Cervelo P5 SIX Di2 review

Faster than (ever) P4

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £7,699.00 RRP | AUD $12,500.00

Our review

Exquisitely unfussy looks but devastatingly fast and easy to ride quickly
Buy if, You appreciate the best and are ready for a life of racing without excuses
Pros: Aerodynamics, integration, saddle, cockpit, gearing
Cons: No gear change ability from the brake levers
Skip to view product specifications

Cervélo’s P-series time trial bikes have become revered among the clock-chasing fraternity, with good reason. Always innovative, Cervélo sets the standard for others to beat, but can the P5 still cut it?

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Bespoke bar

The cockpit has a bespoke and fully adjustable one-piece 3T carbon stem and base bar, with carbon extensions. The narrow base bar’s wing-shaped top allows the extensions to be raised with the sculpted aero support pictured, or with some tinkering, they’ll sit just on top of the bar, which is how we tested the bike.

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Twin exhausts for a couple of tiny rocket motors, or bolts to clamp the dedicated aero seatpost? we’ll let you decide…:

Twin exhausts for a couple of tiny rocket motors, or bolts to clamp the dedicated aero seatpost?

A void within the stem hides the Di2 junction box and wires, plus hoses for the Magura RT8 hydraulic callipers. Their delta shape matches that of the fork crown, and a two-part aero cover ensures minimal leading-edge wind disruption. The rear brake is hidden behind a cowl under the bottom bracket.

Related: New Argon 18 E119 Tri ‘faster than a Cervélo P5’

The P5’s near-vertical carbon seatpost is topped with ISM’s Adamo Prologue split nose saddle. It looks unconventional, but is a massive help when riding hard in a tuck. Those vast tube junctions, plus really chunky asymmetric chainstays mean there’s no flex, and standing starts are only limited by your ability.

Docile-handling rocket

Di2 is excellent on most TT bikes, thanks to multiple shifter positions, but the Magura brake levers mean the only shifters are on the extensions, a limit when cornering, starting or climbing. Braking is as powerful and modulated as good mechanical brakes, but requires far less pressure.

HED’s 60mm deep rims are 27mm at their widest, with an aluminium braking track, contemporary aerodynamics and superb stability. They’re laterally stiff, happy to gain speed, and keen to keep it.

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Are hydraulic rim brakes the future for wind- cheating tt bikes? we’re not convinced, but the maguras were very impressive:

We found the hydraulic Magura brakes were very impressive

The Continental clinchers are solid performers too, fast, grippy and robust, although the 24mm rear has minimal brake clearance. We found the gearing ideal, and only the really rapid might want a bigger ring.

Related: The best 2016 TT and triathlon bikes at Eurobike 2015

As demonstrated by Fabian Cancellara, the P5 can be both predatory and pussycat. It’s possible to feel intimidated by a bike with limits far higher than yours, but it’s rewarding when you settle into the cockpit and begin to flow through turns and really wind it up.

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The handling is docile and stable, unflustered by poor surfaces, building the confidence to ride faster, stay in the tuck for longer, and push your envelope. It’s not a cheap option, but as an off-the-peg clock worrier, the P5 still has few equals.

Product Specifications

Product

Name P5 SIX Di2
Brand Cervelo

Bottom Bracket Rotor PF-30
Rear Tyre Continental GP Force 24mm
Brake Levers Magura RT8
Wheelset HED Jet 6 Plus
Weight (kg) 8.57
Stem 3T integrated carbon
Shifters Shimano Ultegra Di2 R671
Seatpost Cervélo P5 aero carbon
Saddle ISM Adamo Prologue
Rear Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 11 spd
Brakes Magura RT8 Hydraulic Rim
Headset Type FSA
Handlebar 3T integrated carbon
Front Tyre Continental GP Attack 22m
Front Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 11 spd
Frame Material Cervélo P5
Fork Cervélo All-Carbon, P5
Cranks Rotor FLOW BBright™ Aero, 52/36
Cassette Dura-Ace 11-25
Frame size tested 54cm