Just picked up my new Cervelo R5 (warranty replacement for my third cracked R- series frame). Despite the cracked frame problems, Cervelo customer service has been really outstanding.
Here is the build list:
- Cervelo 2011 R5 54cm, Cervelo SL fork
- Campagnolo Super Record gruppo (175mm crank, 53-39 chainrings, 12-27 cass)
- Ritchey WCS Carbon 2-bolt seatpost
- Ritchey WCS 4-axis carbon 110mm
- Easton EC90 SLX3 46cm
- Prologo Scratch
- CaneCreek headset
- Camapagnolo Neutron wheels
- Vitoria Pave 24c w/Michelin ultralite tubes
- Elite cages
- Time RXS Ulteam Titan
Full build weight 6.9Kg…..the frame weight is surprisingly only 15 grams lighter then my R3SL, 825gm vs 840gm.
Note: I switched from a 56cm R3SL to a 54cm R5 (see viewtopic.php?f=10&t=69119
.…so I suspect that a 56cm R5 will come in at exactly the same weight as a 56cm R3SL. I switched sizes because the stack on the new 54cm is only 5mm less then last year’s 56cm, and I was seeking a bit less reach.
I felt like it was obligatory to go with the green Vittoria Pavé tires given they are a good color match…and they are great riding tires.
As for the ride, you ask? The R5 is a noticeable improvement to earlier R-series models. In comparison to my R3SL, the overall ride is a bit stiffer, especially at the front end. I always thought the biggest weakness of the R3SL ride was the headtube area which was too flexy, especially noticeable on descents and tight corners. The new oversized lower headset bearing, tapered head tube and beefy fork crown on the R5 results in very predictable, quick and stable steering. Another improvement which I never thought needed improvement, but which is noticeable on the R5, is the BB…. the new BBRight really yields a noticeable difference. While standing on steep climbs the increased stiffness is obvious….the BB simply does not move which yields a sort of odd sensation that seems to transfer directly to the platform of my shoes. Lastly, the ride retains the Cervelo trademark compliant rear triangle, however, the leaf spring sensation has been stiffened-up a bit, which finally allows some of the road feel to transfer through to the seatpost and the rider (rather then always feeling like you had a flat). Overall a great improvement in the ride.
Other positives are the seat clamp and seat tube…the back edge of the tube is squared off a bit with some extra carbon and the seat clamp is designed to fit the newly molded seat tube. All of the cable guides are carbon molded right on to the tubes …no more riveted cable guides. The front der tab is also molded carbon and is noticeably stiffer then the previous model and results in more positive front der shifting . The paint is also quite an improvement…the black and green colorway is sharp and the finish is more consistent throughout the frame with no thin, oversprayed or roughly masked areas.
On the negative side are only two things. First, I am not a fan of the full carbon rear dropouts. I am one who does not over clamp my QRs but I still feel like a small overlay of alum on the dropout would have provided a bit if extra protection for long term durability. And lastly, Cervelo strikes out again with a weak rear der hanger. The hanger is a new design adopted to the carbon dropouts. The new hanger is quite short and like previous Cervelo hangers, it is very thin and not stout enough. It is a machined hanger (not stamped like previous OEM Cervelo hangers) but its just too flimsy. When I aligned it with my DAG hanger alignment tool it bent much too easily, despite the shorter lever. I can already feel the lack of positive shifting on my Campy 11 speed rear der. This issue was remedied last time by after market hangers from Wheels Manufacturing. Hopefully they will produce a replacement to rescue Cervelo again.