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TECH NEWS

Cervélo’s first e-bike switches between road and gravel modes... and doesn't look much like an e-bike

New Cervélo Rouvida comes with a Fazua Ride 60 motor and has interchangeable dropouts that alter the geometry

Cervélo has introduced its first e-bike – called the Rouvida – and it’s capable of being ridden in both road and gravel configurations courtesy of interchangeable dropouts that are designed to alter the fit and handling.

Several brands already use flip chips in frames and forks to alter the geometry of their bikes. Giant, for example, uses a flip chip rear dropout in its Revolt range to allow riders to adjust the wheelbase to fine-tune the bike’s handling, while Rondo uses an adjustable fork dropout it calls Twintip to let you choose between a lower and steeper set up for fast riding and a higher and more relaxed stance for adventure, exploring and bikepacking.

> Giant reveals ‘lighter, faster’ Revolt gravel bikes with new flip chip for increased adaptability to the terrain 

2024 Cervelo Rouvida - 1

Cervélo, though, reckons that its new Rouvida is a long way from a typical flip chip design.

It says, “We designed some clever interchangeable dropouts that significantly alter the geometry of the bike, so the road bike feels like a road bike, and the gravel bike feels like a gravel bike.

“These interchangeable dropouts have the effect of rotating the entire frame to achieve the fit and handling you expect from a Cervélo road bike, and from a Cervélo gravel bike.”

Whereas swapping flip chips around is usually a quick and easy process that you can do yourself, changing the Rouvida’s inserts requires a firmware update, and this service must be performed by your local retailer, according to Cervélo.

We assume (dangerous, admittedly) that this is so Cervélo can implement a different power assistance profile for each setup. Could you swap the inserts at home and do without the firmware update? We don't know at this stage.

The Rouvida has these inserts in both the frame and fork and they have a big effect on the bike’s overall geometry. Taking the large-sized Rouvida as an example…

Table 1
  Road Gravel
 Stack   583mm  588mm
 Reach  386mm  378mm
 Head tube angle  72°  73°
 Seat tube angle  73°  72.3°
 Fork length  385mm  393mm
 Fork offset  50mm  53.5mm
 Trail  58mm  62mm
 Chainstay length  415mm  425mm
 Bottom bracket drop  74mm  80mm
 Wheelbase  1012mm  1027mm

Switching from road mode to gravel mode also increases the size of tyres you can use from 34mm to 43.5mm.

2024 Cervelo Rouvida - 2

As for the power, the Rouvida is designed around the Fazua Ride 60 mid-motor that delivers 60Nm of torque paired to a 432Wh battery.

Cervélo boasts that it can assist you up to 28mph, but that won’t be the case in the UK/Europe because 15.5mph is the maximum permitted on roads over here.

The Rouvida certainly doesn’t look a whole lot like an e-bike.

“While the design brief didn’t actually say, ‘Don’t make it look like an e-bike,’ it was definitely at the forefront of our thoughts throughout the process,” says Cervélo. “We considered every angle, and the result is a bike that looks right at home alongside any of our aero models. The Road Control puts power and assist control in a natural location in the handlebar’s drop, and an indicator panel on the top tube includes a USB charging port for lights or accessories.”

2024 Cervelo Rouvida - 3

The Cervélo Rouvida is available in three builds, all with components from SRAM:

Cervélo Rouvida Rival XPLR, £7200
Groupset SRAM Rival XPLR AXS
Wheels Fulcrum Racing 600 DB
Tyres Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR G2.0 700 x 30mm

Cervélo Rouvida Force XPLR AXS 1, £9,500
Groupset SRAM Fore XPLR AXS
Wheels Reserve 40/44
Tyres WTB Vulpine 700 x 40mm

Cervélo Rouvida Red XPLR AXS 1 £11,000
Groupset SRAM Red XPLR AXS
Wheels Reserve 40/44
Tyres Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR G2.0 700 x 30mm

Get more info from www.cervelo.com

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. 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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22 comments

Avatar
Paul J | 7 months ago
2 likes

Next fashion trend in road bikes will be going to slimmer tubing to make it clear you're not one of those lazy eBikers.

Also, why do some eBikers insist on racing me? Now, I don't mind - I get a nice easy tow. But what's going on in their heads, do they really think they're something "winning" the Silly Commuter Races while pedalling lazily on a motor-bike?

I had one yesterday who had to get in front. Next set of turns, his lines were dire - turn in too early, then barely turn in to the corner, then slow down mid corner cause (despite the gingerness of their turn) they're not making the turn. And then, next slight uphill, he completely dropped off - I think he must have run out of battery after having it turned it up to race me!  1

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Oldfatgit replied to Paul J | 7 months ago
3 likes

Why don't you ask them when they are doing it?
Or shall I ask for you at the next e-bike riders AGM?

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Hirsute replied to Oldfatgit | 7 months ago
4 likes

Where's my invite ?

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Oldfatgit replied to Hirsute | 7 months ago
2 likes

🤣🤣🤣

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Paul J replied to Oldfatgit | 7 months ago
0 likes

e-Bike AGM? Sounds like a massive fire hazard.  3

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John Be replied to Paul J | 2 months ago
1 like

Paul J, you really are showing your ignorance with some of these remarks. Many road e cyclists are anything but lazy. For example, I recently treated myself to one for my 82nd birthday as my heart condition was making me apprehensive about overstretching re distance or elevation. I normally ride with the motor switched off but it is there as a safety net. I get a good workout.

As regards giving you a tow, e bike assistance cuts out at 25kph,. Even at my age I exceed this on flattish roads,  so you are obviously not trying very hard, lazy even. Especially as you were overtaken on the flat by an ebike.  

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Hirsute replied to John Be | 2 months ago
2 likes

There are at least 4 regular posters on here who have ebikes due to various medical ailments.

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ubercurmudgeon | 7 months ago
1 like

It is very easy to make an e-bike look like an aero-bike if you only post side-on views. Take a photo from anything other than precisely 90 degrees, and the width of the downtube necessary to accomodate even a modest battery will be obvious.

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Rendel Harris replied to ubercurmudgeon | 7 months ago
2 likes

Just out of interest, just measured the downtube width on my Specialized Roubaix Pro (unpowered), 78mm, on Mrs H's Orbea Gain (powered) the downtube containing a battery which is good for about 50kms on top assistance level is 86mm. The only ways you can tell she's not riding an unpowered road bike is if either you noticed the discreet button on the top tube or the rear hub motor (which is pretty much hidden by the disc on one side and the cassette on the other).

ETA Below a stock image of the bike she has, I don't think you'd look at that downtube and automatically assume there's a battery in there.

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wtjs replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
0 likes

 The only ways you can tell she's not riding an unpowered road bike...

The best way to tell depends on seeing the rider on a hill- the powered bike rider is sat upright, obviously not working and, consequently, won't be seen on cold days. That's what happens when the hills are 'ironed out'. This is, of course, based on my observations in Lancashire

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Rendel Harris replied to wtjs | 7 months ago
4 likes

Quote:

The best way to tell depends on seeing the rider on a hill- the powered bike rider is sat upright, obviously not working and, consequently, won't be seen on cold days. That's what happens when the hills are 'ironed out'. This is, of course, based on my observations in Lancashire

I'm afraid that wouldn't work if you saw Mrs H on a hill because although she rides an ebike (she also has two other unpowered bikes) because her commute is a bit far for someone who works an 11 hour day teaching a subject that requires her to be on her feet nearly all the time (average working day 11,000 steps) she makes it a point of pride to try and ride above the power cutoff when tackling the (two) hills on her commute, so you would see her out of the saddle giving it full gas, bless her. You're surely not tarring all ebike riders with the same brush again, dear wtjs?

I know I've told you this many times before but you still don't seem able to appreciate that it's perfectly possible to make a big effort on an ebike: if you see me going up a hill at 15 mph I might well be putting in 250W of power to add to the 250W the motor is providing, i.e. basically putting in the same effort I would be if you saw me climbing on one of my unpowered bikes at 10 mph. It really is not a cut and dried "all ebike riders are lazy and make no effort", it really isn't.

By the way if ebike riders are never seen on cold days who the hell was that I accompanied to her school this morning on her bike when the Garmin was showing -1° at 6:20 am?

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
1 like

Does extra power make a difference?  Yes, yes it does - obviously: https://road.cc/content/feature/video-can-ebike-make-you-national-hill-c...

Does this mean "cheating"?  Logically this has two answers e.g. a) no more than using a bike as opposed to walking is "cheating" or b) given humans if you make something easier *some* will always take it easier.

However - Wiggo says "not cheating": https://road.cc/content/news/265792-e-bikes-arent-cheating-says-sir-brad...

People ride further: https://road.cc/content/news/e-bike-riders-quadruple-cycling-distance-fi...

And (the decider) Big Dave says no: https://ebiketips.road.cc/content/advice/advice/are-electric-bikes-cheat...

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Oldfatgit replied to chrisonabike | 7 months ago
4 likes

The difference an ebike makes to me is getting out and riding (even in this mornings -4 commute) ... or having to stay at home sofa surfing as my (thanks to a poorly driven car) fecked leg can't get me very far unaided.

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wtjs replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
0 likes

By the way if ebike riders are never seen on cold days who the hell was that I accompanied to her school this morning on her bike when the Garmin was showing -1° at 6:20 am?

I expected this! Which was why I noted my observations were in Lancashire. In fact, everything you have written was completely anticipated because we've been through both sides of the dispute before. There is no doubt that it's possible to exert yourself on an ebike and, despite your protestations, it's a point I find very easy to appreciate- it's just that the great majority don't. My method for spotting ebikers works for much more than 90% of encounters, in Lancashire and on my longer trailer trips like up to the Lakes, the Pennine Bridleway and Way of the Roses- where you're not going to see any ebike campers, for obvious reasons. Again noting that it's around Lancashire, I see a fair few in summer and I haven't seen any for months. The point I made when I first ventured into this topic was that ebiking is not the same as cycling, and the point still stands. Nobody, including me, is trying to abolish ebikes or to stop people from using them or to minimise the disabilities suffered by a tiny fraction of ebikers such that the ebike is a worthy means of getting them out and about. The great majority of ebikers are using them to 'iron out the hills' and 'reduce the effort required'. 

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Rendel Harris replied to wtjs | 7 months ago
4 likes

wtjs wrote:

 Nobody, including me, is trying to abolish ebikes or to stop people from using them or to minimise the disabilities suffered by a tiny fraction of ebikers such that the ebike is a worthy means of getting them out and about.

So for any ebike riders who don't have a disability their means of getting out and about is not "worthy"? Very strange viewpoint old chap, very strange.

(I do have a disability by the way which sometimes means that it's either ebike or nothing for me, on better days I use my unpowered bikes, so I'm not taking that personally, but equally I'm not going to look down on healthy people using ebikes as "unworthy", they are getting some exercise and fresh air and most importantly every one of them is one car fewer on the roads, seems pretty worthy to me)

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matthewn5 replied to wtjs | 7 months ago
3 likes

wtjs wrote:

The best way to tell depends on seeing the rider on a hill- the powered bike rider is sat upright, obviously not working and, consequently, won't be seen on cold days. That's what happens when the hills are 'ironed out'. This is, of course, based on my observations in Lancashire

How interesting, because the research so far suggests that e-bike riders ride more often and for longer and thus get more exercise.

I look forward to the peer-reviewed publication of your findings coming soon in a scientific journal.

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mark1a replied to matthewn5 | 7 months ago
0 likes

This is true - had to go and get some shopping bits & pieces earlier, nearest Lidl is 0.5 miles away, not worth opening the garage door for, plus the bike racks are not great there. Didn't fancy the walk so took an ebike to the next nearest 5 miles away (new store so better locking facilities). 10 miles and 400 calories, it's free exercise. 

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RobD | 7 months ago
4 likes

So the appealing feature of this, being able to swap the setup from a road bike one day to a gravel bike the next involves taking it to a dealer? Kind of makes the adaptability a bit pointless, unless you're going to do it at the end of the summer and again in the spring to have a different set up for the seasons.

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Oldfatgit replied to RobD | 7 months ago
2 likes

I just have a another set of wheels with different tyres on (currently set up with Marathon Plus, Schwalbe Winters, and set 3 has gravel tyres on.
Couple of moments on the stand and that's it.

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Veganpotter | 7 months ago
0 likes

Everyone that looks at this bike will see that is an ebike that isn't trying to not look like an ebike

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Oldfatgit | 7 months ago
2 likes

7grand ... for the *cheap* one?

Holy feck Batman, they'll be selling a shitload of these then.

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Surreyrider | 7 months ago
3 likes

Err, it looks every inch an ebike.

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