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The first minutes on a new bike are often when you notice the biggest differences. RIDE Media continues the series of YouTube video reviews of the Cervélo S5. Part 4: The first Ride…

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Sit on, clip in, set off. It’s time to ride the 2019 Cervélo S5. We continue to document the process of getting a new bike and provide some commentary about stand-out features and certain elements that may interest prospective buyers.

This is a rethink of the road bike, with a special new ‘cockpit’, one designed for aerodynamic benefits – and one that happens to include a whole new hand position for the rider.

It is difficult to walk by this bike and not feel compelled to touch it, lift it, sit on it… ride it. After the unboxing, the build, and the fine-tuning by the mechanic it was time to get out on the road for a taste of what makes the S5 special.


– Click the link below to see part 4 of the Cervélo S5 review. –

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The clip includes a little overview of what I’m used to riding – a Focus Cayo with SRAM Red eTap rim brakes – and what the major differences with the S5 are. As well as being built with a slightly lower front end (by 10mm) the touch points insist that the riding sensation between the Focus and Cervélo are going to be significant.

First of all, the aero Cervélo – with it’s special handlebar and stem combo – provides a different hand position to most road bikes. Then there’s the levers: hydraulic disc brakes, not cable-activated rim brakes… and this means a longer reach on the hoods and a different grip position. It may be different but it’s all very natural and takes surprisingly little time to adjust to.

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Getting a grip on different handlebars (above).


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Without the usual steerer tube, caution needs to be taken when packing the bike up as there is a limit to how far the handlebars can turn. This does not affect the ride quality but it’s something that potential customers should keep in mind if they are considering the S5.

Another thing that stood out after only a few pedal strokes is that the frame seems to have a slightly shorter front end than bikes in a similar size, but this was only the first riding adventure and we don’t yet cover the full specifics of how different measurements and/or angles influence the ride quality. (That will come after more time onboard the Cervélo.)

With a minimum of effort, this bike gets up to speed and it doesn’t take long for the rider to feel comfortable on a bike that has been built for speed.

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Aero with inclusions… (above).

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The decision to buy a $14,000 bike is a big one, so we try to cover as many talking points as possible. How does the S5 compare to other bikes? What are the components like? Is it fast…?

The first ride offers a lot to consider and answers a few questions.

The story of the Cervélo S5 continues to be told and it’s in the YouTube videos that most of the content appears. If you’d like to know more about this bike, sit back and push ‘play’.

Oh yeah: of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send an email or add a comment to the YouTube clip.

The ride continues but this episode provides a little glimpse of what the S5 is like.


– By Rob Arnold

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