The rider’s ride

Cervélo C5, £6,199, derby-cy­

Cyclist - - Italy -

Gravel grinder, ad­ven­ture bike… call it what you will, but the C5 is Cervélo’s an­swer to the de­mand for an ‘all-road’ machine. How­ever, keep­ing it true to the brand’s rac­ing her­itage, Cervélo de­signed the C5 to be less pack horse, more thor­ough­bred, mak­ing it per­fect for the Chilterns’ un­du­lat­ing tar­mac.

‘The C5 is as stiff as our R5 but more com­fort­able,’ says brand man­ager Jür­gen Kallnbach. That racy stiff­ness is ev­i­dent both when you cast an eye over the huge bot­tom bracket shell, which houses Cervélo’s pro­pri­etary Bbright bot­tom bracket sys­tem, and when you put power into the ped­als. The lower half of the bike is un­wa­ver­ing un­der hard ef­forts, so I was able to shoot for­ward on the flat and could rest as­sured that none of my en­ergy was wasted grind­ing up the Chiltern’s many ramps.

The stiff­ness cre­ated by the con­sid­er­able chain­stays, bot­tom bracket and down tube is bal­anced by the com­fort af­forded by the ele­gant seat­stays and 28mm Con­ti­nen­tal tyres. Ad­di­tional com­fort comes from a gen­er­ous amount of ex­posed seat­post, which fil­tered out the worst of the oc­ca­sion­ally bro­ken roads, while the large tyres made the bike feel planted, with no dis­cern­able speed penalty.

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