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New build and short review - Cervelo R5

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New build and short review - Cervelo R5

Old 03-24-20, 11:12 AM
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guadzilla
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New build and short review - Cervelo R5

After getting up my Venge last November (thanks to everyone who provided advice and helped me make a decision over the Madone), i wanted a second bike to use as a rain/training/travel bike. The Venge is a great go-fast machine but my fat ass needs a compact for hills and also a handlebar/stem combo that is easier to pack/unpack. I was planning on getting a Giant TCR (great value and everyone who owns one has nothing but great things to say about it), till i found a deal on bike24.com for a Cervelo R5, Sunweb edition. Red/black/white - the way fast bikes are meant to be (none of this teal and taupe business).

Build spec:
- Groupset: Ultegra Di2 (pulled off the Venge, which got Dura Ace Di2 to get it to full S-Works trim)
- Crank: Quarq D-One 50/34
- Handlebar: 3T Superergo
- Stem: Kalloy Uno 130m
- Chain: KMC 11SL gold (I've been watching a bit too much GCN recently...)
- Saddle: some 100gm Ali Express jobbie
- Wheels: Roval CL50
- Tires: RapidAir Tubeless 26s, which open up to around 28mm on the rims
- BB: WheelsManufacturing BBRight to DUB
- Pedals: Speedplay

Total weight, all in (cages and pedals too): 7,3kg

Took it for a checkout ride and then 2 longish rides of around 100km, and i gotta say - my mind is blown by good the bike is. I thought the Venge was stiff (and it is), but putting down the power on the Cervelo BB is like pushing against a wall - there is absolutely NO give whatsoever. Now, this may not translate into significantly better performance (my Lynskey is super smooth too, but it definitely isnt as stiff - however, i have no issues going fast on it), but it sure puts a smile on my face. And this stiffness doesnt come at the cost of comfort - small road buzz simply disappears, both on the handlebars and the saddle. I set the bike up in a fairly aggressive fit, as shown in the photo, but had no issues with comfort over the course of a 3 hour plus ride. So i think i will leave it as is.. I've had responsive bikes, and i have had smooth/comfy bikes, but this is the first time i have ridden a bike that is so smooth and yet so much fun to ride.

And after al this, i still need a rain/training bike (this bike is way too nice to become a beater!).




I still need to move the DI2 junction box into the bar-end - was missing the splitter cable when i did the build and the regular cable was just a bit too short. And get a stem-plate mount for the Garmin. And cut the steerer tube to size, obviously.
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Old 03-24-20, 12:54 PM
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Envious

Cervelo does make some obscenely large BBs. I’m sure Specialized will catch up once they move away from narrow BB30.

Curious to know how you fare with the Rapidairs, since there are few reviews out there right now. Are you actually using the $10 a pop rapidair sealant?

Last edited by smashndash; 03-24-20 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 03-24-20, 01:42 PM
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I recently built up an R3 Disc (great deal at Excel) and have similar feelings, though I'm coming from the other direction (a Domane). The R3 is super fun - it's very responsive while still maintaining a good level of comfort - it's not the magic carpet ride of the Domane, but it'll still be at home on 100 mile rides. The R-series just strikes such a nice balance.
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Old 03-24-20, 03:45 PM
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One of my dream bikes, for sure...
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Old 03-24-20, 04:11 PM
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Nice! I have a 2012 R5 and love it!
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Old 03-24-20, 05:48 PM
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I picked up a R5 frame over Thanksgiving for a killer deal, as well, and completely agree with your review...the stiffness/responsiveness is off the charts, silky smooth at speed, and yet, very comfortable.

It still puts a massive smile on my face every ride.
I honestly don't see how a bike could get better than it.
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Old 03-24-20, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Cervelo does make some obscenely large BBs. I’m sure Specialized will catch up once they move away from narrow BB30.
Curious to know how you fare with the Rapidairs, since there are few reviews out there right now. Are you actually using the $10 a pop rapidair sealant?
The Spesh isnt lacking stiffness either - when i test rode it, i was like "whoa". And then i rode the R5, and i was like "WHOAAA".... or something like that.

And no, i didnt use the Rapidair sealant - asked the Spesh guy if there was any benefit to using that particular sealant and he said no, use whatever you want. So far, i have put around 230km on these tires and they feel quite supply and fast rolling. I need to swap wheels between the 2 bikes and see how that changes things, but given that we are now on lockdown, that may not happen for a while.
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Old 03-24-20, 10:43 PM
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An R5 as a second bike? That doesn’t suck. Careful, though - it might become bike number one...

I’ve ridden a 2010 R3 (also red/black/white) for almost 10 years, 60k+ miles of abuse (58cm frame, I’m about 190 pounds). My only bike and it has served me well. If I need to replace it I will go w/another Cervelo.
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Old 03-24-20, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I recently built up an R3 Disc (great deal at Excel) and have similar feelings, though I'm coming from the other direction (a Domane). The R3 is super fun - it's very responsive while still maintaining a good level of comfort - it's not the magic carpet ride of the Domane, but it'll still be at home on 100 mile rides. The R-series just strikes such a nice balance.
Excel still has some very good deals on R5s, for anyone interested.

Oh, side note - did i mention i scratched my fork and seatstay on the second ride? Had leaned the bike against a service lane divider, it slipped and put some gouges on the clearcoat and a couple on the paint itself. That hurt.
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Old 03-25-20, 07:15 AM
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Hey, you stole my bike!!! 😂 I agree with everything you wrote. It’s a brilliant bike that is responsive, sharp handling, yet super comfortable. And yes, it’s gorgeous!

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Old 03-25-20, 07:18 AM
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That colorway is so good looking. I have the R3 in black with the white top tube and it looks bland compared to the Sunweb colors.
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Old 03-25-20, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Noctilux.95 View Post
Hey, you stole my bike!!! 😂 I agree with everything you wrote. It’s a brilliant bike that is responsive, sharp handling, yet super comfortable. And yes, it’s gorgeous!
Haha, yeah, i remember you mentioning you had gotten the same frame. Looks great - you are obviously a man of great taste *fistbump*

What's your build, may i ask? That stem looks really nice.
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Old 03-25-20, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
That colorway is so good looking. I have the R3 in black with the white top tube and it looks bland compared to the Sunweb colors.
Honestly, i could probably do without the Sunweb name on the frame - that isnt gonna age too well, i feel. But yeah, the color scheme is amazeballs. Red, white and black - there is no ugly bike in these colors, IMO.
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Old 03-25-20, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Noctilux.95 View Post
Hey, you stole my bike!!! 😂 I agree with everything you wrote. It’s a brilliant bike that is responsive, sharp handling, yet super comfortable. And yes, it’s gorgeous!

do you have trouble, in these infectious times, with people drooling on your wheels?
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Old 03-25-20, 11:25 AM
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The Sunweb colorway is really nice, and all, but I prefer the teal and taupe business that you were bad mouthing earlier

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Old 03-25-20, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by melikebikey35 View Post
The Sunweb colorway is really nice, and all, but I prefer the teal and taupe business that you were bad mouthing earlier
That's certainly a very good looking bike - and my teal-and-taupe comments were a little tongue in cheek. Actually, one of the biggest reasons i stick to those 3 colors i had mentioned is for kit matching purposes. Cos let's face it, looking fast is a lot easier than being fast
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Old 03-25-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by melikebikey35 View Post
The Sunweb colorway is really nice, and all, but I prefer the teal and taupe business that you were bad mouthing earlier

I love that color.
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Old 03-25-20, 02:48 PM
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Wow! These are all so beautiful and I think future classics for sure in the same way Cannondales are now. Classic. I always think about Hambini's comment on frame specification with manufacturing. I think I would buy a well used frame with confidence over a brand new. What is the warranty like with a Cervelo build like that?
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Old 03-25-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Red/black/white - the way fast bikes are meant to be (none of this teal and taupe business).
I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

(owner of a pure red R2 and white/ grey/ red P2)
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Old 03-25-20, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GnipGnop View Post
Wow! These are all so beautiful and I think future classics for sure in the same way Cannondales are now. Classic. I always think about Hambini's comment on frame specification with manufacturing. I think I would buy a well used frame with confidence over a brand new. What is the warranty like with a Cervelo build like that?
Cervelos have a lifetime warranty as long as you are the original owner.
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Old 03-25-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
That's certainly a very good looking bike - and my teal-and-taupe comments were a little tongue in cheek. Actually, one of the biggest reasons i stick to those 3 colors i had mentioned is for kit matching purposes. Cos let's face it, looking fast is a lot easier than being fast
I figured that was the case...but since my bike is those exact colors, I just had to say something

And yes, looking fast definitely is easier...unfortunately
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Old 03-25-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GnipGnop View Post
Wow! These are all so beautiful and I think future classics for sure in the same way Cannondales are now. Classic. I always think about Hambini's comment on frame specification with manufacturing. I think I would buy a well used frame with confidence over a brand new. What is the warranty like with a Cervelo build like that?
I think so too. I prefer a more traditional looking frame, and think that this generation R5 hits that classic-yet-modern look, perfectly. They should stand the test of time nicely.
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Old 03-25-20, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
Excel still has some very good deals on R5s, for anyone interested.

Oh, side note - did i mention i scratched my fork and seatstay on the second ride? Had leaned the bike against a service lane divider, it slipped and put some gouges on the clearcoat and a couple on the paint itself. That hurt.
I just picked this R3 up from Excel. Got a great deal on it for sure. Upgraded the wheels (for no good reason), but the stock Novatec wheels seem perfectly fine. First ride this morning and it is sooo nice. Cervélo makes a great bike. The R5 Disc Red etap that Excel has listed for $5k was pretty tempting.


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Old 03-25-20, 07:27 PM
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Very nice build. I like the team paint. I've not seen that one in a store.
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Old 03-25-20, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by slowgo View Post
I just picked this R3 up from Excel. Got a great deal on it for sure. Upgraded the wheels (for no good reason), but the stock Novatec wheels seem perfectly fine. First ride this morning and it is sooo nice. Cervélo makes a great bike. The R5 Disc Red etap that Excel has listed for $5k was pretty tempting.


​​​​​​But then you'd be marring a great bike with SRAM. You made the right decision.
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