FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — After winning awards for the S5 VWD aero road bike, engineers at Cervélo didn't sit back and bask in the glory for long. "We took it as a challenge," said Heather Henderson, senior product manager at Cervélo. "We knew we could make it faster."
Cervélo's approach was to start from scratch to achieve greater stiffness and improve aerodynamics, producing more than 100 prototypes in the process. It launched its latest iteration of the S5 at Eurobike this week.
The new version features Cervélo's all-carbon aero handlebar, designed to reduce drag at the front of the bike. The bars feature cable integration via a double inboard port and use a standard 31.8-millimeter clamp size for maximum versatility. Cervélo shortened the headtube by 19mm to achieve a lower riding position.
A redesign of the S5's fork increased lateral stiffness by 17 percent, and Cervélo revamped tube shapes and tweaked its carbon layup to improve frame stiffness. The new S5 uses an aero seat post and full-carbon dropouts and has cable routing and clearance for Di2. Storage for Di2 batteries is integrated into the downtube.
The aero bar is one of the only Cervélo-branded components found on the new S5. "Our bikes don't feature a lot of Cervélo components because we want to focus on frames and forks," said Henderson. "So we partner with component brands that value what they do as much as we value what we do."
One such company is HED Cycling, which supplies the S5's Jet 6 Plus SCT aero wheelset, which Henderson said helped achieve maximum out-of-the-box aerodynamics.
Cervélo also brought a new Rca frameset to show at Eurobike this week. In 2013, Cervélo won a Eurobike Gold award, and as with the S5, engineers decided they could improve its design. "The Rca is an all-around, classic road bike that is built by hand," said Henderson. "But even at $10,000 for a frameset, we couldn't keep up with demand."
Like the original, the second-generation Rca is still handmade at Cervélo's Project California facility, which utilizes proprietary fabrication techniques and materials. The Rca's new fork features boron-filament reinforcement to deliver increased compression strength and more lateral stiffness. At just 670 grams (size 54cm) including all metal hardware including bottle cage bolts, the new frame is also lighter.
The Rca was first launched as a limited edition, but the new frameset will be available as a limited production model. Because each frameset requires three full days of intensive hand labor, production will be limited to just a few hundred pieces per year.
The S5 will be available in October in Dura-Ace Di2, Dura-Ace mechanical and Ultegra models, as well as a frameset. The Rca will also be available in October as a frameset only, and preorders are strongly encouraged.