Sinewy, strong, fast
A Cervelo S5 arrived in time for road season, studying it, trying to best describe how it looks, all I got is Iggy Pop. So ugly it rocks. The shaping is like “Hypnotizing chickens worth a million in prizes and I’m just a modern guy. Got a Lust for Life.”
If you’re into this sort of thing, then this is the bike for you. To me it seems the engineering stopped at the head tube. Like all their budget went into slamming that tire up a seat-mast ass. The front end is unbalanced and twitchy with that high of a head tube, like steering a bus or flying an MD-80 in turbulence. Keep the gas on into a corner, so it doesn’t forget which direction you were pointed.
Thick and thin
The S5 does get down the road and accelerates and that’s why racers like it. The bike moves, but with the all the subtly of a Sagan, podium-girl butt pinch. It’s also the team bike of choice and for good reason, lots of zooma-zoom-zoom-zoom in a boom-boom on a working-class racer’s budget.
In the time we had this bike at Hugga HQ, it didn’t stop raining long enough to shoot it until last night. At sunset, the S5 glows pretty and beckons you into a bike shop. We can’t recommend a 52/36 for racing, but a fondo, sure. Spin those sub-compact gears up the hills.