Cervélo C2 105 review

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £2,399
side shot Cervelo C2 105

Our review

Gloriously accomplished chassis held back by some average components
Pros: Beautifully balanced ride with smooth handling
Cons: The heavyweight wheels dull its climbing potential
Cervélo launched its C-Series endurance bikes in 2015, and although it may have been a little late to the endurance bike party, by making the entire range disc-brake only, the Canadian brand managed to stay one step ahead of the game.

The Cervélo C2 105 is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.

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Cervélo C2 105 frame and kit

The C-Series frames have also been built to handle tyres up to 32mm wide so they have a reasonable level of all-road ability. Granted, that’s not enough to make them full-on gravel bikes but they can certainly go places where other Cervélos would fear to tread.

The problem a lot of people had with the initial range of C-series bikes was price — more than £7k for the top-of-the-range C5 and £3.5k for the C3.

They may have been bikes designed for the wider, non-competitive market but they’d been priced out of many people’s reach. The C2 has been devised to address that problem.

It has the same frame design as the higher-spec models but uses a carbon-fibre construction that produces a chassis weighing 1,010g, as opposed to the super-light C5 (840g).

The frame features a pretty standard 73-degree seat angle (on the 56cm test model) but up-front the head tube angle has been slackened down to 71 degrees and the fork offset increased to 53mm (compared to the measurements on the equivalent sized R-Series frames).

Combined with a taller stack (up from 580mm to 595mm) and shorter reach (down from 387mm to 382mm), this puts you in a slightly more upright and less stretched-out position to keep you comfortable and in control as you roll over rough and smooth surfaces.

Shimano’s RS170 disc wheels
Shimano’s RS170 disc wheels are a tad on the heavy side
David Caudery/Immediate Media

The bowed seatstays aid clearance and comfort, and the addition of a protective plate at the bottom of the downtube prevents stones and grit damaging the paintwork.

Large-volume 28mm Continental Ultra Sport tyres work in unison with the compliant frame to cushion the kinks and wrinkles on the road.

The quality of the chassis is emphasised when you consider the entry-level alloy components used at its contact points. Easton’s EA50 bar, stem and seatpost are fine, and certainly help to keep the cost down, but you can’t help but think a frame like this deserves better.

The same can be said of the Shimano RS disc wheels. Like the Easton parts they’re decent enough, but at just shy of 2kg, they make up a decent chunk of the bike’s 9.5kg weight.

Cervélo C2 105 ride experience

On flat or rolling terrain the C2 is able to hide the weight of the wheels pretty well, but on longer climbs, their heft can no longer be hidden, which leaves the bike feeling sluggish rather than sprightly.

male cyclist riding black bike
A taller stack and shorter reach put you in a slightly more upright and less stretched out position
Robert Smith

That weight isn’t an issue when the road heads downwards, however, as the C2’s responsive ride and stability puts it up there with the very best handling endurance bikes.

It’s a shame the wheels are so mediocre as elsewhere the cost-reducing kit that’s been specced produces no issues whatsoever.

A full Shimano 105 groupset (barring the non-series RS510 chainset) delivers slick and dependable shifting and the disc brakes are excellent.

Overall, the C2 shows you enough of how good the C-Series chassis can be. But it’s compromised by the modest components and heavyweight wheelset needed to bring it in at a more affordable price.

Cervélo C2 105 specifications

  • Sizes (*tested): 48, 51, 54, 56*, 58, 61cm
  • Weight: 9.5kg Frame: Carbon
  • Fork: Carbon C2 disc
  • Chainset: Shimano RS510
  • Bottom bracket: Cervélo BBright Connect 24×90
  • Cassette: Shimano 105 R7000
  • Chain: Shimano CN-HG601
  • Derailleurs: Shimano 105
  • Shifters: Shimano 105 R7020
  • Wheelset: Shimano WH-RS170 Disc
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport 28mm
  • Wheel Weight: 1,950g (f), 2,050g (r)
  • Stem: Easton EA50
  • Bar: Easton EA50 AX
  • Headset: FSA 15-2
  • Saddle: Cervélo Comfort
  • Seatpost: Easton EA50
  • Brakes: Shimano 105 hydraulic discs with Ultegra rotors

Cervélo C2 105 geometry

  • Seat angle: 72.5 degrees
  • Head angle: 71.5 degrees
  • Chainstay: 42cm
  • Seat tube: 50cm
  • Top tube: 56cm
  • Head tube: 18.01cm
  • Fork offset: 5.25cm
  • Trail: 6.5cm
  • Bottom bracket drop: 7.5cm
  • Bottom bracket height: 27cm
  • Wheelbase: 1,030mm
  • Stack: 59.5cm
  • Reach: 38.2cm
  • Price: £2,399 / US$2,900
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BikeRadar would like to thank Stolen Goat, Lazer, Northwave and Effetto Mariposa for their help and support during our Bike of the Year test.