Pro bike: Caleb Fairly's Garmin-Sharp’s Cervélo R5

The lightweight road bike used by one of the World Tour's most successful teams

by Mat Brett   February 11, 2013  

You might have read on road.cc that Garmin-Sharp had 16 new Di2-equipped Cervélo R5s stolen from the Tour Méditerranéen, but here’s one that the thieves didn’t get. Some team members are training on Majorca at the moment, and this is the bike belonging to US rider Caleb Fairly.

Fairly has ridden for HTC-Highroad and SpiderTech-C10 in the past, and even by pro cyclist standards, he’s small – 58kg, according to Garmin-Sharp’s official stats. That’s 128lb, or 9st 2lb.

Garmin-Sharp use the Cervélo P5 for time trials, and either the S5 or the R5 for road stages. The S5 is the aero road bike whereas the R5 is designed to be lightweight and also stiff and strong.

It features what Cervélo call their Squoval tube shapes (square/oval) – check out the top tube and you can see why they gave it that name. It’s designed to minimise flex. The same is true of the wide BBright bottom bracket, which is Cervélo’s own standard, and the tapered head tube. Cervélo go with a 1 3/8in lower bearing, splitting the difference between the 1 1/4in and 1 1/5in bearings that most other brands use on their high-performance road bikes.

Another notable feature of the R5 is the skinniness of the seatstays: Cervélo call them Ultra Thin Seat Stays, reasonably enough. They’re incredibly slender in order to flex a little to add comfort. Another benefit is that less material keeps the weight down.

The Garmin-Sharp bikes are built up with Shimano groupsets. The Dura-Ace Di2 junction is zip-tied under the stem and that’s a mount for a Garmin Edge computer on the top. As you can see, Fairly doesn’t run any spacers above the headset. The pros just love to slam that stem.

Cockpit components come from 3T. As you can see, that’s an Ergosum Pro handlebar on there. It’s made from triple-butted 7050 aluminium and has a shallower drop than normal (128mm). 

The stem is an ARX Team, Fairly, like many other pros, preferring to go with aluminium rather than carbon – it’s AL 7075 T6 with titanium bolts to keep the weight low.

The seat post comes from 3T too; it’s a carbon Doric Ltd with a composite clamp and titanium bolts. The saddle is from another Italian brand, Fizik. This is an Antares with K.ium steel rails rather than a more expensive carbon-railed version.

The chainset is from Rotor although those are NoQ round chainrings round rather than the ovalized Q-Rings for which the Spanish brand is most famous. The 3D+ aluminium cranks are drilled out to save weight and this setup uses an SRM PowerMeter, which is bar far the most represented power measurement system in the peloton.

Those are Garmin’s Vector pedals on there. Garmin have been working on these power-measuring pedals for ages now but we’ve not heard a dicky bird about them in a while. They’re clearly not working to the required standard yet, hence the lack of a sensor and the presence of the SRM system.

The wheels are Mavic’s R-Sys SLRs which weigh in at 1,295g the pair, according to Mavic. They come with carbon-fibre spokes and the aluminium rims have been given Mavis’s Exalith 2 treatment. This is a chemical process that, Mavic say, increases durability and shortens braking by 18% in wet conditions. The machined rim surface makes a unique sound when you apply the brakes – halfway between a hiss and a buzz.

11 user comments

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Sorry to be the pedantic one, but thats an ally bar. I only know as I have an Ergonova one and its great!
Unless it was a deliberate mistake, in which case do I win a prize for being eagle eyed?! A Cervelo R5 would do! Big Grin

posted by fullers1979 [33 posts]
11th February 2013 - 13:51

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Nice review. I've always liked Cervelo's because they stand out from the standard far Eastern jellymould shape.

It's shame that after spending a lot of time in the wind tunnel, they have not worked out away to integrate the Di2 battery box into the frame. ( Designing a new case and putting it inside the downtube would be what I would do. But hey what do I know)

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

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posted by badback [264 posts]
11th February 2013 - 14:18

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badback wrote:
Nice review. I've always liked Cervelo's because they stand out from the standard far Eastern jellymould shape.

It's shame that after spending a lot of time in the wind tunnel, they have not worked out away to integrate the Di2 battery box into the frame. ( Designing a new case and putting it inside the downtube would be what I would do. But hey what do I know)

The new Di2 has a battery that fits inside the seatpost, and solves this problem. The Cervelo team will no doubt be making the switch in the coming months to the newer groupset

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posted by David Arthur [1431 posts]
11th February 2013 - 14:38

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fullers1979 wrote:
Sorry to be the pedantic one, but thats an ally bar.

Yup, you're right, the Pro is alu - it's the Ltd and Team versions that are carbon.

posted by Mat Brett [1828 posts]
11th February 2013 - 19:17

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Great pics of bike - now we need to scan eBay to see if it comes up after Garmin's unfortunate experience at the Tour of the Med...

Not so much a six pack as a barrel!

posted by Bigfoz [61 posts]
11th February 2013 - 19:18

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David Arthur wrote:
badback wrote:
Nice review. I've always liked Cervelo's because they stand out from the standard far Eastern jellymould shape.

It's shame that after spending a lot of time in the wind tunnel, they have not worked out away to integrate the Di2 battery box into the frame. ( Designing a new case and putting it inside the downtube would be what I would do. But hey what do I know)

The new Di2 has a battery that fits inside the seatpost, and solves this problem. The Cervelo team will no doubt be making the switch in the coming months to the newer groupset

Maybe they'd already made the switch on their Tour de Mediteraneen bikes - they were brand new.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
11th February 2013 - 19:29

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tony_farrelly wrote:
David Arthur wrote:
badback wrote:
Nice review. I've always liked Cervelo's because they stand out from the standard far Eastern jellymould shape.

It's shame that after spending a lot of time in the wind tunnel, they have not worked out away to integrate the Di2 battery box into the frame. ( Designing a new case and putting it inside the downtube would be what I would do. But hey what do I know)

The new Di2 has a battery that fits inside the seatpost, and solves this problem. The Cervelo team will no doubt be making the switch in the coming months to the newer groupset

Maybe they'd already made the switch on their Tour de Mediteraneen bikes - they were brand new.

Might be a while before there is a review of that one then....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1094 posts]
11th February 2013 - 20:47

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I don't really get why riders would choose to ride an R5 when they have an S5.

Surely the Aero effects make up for the extra weight (which really isn't that much - S5 VWD is sub 1kg)?

Didn't Vroomen say that the S series is always the fastest on his blog?

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
11th February 2013 - 22:32

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maybe it's more comfortable or something like that

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posted by koko56 [315 posts]
12th February 2013 - 22:18

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Nice bike! Not a fan of the Rotor graphics though. Shame the 'look at me' design of the chainset has been carried forward onto the otherwise stylish new Flow cranks.

And given pedantry seems to be order of the day…

Cervélo go with a 1 3/8in lower bearing, splitting the difference between the 1 1/4in and 1 1/5in bearings that most other brands use on their high-performance road bikes.

Presumably the last number is meant to be 1 1/2in.

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posted by byke.com.au [16 posts]
13th February 2013 - 3:26

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It is a 1 3/8 lower bearing, which makes it a pain to source headsets!

posted by SuperG [52 posts]
13th February 2013 - 18:53

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