Cervélo’s new Áspero 5 gravel bike is racier than ever (yes, it’s lighter, integrated and more aero)

Three models from £8,199 to £10,799

Cervélo Áspero 5

Cervélo has launched the Áspero 5 as a new go-fast gravel bike that comes as a more aerodynamic and lighter upgrade to the existing Áspero. It’s an uber-premium gravel super bike, with prices from £8,199 / $6,900 / €7,999 to £10,799 / $9,000 / €10,499.

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When Cervélo launched the original Áspero back in 2019, I was hugely impressed with its on and off-road speed (you can read my Cervelo Áspero review). ‘Made to haul ass, not cargo’ (in Cervélo’s words), it was a pure gravel racing bike – not a machine for bikepacking or tourists, but one for fans of Cervélo’s race bikes, looking to broaden their horizons.

With that in mind, when we got wind of Cervélo’s new ride, we almost expected the Canadian brand to have gone down the versatility route, as is the case with many of the latest gravel bikes, laden with bikepacking bags.

Instead, Cervélo has doubled-down with the Áspero 5. If you’re familiar with Cervélo’s existing range, think of the standard Áspero as the standard S-Series bike and the new Áspero 5 as the equivalent to the mad-aero S5 WorldTour bike of Primož Roglič, Wout van Aert and co.

Eight things you need to know about the Cervélo Áspero 5

  • The Áspero 5 frameset is 10 per cent lighter than the standard Áspero
  • The Áspero 5 shaves 32g of drag from the Áspero, according to Cervelo
  • Integrated frame protection saves the down tube from rock and stone strikes
  • The frame is electronic-only and keeps cables hidden, with fully internal brake hose routing
  • Tyre clearance is 45mm with 700c wheels, growing to 51mm with 650b wheels
  • Three models with SRAM Force AXS, SRAM Red AXS and Shimano GRX Di2
  • All models have power meters and carbon Reserve wheels as standard
  • Prices from £8,199 / $6,900 / €7,999 to £10,799 / $9,000 / €10,499

5 is the magic number

The original Áspero wasn’t exactly antiquated when it came to aerodynamics, with the frame using shapes from Cervélo’s tube library. That in itself consists of thousands of computer-modelled tube profiles, used as the building blocks for future designs, and taking into account a range of variables, including strength, compliance, weight and aerodynamics.

Now, Cervélo claims the 5 takes the Áspero to the next level as a performance-minded gravel bike.

Cervelo Aspero 5 gravel bike fork
The Áspero 5 retains Cervélo’s ‘trail mixer’ fork dropout to adjust the geometry.
Cervélo

The 5 retains the original Áspero’s ‘trail mixer’ fork dropout, with a switchable insert in place of a standard thru-axle dropout to alter the geometry.

The insert tweaks the fork position fore and aft by 5mm, which should make the bike feel the same whether running a relatively slender tyre on a 700c wheel, or a chunky 2-inch tyre on a 650b wheel.

The fork offset switches between 46mm and 51mm on sizes 54 and up. On the 51 frame, it’s between 49mm and 54mm, and on the 48cm frame it’s between 52mm and 57mm, to ensure there are no toe-overlap issues and to keep handling consistent across the sizes.

Cervelo Asper 5 road bike
The Áspero 5 has symmetrical dropped chainstays to accommodate both 700c and 650b wheel sizes without compromising the frame stiffness.
Cervélo

Tyre clearance is a claimed 45mm with 700c wheels (which come as standard), growing to 51mm with 650b wheels.

Unlike most of the framesets offering compatibility with both wheels sizes, including those gravel bikes from Open and 3T, Cervélo hasn’t opted for asymmetric stays (with the driveside chainstay dropping much lower to stay out of the way and give ample clearance for the chain line). Instead, the Áspero 5 uses a double-dropped design.

In terms of fixtures and fittings, there are mounts for two bottle cages (three sets of bolts offer dual positions on the down tube), a bento box mount recessed into the top tube, and a removable front mech mount if you want to go 1x.

More aero, less weight

Cervélo Áspero 5
The Áspero 5 is for riding gravel, fast.
Cervélo

The Áspero 5-series frame has been further optimised over the standard Áspero with a claimed 10 per cent reduction in weight.

The original tipped the scales at 1,100g in a 56cm (painted frame with all the mounting hardware in place), so the new frame should dip below the kilo mark.

As for aerodynamics, fine-tuning the frame’s tube shapes, along with the newly-designed internal cable routing, has resulted in a 32g reduction in drag, according to Cervélo.

Now, there’s not a lot of info in Cervélo’s press pack to quantify that number (we’ve asked!) but if you’re wondering why you should even care about aerodynamics on a gravel bike, this is Cervélo’s take…

“If you’ve battled a headwind across an open prairie, the [32g] of drag you’ll save with the Áspero 5 come as a welcome respite,” reads Cervélo’s press material. “Most gravel racing is done without the benefit of a WorldTour peloton— or WorldTour tactics — and when it’s your nose in the wind all day, it’s nice to know your bike’s shouldering a bit of the load.”

Whether that matters to you is another thing – the same goes for the aero credentials of any bike – but it does provide an insight into how Cervélo is aiming this bike at gravel racing, rather than bridleway bimbling.

Keeping it clean

Cervelo Asper 5 road bike
The Áspero 5’s front-end is fully internal, thanks to the updated frame and a new cockpit.
Cervélo

Cervélo has cleaned up the Áspero 5 with fully internal routing, along with a new handlebar and stem. “Lower drag, less to snag”, is Cervélo’s philosophy here, and the cable-free design is key to the bike’s aero claims.

The front-end of the Áspero 5 introduces an all-new gravel bar (the AB09F) with 80mm of reach, 121mm of drop, a 16-degree flare and four degrees of sweep. It’s available in widths from 38mm to 44cm.

It works in conjunction with the Áspero 5’s alloy ST32 stem to route brake hoses and wires through the bar, in to the stem and down the head tube. Everything sits in the front of the C-shaped steerer tube, in a channel that uses a guiding spacer above a traditional headset (a similar design using a ‘D’ shaped steerer is also found on Cervélo’s Caledonia 5).

The Áspero’s fit is pretty adjustable, with the new ST32 stem available in lengths between 70mm and 130mm. It’s also flippable if you want a lower or taller effective stack. The headset spacers are split to make it easy to alter the handlebar height without the need to disconnect the hydraulics, which should make the Áspero 5 easier to pack for travel.

Cervélo Áspero 5 geometry

485154565861
Seat angle (degrees)74.57473.5737373
Head angle (degrees)7171.572727272
Chainstay length (cm)424242424242
Front centre (cm) (rwd/fwd)57.7/58.2 58.7/59.259.7/60.261.4/61.963.1/63.764.8/65.4
Seat tube (cm)46.449.95355.557.860.2
Top tube (cm)51.253.255.357.559.160.8
Head tube (cm)8.310.713.315.918.821.4
Fork offset (cm) (rwd/fwd)5.2/5.7 4.9/5.44.6/5.14.6/5.14.6/5.14.6/5.1
Fork length (cm)38.538.538.538.538.538.5
Bottom bracket drop (cm)7.857.857.67.67.357.35
Wheelbase (mm) (rwd/fwd)984/990 994/1,0001,005/1,0101,022/1,0271,041/1,0461,058/1,063
Standover (cm)6973.276.478.881.483.8
Stack (cm)50.55355.55860.563
Reach (cm)3737.938.839.740.641.5

Cervélo Áspero 5 range and prices

The Áspero 5 is very much a premium offering from Cervélo and is available in three build options.

At the top, there’s a SRAM Red eTap AXS bike in a 1x configuration (36t chainring, 10-36t cassette), with a Red AXS power meter as standard and coming ready-fitted with a CeramicSpeed OSPW upgrade on the rear mech.

Next is a 2x option with Shimano’s GRX RX815 Di2 groupset (48/31t crankset, 11-34t cassette), with a 4iiii DS power meter.

Completing the three-bike line-up is a 1x SRAM Force AXS model (36t chainring, 10-36t cassette) complete with a Force AXS crank-based power meter.

Cervélo Áspero 5 Red eTap AXS 1

Pack shot of the Cervelo Áspero-5 RED eTap AXS 1
The flagship Red AXS bike comes in ‘lime shimmer’.
Cervélo
  • Price: £10,799 / $9,000 / €10,499
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon Tapered Áspero Fork with Adjustable Trail
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Indexed Thru-Axles w/ Lever 12×100/142
  • Wheels: Reserve 32mm DT350 XDR: 24h (F) 24h (R); 24mm IW; Centre-Lock; Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK Folding 700×38
  • Crankset: SRAM Red AXS 1 with Power Meter 36T
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM DUB
  • Chain: SRAM Red
  • Front derailleur: N/A
  • Rear derailleur: Sram Red eTap AXS Max Wide 12 spd
  • Cassette: SRAM Force 12s XG1270; 10-36
  • Shifters: SRAM RED eTap AXS HRD 12 spd
  • Handlebar: Carbon AB09 16deg Flared Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST32 Alloy
  • Brake calipers: SRAM Red HRD
  • Brake levers: SRAM Red HRD
  • Brake rotors: SRAM CenterLine XR 160mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Dimension NACK 27.2 Carbon
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP19
  • Accessories: Ceramic Speed OSPW, Cervélo Faceplate Front Computer/ Accessory Mount; Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount; Smartpak 400A Top Tube Storage Bag

Cervélo Áspero 5 GRX RX815 Di2

  • Price: £8,699 / $7,100 / €8,499
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon Tapered Áspero Fork with Adjustable Trail
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Indexed Thru-Axles w/ Lever 12×100/142
  • Wheels: Reserve 32mm DT350 XDR: 24h (F) 24h (R); 24mm IW; Centre-Lock; Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK Folding 700×38
  • Crankset: Shimano GRX 810 48/31
  • Bottom bracket: JY-BB 24
  • Chain: Shimano CN-HG701, 11 spd
  • Front derailleur: Shimano GRX 815 Di2, 11 spd
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano GRX 815 Di2, 11 spd
  • Cassette: Shimano HG800, 11 spd, 11-34
  • Shifters: Shimano GRX RX815 Di2, 11spd
  • Handlebar: Carbon AB09 16deg Flared Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST32 Alloy
  • Brake calipers: Shimano GRX RX815 Hydraulic Disc
  • Brake levers: Shimano GRX RX815 Hydraulic Disc
  • Brake rotors: Shimano SM-RT800, 160mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Dimension NACK 27.2 Carbon
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP19
  • Accessories: Cervélo Faceplate Front Computer/ Accessory Mount; Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount; Smartpak 400A Top Tube Storage Bag

Cervélo Áspero 5 Force eTap AXS 1

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  • Price: £8,199 / $9,000 / €7,999
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon Tapered Áspero Fork with Adjustable Trail
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Indexed Thru-Axles w/ Lever 12×100/142
  • Wheels: Reserve 32mm DT350 XDR: 24h (F) 24h (R); 24mm IW; Centre-Lock; Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK Folding 700×38
  • Crankset: SRAM Force AXS 1 with Power Meter 36T
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM DUB
  • Chain: SRAM Force
  • Front derailleur: N/A
  • Rear derailleur: Sram Force eTap AXS Max Wide 12 spd
  • Cassette: SRAM Force 12s XG1270; 10-36
  • Shifters: SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 12 spd
  • Handlebar: Carbon AB09 16deg Flared Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST32 Alloy
  • Brake calipers: SRAM Force HRD
  • Brake levers: SRAM Force HRD
  • Brake rotors: SRAM CenterLine XR 160mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Dimension NACK 27.2 Carbon
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP19
  • Accessories: Cervélo Faceplate Front Computer/ Accessory Mount; Cervélo Rear Accessory Mount; Smartpak 400A Top Tube Storage Bag