Pro Bike: Ryder Hesjedal’s Garmin-Sharp Cervélo R5ca

Oh, Canada! Ryder's patriotic machine for the Tour de France

2012 Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) is romping across the roads of France as a proud Canadian aboard a specially painted Cervélo R5ca.


There’s no mistaking Hesjedal’s heritage when looking at his bike, much of which is covered in glossy white paint and countless red maple leaves over the matte black finish of a standard R5ca. Rotor gets into the game as well with custom anodized 3D+ crankarms smattered with a bit of pink and a laser-etched maple leaf. Finishing touches are provided by a white 3T ARX Team stem, a white fi’zi:k Arione Carbon Tri 2 saddle and handlebar wrap, and red finishing tape.

Aerodynamics may be all the rage these days, but Hesjedal’s R5ca epitomizes the classic performance metrics of stiffness and low weight. In fact, the R5ca – which is hand-built in Cervélo’s California development facility by its own engineers, not factory workers – is the company’s lightest-ever frame at a claimed mass of around 700g. 

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Video: Cervelo CEO and co-founder Phil White on the Cervelo R5ca

The bike still has to meet UCI minimum weight guidelines, however, but Cervélo CEO and co-founder Phil White tells BikeRadar that the 100g or so of savings relative to the standard R5 affords greater latitude in selecting the rest of the equipment while still yielding a highly responsive chassis.

As such, Hesjedal’s build kit is light but not unusually so. Noteworthy bits include a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 transmission with top mounted satellite shifters, 180mm-long Rotor 3D+ cranks with an SRM power meter spider and custom laser etching, a comfy fi’zi:k Arione Carbon Tri 2 saddle, stainless steel bottle cages from Arundel, and an aluminum bar and stem from 3T. Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate tubulars were fitted when we visited the team hotel along with Garmin Vector pedals – albeit without the electronic guts.

Hesjedal stands at 1.88m (6′ 2″) tall and yet he rides a comparatively tiny 56cm frame. Much of that is based on his extreme position, which includes a gargantuan handlebar drop of over 17cm. Even with the shorter head tube afforded by the downsized frame, Hesjedal still runs a 140mm-long stem with a -17° angle, and even removes the upper headset cover to gain another couple of millimeters.

Team mechanic Alex Banyay told BikeRadar that the bike wasn’t quite 6.8kg as shown but that it “will be” come the mountains. Our guess is that it likely isn’t far off now.

A bit of heat shrink tubing to keep connections waterproof: a bit of heat shrink tubing to keep connections waterproof
James Huang/BikeRadar
Heat-shrink tubing keeps the Di2 connection waterproof

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame: Cervélo R5ca, 56cm
  • Fork: Cervélo THM, 1 1/8-to-1 3/8″ tapered
  • Headset: Integrated 1 1/8-to-1 3/8″ tapered, upper cover removed
  • Stem: 3T ARX Team, 140mm x -17°
  • Handlebars: 3T Ergosum Pro, 42cm (c-c)
  • Tape/grips: 3T embossed, by fi’zi:k
  • Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ carbon-specific pads, grey compound
  • Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ carbon-specific pads, grey compound
  • Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-7970
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-7970
  • Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970 w/ top-mounted satellite shifter
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-25T
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
  • Crankset: SRM PowerMeter Rotor 3D+ Giro d’Italia custom, 180mm, 53/39T
  • Bottom bracket: Enduro XD-15 BBright
  • Pedals: Garmin Vector (pedals only; no power measuring electronics)
  • Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
  • Front tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm
  • Rear tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm
  • Saddle: fi’zi:k Arione Carbon Tri 2
  • Seat post: 3T Doric Team
  • Bottle cages: Arundel Stainless (2)
  • Computer: Garmin Edge 500
  • Other accessories: Rotor chain catcher

Critical measurements

  • Rider’s height: 1.88m (6′ 2″)
  • Rider’s weight: 72kg (159lb)
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 827mm
  • Saddle setback: 100mm
  • Seat tube length, c-t: 544mm
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 505mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 646mm
  • Saddle-to-bar drop: 174mm
  • Head tube length: 173mm
  • Top tube length: 580mm
  • Total bicycle weight: 6.8kg (14.99lb, claimed, in race trim)