Vansummeren’s Cervelo R5 – 21 Days of Tour Tech

The bike of the tallest man in the Tour de France

One of the tallest riders in any race, 33-year-old Johan Vansummeren’s 197cm (6ft 5in) frame manages to fit on to a stock 58cm Cervélo R5 frame. The frame’s construction is unchanged from last season, but this glossy graphite and red paint finish is all new for the 2014 Tour de France, and should be available to buy in 2015.


The lofty Belgian’s role at the Tour will be as a rouleur to help protect team leader Andrew Talansky on the flat stages, and especially during stage 5 over the Roubaix cobbles, which were the scene of his greatest personal victory. The team brought Cervélo’s R3 mud bike for stage 5, but otherwise the R5 is Vansummeren’s chosen daily workhorse.

Even in a large size, the R5 is still very light, but the necessarily upscaled parts together increase the overall weight to 7.33kg / 16.15lb. A tiller-like 140mm stem, 180mm cranks and lengthy seatpost all contribute, added to the SRM power-measuring gauge and head unit, plus Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 transmission all boost the mass. Mavic’s 40C carbon tubular wheelset is light, wide and stable, and shod with 25mm tubulars that bear a Mavic heat stamp, although they’re rebadged Veloflex models, which isn’t a new practice among pro teams.

Vansummeren favours Rotor’s ovalised 53/39 Q-Rings on his super-long 3D cranks, incorporating an SRM power meter, and adds Rotor’s chain catcher too for security. With an SRM on board, the Garmin Vector pedals are shorn of their battery-and-accelerometer pods, and the team use the Garmin Edge 810 or new Edge 1000 head units to display their onboard data.

3T supply a 140mm –17 degree stem, which although very long by amateur standards, isn’t unusual in the pro peloton (BMC’s Michael Schar requires a 150mm version). Classically curved 3T Rotundo bars and a Fizik Antares-topped Dorico seatpost with 25mm setback complete a workmanlike professional setup.

Van summeren uses lengthy 180mm rotor 3d cranks, fitted with an srm power meter and 53/39 elliptical rotor q riings : van summeren uses lengthy 180mm rotor 3d cranks, fitted with an srm power meter and 53/39 elliptical rotor q riings
Robin Wilmott / Future Publishing

180mm cranks, oval Q Rings and an SRM go along with Garmin Vector pedals that aren’t used as the power meter