We are almost ready to ride the new Cervélo S5, but first we need to get the brakes and gears fine tuned by the mechanic, Chris Barlin from Park Bikes…

Cervélo has invested considerable time and effort to redesign its flagship aero road bike, the S5. Released earlier this year, it represents a new era for the brand that is part of the PON group (that also includes Focus, Lapierre and a host of other bike companies).

The S5 comes in either disc brake or rim brake options with SRAM and Shimano offering components for the complete bikes. (There is also a frame set available, retailing in Australia for $6,500.)

Recently we took delivery of the S5 with SRAM’s wireless shifting system, Red eTap and had it built with the help of Chris Barlin at Park Bikes in Sydney.


– To watch part 3 of the Cervélo S5 review, click the link below. –

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One of the most time-taxing elements of a bike build these days is addling the brake and gear cables; at least it can be, because of internal routing options that are so prevalent for high-end frames.

With eTap, two cables are immediately eliminated from the equation and so Barlin took less than two hours to construct this bike, complete with all the adjustments required to ensure it fit my measurements.

The hydraulic cables for the disc brakes are largely pre-installed on the S5 which boasts clever internals that limit any chance of rattling noises emanating from inside the frame.

To pair the eTap levers with the derailleurs takes less than a minute.


Thanks to some clever design features for levers used for SRAM’s disc brakes, even cabling that can get a little complicated when it comes to weaving through special handlebar guides was done with a minimum of fuss. This is usually a job you would want a qualified mechanic to complete but with a few lessons it’s not much messier than old-fashioned cables…

This third ‘episode’ in the Cervélo S5 review series effectively gets us to the end of the workshop sessions and the next instalment will be about the ride qualities of a most interesting bike.

Be sure to leave any questions or comments on the YouTube page; feedback is not only welcome, it’s encouraged.


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Preview episodes – Cervélo S5 review

Part 1 – the unboxing • Part 2 – the workshop


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No cables were harmed in the preparation of this bike’s shifting system…

This is the 11th Cervélo bike reviewed by RIDE Media over the years, the first being the aluminium-framed ‘Soloist’ from 2004, the early days – the White/Vroomen years. The evolution continues and I can’t wait to see how the latest S5, a bike that has been launched with considerable hype, compares with the many others Cervélo releases which I have sampled.

Expect to see more from our online reviews in the coming days. There’s been a lot to see already but the fun has only just begun.


– By Rob Arnold


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