Cervelo has officially announced details of its R5-CX cyclocross bike which has already been ridden to two World Cup wins. The new R5-CX is currently being used by pro racers including seven-time World Champion Marianne Vos and the three-time World Champion Wout van Aert.
“The R5-CX draws much of its performance and design from the R5 [road bike], but with some key differences,” says Cervelo. “The handling and fit are unique to this model, and based on Wout and Marianne’s input. Down low, the bottom bracket’s about 11mm higher than the R5 to speed up handling and assist in clearing obstacles. Oh, and that bottom bracket is threaded into the frame.”
The updated road R5 was launched in September although it had been raced by the pros for several months before that. It uses Cervelo’s BBRight bottom bracket standard with press-in bearings but the brand has decided to change things for the cyclocross model.
“BBRight’s shape and size help us build lighter and stiffer bike frames in general, but for a bike that’s going to be power washed and have the bottom bracket removed at least a few times a week, a threaded interface is just more durable,” says Cervelo.
A few times a week? Wow!
“We’ve kept the asymmetric cups of BBRight, but threaded them into a T47-sized hole. While this is a unique-to-us implementation, it uses a standard inboard and outboard T47 cup, so replacement parts should be no problem.”
T47, which is a standard that has been around since 2015, has a 47mm outside-thread diameter and Trek, for example, uses it across its range of road bikes.
Cervelo says that the D-shaped seatpost adds compliance and “was a specific request from Wout and Marianne to keep the saddle facing forward in the event of a crash”.
The frame is compatible only with electronic drivetrains and all hoses and wires are routed internally.
Cervelo says that “there’s gobs of clearance for gobs of mud” but doesn’t put a figure on it.
The R5-CX be available in four sizes — 51, 54, 56, and 58cm. Here are the geometries:
Apart from the smaller BB drop mentioned above, the R5-CX models have shorter head tubes than the R5 road models, giving lower stack heights. As you’d expect, the head tube angles are a little slacker and front-centre distances a little longer. The chainstays are longer too – 425mm rather than 410mm – in order to accommodate larger tyres.
The R5-CX isn't Cervelo’s first cyclocross bike. The brand made two R3 Cross frames for US rider Jonathan Page way back in 2007, but this model didn’t make it into production.
More recently, Cervelo’s Aspero has been used for cyclocross, but that's really a gravel bike.
The R5-CX will be available as both framesets and complete bikes from summer 2022. Details of the various builds will be released closer to that time.
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 road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.