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Material: Carbon Fiber
Geometry: Race Tri/TT
Price: Frameset $4500+. Built Bikes $6,000+.
Components: Factory spec or Fit Werx Custom.
Who is it for? The Cervelo P5 is for the uncompromising rider who understands that the pinnacle of aerodynamic performance can save them time.
Noteworthy: There are a number of “uber bikes” being produced now and the Cervelo P5 is arguably the most functional and versatile of the bunch as it doesn’t use much that is proprietary or limiting.
Bottom Line: The Cervelo P5 was designed to be the ultimate “no compromises” speed machine and it succeeds on all counts. It is stiff and responsive, reasonably compliant, offers Cervelo’s most versatile and universal frame geometry, has integrated storage and cabling solutions, has fantastically strong hydraulic brakes and (of course) is an aerodynamic masterpiece. In other words – if it fits you – it isn’t going to be the bike’s fault if you finish second…
The P5 is hard to criticize, but if we had to pick out something that could be improved, it would be the plastic brake faring found on the P5-Six. First, lets state that the faring works and does what it is supposed to – it enhances the aerodynamics of the bike without requiring a non-traditional brake that compromises performance. In fact, the Magura hydraulic rim brakes found on the factory equipped P5 are the best in the business when it comes to strength and modulation. However, it is not as refined as the rest of the P5 package when it comes to how it integrates and fit. We love that the Cervelo P5 requires far fewer proprietary components than most of its competition. This alone makes it a leader in its category. However, if we were going to improve one thing, the faring is a place where we think Cervelo’s designers could further up the ante.
From a fit perspective, the Cervelo P5 has everything that we had always wished of Cervelo’s previous generation tri bikes – a little less reach and a bit more stack. The Cervelo P5 was the first of Cervelo’s offerings to provide this versatile frame geometry and this geometry now graces all of Cervelo’s current generation TT/Tri models. In addition to opening up the fit window to fit more riders, the lower bottom bracket height and revised head tube angles on many sizes has also made the Cervelo P5, P3 and P2 more stable than ever over a variety of speeds. Cervelo still makes some of the best handling TT bikes on the market, but now they also offer some of the best handling and most stable tri bikes on the market too.
The P5 Three has a UCI compliant frame with a narrower fork, no brake faring, alloy Magura RT6 brakes while the non-UCI legal P5 Six uses the same frame as the Three, but offers a deeper fully integrated fork, brake faring, carbon Magura RT8 brakes and includes a Cervelo designed 3T Aduro aerobar. Either way, if it fits you well and you are riding a Cervelo P5, you are unarguably riding on one of the fastest human propelled machines ever created. It is great to see such a well though out bike from the company that arguably created the category.