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New Cervelo R5 breaks cover at Dubai Tour

A replacement for Cervelo's flagship race bike makes first appearance at pro race

A replacement for the Cervélo R5 has broken cover at the Dubai Tour with photos appearing on social media, the dazzling camouflage paint job, rather than concealing it from public gaze, making it easy to spot against the regular team Dimension Data race bikes.

It’s the first update since the R5 was launched back in 2013, a frame which used technology first developed for the US-made RCA with its 670g frame weight and $10,0000 price tag.

Without seeing the bike in the flesh, it’s difficult to really determine the key changes to the new R5, but there are some noticeable differences. It has clearly moved the previously external seat clamp inside the top tube, a design approach that is increasingly common on top-end carbon frames. It allows more exposed seatpost to provide a bit more deflection. 

Comparing the new bike to the current R5, it does look like the down tube has a substantially larger profile. Has Cervélo developed a new version of the Squoval 3 (Cervélo's name for rounded square tube profiles) to increase stiffness and improve aerodynamics without adding an extra weight? My guess would be that Cervélo has looked to improve the stiffness-to-weight ratio, much as Giant did with its new TCR Advanced race bike last year.

The new model appears on the UCI’s list of approved frames where it’s called the “R5 rim brake version” and was confirmed on 6th January 20167. Does that name mean there’s a disc brake version on its way too? It wouldn’t surprise us; Cervélo has made disc brake versions of the R3 and S3, and a disc version of the bike favoured by many of the Dimension Data team would be obvious. 

We’ll have to wait and see what developments and changes the new bike offers when Cervélo decides to release it. We’ve contacted Cervélo for comment.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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