We brought you news of Cervélo’s updated S5 and a first ride on the Canadian company’s new entry-level R2 recently, now it’s time to have a look at the RCa, which has been overhauled for 2015.
The big news with the RCa, the company's flagship model, is that along with a raft of updates to make it lighter and stiffer, as you'd expect, is that Cervélo have slashed the price of the frameset from £7,500 to £6,500. Yes, it’s still eye-wateringly expensive but now you have a bit more change left over. The new RCa is still made at hand-built Cervélo's Project California facility.
The second-generation RCa might look identical to the previous version, but much has changed. Cervélo actually stopped production on the previous frame over the winter while they worked on the changes, the new version comes out of the same mould but there the similarities end. They wanted to introduce more stiffness into the frame and at the same time, more compliance too, while aiming to keep the weight in the same ballpark of the previous frame, so they refined the carbon fibre layup to achieve these aims.
With a claimed weight of 670g (54cm frame), just 3g heavier than the previous RCa frame, it does appear they've managed to make the desired changes without adding much weight. That's progress in carbon fibre manufacturing for you. Some of the extra weight in frame has also been aimed at making the frame more durable for real-world use, even adding more weight in the top tube so the frame is less susceptible to potential damage either from being dropped or sat on. In terms of stiffness gains, Cervélo claim 15% lateral and -7% longitudinal stiffness increase.
The fork is brand new and is quite a bit lighter with a claimed 35g (now 227g) weight, so overall the new RCa frameset is actually lighter. This is partly down to the scrapping of the previous versions expensive PowerMetal Nanovate nickel coating and using a boron-filament reinforcement. As well as reduced weight, the new fork has more curve to its length which Cervélo claims helps to provide a smoother ride.
Like the other models in the company’s range, the RCa has the same future-proof internal cable routing and Squoval tube shapes and a tapered head tube.
The RCa is only available as a frameset, this is a mock build. Unlike the limited run of the previous RCa, they're doing a regular production run of the new frame, but numbers will still be very limited. They tell us due to how labour intensive the frame is, they can only produce one frame a day, and only plan to do a couple of hundred a year.
The Cervélo R5 hasn’t really changed for 2015, but they’re offering it in this new paint job, which we first saw at the Tour de France.
The R5 is available as frame only or a complete bike, this one has a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with Rotor 3D+ BBright chainset, and in a departure form the norm FSA K-Force bars, stem and seatpost. The wheels are HED Ardenne Plus LT with 25mm Continental Grand Prix tyres.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.