Cervélo R5 disc › Mas­ter­fully ac­com­plished race bike

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

Any test that pits the best of the best is go­ing to be a close-run thing, and if you were lucky enough to have any of our six in your life you wouldn’t be dis­ap­pointed.

The rel­a­tive ‘bar­gain’ of the bunch, Cube’s Litening, is a fast bike, both in terms of ac­cel­er­a­tion re­sponses and han­dling. It lacks the out-and-out re­fine­ment of some of its ri­vals but it’s a real stunner.

With the Gallium Pro Disc, Argon 18 has once again showed its tech­ni­cal mas­tery; the chas­sis is a real achieve­ment in terms of weight, com­fort and han­dling, but in this build spec, it looks pricey.

Can­non­dale’s rim-braked Evo is the stuff of bike-han­dling leg­end, and the Evo Disc mir­rors it per­fectly, mak­ing it one of the most thrilling bikes to ride fast. The com­pe­ti­tion needed to play catch-up to the Evo’s prow­ess, which is ex­actly what both Spe­cial­ized and Trek have done.

The S-Works Tar­mac is one of the very best ex­am­ples of a mod­ern race bike around; it’s light, quick, smooth and slick, and the high price is tem­pered by the equip­ment level – adding a power me­ter to the spec sheet is a work of ge­nius. Trek’s Émonda is at the bleed­ing edge of lightweight car­bon en­gi­neer­ing and it’s a bike that im­presses as much on the tar­mac as it does on paper.

How­ever, it’s Cervélo’s R5 that takes this test’s top spot; it han­dles like the Evo, has the smooth ride qual­ity of the Tar­mac and comes with the high­est lev­els of equip­ment to match the best. Sur­pris­ingly, es­pe­cially for Cervélo, it achieves the high­est lev­els of per­for­mance for much less cash than its ri­vals, not that we would in any way call it cheap.

It achieves the high­est lev­els of per­for­mance for much less cash than its ri­vals

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