Cervélo rolls back the years with new 703g R5 Disc frame

Lighter, smoother, focussed on climbing – and now more versatile

2022 Cervélo R5 road bike

Cervélo has updated its R5 race bike with a fresh focus on low weight, thanks to a new frame coming in at a claimed 703g. Cervélo has also increased versatility by upping tyre clearance to 34mm, while fine-tuning the R5’s comfort at the same time – by reducing stiffness.

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This, the all-new 2022 R5, is the fourth generation of Cervélo’s racing all-rounder – the company’s GC bike and the machine ridden by Primož Roglič during his 2021 Vuelta a España victory. We first spotted Roglič riding the 2022 R5 at La Flèche Wallonne, as far back as April, while Sepp Kuss won stage 15 of the Tour de France aboard the new bike.

Pro feedback has been key in the development of the new R5, according to Cervélo. While the existing R5 tries to offer a best-of-all-worlds package, the brand says its sponsored pro riders were just as likely to stick with the aero S-series rather than switch between models, so minimal was the difference in weight between the R and S bikes.

Therefore, Cervélo decided to focus the new model on being a pure climber’s bike, while also adding some additional front-end comfort into the mix – although Scott Roy, Cervélo’s engineering manager, was keen to stress that the geometry remains pretty much unchanged, as feedback from the pros suggested they loved the handling of the R5. The new geometry adjusts the fork trail by half a millimetre to compensate for the current trend towards bigger tyres, but that’s it.

Five highlights of the 2022 Cervélo R5

  • The new frame is 130g lighter than the previous model
  • The new 329g fork brings more compliance to the front end
  • Aero tweaks have saved 25g of drag
  • The frameset comes in just over a kilo (703g frame, 329g fork = 1,032g)
  • Tyre clearance is a generous 34mm

Diet plan

With the previous generation R5, Cervélo found it struggled to meet the UCI limit of 6.8kg once it was loaded up to cater for a pro team’s needs – bottle cages, bottles, computer mounts, power meters and so on.

That meant the key objective here, on the 2022 bike, was to bring the weight down significantly, to make it easier to build a complete race-ready bike capable of troubling the UCI weight limit.

With a reworking of the carbon layup, materials and a few tweaks to the tube shapes, Cervélo has taken a not-insignificant 130g out of the frame, bringing it down to an impressively svelte 703g (56cm size, painted and finished).

That brings the new R5 within reach of Cervélo’s legendary lightweight frames of days gone by, such as the 680g R5CA  and the 667g RCA .

It’s worth noting, however, that both of those rare beasts were hyper-expensive and very limited bikes, and both were rim brake equipped. The new R5 comes with road disc brakes only and is a stock bike.

It’s not just the frame where weight has been saved – Cervélo also looked to the bike’s parts to save a few more grams. The new HB13 handlebar shaves 12g from the previous model and the new ST31 stem also drops 12g. The dedicated SP24 aerodynamic carbon post drops 20g, too.

Customer service

2022 Cervélo R5 road bike
The new R5 has already seen victory under Primož Roglič at the Vuelta a España.
Cor Vos

Cervélo’s feedback from the riders at Jumbo-Visma, and especially Tom Dumoulin, extended to the bike’s ride quality, too.

The team had voiced complaints about the previous R5’s front end and, in particular, the harsh feel of the fork. Some riders felt the climbing ability of the previous bike was negated by the overtly stiff feel, and over the duration of a Grand Tour a few said it felt like the bike got progressively more uncomfortable as the weeks rolled on.

The idea of reducing stiffness on a climbing bike may seem like the wrong way to go, given the need to maximum the rigidity of the svelte tubes at your disposal. However, having recently developed the Áspero gravel race bike and Caledonia endurance bike, Cervélo says its engineering team has found the ideal stiffness ratio between the head tube and bottom bracket.

Cervélo’s magic number is apparently 45 per cent, whereby the head tube should 45 per cent of the stiffness of the bottom bracket.

2022 Cervélo R5 road bike
Sepp Kuss aboard the new R5 at this year’s Tour de France, on his way to victory on stage 15.
Cor Vos

Looking back, Cervélo’s Scott Roy admits the goal on the previous R5 was all about ultimate stiffness in both the frame and fork – it was simply too stiff, a problem when riding on roads that were less than optimal.

With that in mind, Cervélo has reworked the numbers, deciding the new bike should maintain the lateral stiffness that gives the R5 the handling riders loved, but backing down a little on the longitudinal stiffness to add more compliance.

This new data was applied to the design and Cervélo then built a few different layups, tested them and shipped them off to Team Jumbo-Visma. Tom Dumoulin, who had plenty of experience on the previous model was the prime candidate for testing.

The feedback, as you’d perhaps expect, was positive. “Dumoulin has spent the most time on it, he loves it,” says Roy. “He was one of the vocal ones that had the front-end complaints, and he was like, ‘This is fantastic now’. No one has really ever complained about it – everyone loves it. Primoz is like, ‘Good bike.’ No issues with it.”

Refining the R

While the focus has largely been on weight here, moving the brake hose routing fully internal has contributed to a 24g drag saving over the previous model.

The final – and perhaps most surprising – change to the R5’s shape is the huge increase in tyre clearance.

The previous generation (disc) frame could, at a squeeze, take a 30mm tyre. The new R5 pushes that out to 34mm.

Perhaps the new R5 isn’t ‘just’ a climbing bike after all – to us this sounds like a Classics bike, too.

Cervélo R5 by the numbers

  • Project number: FM140/FK140
  • Head tube stiffness: 99 Nm/deg
  • Bottom bracket stiffness: 221 n/mm
  • Fork lateral stiffness: 6.34 kg/mm
  • Fork longitudinal stiffness: 10.6 kg/mm
  • Frame claimed weight (56cm): 703g
  • Fork claimed weight: 329g
  • BB/weight ratio: 0.314 (N/mm)/kg
  • HT/BB stiffness ratio: 44.8 per cent

2022 Cervélo R5 geometry

Size485154565861
Stack497522547572597622
Reach363371380389398407
Seat tube angle737373737373
Seat tube length*403434463486503526
Effective top tube length515531548564581598
Head tube angle717273737373
Fork offset57.551.545.545.545.545.5
Fork length373373373373373373
Head tube length93114137163192218
BB drop74.574.5727269.569.5
Front centre574576578594611628
Chainstay length410410410410410410
Standover**695724755778800824
Wheelbase97297497799410111028

*Bottom bracket centre to top of seat tube

**5cm in front of bottom bracket

Our test bike

2022 Cervélo R5 road bike
This is our SRAM Force AXS-equipped test bike.
Warren Rossiter / Immediate Media

Cervélo has supplied us with a 58cm test bike complete with SRAM Force eTap AXS and priced at £8,799 / $8,400 / CAD$10,800 / €8,799 / AU$11,600. It tips our scales at 7.54kg.

It only arrived a couple of days before the launch date so we’ve yet to get any serious miles in on the bike, but watch this space.

2022 Cervélo R5 specs and prices

Cervélo R5 Red AXS

2022 Cervélo R5 road bike
The SRAM Red AXS bike comes in this muted black finish.
Cervélo
  • Frame: Cervélo R5
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Removable Handle
  • Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT240 XDR, 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F), 21.6mm IW (R), Centre-Lock, Tubeless-Ready
  • Tyres: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c
  • Crankset SRAM Red AXS 48/35t with power meter
  • Bottom bracket: CeramicSpeed Dub
  • Chain: SRAM Red 12-speed
  • Front derailleur: SRAM Red eTap AXS
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Red eTap AXS
  • Cassette: SRAM Red 12-speed XG1290, 10-28t
  • Shifters: SRAM Red eTap AXS HRD 12-speed
  • Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon
  • Brake calipers: SRAM Red HRD
  • Brake rotors: SRAM CenterLine XR 160mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 NAC
  • Seatpost Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post
  • Accessories Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: £11,699 / $12,000 /CAD$15,400 / €11,999 / AU$16,500

Cervélo R5 Dura-Ace Di2

  • Frame: Cervélo R5
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Removable Handle
  • Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT240 XDR, 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F), 21.6mm IW (R), Centre-Lock, Tubeless-Ready
  • Tyres: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9200 52/36t
  • Bottom bracket: Ceramic Speed 24
  • Chain: Shimano CN-M9100 12-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9250 12-speed
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9250 12-speed
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9200 12-speed
  • Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9270 12-speed
  • Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon
  • Brake calipers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9270 hydraulic disc
  • Brake rotors: Shimano RT-MT900 160mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 NACK
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: £11,699 / $12,000 / CAD$15,400 / €11,999 / AU$16000

Cervélo R5 Force AXS

  • Frame: Cervélo R5
  • Fork Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork
  • Headset FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Removable Handle
  • Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT370 XDR, 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F), 21.6mm IW (R), Centre-Lock, Tubeless-Ready
  • Tyres: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c
  • Crankset: SRAM Force AXS 48/35t with power meter
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM Dub
  • Chain: SRAM Force 12-speed
  • Front derailleur :SRAM Force eTap AXS
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Force eTap AXS
  • Cassette: SRAM Force 12s XG1270, 10-33t
  • Shifters: SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 12-speed
  • Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon
  • Brake calipers: SRAM Force HRD
  • Brake rotors: SRAM Paceline 160mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 PAS TiRox
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: £8,599 / $8,400 / CAD$10,800 / €8,799 / AU$11,600

Cervélo R5 Ultegra Di2

  • Frame: Cervélo R5
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Re- movable Handle
  • Wheels: New Reserve 34/37mm DT370 XDR, 20h (F), 24h (R), 22.6mm IW (F), 21.6mm IW (R), Centre-Lock, Tubeless-Ready
  • Tyres: Vittoria Corsa TLR G2.0 25c
  • Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 8100 52/36t
  • Bottom bracket: JY-BB 24
  • Chain: Shimano CN-M8100 12-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 8150 12-speed
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 8150 12-speed
  • Cassette: Shimano Ultegra CS-8100 12-speed
  • Shifters: Shimano Ultegra Di2 8170 12-speed
  • Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon
  • Brake calipers: Shimano Ultegra 8170 hydraulic disc
  • Brake rotors: Shimano RT-MT800 160mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Scratch M5 PAS Ti-Rox
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: £8,299 / US$8,700 / CAD$11,150 / €8,299 / AU$11,600

Cervélo R5 frameset

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  • Frame: Cervélo R5
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered R5 Fork
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Aero Thru-Axles, 12×100/142, Re- movable Handle
  • Handlebar: Cervélo HB13 Carbon
  • Stem: Cervélo ST31 Carbon
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP24 Carbon Aero Post
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: £4,499 / $5,000 / CAD$6,400 /AU$7,300