teens).

The traditional-looking design bucks the current trend of dropped seatstays — they attach at the junction of the top tube and seat tube — but they are kept wispy and thin. The chainstays are vertically flattened, and the down tube and bottom bracket are robust, but not quite “beefy.” What does this all indicate? Race-tested compliance, which promises a smooth and responsive ride. These elements were incorporated with feedback from Tom Dumoulin for tuning the bike’s ride quality.

Initially, there was some concern that the bike was overly stiff, which was reported to make the bike feel heavier than its UCI minimum 6.8kg weight. With adjustments to the carbon layup schedule, minor geometry modifications, and some tweaks frame shape, Cervélo arrived at what you see here.

The 2020 Cervélo R5 is reported to respond better when diving into corners and allows for maintaining better control when thrashing around hairpin descents, but at the low weight, is still a “climbers’ bike.” To be sure, the Cervélo S5 is the brand’s aero road bike.

That hourglass shape of the 2022 Cervélo R5 promises aero advantage and compliance for comfort. (Photo: Cervélo)

Less is more

Cervélo says the frame weighs 130g less than the previous edition at 703g, even with the geometry and carbon layup improvements. Cervélo’s house-branded components also shave a few grams here and there: 12g were shaved from each the handlebar and stem, while the seatpost is 20g less than the previous version.

The 2022 Cervélo R5 comes in six sizes. The geometry is largely unchanged from the previous version.

Wider and wider

More obvious than nearly all other features of the updated Cervélo R5 is the relatively wider stance that allows tires up to 34mm width. This is a lot more room compared with the bike’s predecessor, which could only accommodate 30mm tires. While this may not seem like much, it does make available many more options — like bigger tires for use on light gravel, or maybe even cobblestones.

There's ample room in front of the downtube for wide tires, but also maintaining aero advantage.
There’s ample room in front of the down tube for wide tires, but also maintaining aero advantage. (Photo: Cervélo)
If you want to ride high volume tires — up to 34mm — the Cervélo R5 will accommodate. (Photo: Cervélo)

The 2022 Cervélo R5 is available in three colorways, three complete builds, and as a frameset. There are six size options for this bike: 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, and 61cm.

If you want a mechanical group or rim brakes, though, you’re out of luck; the Cervélo R5 is available for electronic shifting groupsets and disc brakes only. The Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 build is $12,000, the SRAM Red AXS build is $12,000 and the SRAM Force AXS build is $8,400. The frame and fork only option is $5,000.

VeloNews will be riding this bike and evaluating it in the near future. We will make sure to keep you updated on our first ride impressions, and later, our long-term review.