Cervelo S5 Review

Cervelo S5 prioritizes aerodynamic performance and stiffness, making it a platform preferred by the fastest sprinters in the world. You’ve no doubt noticed the now-iconic V-Stem. Cervelo optimized that shape to deliver the best possible performance in the wind, hid the cables inside, and made enough bar/stem/stack options to fit just about anyone. It’ll clear 28mm tires, too so you can eke out even more aero advantage.


TypeRoad Bike


Check specifications here

ComponentsSize 48Size 51Size 54Size 56Size 58
Head Tube Angle71°72°73°73.5°73.5°
Front Center579mm580mm581mm588mm604mm
Bottom Bracket Drop72.5mm72.5mm70mm70mm67.5mm
Head Tube Length69mm87mm109mm130mm157mm
Top Tube Length520mm535mm550mm565mm581mm
Seat Tube Angle73°73°73°73°73°
Standover Height707.5mm729.2mm747.4mm775.3mm805.9mm
Wheel Size700C700C700C700C700C
Fork Offset58mm52mm46mm43mm43mm
Chainstay Length405mm405mm405mm405mm405mm

The new and significantly upgraded Cervelo S5 is a bike that seems more at home in a science fiction movie than on the road. Because it is a very fast racing vehicle that complies with a contemporary definition of aero, and because we adore it.

A very incredible engineering feat and one of the most thrilling bikes in the racing right now. Even while it has the same sleek appearance as any existing one-piece bar and stem system, the new V-shaped stem addresses the problem of integrated front ends having no adjustment. The S5 is pricier than a few noteworthy high-end aero alternatives from other major OEMs.

Features of Cervelo S5

Aerodynamic efficiency

Cervelo claims that their unconventional V-shaped handlebar and stem design is faster than a conventional bar and stem, and it has accomplished what it should have done with the prior iteration while also improving aerodynamics (5.5 watts over the previous version). According to Cervelo, this comes fairly near to exceeding the existing UCI regulations’ maximum aerodynamic efficiency. The S5 has evolved into the powerful rocket ship it was originally meant to be with these modifications and new geometry, and it even appears to be one with those handlebars!

According to Cervélo, it is the outcome of numerous hours of aero testing, and when compared to other bar and stem combinations, its design was found to be the fastest through the air. The large v-shaped gap allows the air to flow through that area far more efficiently than it would under normal circumstances. Additionally, according to Cervévlo’s studies, the air moved more smoothly and quickly around the rider’s legs, resulting in reduced total drag.

More improvements

The faired fork, which hinges at either end of the head tube, is very well-designed in our opinion. Although the combined carbon/aluminum construction of this attachment is nearly seamless and gives the impression that the entire front end is cut from a single block, it shares certain characteristics with a dual crown fork seen on a mountain bike. However, such perfection is not without its challenges: according to rumours, mechanics are experiencing difficulties putting just this component of the bike together. Thankfully, we don’t need to be concerned about this today. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 groupset, ENVE SES Disc 5.6 wheels, an in-house SP20 seat post, and a Cervélo cockpit make up the harmonic combination of parts.

The new bike offers a fantastic riding quality, which Cervélo’s aero range lacked. Evidently, it is also quick! One of the best descending aero bikes I’ve ever rode, the S5 handles identically to the razor-sharp R5.

The S5 was primarily constructed with aerodynamics in mind, with vertical compliance and comfort being added later by Cervelo. For example, the R5 from Cervelo starts with tube designs that prioritise vertical compliance and lightness with a shorter, more upright geometry and forgoes the use of ultra-high modulus carbon to produce a more damped ride feel. These bikes are designed primarily for day-long riding.


The (aggressive) geometry of the new S5, despite its drastically different appearance, remains substantially the same. A small head tube of 13.4 cm, a stack of 54.2 cm, a reach of 38.4 cm, and a wheelbase of 97.5 cm are all features of my 54-cm test bike. Both the head angle and the seat angle are 73°. The Specialized Venge has a slightly lower head tube at 13.3 cm and a slightly longer reach at 38.7 cm than the S5’s 38.4 cm on a 54 cm frame, but otherwise the measurements and angles are largely the same. In comparison to other cutting edge aero bikes, this one is neither particularly more nor less aggressive.

Cervelo also asserts that the new S5 is more stable and comfortable than the previous model, despite stiffness improvements of 13 percent in the head tube and 25 percent in the vast area around the bottom bracket.

Oh! What a feeling riding Cervelo S5

The innovative V-Shaped stem is the showpiece in terms of adjustability and usability. It cleverly bolts directly into the underside of the new AB08 handlebar, creating a look as clean as any integrated bar and stem system out there despite the fact that it is technically not integrated and can be purchased separately in different sizes. Rubber caps covering the bolts complete the tidy aesthetics. The bar/stem combination also enables direct routeing of mechanical and electrical gears, ensuring that the cables are totally hidden on whichever S5 specification you pick.

When I first started riding the S5, I was aware of how long and low it felt in comparison to the more easy bike I was used to, but I quickly grew acclimated to it, and the sheer acceleration is truly addicting. Average speeds climbed substantially, and although I lack concrete evidence, I am fairly sure in saying that the S5 is unlike any road bike I have ever extensively ridden before. It’s almost like cheating, in my opinion, when contrasted to a more conventional-looking lightweight endurance bike.

Pros & Cons of Cervelo S5


High level of integration

Bad-ass Aero look and Aerodynamics

Very direct handling

Very fast, adjustable and stable

Futuristic look and feel


Lack of comfort

Mismatch front and rear-end lateral stiffness


Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs of Cervelo S5:

Is Cervélo S5 good for climbing?

The Cervélo S5 is incredibly effective at accelerating and climbing as long as you remain seated. The lateral stiffness in the back, though, can’t quite equal the front’s tremendous stiffness once you get out of the saddle for sprinting. The Cervélo handles speed really well.

Is the Cervélo S5 fast?

The Cervelo S5 is an expensive aero road bike that is quick and effective. The handlebars’ distinctive design makes it possible for the bike to succeed in sprints and cut through headwinds. The bike’s disc brakes are dependable.

How many gears does the Cervélo S5 have?

Frame: Cervelo S5 All-Carbon, TrueAero tube profiles, integrated head tube to fork configuration, integrated headset 1” x 1-3/8” Fork: Cervelo All Carbon, Tapered S5 Fork. Headset: FSA IS2 1 x 1-3/8. Shifters: Shimano Ultegra Di2 8070, 11-speed.

What is the difference between Cervelo S3 and S5?

Overall, it is claimed that the new S5 will save the rider 42 grammes of drag, or 5.5 watts, whereas the updated S3 disc will only save a marginal 13 watts at 40 kph. With statements like that, Cervelo asserts that users may anticipate a noticeable improvement over the company’s previous model.

How much faster is an aero bike?

You’ll just be able to travel farther on an aero bike than you would on a non-aero bike. On an aero bike, the 150-Watt rider now completes the course 6.5 minutes quicker (8.4 minutes without drafting), going 83.3 seconds faster per hour (93.6 seconds with no drafting).

Conclusion | Cervelo S5 Review


Total score

Our Rating​

The Cervélo S5 is exorbitant. Fast and direct in an excessive manner. No matter how tight the bends are, experienced racers will enjoy carving on this loose gun. However, you must first get used to the bike’s extreme speed if you’re still a little foggy-headed. The S5 belongs on a clean racetrack surface since it is a thoroughbred racer. What about the style, then? It’s been termed the marmite-racer because people either love it or detest it. In the meanwhile, we toast the Cervélo S5!

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