Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cervelo P5-six review

Recently I've upgrade from my Cervelo P4 to the P5. Been riding the P4 for three years and to be honest I wasn't that happy with it compared to the P3. So when the P5 became available I had a good excuse to upgrade.

Initially Cervelo SA decided to only bring the P5-three to South Africa with no option of the "six". The main difference between the "Three" and "Six" is that the "Three" is UCI legal. The "six" comes with an integrated Anduro aero bar and stem, a deeper fork with the front brakes inside the fork. It also have the carbon option Magura RT8 Brakes and the front brake is covered by a faring.

Seeing that I don't participate in Road race events and prefer long distance triathlons I decided to rather get me the "Six"

Only problem, it wasn't available in SA but thanks to Marco at Cycle Tech, with whom I've been dealing with for almost ten years, he made a plan and got me one.

 I've done a  fair amount of training on it and also two Half Ironman and must say it is just superb. Much better than the P4 and remind me of the P3. One thing I like about it is that it is a solid bike and I get the feeling that you won't ride this bike to pieces, not like the P4 which I felt was a bit too "fragile"

The Bike is very stiff but at the same time it is a very comfortable ride. There is also very little flex and power gets transferred better. Handling is also great and when you point it into a direction it goes with a twitch.
With all the different options on the handlebar I could play around with the setting without too much change to my initial set up. What I also like about it is that Cervelo made sure that one can add components and accessories to the bike without compromising the aero, set up or look.

One thing I am very glad about is the Magura hydraulic brakes. The brakes are potent and worlds apart from the P4. It was something to get used to applying the brakes, been a while since I could lock my rear wheel as the P4's rear brake was just pathetic. Choosing a crank I opted for the Rotor Flow aero crank with 54/42 chain ring.

 I've opted to go with the Shimano Dura Ace Di2 group set. At first I had them build the Sram group set over from the previous bike but the angle at the stem is very tight and I found it difficult at some stages changing gears. The Di2 electronic system is flawless and I am very impressed with it. I haven't had any issues with it even under load and shifting gears rapidly.

After riding with a Fizik saddle for all these years I took a chance and swop to the Adamo Aero saddle. Best move I've ever done. The saddle is so comfortable and I can stay in the aero position much longer. No more shifting around on the saddle during my long rides.

As I said before one thing I am very impressed with is how one can add accessories without an issue. The Xlab stealth pocket uses two screws to fix it to the top tube. The Di2 battery is also stored within the frame close to the rear brake and it is easy removing it to charge it. I've decided to hide the Di2 indicator inside the stem. Only disadvantage is I can't see when the battery needs to be charged.

The Aero bar also has a base plate on which one can add a water bottle holder without adding extra brackets to fix the holder to the bar. Fitting a rear bottle holder to the seat post is also no problem as the seat post has a hollow "tube" whereby the water bottle holder "rot" slide into.

In Summary the Pro's and Con's

The whole bike, no seriously this is the best TT bike I've ever ridden
Stiffness and handling
Power transfer and the frame not flexing
Magura brakes
Making provision to the frame to add accessories without issues

With the performance and handling of the bike I couldn't find any faults yet and the only downside is the Matt finish to the paintwork. It does look good but keeping the bike clean can be an issue


  1. I'm looking at a P5 right now. I put in review, and bam, up came yours out of all of google. haha.


  2. Haha. Can you believe it
    Now get yourself one B

  3. I'm actually looking at upgrading my 2010 P3 to a 2011 P4, and am curious which year P4 you had previously. It appears they made revisions to 2011 model which may have addressed the issues you had. Your input is appreciated.

    1. Hi Crank It
      My P4 was a 2009, before they did some upgrades.
      i believe they sorted the issues out on the 2011 models.

      My honest opinion, i will stick to the P3 and not get the P4.
      Good Luck with the decision and happy cycling

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi Crank It,

    Nice review. I have two questions to the bike as I´m looking into it myself. 1) Is it possible to have Di shifters at the brakes or only on the bars?

    2) Have you done any traveling with the bike - is it easy to take apart and put together again??

    Thanks / Simon

    1. hi Simon
      to be honest i am not sure about the di2 shifters at the brakes. best would be to go on and onto forum or to and onto their forum.

      i have purchased a scicon aerocomfort 2.0tsa bike bag. P5 will fit and no need to remove handlebars. Bar extensions just sticking out a bit in front.

      Believe it is difficult using "normal" bike bag as you would need to remove handlebar as you can't loosen stem and twist the handlebars on P5

      Hope this helps

  6. Hi Johan,

    Thanks for your reply.
    OK I´ll try at search some more on the topic with shifter at the brakes on the cervelo forum and others.

    Cheers / Simon

  7. Hello,

    I was wondering if that is a Joule 2.0 mount you have between the bars. If so, how did you mount it?

    1. Hi Justin
      Yes it's a Joule 2. I used a Profile Design aero bar adapter. not sure what it is called exactly but your bike shop will now or you can get it on the web.
      Works very good and steady

  8. Quick question: Which size is your p5 and how does it fit into the scicon aerocomfort? I am waiting for the tri version of the same bag but it is backorder so might need to go with the standard version but want to make sure it fits

    Mine is a 54 size

    1. Hi
      mine is a 56. it fits perfectly in the bag. it's only the tribars that stick out but i use the foam "tubes" that you get with the bag to cover them

  9. Hi Johan,

    I just purchased a P5 and I am looking to buy the xlab cage to go behind the saddle. Question, I see that your rear cage has a space for 2 CO2s... what type of cage is that? I would like to get the same one. Also, where do you keep the spare tube (or tubes) during training and racing?

    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Christian
      I used the xlab rear cage and bought a seperate bracket that holds two cartridges. Got it from bike shop. Will fit onto xlab bracket between rod and bottle cage. I also use xlab bag for tube. Just extended the velcro strip. Sorry not on pics.

    2. Will post pic of rear xlab bag