(Original review from www.bikeradar.com)
The new R5 launched last year, and saw success with a stage win in the Giro d’Italia underneath Dimension Data’s Omar Fraile. The disc version came a little later than the rim-brake revision, with Cervélo hoping this new generation R Series flagship will continue the models’ successes which began in 2003, with the R2.5 winning stages with Carlos Sanchez and Tyler Hamilton and Fabian Cancellara winning Paris- Roubaix on the R3 bike in 2006.
Lightweight for big climbing days, compliant enough to cope with the cobbled classics, the R5 has always been the aero-optimised S5’s — as ridden by Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings — simpler, more understated cousin.
Cervélo has revised the geometry on the R5, making it more race orientated, with the stack dropping by 8mm and getting a little longer reach. Frame stiffness has increased over the previous version, and sees the introduction of Cervélo’s Squoval Max tube shaping — the shape blends a square tube profile with oval corners and curved sides, top and bottom; the Max denotes the improvements made in these structures in terms of weight, stiffness and aerodynamics. The biggest surprise comes in the weight, with the R5 Disc frame just 831g, lighter even than its rim-brake counterpart (850g).
The R5’s details shine through, Cervélo has adopted Focus’s brilliant RAT system, this fast release thru-axle with its T-bar end and quarter-turn lock and unlock is among the best.
Cervélo has taken the design, reworked the adjusting nut to make it a little more minimal, changed the design of the threaded base (to which the T-bar locks into) and changed the location of the spring to give a little more resistance.
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