Cervélo resurrects the Soloist as a more affordable, aero all-rounder

The Soloist is a legendary Cervélo design and it returns for 2022

Cervelo Soloist.

The new Cervélo Soloist takes the brand’s extensive design knowledge and wraps it up in a package described as an aerodynamic race bike that’s easy to live with and fast to ride.

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The new Soloist is aimed at amateur racers, and that’s reflected in the specifications of the range. The highest-spec Soloist has Ultegra Di2 and the range starts with a mechanical Shimano 105 edition.

Cervélo claims the Soloist is a little lighter than the Cervélo S5 aero bike or the Cervélo R5 flyweight all-rounder, while being significantly cheaper than both of these flagship, WorldTour-level machines.

The Soloist’s frame combines Kammtail tube shapes for the seat tube and down tube, with slightly dropped stays at the rear and a dedicated aero seatpost.

Up-front, there’s a sculpted head tube that routes brake hoses and cables internally. The absence of complex integration makes maintenance and switching out parts on the Soloist easier than with some of the best road bikes.

A new threaded bottom bracket adds to the idea of the Soloist being a bike for amateur racers rather than pros with a behind-the-scenes mechanic on hand.

New Cervélo Soloist highlights

  • Claimed to be lighter than the S5 and more aerodynamic than the R5
  • 6 model line-up, from Mechanical 105 up to 12-speed Ultegra Di2 and Force AXS models
  • Prices start at $3,400, rising to $6,800 (UK pricing TBC)
  • Uses the threaded BBRight-47 bottom bracket standard from the R5-CX cyclocross bike
  • 34mm tyre clearance
  • Geometry mirrors the R5 race bike
  • Frameset available separately

The Soloist legend

The Soloist debuted 20 years ago.
Cervélo

It’s been 20 years since the original alloy Soloist debuted. Back in 2002, the Soloist was a game-changing frame design.

Rather than being mere approximations, the extruded aluminium tubes were based on true aerofoils derived from the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics).

The Soloist and its success with Team CSC set the standard for aero road bike design. The original Soloist was effectively the genesis of the modern aero road bike – something that’s been part of Cervélo’s line-up ever since.

Easy to live with, easy to pack

The Soloist is UCI-compliant.
Cervélo

The Soloist isn’t a competitor for the S5 or R5. Instead, the new bike is intended to sit between the two and hit a lower price point. In Cervélo’s words, the new Soloist is for “the week-in, week-out amateur racer”.

The new S5 may be a whole lot easier to live with than the previous generation, but it still has a complex one-piece cockpit that makes travelling with the bike a bit more involved.

On the Soloist, you still get hidden cable routing under the stem and through the bearing cap on the head tube, but the cables and hoses don’t go through your stem.

This means packing the bike into a bike bag doesn’t require splitting hoses, bleeding brakes and all those things a mechanic would take care of for a professional rider.

Getting the BB right

The bike uses the same bottom-bracket design as Cervélo’s R5-CX.
Cervélo

In a further bid for simplicity, Cervélo has opted to use its BBright-47 bottom bracket, which debuted on the brand’s R5-CX cyclocross race bike.

The new BBright-47 is a continuation of Cervélo’s long-standing asymmetric press-fit design that debuted on its Project California R5Ca back in 2010.

The asymmetry remains, but the interface now mirrors the increasingly popular T47 thread bottom bracket standard.

This means an inboard cup on the left-hand side and an outboard cup on the right. It’s a similar solution to what Factor has introduced on its latest-generation Ostro VAM.

Cervélo claims this bottom-bracket design helps ensure optimal chain line and drivetrain efficiencies, yet with the ease of servicing and replacement that comes with a threaded bottom shell.

A more versatile design?

The bike has room for 34mm tyres.
Cervélo

The Soloist is designed to bring versatility to the table. The frameset has clearance for up to 34mm tyres, which is large for an aero road bike.

While the new R5 can also fit 34mm tyres, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of Cervélo’s pro riders opt for the Soloist in the Spring Classics.

The geometry of the Soloist mirrors the S5, so expect the Soloist to handle as well as the nimble R5 when the roads start to get twisty.

Cervélo Soloist geometry

Size485154565861
Seat tube angle (degrees)737373737373
Head tube angle (degrees)717273737373
Chain stay length (mm)410410410410410410
Front centre (mm)574576578595611628
Effective top tube length (mm)516532548565581598
Seat tube length (mm)433483507531555579
Head tube length (mm)86106130156184211
Fork offset (mm)57.551.545.545.545.545.5
Standover (mm)708748774798824848
Bottom bracket drop (mm)74.574.5727269.569.5
Wheelbase (mm)9729749779941,0111,028
Stack (mm)491515540565590615
Reach (mm)365374383392401410

Cervélo Soloist specs and prices

The bike comes in three colours, including this Gold Dust finish.
Cervélo

For a premium brand such as Cervélo, we’d have expected a range of bikes fitted with top-shelf kit, like the £12,999 Cervélo S5 Red AXS.

However, the Soloist range tops out with a bike equipped with Shimano Ultegra R8170 Di2 and starts with mechanical Shimano 105.

There are also builds available with Shimano 105 Di2, SRAM Rival AXS eTap and SRAM Force AXS eTap.

If you want to build your own Soloist, the frameset is available separately in each colourway: Alpenglow (white), Embers (black) and Gold Dust (metal flake gold metallic).

Cervélo Soloist frameset

The Alpenglow frameset.
Cervélo
  • Fork: Cervélo All-Carbon, Tapered Soloist
  • Headset: FSA IS2 1-1/4 x 1-1/2
  • Thru-axles: Cervélo Aero, 12×100/142
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP27 carbon
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: $2,700

Cervélo Soloist SRAM Rival eTap AXS

SRAM Rival AXS models come with Fulcrum’s Racing 600 DB wheels.
Cervélo
  • Frameset: Cervélo Soloist
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Rival eTap AXS
  • Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing 600 DB
  • Tyres: Vittoria Rubino Pro TLR G 700 x 28mm
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP27 carbon
  • Handlebar: Cervélo alloy
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Model X SuperFlow FeC
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: $5,200

Cervélo Soloist SRAM Force eTap AXS

The Force AXS model in the Gold Dust finish.
Cervélo
  • Frameset: Cervélo Soloist
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Force AXS eTap AXS
  • Wheelset: Reserve 40 (front), Reserve 44 (rear)
  • Tyres: Vittoria Rubino Pro TLR G 700 x 28mm
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP27 carbon
  • Handlebar: Cervélo alloy
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Novus BOOST Evo superflow manganese
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: $6,800

Cervélo Soloist Shimano 105

The entry into the Soloist range comes with mechanical 105.
Cervélo
  • Frameset: Cervélo Soloist
  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 R7000
  • Wheelset: Alexrims Boondocks 5
  • Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro V G2.0, 700 x 28mm
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP27 carbon
  • Handlebar: Cervélo alloy
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Model X superflow FeC
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: $3,400

Cervélo Soloist Shimano 105 Di2

  • Frameset: Cervélo Soloist
  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 Di2 R7150
  • Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing 600 DB
  • Tyres: Vittoria Rubino Pro TLR G 700 x 28mm
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP27 carbon
  • Handlebar: Cervélo AB07 alloy
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Model X superflow FeC
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: $5,200

Shimano Ultegra

The mechanical Ultegra bikes come with Fulcrum Racing 600 DB wheels.
Cervélo
  • Frameset: Cervélo Soloist
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra R8000
  • Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing 600 DB
  • Tyres: Vittoria Rubino Pro TLR G 700 x 28mm
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP27 carbon
  • Handlebar: Cervélo alloy
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Model X superflow FeC
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: $4,300

Shimano Ultegra Di2

Alongside Ultegra Di2, the flagship bike also gets Reserve’s tubeless 40mm/44mm carbon wheelset.
Cervélo
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  • Frameset: Cervélo Soloist
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8150
  • Wheelset: Reserve 40 (front), Reserve 44 (rear)
  • Tyres: Vittoria Rubino Pro TLR G 700 x 28mm
  • Seatpost: Cervélo SP27 carbon
  • Handlebar: Cervélo AB07 alloy
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Novus BOOST Evo, Superflow Manganese
  • Accessories: Cervélo faceplate front computer/accessory mount, Cervélo rear accessory mount
  • Price: $6,800