Aspero Force eTap AXS Complete Bike
We think it's safe to say that gravel racing isn't leaving anytime soon. While it used to be a forbidden fruit of sorts, with the Kanza starting just 13 years ago with only 34 participants, the sport has exploded in a way that's difficult to comprehend, and watching the Kanza's growth from 34 to over 3,000 racers in just over 10 years more than proves it. The sport is extreme. It's trying — mentally and physically. It embraces those who have a fondness for Type-2 fun. And perhaps our favorite part of it is the way in which it throws conventional road cycling rules by the wayside, getting down to the true gritty nature of life on two-wheels. There's another side of gravel, which has people aiming for adventure beyond the beaten path, but that's not the reason Cervélo crafted the new Aspero Force eTap AXS Complete Bike. The Aspero is built for gravel racing, and while it's capable of rolling with the extra-plush 650b option that boasts ultimate comfort, this model is spec'd for the race with SRAM's sleek wireless drivetrain, and lofty 40mm 700c tires to cover more ground, faster, crushing steep climbs and loose, poorly-graded gravel while you grind your way to the podium.
The Aspero is crafted with modern geometry that's aim is to combine comfort for the long gravel miles, with progressive fit to help you soar to the front of the pack. Trail is Cervélo's secret weapon in the world of geometry, and it comes into play on the Aspero to provide stability, regardless of the bike's size. It features a bit more trail than you'll find in road bikes, landing at about 62mm regardless of size, being that stability in rough conditions is a must, and each size uses a fork unique to its own geometry to keep trail consistent throughout sizing, meaning that every size of the Aspero provides an identical ride feel, which blows other rides out of the water that maintain the same fork for every size, and don't take the shorter riders so seriously. While some of this is achieved through a unique fork for each size, an adjustable fork offset lets you further tinker with things, enabling the bike to meet any rider's needs.
Outside of trail, the bike uses a moderate head tube angle at 72-degrees (size 52) to provide more stability than Cervélo's road steeds do, without going full-out slack into the realm of mountain bike geometry. This lengthens the wheelbase slightly to create a solid feel on loose descents and corners, but pairs up with a steep seat-tube angle for a nice perch through pedal-heavy sections. Since the bike is built to accommodate either 700c or 650b wheels, Cervélo crafts the fork with a built-in dropout that allows the geometry to stay identical regardless of wheel size. This dropout also enables you to fit huge tires for full cushion on rough terrain, with 700c options fitting most 42 tires, and 650b offering room for most 49's — though brand and tread can impact fit. Cervélo recommends leaving at least 4mm of space around your tires to accommodate clearance for the inevitable mud buildup that occurs during the lengthy miles of the Crusher or Private Idaho.
And speaking of mud and rubble, the Aspero comes equipped with protection you need when things get rough, muddy and gritty. It comes equipped with downtube protection that helps keep your frame, and its sleek paint job, free of scratches and dents. Since gravel races tend to be long, arduous, and typically ban all hand-outs (including the coveted water-bottle grab in road cycling, the Aspero comes ready to pack on as much water as possible, with three bottle mounts, plus a Bento mount on the top tube for bringing along the critical nutrition you need on 200+ mile rides. While we typically only see the Bento mount being used in Tri, with the demanding environment of Gravel we think it only makes sense to bring Bento to the grit, and we hope to see it take off across the boards. The Aspero utilizes the same bento mount as Cervélo's P5, and is compatible with all bento's built for the P5.
When it comes to carbon fiber layups, Cervélo is no slouch. It's engineers carefully and meticulously design their layups to maximize stiffness where its most important, compliance where you need a little comfort, and keep weight at a minimum. This particular model uses a C-level carbon, which uses ultra-high modulus carbon to damp jarring vibrations from mixed conditions, aiming to find a balance of static comfort and dynamic comfort.
Cervélo completes this build with a series of top-tier components that have been cherry picked for total performance gains on race day. You'll find SRAM's Force eTap groupset that's amped up with AXS technology. This group takes the eTap you know and trust with its wireless technology, and amps things up with AXS, which SRAM engineered for mountain biking, offering better clutch control for impacts and bumps, and faster reaction time that can be critical when conditions are unpredictable. The build rolls on top of a set of DT Swiss GRC 1650 disc wheels for snappy engagement and a stable profile that offers enough rim width for lofty tires to roll well. And as ever prevalent with Cervélo, the Aspero runs with the wide and stiff BBRight bottom bracket that doesn't flex under pressure when you're sprinting for the finish line.
- Cervélo's gravel grinder is built with intent for the race
- Progressive geometry balances comfort with speedy angles
- Adjustable trail in fork keeps geometry true regardless of wheel size
- Size-corrected geometry offers the same performance for every rider
- C-series carbon is stiff, light, and comfortable for endurance miles
- Compatible with both 700c and 650b wheel sizes for speed and comfort
- Top-tube Bento mount lets you add nutrition storage on long rides
- Internal cable routing allows for addition of dropper post
- SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset offers wireless connection for clean cockpit, and fast, reliable shifts