The end result is a frame that, at 808 grams comes in 140 grams heavier than the California. That established, it does come in 20 grams lighter than the R5 of a year ago, with a 15 percent increase in torsional stiffness.
The new R5 will price at half its California big brother at $5,000. But the best value is in the complete bike offerings; $7,000 for a bike complete with Shimano 9000 mechanical or SRAM Red 22, or $9,000 outfitted with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070.
Our test ride spanned both shores of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge...a jaunt out on the roads of both Stevenson, Washington, and near the foothills of towering, snow-capped Mount Hood, on some of the roads that serve the Mount Hood Cycling Classic.
While we couldn't necessarily discern the aero side benefits on a mountainous climb, we did find the bike rides like a dream; sensitive without being twitchy, and certainly not resonant over chattery roads.
It's so well balanced, but that's par for course; it's a Cervelo, built in the spirit of the California, it's not quite the performance level that the California represents, particularly with vertical stiffness. But it's certainly done well in translating much of what it has in the RCA from a frame shape and materials layup standpoint and replicating the process in Asia; it was still snappy out of saddle and exiting corners, and carved turns with aplomb.
For those that have long lusted after the California, this is a darned good substitute that gets you in the ballpark as ride experience goes.
You'll find more on the new R5 at Cervelo.com.
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