The Quest for the Perfect Aero Road Bike

This spring we were excited and impressed by the arrival of Cervelo’s new flagship aero road bike, the S5 ( The bike arrived on the tail end of some stellar online and print reviews, but we were interested in how it performed first hand. As most customers know, online or print reviews can work more like advertisements, with the manufacturer paying for a favorable write-up of the new product. When Troy Johnson was one of our first customers this summer to hop on a new Cervelo S5, we naturally wanted his review (positive or negative). We are pleased to hear that he is loving every second on this bike. Check out what he has to say in our brief interview below.

1)      Why did you want / need this product? What attracted you to it?

My only other bike until now was my Felt tri bike (2011 B2R).  I wanted to have a quality road bike primarily for training purposes and for use during group rides.  I was hoping having a road bike would more endear me to the roadies who dislike tri-bikes.  During the winter months – my tri bike goes on the trainer and I also wanted to have a bike that was ready to go when spring riding season arrived.  Once the race season began – I then put the Cervelo on the trainer and keep the tri bike – race ready.

2)      What type of riding have you done with it (sprints, long rides, climbs, etc…)?

My riding has been primarily training and group rides as I use my tri bike for all races.  A forty plus mile training ride would be typical and the bike remains comfortable and fun to ride.

3)      What does a typical weekly cycling routine look like for you (time on bike, terrain, tri vs. road bike etc…)?

I am preparing for my first full Ironman triathlon so I am training in three sports.  I typically ride at least three days a week.  The variability of going from a road bike to a tri bike during a week of training is a nice change and the convenience of always having a bike on the trainer and another in the garage helps me make the most of my training time.

4)      What Pros have you noticed (what did you like or what surprised you)?

The bottle configuration allows for one or two bottles and the positioning is good.  The bike comes with high quality components and works flawlessly.  Shifting is smooth and precise.  Overall the bike is elegant but remains simple to maintain.

5)      Have you noticed any glaring performance gains since purchasing this bike (increase in avg. speed, increase in top speed, less road fatigue, etc…)?

My training times have improved but difficult to quantify precisely.  Hell – I think I’m even faster when I have the Cervelo S5 on the stationary trainer.  Seriously – I have noticed that when on group rides and while coasting downhill – I am still passing other riders – who are often pedaling.  Many variables can cause this but I have no doubt the S5 is noticeably more aero and efficient than other road bikes.

6)      What Cons have you noticed (What didn’t you like or would you change, why)?

Nothing really – maybe make it yellow?

7)      What is your general consensus on the bike? Was it worth the sticker price?

To be candid this bike’s performance is greater than my own ability but I am happy I made the purchase and have had no “buyer’s remorse”.  There are many technical advantages to this bike that I have not mentioned – they are more accurately described by the real bike experts.  In my opinion – the S5 looks and feels really fast.  It handles very well and gets lots of attention during group rides.  Bottom line – I would buy it all over again.

One of the best things about my experience with this bike is the staff at Gear West.  Brett spent a lot of time making sure the fit was right and that this was actually the bike I wanted – never any pressure in the process just the same great service that I have come to expect from the best bike dealer in Minnesota – bar none.

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