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Check out Wout Van Aert’s super-fast Cervelo S5 aero road bike

Belgian superstar is kicking ass this spring on Cervelo’s top-level aero model. Find out all about it...

Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert has had a big few days, finishing third in Milan-San Remo before winning the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, and following that up with a second place at Gent-Wevelgem – after not contesting the finish with teammate Christophe Laporte when the two had gone clear –and here’s the Cervelo S5 he’s been riding.

2023 Wout Van Aert © Zac - 1

Pics © Zac

Cervelo launched the new version of its aero S5 last July, Van Aert having just ridden it to victory in the points classification of the Tour de France. Teammate Jonas Vingegaard had won the GC on mostly the same bike, although he switched to the lighter Cervelo R5 for mountainous days.

The new S5 is “simpler, faster, and easier to live with than before”, according to Cervelo, with deeper profiled frame tubes, a redesigned fork, and more tyre clearance. It says it has taken advantage of recent changes to UCI equipment rules to reduce drag.

2023 Terrino Adriatico Wout Van Aert © Zac - 1

“The UCI’s new regulations on aerodynamic design allowed us some additional room to deepen our aero proles and squeeze a little more performance out of what is already the fastest aero bike on the market,” it says.

“You’ll notice a deeper head tube and bottom bracket area, and more aggressive shaping on the trailing edges of the tubes.

2023 Wout Van Aert © Zac - 2

“Since the new S5 is only compatible with electronic shifting, we were able to tidy the dropout a bit, and update the shaping all over the bike.”

At the front of the fork crown, for example, there’s a new “aerodynamic nose”, and each of the other changes is relatively small but they add up to create a bike that’s significantly different from its predecessor.

Cervelo has also made it much simpler to adjust the riding position… not that Van Aert needs to worry too much about that. He has Jumbo-Visma mechanics to take care of it. For the rest of us, though, it’s a factor.

2023 Wout Van Aert © Zac - 3

“On the new one, it’s as easy as installing the new stem,” says Cervelo. “All the necessary spacers come with the bike, and there’s only one bolt length, instead of the previous stack-specific bolt spec. The handlebars attach more simply and have a 5° rotation to dial in your fit. Reducing all that complexity made the system 53g lighter, too.”

Simpler and lighter? It’s a win-win.

Cervelo says that it improved the comfort of the handlebar, and altered the shape slightly “to get a perfectly flat bar-to-hood transition”.

“In place of the shims on the previous S5 handlebar, we’ve used a two-bolt interface that allows…tilt adjustments between 0 and 5°,” Cervelo says.

2023 Terrino Adriatico Wout Van Aert © Zac - 1

Cervelo changed the seatpost too, moving from a 25mm offset (the distance the centre of the clamp sits behind the centre of the post) as standard to 15mm on most sizes.

There’s now space to fit 34mm tyres – up from 30mm – although Cervelo says that the new S5 is optimised for use with the new, wider Reserve 52/63 wheelset with 28mm tyres fitted. Jumbo-Visma riders do use wheels from Reserve, although the exact model depends on the terrain and conditions.

2023 Terrino Adriatico Wout Van Aert © Zac - 3

Jumbo-Visma use SRAM Red eTap AXS groupsets. Van Aert opted for a 1x (single chainring) setup for Milan-San Remo, which is mostly flat, although he was back on 2x for the Belgian cobbles. It’ll be interesting to see what he chooses for Paris-Roubaix in a couple of weeks. We’re expecting a new top-level groupset from SRAM sometime this year but we’ve not spotted Van Aert using it yet.



Over the past few weeks, he has sometimes been riding the same yet-to-be-released tanwall Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres that we saw Mathieu Van Der Poel using for his Milan-San Remo win

We don’t know a whole lot about these tyres yet, although you can be sure that they’re the new top-of-the-range option from the Italian brand.

Judging by the valves, the Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres are available tubeless. They will presumably be intended as a direct rival to the Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL. 

Click here for loads more Bikes at Bedtime. 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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PRSboy | 1 year ago

Had a look round an S5 at a local bike shop. It is a fabulous looking bike, but needs a modest lottery win at £12k!  

The aero detailing is exquisite, build quality and finish is outstanding, as you'd hope. 

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