The Cervelo P5 unveiled

Cervelo introduced the highly anticipated P5 to a fairly small group of triathlon journalists at the Playitas resort on Fuerteventura over the last few days. When the P4 was launched at Interbike in Las Vegas in 2008, and quite a few folks were somewhat underwhelmed, not so much with the actual launch but with the bike itself. But boy, what a difference a few years and lots of hard work and passion make. The Cervelo P5 is stunning, simple and seemingly very fast.

But there isn't only one P5, there are actually two versions. A triathlon version with a fork that would make Pat McQuaid and his UCI officials cry, and a UCI legal version that will be in the quiver of the Garmin-Barracuda team, and some other teams might be lusting for.

The theme for this bike is SIMPLY FAST and according to Cervelo's Phil White it was all about making this new P5 simpler and faster. For this frame, the development was changed from "designed in the wind tunnel" to "designed in CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and validated in the wind tunnel." The absence of proprietary components make this bike indeed quite a bit simpler, and while we have not yet seen any drag data for the P5, it certainly appears that the engineering team at Cervelo did their homework in their quest to make the bike faster. Plus this editor had a chance to ride the bike and came off it with a big smile. A more in depth review of the bike will follow in the near future.

The P5 seat tube head tube and fork were designed with the brakes and create a very long head tube chord, improving aerodynamics and stiffness. The seat tube chord is almost twice as long as the one on the P4 and actually almost nothing else reminds us of the P4 or any other Cervelo. The new aero bar developed with 3T has seemingly shown good wind tunnel numbers, allows the rider to hide the cables 100% and comes in three different heights, X-Lo, Low and High V, giving the customer thus quite a good range of fit options. However, should the customer prefer a different type of aerobar, he or she can easily do so since standard stems and headsets will fit on that P5.

For this bike Cervelo also reached out to a brand that isn't very well known in the world of road cycling, but quite popular in the mountain biking arena. German hydraulics specialists Magura developed an ultra light and powerful hydraulic brake named RT8TT with heavy input from Cervelo, and that brake also uses a standard center bolt mount, so consumers could add on a different brake, but why anyone would want to do that would somewhat puzzling. Slave cylinder for these RT8TT brakes sits vertical between the arms and the master cylinders are inside the base bar. Claimed weight for the complete system is a staggering low 495 grams for the set. The new Magura brake will be initially exclusive to Cervelo. But by Eurobike 2012 other brands will be able to show this new brake on their 2013 models. The Magura brake will start shipping separately to Magura dealers in April 2012 and to other dealers a couple months later.

The frame has a hidden pocket above the bottom bracket to hide the Shimano Di2 battery, offers quite a few water bottle mount options and a bento box can be mounted just behind the stem.

Available sizes for this new P5 will be 48, 51, 54, 56, 58 and 61cm, and the UCI legal frame set (no hydraulic brake) will retail for $4,500 and a Dura-Ace complete bike version (with Magura RT6TT) can be had for $6,000. The P5 TRI frame set (with RT8TT brakes, deeper fork and brake cover plus new aero bar) will be available for $6,500 and the Dura-Ace Di2 complete bike for $10,000.

Cervelo also shared a P5 pad stack and reach chart.

All images © Herbert Krabel /

The Cervelo P5 basking in the sun.

A closer look at the head tube / fork junction and the covered Magura RT8TT brake.

What the wind sees from the front.

The whole front end of the Cervelo P5 Tri with the Low bar set. There is also a X-Lo and High-V.

The RT8TT brake levers hide the hydraulic master cylinder inside the base bars.

Not much to see there.

The view from above.

The arm pads have quite a bit of adjustment range.

These chain rings do not come stock on the bike, this is the bike of Frederik Van Lierde with different wheels.

Yup, there are some hydraulic brakes down there too.

The UCI legal version features a different fork and is shown here with the High V bars.

The closer look here shows that the brake featured here is also not stock. The RT6TT will come standard on the UCI legal P5.

A different perspective on the High V bars which were developed by 3T and Cervelo.

Keeping things tight indeed.

The other side of the Magura RT8TT

The seat tube chord is very long on the P5.

Shimano Di2 neatly tucked in.

The actual Di2 battery is hidden in a compartment above the bottom bracket.

The various bars and frame sizes of the P5 offer quite a huge fit range.

The parting shot.