C5 Disc Road Frameset
Cervelo has long been known to take the cake in the paved world with top-tier road and tri bikes that combine featherweight carbon with aggressive geometry that begs to be pushed to higher speeds. The Cervelo C5 Disc Road Frameset may stray away from some of the characteristics of its racier predecessors, but don't be fooled into thinking that this endurance machine wasn't built to go fast — it just happens to be built to go far, too. The C5 isn't limited to the tarmac, either. Instead it's built with space for loftier 32-millimeter tires, and with a more upright fit to tune into comfort, allowing you to extend your road riding by leaving the tarmac all together, and continuing for centuries and Gran Fondos.
A glance at the C5 will have you noticing some visual queues that remind you of Cervelo's R-series steeds. Squoval down-tube technology combines the rigidity of square tubes for rigidity and torsional stiffness, much like its siblings, and it even packs in the oversized BBRight bottom bracket shell that adds an extra 11mm of material to the non-driveside adding even more rigidity to the frame with its beefy anchor point. But from there, things start to stray to a different zone with a slightly longer head tube to provide a slightly more upright fit, and significantly lower bottom bracket. The low bottom bracket pairs up with long chainstays to stretch out the wheel base and elevate stability, keeping you in control when you're departing the tarmac for new adventures.
Cervelo's designers try to find a balance when it comes to riding position. While sitting upright is undoubtedly comfortable, we don't want to feel like we're on the way to grocery shopping on a beach cruiser when we're hammering into mile 85 of a Gran Fondo — but inversely we prefer to avoid a compact aero fit through the long miles. Cervelo strikes an ideal in between with a 7mm lift above the head tube in the R3, and a steep seat tube that still keeps you forward in the cockpit. In the rear end things differ a bit, with arced seatstays and seat tubes that are designed to soak up some of the jarring forces from rough roads, while beefy chainstays keep the flex in seatstays from altering your positioning on the bike. This translates to a bit more comfort, without completely tossing aerodynamics out the window, so you can go far, fast.
If you've got an eye for geometry, you may be wondering what the difference is between Cervelo's C5 and C3 endurance bikes. We don't blame you — even if you've done some diving into the numbers you'll find that the C3 and C5 feature identical geometry. Where the two frames drift apart is in their carbon layups. The C5 uses Cervelo's lighter, higher-grade carbon fiber to shed grams to an astonishingly featherweight frame, while the C3 opts for a practical carbon layup that drops the price down at the cost of grams.
- An endurance steed built to go far, fast
- Cervelo's top-tier carbon keeps things featherweight
- Squoval downtube elevates stiffness for power and control
- Slight upright position enhances comfort off the road
- Wide, low bottom bracket is stiff and stable
- Room for lofty 32mm tires for damping jarring roads
- Long chainstays and slack headtube keep things steady on gravel roads