Cervélo P5X

US$15,000, US$11,000,

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -


To truly un­der­stand how the Cervélo P5X came about, you have to spend some time with Les­ley Lough­lin, Cervélo’s triathlon mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor. Lough­lin spends a lot of her life tak­ing care of Cervélo’s pro athletes and do­ing ev­ery­thing she can to make sure the com­pany wins the yearly Kona bike count, which it has done for al­most a decade now.

A few years ago I was hav­ing din­ner with Lough­lin in Frankfurt at the Ironman Euro­pean Championship and we got talk­ing about Cervélo’s next bike de­sign. Lough­lin talked about how she re­ally wanted to get Cervélo’s en­gi­neers, who she felt were the best in the in­dus­try, to spend more time at triathlon events so they could see and hear what she did.

So, when it came time to de­sign the next new Cervélo speed ma­chine, the en­gi­neer­ing team tasked with the new bike took her up on her chal­lenge. And they took that chal­lenge to a level she never imag­ined. They em­barked on a three-and-a-half-year project to build what they feel is the ul­ti­mate triathlon bike.

First they in­ter­viewed athletes. Long-time Triathlon Mag­a­zine Canada read­ers will re­mem­ber a fea­ture we did on Caro­line St­ef­fen based on an interview we did when she was visit­ing the Cervélo’s Toronto of­fice. Turns out the en­gi­neers were in on her meet­ings, too, ask­ing her ques­tions about what she needed and wanted in a new bike.

Then they started go­ing to races. Ironman 70.3 events and full-dis­tance races. The en­gi­neer­ing crew sud­denly be­came a pho­tog­ra­phy crew, try­ing to take pho­tos of ev­ery ath­lete in each race on their bike. In the end they had 14,500 pho­tos of triath­letes on bikes. They did fo­cus groups, too, ask­ing age group athletes what they car­ried on dur­ing their races. The soon learned a few key facts that would help them fo­cus the de­sign process: • Peo­ple al­most al­ways use round wa­ter bot­tles (98%) • They tend to store a lot of food around their bike • There were 688 unique stor­age set­ups – peo­ple like to do things their own way • For a full-dis­tance race athletes typ­i­cally carry on their bikes: • 1 en­ergy bar, • 2 packs of chews, • 8 gels, • 6 salt tablets, • 3 25 oz. wa­ter bot­tles. • Those athletes aim to try and take in 290 to 340 calo­ries per hour. • They typ­i­cally carry a flat kit with: • 2 tire levers, • 2 CO2 car­tridges, • 1 CO2 head, • 1 multi tool, • 1 tube. • One of the big­gest stres­sors for athletes is trav­el­ling with their bikes.

Based on that in­for­ma­tion, the en­gi­neer­ing crew at Cervélo came up with the pa­ram­e­ters they felt were nec­es­sary in their new bike. It would need to: • Have mod­u­lar, in­te­grated stor­age with easy ac­cess that could be set up in a

va­ri­ety of ways. • Be com­pat­i­ble with round wa­ter bot­tles. • Be easy to fit. • Be easy for athletes to ad­just af­ter their ini­tial fit. • Be more aero­dy­namic than their flag­ship P5 su­per­bike car­ry­ing the same items. • Be as stiff as a P5. • Be easy and safe to pack. • Can fit on a trainer.

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