Canadian race bike manufacturer Cervelo has won almost every coveted racing competition you can think of. Whether it’s the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana, or Giro d’Italia, Cervelo has registered numerous podium finishes. But why are Cervelo bikes good?
Cervelo bikes are good because they focus on five engineering fundamentals that every racer wants: aerodynamics, low weight, stiffness, usability, and ride quality. The fundaments are due to proprietary technologies like True Aero, Speed risers, BBRight, and Squoval that the manufacturer employs.
Other things that make Cervelo bikes good are using components from only trusted third parties such as SRAM, Reserve, and Shimano, having a variety of series for every road racing competition, and making the bikes in all sizes.
It’s only a shame that there is no dedicated women’s bike line and that most of its bikes are highly priced. Other than that, Cervelo bikes are unbeatable. They are race-worthy and the ideal choice for any competition.
Let’s review the bike brand to help you understand it better. But first, let’s go through its history.
In a rush? Check out our most recommended Cervelo bikes on the hotlist below:
3 Best Cervelo Bikes
- Cervelo S5: Best Cervelo Aero Road Racing Bike
- Aspero 5: Best Cervelo Gravel Bike
- Cervelo RS CX: Best Cervelo Cyclocross Bike
Cervelo Cycles, popularly known as Cervelo, is a Canadian giant racing bike manufacturer founded in 1995. The dream started when Gerard Vroomen took an interest in bike dynamics while studying at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.
After graduation, Vroomen continued the research and trials at McGill University. He met Phil White, another researcher and the two founded Cervelo Cycles in 1995.
Interestingly, the name Cervelo is a combination of the name brain in Italy and bike in French, explaining the manufacturer’s deep interest in computational fluid dynamics, CAT technology, wind tunnel, and BB Bright, among many other impressive bike innovations in recent times.
So, Cervelo means bikes with brains, and it’s hard to refute such a claim if you consider that the brand has won almost every elite racing competition you can think of. From the coveted Tour de France to the indomitable Vuelta Espana and Giro d’ Italia, Cervelo has scored numerous victories.
Today, the brand sponsors the Dutch professional racing team Jumbo-Visma, participating in UCI, cyclocross, and continental racing events.
8 Reasons Why Cervelo Bikes Are Good
Cervelo bikes are all about innovations. They employ proprietary innovations to guarantee five engineering fundamentals, which are as follows:
1. Aerodynamics – The Convenience of Aero Design
The aerodynamic technology is at the core of Cervelo’s bike design. Having been founded to make cyclists faster, the company employs intense aerodynamics technology like Wind Tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to make its bikes more aerodynamic and electric fast.
Cervelo’s other technologies that improve its bike aerodynamics include Squoval Max, Pro-Fit, True Aero, Speed Riser, Aero Cable Management, CS 28, and Seat Tube Cut-Out.
These technologies put you in a low-lying position to reduce wind drag and boost pedaling efficiency.
2. Low Weight – The Comfort of Lightweight Frames
Cervelo makes its bike frames in carbon, which is naturally lightweight. The manufacturer, however, doesn’t stop there. They ensure all its bike frames are specially molded with precision while using less material to make the bikes light in weight.
That’s why they prioritize technologies like Squoval Max and Smartwall. Squoval Max balances bike weight, stiffness, and comfort as Smartwall lowers the bike weight.
3. Stiffness – The Steering Advantage
Cervelo understands that a bike’s stiffness is critical in determining one’s riding experience. As a result, they spend years developing and testing different frame technologies to make their bikes stiffer.
Some of these technologies include BBRight, Smartwall, and Squoval. BBRight, for example, promises large-size frames that are stiffer to pedal, while Squoval brings the balance between stiffness and comfort. Overall, a stiffer geometry makes bike cornering and steering easy.
4. Usability – The Assurance of Riding Satisfaction
Cervelo race bikes may be high-end, but that doesn’t make them sophisticated. Quite the contrary, these bikes are user-friendly, thus self-satisfying.
The manufacturer values intuitive bike adjustment and component standardization, values that have seen them make bikes that are fun to ride and simple to operate.
Technologies like integrated storage, modular storage, and split base highly boost the usability of the bike. The frames are future-proof and enjoy lifetime warranties, thus likely to serve you longer.
5. Ride Quality – The Benefit of Riding Comfort
The manufacturer’s approach toward ride quality is about improving the rider experience. According to Cervelo, ride quality is about the bike feeling appropriate for its purpose.
That has seen them employ proprietary technologies like Squoval, Elite Fit, Endurance Fit, and Triathlon Fit, among its various racing bikes.
These technologies promote static comfort (bike comfort while at rest) and dynamic comfort (comfort while in motion), and you need the two comfort categories to compete.
Other Reasons Why Cervelo Bikes Are Good
In addition to being driven by the five discussed engineering fundamentals, Cervelo bikes are good because of these reasons:
6. Trusted Third Party Components
Cervelo gets its bike components from reputable third parties like SRAM, Reserve, and Shimano to ensure they maintain the same quality standard and riding experience.
7. Series Variety
To enable racers to know what road bike to use depending on their target competition, Cervelo is known for three bike series, namely:
- P-series (road racing bikes)
- S-series (aero-road bikes)
- P-series (triathlon bikes)
8. Sizing Flexibility
Cervelo makes its bikes in various frame sizes to make it easy for riders to find their fit.
Here’s a Cervélo bike size chart for road bikes
|Frame Size Name
|Frame Size ( cm)
|5’0” – 5’3.5”
|5’2.5” – 5’6”
|5’6” – 5’8.5”
|5’8.5” – 5’11”
|5’11” – 6’1″
|6’1” – 6’4”
As good as Cervelo is as a brand, its bikes suffer a few downsides, which the manufacturer should probably improve. They include
- No women-specific bike line – Unfortunately, Cervelo does not have a dedicated women’s bike line even though they sponsor pro-women riders. All its bikes are unisex.
- The saddle can be uncomfortable long-distance – Given that we are talking about race-oriented bikes, you expect the bike saddle to be more performance-oriented than comfortable tailored, which you get from Cervelo.
- Steeper prices – Cheaper Cervelo bikes, which the manufacturer considers entry-level, go for $3,000. However, a decent race-worthy option costs $7,000 – $12,500 depending on design, thus steeply-priced.
Are Cervelo Bikes Worth It (Despite their High Price)?
Given their steep prices, it’s normal to question if Cervelo bikes are worth it. These bikes have proven to be world beaters and podium finishers at the Tour de France and other recognized competitions.
So, if you are a pro rider looking to compete and possibly win a race, a Cervelo bike is a safe bet.
Cervelo Bikes Range
Currently, Cervelo makes the following bike categories:
- Road bikes
- Time trial/triathlon bikes
- Gravel/cyclocross bikes
Let’s review them.
Are Cervelo Road Bikes Good?
Cervelo is unrivaled in the high-end road bike sector. They make classic road bikes for amateurs and pro riders and high-end endurance and aero road bikes for competitive racers.
Its road bikes fully embody its five engineering fundamentals: usability, ride quality, stiffness, aerodynamics, and ride quality. So, even though these bikes cost an arm and leg, they prove their worth in performance.
Currently, Cervelo makes the R5, S5, Caledonia, and Caledonia-5 road bikes. The best-seller, however, is the Cervelo S5.
This Cervelo road bike is known for its aerodynamic, stiff, lightweight, and performance-tailored geometry that makes it pretty fast, more enduring, and comfortable to steer.
Are Cervelo Time Trial (TT) and Triathlon Bikes Good?
Cervelo Time Trial and triathlon bikes check all the boxes for low weight, stiffness, aerodynamics, and efficiency.
These bikes are just designed for top-level competitions. They employ a top-tier groupset and feature aero-water and modular storage that allows you to pack food and water.
The time trial and triathlon lineup include P-Series, PX-Series, and P5 bikes. However, the most popular choice is Cervelo P5, known for its streamlined aerodynamics and endurance all-carbon build to take on long courses.
Are Cervelo Gravel and Cyclocross Bikes Good?
Cervelo gravel and cyclocross (CX) bikes are your go-for when you want to compete off-road.
The gravel bikes, for example, don’t just focus on speed but also on power and distance. As a result, they combine speed, pedaling efficiency, and endurance better than any other bike, as the Cervelo Aspero 5 demonstrates. The other gravel option is the Cervelo Aspero.
On the other hand, Cervelo cyclocross bikes are all about better handling, aerodynamics, endurance, and all-terrain dominance, as the Cervelo R5-CX proves.
People Also Ask
1. Why Is Cervelo Popular?
Cervelo is famous for its speedy high-end race bikes, some of which compete at the Tour de France and other elite competitions. Its bikes promise an unmatched rider experience that endears themselves to pro racers.
2. Is Cervelo a Good Bike Brand?
Cervelo is an elite-level and prestigious cycling brand known for its race-worthy and highly competitive road, time trial, cyclocross, and gravel bikes.
Its selling points are its engineering fundamentals of ride quality (comfort), usability, stiffness, low weight, and aerodynamics.
3. Where Are Cervelo Bikes Made?
Cervelo bikes are made in China and some in Taiwan, but the company is Canadian.
4. Is Cervelo Better Than Cannondale?
Both Cervelo and Cannondale make high-end race-worthy bikes. The difference is the geometry, where Cervelo bikes enjoy a higher head tube than Cannondale, giving them a stiffer feel which offers you an aerodynamics and steering advantage.
5. What Is the Difference Between Cervelo S3 and S5?
The difference between Cervelo S3 and S5 is that Cervelo S3 has a slightly lower reach and higher stack than Cervelo S5. But other than that, the two aero road bikes are pretty fast and good climbers.
6. Why Are Cervelo Bikes So Expensive?
Cervelo bikes are expensive because they are high-end and proven podium finishers at the Tour de France and other elite racing events. These bikes employ the most advanced technology and specs to stand above the rest.
In Summary – Are Cervelo Bikes Good?
If you want a race-worthy and proven podium finisher, then Cervelo bikes tick all the boxes. These bikes are about usability, stiffness, ride quality (comfort), low weight, and aerodynamics, making them good racers.